The longer I am in this business, the more opportunity I have to see the results of our thinking and work manifest into clients enjoying a well-planned retirement. I also am privileged to share in the sacred parts of life transitions and the passing on of a treasured legacy.
We regularly talk with our clients about the two legacies we all create…. One is the legacy we live each day and the second is the cumulative result of the daily Living Legacy wrapped up in our Leaving Legacy.
This writing by Wayne Mueller beautifully describes the process we are grateful to share with our clients and their families. (Excerpted from A Life of Being, Having and Doing Enough by Wayne Muller)
We make only one choice.
Throughout our lives, we do only one thing- again and again, moment by moment, year after year. It is how we live our days, and it is how we shape our lives.
The choice is this: What is the next right thing for us to do? Where, in this moment, shall we choose to place our time and attention? Do we stay or move, speak or keep silent, attend to this person, that task, move in this or that direction?
With each succeeding moment, we make a new choice. After each decision, there is another. And another. These are not enormous choices, decisions about whether to change careers, get married, or move to a new city. Our choices are small, quiet, intimate things that flow from us as water from a mountain spring, simple, endless, each thimble of water tumbling into the next, creating a small stream that somehow, with neither a map nor a plan, through surprising twists and curving around unforeseen obstacles, somehow inevitably finds its way down the mountain to the sea.
How does the water “decide” to go right or left when approaching a boulder or fallen tree? Somehow, inch by inch, choices are made, perhaps joining other rivulets or creeks along the way, and by the end of the journey, if we look back, we witness the gradual, evolving birth of the stream.
The stream is born of an ongoing relationship. Through a never- ending conversation between water, gravity, obstacles, and earth, a relationship is born that, over time, gives birth to the astonishing miracle of what we call stream. This ancient and elemental relationship between water and earth creates all the streams that saturate the world.
So it is with our lives. The only choice we make- what is the next right thing to do- responds to a similarly vital inner gravity, an invisible thread that shapes our life, as our life meets the world. Every single choice we make, no matter how small, is the ground where who we are meets what is in the world.
And the fruits of that essential relationship – the intimate, fertile conversation between our own heart’s wisdom and the way the world has emerged before us- becomes a lifelong practice of deep and sacred listening for the next right thing we are required to do. We make the only choice that feels authentic and honest, necessary and true in that moment.
Like our stream, our life, when we look back, carves its own course, our own river, curved and shaped by love and loss, joy and sorrow, gratitude and grace. In the end, we join our stream with the streams of so many others, as our lives spill into some unimaginably limitless ocean of enough, the easy contentment and sufficiency of a life well lived.
If this describes the thought-process you want to serve as the underlying belief and feeling for your life and legacy planning, Resonate is here for you. Welcome Home!
Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®