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What is your legacy?

Let's face it, we all have them.

We all have our legacies. Some are more positive, like a family that demonstrated loyalty and was there for you and helped you to feel safe in the world. Others, not so much.  Maybe your family was never there for you, or maybe someone who should have been there for  you wasn't.  All that stuff contributes to our legacy, our story.  We get to choose whether or not  to live in the story, but in order to be at choice, in  order to not be continually victimized by our past, there is work for us to be done.

Part of what I advocate and teach is something I called spiritual practice, more religious traditions refer to it as confession, and in the secular world it is called introspection.

And there are probably as many ways to do introspection as there are people.

I don't know that the method matters. What I do know is that it is imperative, if you want to live a life free from the demons of the past and the self-imposed limitations based on outdated belief systems...IMPERATIVE that you cultivate inner awareness. I do not believe that it is possible to live a happy life unless a regular practice of introspection (followed by sharing and amends, or confession and penitence) is a part of that life. I feel very strongly about this. It is part of a lifestyle that works to allow for freedom and peace in our lives, at least it has for me.

It is also highly important to have a support system in place to be there for you when you do this. You are likely to experience anger, sadness and all the other feelings commonly associated with grieving.

Why grieving? Isn't grieving usually associated with a loss? Yes, and....in doing this kind of work, there is a loss when we take a good hard look at, for example, a legacy which may really suck, and decide we are not going to claim that legacy.

It is not a pleasant process, except if you are anything like me, you know....you have faith that when the process is done, the legacy will no longer have the power to affect who and what you are, and you will be free to create a new legacy.

Today, I hope you are aware of your legacies, and I hope you are doing the inner work necessary to free yourself from them if they are not serving you.

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I love the look on this face!  A sort of "Wait.....WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?"

This is the look I sometimes get,  and the reaction I sometimes get, when I advise a client to go within.  When I ask for the reasoning behind such a response, the answers vary.  Some find the journey within to be dangerous, and their insides a place to not venture alone.  And some simply cannot or will not believe that going within is going to make any difference in their lives.

I will save the "dangerous place" responses for another post, because today I want to address the belief that going within will not make a difference.

I can state,  unequivocally, that going within DOES make a difference.

And I realize that most of us are trained to do just the opposite.  We are taught throughout our lives to do.....get a job, help others, clean house.  Basic variations of that, and the promise is that if we do those things life will be good.

But life isn't always good, no matter what we do.  And sometimes the doing is in direct conflict with how we feel on the inside, but we don't know it because we've never gone within to check out how we feel.  This doing rather than being is so insidious that I know people who are incapable of identifying their feelings.  And because of that, they live lives of lack and limitation and don't understand why.  They keep doing, and thinking things are going to turn around, and things don't turn around, and then frustration and anger gets added to the list.

Going within means exploring who and what we are....our feelings and thoughts which are based in beliefs and values.  Going within also means sometimes exploring the stories of our lives, not to relive them over and over, but to view past events from a new perspective, which allows us to move beyond the story and stop allowing ourselves to be victimized over and over again.

When we refuse to go within and view things from a different perspective, we can almost provide ourselves with a written guarantee that nothing will change in our lives.

The invitation is this:  if you are experiencing something that is not serving you, go within and explore the story.  Explore the times in your life when something similar has happened.  Look for the pattern, I guarantee there is one.  Look for the common ground, I guarantee there is that too.  When you discover the pattern and the common ground, you are then in a wonderful position, because then you will be able to change the only thing you can change:  yourself.  And when you change yourself, your outsides will automatically change.

I guarantee it.

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