Building Your Legacy Through Reminiscence

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“You have a four-fold life to live: a body, a brain, a heart and a soul . . . these are your living tools. To use and develop them is not a task. . . . It is a golden opportunity.”

~ William H. Danforth,  I Dare You!

Day to day, I try to focus on balancing a four-fold life by acknowledging the physical, mental, social and spiritual impacts and benefits of life experiences.  In many instances of Reminiscence Therapy research I am finding the benefits of the recollection of stories, life lessons, feelings, smells etc. in all four of these areas. Most of the articles recommend this therapy for patients who have dementia or Alzheimer’s  but I think it is important for all ages and variations of mental health.

Today I found an organization, by luck of the search, called LifeBio. They provide a service to help family members get to know each other in a way they didn’t realize they could.

Now, I haven’t used this service or done much more research on the organization, but I think the idea is wonderful. I found the post below in the LifeBio blog:

http://www.lifebio.org/about-us/blog/storytelling-for-health-and-wellbeing/

Storytelling is powerful and it is natural.  Why should it be encouraged?  Because it is also good for people’s health and sense of wellbeing.

Here is how LifeBio sees reminiscence touching ALL dimensions of wellness, and why it cannot be ignored as a tool to use with seniors at home, in senior living, assisted living, nursing homes, or with those who have memory challenges.  Besides unlocking a fascinating story, it leads to an amazing opportunity for engagement.

  • Physical – Activate the hippocampus area of brain where memories are stored.  “Autobiography for older adults is like chocolate for the brain,” said Dr. Gene Cohen in a conversation with Beth Sanders, Founder of LifeBio.
  • Spiritual – Deeply touch people as they share beliefs, values, life lessons, etc.
  • Occupational – This gives people an important job to do.  Creating a LEGACY.
  • Emotional – Joys and challenges are recorded and shared.  LifeBio has been found to increase happiness and satisfaction with life.  “Get it off your chest.”
  • Environmental – Life stories build a strong sense of community.
  • Intellectual – Life stories help people learn about themselves and about other people.  Fascinating new knowledge and people learn to listen.
  • Social – People form new bonds with their neighbors and become friends through the power of story.

And there they are, the four-fold and more. The one I found of particular interest is the occupational dimension. “Creating a LEGACY.” 

This is what Downright Ultimate is all about. A legacy is an important part of reaching ultimacy.  We strive to do things that we will be remembered by while we are becoming ultimate.

So let’s do this! If we remember the books that made us think, the toys that made us giggle, the songs that made us dance, the jokes that made us laugh, then we can share these things with others in hopes they will go on to share them too.

Legacy is being created before your eyes. Reminiscence and storytelling give us the opportunity to relive the best moments to pass on the joy and the worst moments to pass on the wisdom.

Think about filmmaking.  We watch many of the movies and television shows that we do because we feel like we’ve connected to the story. Filmmakers do this on purpose. They take memories of their own and add a taste of humor, a lovable best friend, an unexpected twist and we’re hooked. It makes us think, feel and relate.

Okay, you’re right, we won’t all become the next Speilberg, but we should tell our stories. And more importantly, we must listen to other people’s stories. When Grandpa says, “Back in my day …” don’t look away, Grandpa is about to drop some wisdom.

It may seem small, but the sharing of that one lesson or song or joke or quote can make a huge difference.

So now, I encourage you all to recall a time or an object in your life. Look for a time of peace, happiness, humor, adventure, surprise; Or if it’s an object, look for a special memento, an old record, an old photo, a game you used to play, a song you like to sing. Now go tell someone about it. Tell ME about it! Or better yet, blog about it! Tell a story that reminds you that you are a living, breathing, feeling being. Connect with yourself and your family or friends or readers.

Reminisce and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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four-fold life Inspiration

A Memory: Lift Up Your Foot

Before I switched over to Downright Ultimate I wrote/recorded this post for my previous blog, Twenty-two Leaf Clover. I hope to provide audio for future posts as well! But I wanted to share this one because it reminds me of what I went through to get where I am and how I will continue to get through tough career choices and life decisions. Jen Sincero’s wisdom gets me every time!

“In order to kick ass, you must first lift up your foot. —Jen Sincero; author, coach, self-quoter”

For the past month and a half, I have been unemployed. Graduating college and trying to find a job is probably one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. Finding a job, in general, is hard, but there is that added stress right after college. You spend four years preparing for your career in an established institution … You graduate … Then you decide to get an advanced degree, that’s two more years (for me)! Everyone says how proud they are of you and that you can do anything, but for some reason, you feel no sense of accomplishment. You apply, and apply, and apply and then you wait.

But then … You start receiving replies! All at once, several companies you’ve applied to decide to reach out to you within a couple days of each other. At last, Skype interviews commence, phone interviews begin. A couple of places bring you in for in-person interviews. And then … You wait some more.

It is borderline torturous.

You try to keep yourself busy but your stream of consciousness goes something like this …

Where else could I apply? What’s close… I don’t have a car. Could I ride my bike that far? Does that bike even work? Where could I get a bike for cheap? I guess I could borrow my brother’s car sometimes, or my mom’s. What could I do at home? There’s got to be a way to make money at home, something … I have bills coming, maybe I can call to lower my payment. Being an adult sucks. Ugh, I’m gonna watch Netflix.

One Hour Later

Okay, back to work. Indeed.com, here we go. What other skills can I search? Am I good enough though … I need to work on my portfolio … (opens WordPress) … I need to get better at this, and this, and this … (opens lynda.com) … Oh, let’s learn about this!

One Hour Later

Ugh, I’ve been sitting here too long. I should workout. Gosh, I wish I had money for a gym membership. Maybe I could work at a gym? Okay, one more application. Must … Earn … Money … Man I’m hungry. Damnit, I need money for that too.

This continues, day after day. Depression and anxiety start to take over. You start to think to yourself, “It’s over, I’ll live on the street … ” “I am not good enough” “No one wants to hire me” “I just will sleep forever, and watch Netflix … damn that costs money too”

Slams head on desk.

Then you realize something. It’s all a process. A journey with ups and downs, twists, and turns. This is the world we live in. All of these wonderful people in my life tell me I can do this, am I missing something? This is when I turned to my books …

During my job search process, I finally reached the “inspired” phase. Mostly because I started reading the book, You Are a Badassby Jen Sincero. There’s something about a stranger telling me, that I’m a badass, that made me want to read more… how does she know? This surely can’t apply to everyone.

I was wrong. The following passages changed my perspective…

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it’s got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You’re on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no wrong twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be. This is why you’re here. To shy away from who you truly are would leave the world you-less. You are the only you there is and ever will be. I repeat, you are the only you there is and ever will be. Do not deny the world its one and only chance to bask in your brilliance.”

“You are loved. Massively. Ferociously. Unconditionally. The Universe is totally freaking out about how awesome you are. It’s got you wrapped in a warm gorilla hug of adoration. It wants to give you everything you desire. It wants you to be happy. It wants you to see what it sees in you.”

“Nobody who ever accomplished anything big or new or worth raising a celebratory fist in the air did it from their comfort zone. They risked ridicule and failure and sometimes even death.”

“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.     —Lao Tzu; ancient Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism, could have been one guy or a mythical compilation of many, nobody really knows for sure” 

― Jen SinceroYou Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

This book has changed my life and I highly recommend it! (Especially the audiobook). This book got me to today, the day I am proud to announce that I have been offered a position at the University of Michigan as an AV Technician! Go blue!

We all go through changes and stressful times, where it feels like no one else understands…and honestly, they don’t. I don’t care what anyone says … Because you are the only you. You are the only one who knows how you feel. You are the only one who can make decisions towards the ultimate you. Just know, that you are loved. By the universe, the people and things and experiences that make you happy, and that make you come alive, you are loved. And in time, your badass self will take the next step towards your next adventure, you just have to lift up your foot.

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Adulting Career Inspiration