Good day, and welcome to our newest issue!  We hope that this week finds you doing very well and enjoying all that you've been given in this world.

11 December 2018      

Creating and Living Your Ideal Legacy
Steve Brunkhorst

Little Gifts
tom walsh

Giving and Receiving
Shakti Gawain

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Simple and Profound Thoughts
(from simpleandprofound.com)

Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms,
you would never see the beauty of their carvings.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

The ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic
by experts.  Don't wait for experts.

Murray Cohen

Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself.  It's what you do for others.

Danny Thomas

Life is a great and wondrous mystery, and the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here and now.  Don't miss it.

Leo Buscaglia

  
Creating and Living Your Ideal Legacy
Steve Brunkhorst

A legacy is more than a gift that lives on after you.  Certainly, a legacy is a contribution to humanity.  A legacy provides value to future generations.  However, if you are creating your ideal legacy, it will also make your heart bubble with passion and excitement today!

Louisa May Alcott wrote:

"When Emerson's library was burning at Concord, I went to him as he stood with the firelight on his strong, sweet face, and endeavored to express my sympathy for the loss of his most valued possessions, but he answered cheerily, 'Never mind, Louisa, see what a beautiful blaze they make! We will enjoy that now.' The lesson was one never forgotten and in the varied lessons that have come to me I have learned to look for something beautiful and bright."

Emerson left future generations with a philosophy of creativity, spiritual development, and individualism.  He saw value and quality in each moment of life.  His writings continue to share the message that people have the mental and spiritual capacities to achieve their dreams.  He lived a philosophy that continues to benefit humanity.

The building blocks of your legacy are the ideas and philosophies that you live and value.  Your contributions will provide something beautiful and bright to cherish during this lifetime.  They will increase your sense of aliveness and fill you with the energy of a unique purpose for which you were born.  They make up the quality of your life now.

How can you begin creating and living your ideal legacy today?

1. Decide What You Value the Most

Write down all the things that you value, and select at least five core values:  those things that provide the foundation for your actions, beliefs, and philosophies.  Examples of values are love, health, spirituality, family, career, adventure, peace, and community.

2. Draw a Time Line of Your Life

Draw a long line and mark it by years and months beginning with your birthday.  Extend it for decades after your life will have ended.  Include all the things you have done and things you want to do.  Include the benefits future generations will experience from your contributions.  Show how your life's work will actually continue after you.  Your timeline is a very eye opening exercise.  Spend adequate time with it and fill in as many details as possible.  Then return from time to time to update your timeline and add extra details.

3. Write a Purpose Statement

Notice the themes running through your timeline.  They can help to reveal your purpose if you are not already aware of it.  A purpose statement is a simple, private statement that guides your daily actions.  For example, you might write, "I help others to live happy and healthy lives" or "I create art that brings spiritual awareness."  Do not confuse a purpose statement with a mission statement, which is a more specific way you might fulfill your purpose.

4. Focus on Today

Your timeline presented a large picture.  What is your focus just for today?  Spend sufficient time focusing on your current steps as well as on the future.  How are your actions in each moment supporting your values and contributing to your purpose?  If you are on purpose, you will feel authentically happy and fulfilled.

5. Move Forward with Gratitude

Live your ideal legacy by taking positive steps each day toward your vision for a better world.  Savor the small treasures in your relationships with people.  Live with gratitude for each contribution you have received and created.  Give thanks even for the setbacks that ultimately reveal clearer paths forward.

Evangelist Billy Graham said, "The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives."  What legacy does the quality of your life reveal today?  Envision your ideal legacy.  See your role in creating a richer humanity.  The legacy you share and live today can create a better world for future generations.

*  *  *  *

© Copyright by Steve Brunkhorst.

   

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Giving and Receiving
An excerpt
Shakti Gawain

Our abilities to give and receive are at the core of our capacity to create and experience true prosperity.

We each receive certain gifts when we come into this life.  These gifts take the form of our special talents, interests, and attributes, as well as our universal human characteristics, such as our ability to love and care for one another.

When we do our best to live our truth and express ourselves as authentically as possible, sharing ourselves as we are genuinely moved to, we naturally give our gifts to others and to the world.

In return, we may receive acknowledgement, appreciation, validation, nurturing, love, and in certain circumstances, money or other material rewards.  Receiving in these ways allows us to replenish the life force we have "spent," which in turn enables us to continue giving.

So receiving and giving are opposite energies that are inextricably linked together in the natural flow of life, like inhaling and exhaling.  If one aspect of that cycle doesn't function, the entire cycle ceases to function and the life force cannot move freely.  If you can't inhale, you will soon have nothing to exhale, and before long, your body will be unable to continue living.

This might seem fairly simple and obvious, yet we have enormous confusion in this area.  Many of us have difficulty with giving, receiving, or both.

In my observation, the more common problem is the inability to truly receive.  There are a number of reasons why receiving is difficult for so many of us.  Certainly, one factor is cultural conditioning.  Giving is generally viewed as honorable and praiseworthy.  Receiving, or taking, seems perilously close to selfishness, which has a lot of negative connotations for most of us.
   

  

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Whatever noble aims we may have, paths we may be on, or necessary efforts
we may make, our only real freedom is to awaken now, this very instant, to
the mystery and miracle of being, to the spacious awareness that we are.
It is only this immediate awakening to the deepest levels of ourselves, to the
conscious source that connects us all, that will enable us to experience and
manifest real harmony, intelligence, kindness, love, and compassion in our
lives and bring about the transformation in the world that we all wish for.

Dennis Lewis

   

 

Little Gifts

As the season for gift-giving comes upon us once more, we start to think a lot about gifts, those we're going to give, and those we're going to get.  As we grow older, hopefully, we focus more on the former than the latter, though that isn't always the case.  In the eyes of many people, gifts follow a simple rule:  the bigger the better.  Speaking realistically, though, that rule is far from valid.  In my life, I've found that the most important gifts that I've given and received have been the small ones that have special meaning.

When I sit at my desk and work, I always have around me plenty of small gifts that I've received from friends and students.  They do a great job of reminding me of people who have been a very important part of my life, and because they're small, they can go with me anywhere and I can keep plenty of them.  The memories of the people and the times I spent with them are much more important to me than the objects themselves, but the objects have the ability to refresh my memory of pleasant times at just a quick glance.

Even as I write, I see a small inch-high globe that a former student gave me at her graduation, and I remember how good she felt on that day.  I see a small dream catcher made out of colored pipe cleaners, and I remember the day at camp when one of the campers gave it to me as a gift.  There's also a small glass fish that my wife bought me when she was in the Bahamas, and I know how good it felt to know that someone was thinking about me when she was in such a lovely place.

The small gifts are the ones that keep me going, the ones that give me a great feeling inside.  They're the ones that let me know that someone tried to consider what I liked, and what would be most appropriate for me.

The same goes for when I give gifts--I try to find the small ones that are special to someone, the ones that show that I've considered who they are and what they would like.  From time to time I've bought the large gifts, but as time goes on I see that they don't have nearly the effect that the smaller ones do.

When we think about what kinds of gifts we're going to give this season, we always can choose to go for the gifts that are more special rather than the gifts that are more expensive or just plain big.  The most special gifts have nothing to do with money or size; rather, they reflect the fact that we've been thinking seriously about the recipient and what they would truly want to receive.  I would much rather get a small, cheap gift that shows that someone was thinking about me than a large expensive gift that's meant to impress me somehow.

Many people ruin their enjoyment of receiving gifts by allowing their expectations to blur their vision, not allowing themselves to see just how great a gift is because it might not be what they wanted, or it might not be big enough or special enough.  During this holiday season, we have choices to make on what types of gifts to give to others, and finding the very special ones is a great way to make the holidays special.  Likewise, we have choices to make as to how we react to gifts given to us by others, and we can make our holidays much brighter by recognizing how special gifts are.

   

   
More on giving.

   
   
  

   

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We will discover the true nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to our own or to other people's models, learn to be ourselves, and allow our natural channels to open.

Shakti Gawain

  
The True Measure of Greatness
Randall S. Weeks

A young student once asked his old teacher, "Teacher, what is the true measure of greatness?"  The teacher looked far away into the mountains and gave the following reply:

Some measure greatness in height and weight, but great people are never so tall as when they stoop to talk to a child or bend their knees to help a hurting friend.

Some measure greatness in physical strength, but great people are never so strong as when they shoulder the burden of the downtrodden stranger.

Some measure greatness in terms of financial gain, but those who show generosity to their family and friends, they are the ones who are truly rich.

Some measure greatness in applause and accolades, but those who seek opportunity to serve in the quiet places of the world, theirs is the higher reward.

Some measure greatness in commitment to achieving in material ways, but those who spur others on to reach their goals is great indeed.

Great people have vision and do not keep the truth to themselves.

Great people have passion for life and are not ashamed to show it.

Great people expect the best from others and give the best of themselves.

Great people know how to work and how to play, how to laugh and how to cry, how to give and how to receive, how to love and how to be loved.

There are many people who are by the world called "great," but those who bear honor in their hearts, who can, in the evening hours, lie upon their beds and peacefully close their eyes, knowing that they have done all that is within their power to live their lives fully and fruitfully, those are truly great people.
   

  

When you accept that you are not in charge of everything, you can
begin to work with the one who really is in charge.  This has been
my experience; when I accepted that I was not in charge and started
to work with someone else's plan, the Boss showed up.  Now we
are a team and I have less to be concerned about.  He organizes my
schedule.  I just follow it, and when He is taking a day off my wife steps in.

Bernie Siegel

    

  

   

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