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four-fold life Inspiration

Building Your Legacy Through Reminiscence

thought-catalog-214785

“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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Categories
music Musical Monday My Travels

Musical Monday: The Walker

Fitz and the Tantrums
Have you ever heard a song on the radio and within seconds you remember a time in your life; because consciously or unconsciously you have associated that song with a particular moment, event, or person? This can be a powerful experience, why do you think people come up with engagement songs, wedding songs, class songs, etc. …because now whenever you hear that song you are reminded of the day you got married, the people you graduated with or the great memories you have from that time in your life!
It really is a brilliant idea, especially if you are a very music inspired person like myself. Say you have a project you’re working on or a 30 day challenge or maybe a week of vacation, why not pick a song to start your day with? Relate that song to what you’re doing some how or at least make it a song you like and after that period of time is up, every time you hear that song, it will remind you the success you had, the memories you made or the people you met.
I am lucky enough to have a song that will always remind me of my 12 days on a European Discovery! On my trip with Contiki Holidays, my awesome Tour Manager chose a song for our group of 49 travelers to associate with our incredible trip. She called it our “Day Song.” Each day, even if it was 7:00am, the first song we listened to on the coach was “The Walker” by Fits and the Tantrums. Which really was perfect for us because not many could keep up with our rhythm during those 12 days! As days passed we began to memorize the words, sing loudly along and even dance along. There were nights we would be out dancing at a club or at a bar and the song would come on, all of us would just go crazy! Every time we hear that song a variety of memories will rush through our brain…
Our adventure through the Red Light District, during a power outage in Amsterdam
The Beer Steins and Cuckoo clocks of St. Goar
Mike’s Bike Tour of Munich with Matt and Chris
White Water Rafting through the mountains in Austria
The Gondola’s of Venice
Exploring the ruins of Rome
Dancing the night away at the Space Electronic Disco in Florence
Travelling to the top of Mount Stanserhorn in Switzerland
Drinking wine and gazing at the beautiful lights of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
and the list goes on!
At first it was just a song, but by the end of the trip it was a part of us. It was, and will now always be, a series of unforgettable memories and moments with a group of incredibly unique and amazing people.

Categories
Life My Travels

Stay Strong, Boston Strong

This past Summer I had the pleasure of having an internship in the wonderful city of Boston. This city is full of history! Whether you’re talking about the history of our country, the history of art, the history of architecture, the history of the 80s sitcom Cheers…or perhaps the history of Mark Wahlberg. It’s all there! Boston has been the scene of several key events in our country’s history including the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Bunkerhill. Boston is also the home of  the United States’ first public school (1635) and the first subway system(1897). And, though I am a Detroit Tigers fan, how can we forget the year the Curse of the Bambino was broken, when the Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series! All of these events of history have played a part in our lives, whether it was in joy or pain.
One year ago today Boston experienced it’s most recent pain, the Boston Marathon bombing. At 2:49 pm EDT, on April 15, 2013 Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media outlets broke out in fear alerting others of the tragedy. Three people were killed and an estimated 264 others were injured that day. The bombs exploded about 12 seconds and 210 yards (190 m) apart, near the finish line on Boylston Street in downtown Boston.

Boston Marathon Memorial
Boston Marathon Memorial

Boston Marathon Memorial

Arriving in Boston in June of 2013, I found that the pain and fear had turned into courage and faith, with a community of support and remembrance. A beautiful memorial was created where the incident occurred. There were fences, trees, benches, posters, and more decorated with everything from flags, hats, shoes and clothing to stuffed animals, books, ribbons and notes. Though an unfortunate and an awful happening, it was amazing to experience the togetherness of a city. Everywhere you looked someone was wearing or selling a “Boston Strong” t-shirt. Companies, organizations and individuals all over the city were displaying the blue and yellow ribbons of their Boston Strong support.
A breathtaking photo series was released last week where “Survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing send messages of hope…” Please check it out, it’s truly inspiring. It’s events like these that remind us to be thankful for everything we have, everyday, even if we don’t think it’s much! We are lucky to have our health, our family, our friends and the opportunities that we do!
My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to all of the those affected by this tragedy. Stay Strong, Boston Strong!
Boston Marathon Memorial

Boston Marathon Memorial