Each of us leaves a legacy, consciously or not.
For me, I think about my legacy largely in terms of my daughter, Clara. If you are a Mom, I bet that’s true for you, too.
Until I stopped drinking in my late 20′s (I’m now 41) my relationship with the legacy I was living out was largely unconscious, reactive, and painful. The way that I interacted with money, my work, and my intrinsic worth was a hot mess. When I married and my daughter came along, I had already started unwinding a lot of stuff around my worth.
Clara’s birth inspired a commitment to CHOOSING my legacy.
B.E.C. (before Erick and Clara) my legacy kept my stomach clenched, my brow furrowed, and my bank account empty. I couldn’t even necessarily hear the whispers of my legacy, but I sure acted on them. Once I could finally hear what was being said, I was shocked.
Here is a small sample of my old legacy (FYI: it ain’t pretty)
Who do you think you are? You are nothing.
You are getting too big for your britches.
You are irresponsible with money.
You can’t make a living doing what you love if it’s artistic, alternative, healing-oriented, or spiritual.
Work has to be hard to be valuable.
There is never enough – time, energy, money or love – so get what you can and spend it while you’ve got it.
Our legacies have a gospel-like quality.
We don’t tend to question them, because it is just the way it IS.
Maybe some of these legacies have a ring of familiarity for you, or perhaps not. But the fabulous news is, if you don’t feel awesome about your relationship to your money or your work, you can heal, you can shift, and you can do all of it in a completely different way.
You get to choose your legacy, from this moment forward.
I looked at my gorgeous daughter this morning (Mother’s Day) and I can see that, at least so far, my chosen legacy is serving her well. My chosen legacy is not designed to keep me – or her – safe and small, as I believe mine was.
Whether you do it for your children or just for you, now is always the perfect time to examine the legacy you are living. You may find it’s time for a rewrite or maybe even a complete overhaul.
So what does a new legacy look like?
A new legacy is the counter to any old legacy beliefs - what I love most about new legacies is that there is always evidence that that belief is true, right now. And if it can be true in small amounts, in can be true in greater and greater amounts.
So here is a small sampling of the legacy I work with now, to get the juices flowing for your rewrite…
There is enough. For everyone. I start by acknowledging the abundance of time, money, wealth, safety, love, and opportunity in my life – and the responsibility (ability to respond) that comes with that gift. I share that abundance with my family, I share that with my friends, I share that with my clients, I teach it to my daughter and I absolutely support that in how I spend my money and give my time.
I know myself to be a powerful woman. I know that true power has nothing to do with money, sex, or perfection and everything to do with my humanity and my willingness to claim my life and my choices as my own. Whether people love me or hate me, it not safer to hide my brilliance from the world. My britches fit perfectly as long as I am following my values and my heart as best I can.
I am responsible with money. I honor the energy of money and strive to not push it away or grasp it tightly. I look at my financial picture frequently. I have honest conversations with my spouse about money. I am teaching my daughter fiscal responsibility, but let her know that money is just one component of a life well-lived.
I can make a living doing any damn thing I choose - if I am committed. Every skill and every talent has a place in our big beautiful world and it’s even better if we all put our special talents to work making the world a more equitable, educated, peaceful and wonderful place for everyone. Work needn’t be hard to be valuable but it does requires effort. Mastery of a craft doesn’t come to stay without being courted.
Financial wealth alone will not make me happy or peaceful. Those states are both inside jobs. Money is energy, money is a tool, and money is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. Seeking wealth for wealth’s sake is very often driven by a sense of scarcity. I want the wellspring of my work and the income I generate to be inspired by freedom to choose and my desire to serve.
Now’s a great time to write the legacy you want to live.
What legacy are you living NOW? Is that what you truly desire? What legacy do you want to be living?
Look at every part of what drives you NOW so you know why things are happening the way they are – not to beat yourself with it, but to know yourself better – to understand what you really want.
Write the legacy of your true desires and begin to live it, moment by moment, intentionally and powerfully.
So tell me, Mama. What’s your legacy gonna be?
Do you want to have peaceful, productive money conversations as a part of your new legacy? The Bare Accounting Conversations digital guide is here to help you have full-disclosure conversations when you would rather run away and hide.