A Word About Legacies

Company Picnic

I have made my niche in Life Coaching about inspiring people to create their legacies.  I continue to believe that this is so very important.  I had asked my mom and dad repeatedly to write down or even record the stories from their childhood and life together.   They never really got around to it, but mom thought about it a lot. 

Aunt Marlene and Mom

Their whole generation of our family is now gone.  It is up to the children to gather photos, gather information, and try to write down memories so that so much of that era in our family is not forgotten or simply lost.  A legacy is so much more than just monetary and items.  A legacy is about family, friends, experiences, memories, and so much more.  It is a goal of mine to leave my children with rich legacies not just of “stuff,” but of loving memories, shared and passed down. 

I did not ask my parents much advice or for much of anything this last year, however, I did talk to them every day, and after dad passed away in September, I talked to my mom sometimes two or three times a day.  I did not get to spend the time with her that I wished I could have.  I would be lying if I didn’t say I have some regrets, I think that everyone has some when you lose someone.  

I had spoken to my mom just a few minutes before she passed away on Monday, Dec. 12th.  She had not been feeling well and when we all tried to call her back to check on her she never answered the phone.  She had already changed residences, we just didn’t know yet. 

The days following mom’s passing proved to be nerve wracking and emotionally almost impossible.  I kept longing to call her over the smallest things.  The feeling and “want” would not be satisfied no matter how much I told myself she was gone.  So I did the only thing that made sense to me.  I started a journal just for her called “Dear Mom.”  So for every time I wanted to pick up the phone and call her I would pick up my journal instead and write to her.  It helped some because I was (in a sense) talking to her, though I could no longer hear her replies. 

I am not sure where this journal will lead, whether it will just be a personal thing, or whether I will later share it with others as a sort of tribute or memorial to my mom.  Right now it is an outlet that allows me to deal with not being able to talk directly with her.  As the days go by it has been a way for me to work through the grief, cloudy days and heal. 

I know there are brighter days on the horizon, but it will take a bit for the sun to shine my way again.  Either way I will make sure my children remember. 

Casey and Lindsey

Cherry Coley (c)

Promises To Myself – 2011 Wrap-Up

It’s that time of year again.  Each year right after Thanksgiving I set aside some time for self-reflection and goal setting until the end December.  I look at the things I’ve accomplished and what I can finish up before the end of the year.  It’s a rewarding time to look back and see how far we’ve come as a family, and in my personal growth, but also to reflect back on the challenges and obstacles that were thrown in our path, how we faced them, mistakes and triumphs along the way, and of course, the lessons learned.

 This year marks a personal turning point in my life as well, so it’s more than just a time of reflection, it’s a time of renewal.  I decided as I was cooking the favored dishes for Thanksgiving that this will be the last Thanksgiving that I will be THAT traditional.  I have, for the last year, been eating much healthier, watching my diet and exercising more.  The traditional dishes, while delicious, are not the healthiest I could make.  One of my goals between now and Christmas / New Years is to look for healthy and tasty ways to enhance our holiday meals. 

 As my kids get older and begin to prepare to start their own lives and own traditions, I find myself wanting to create some new traditions that will grow and continue for our family, starting with changing our holiday menus a bit. 

 Promises to myself

  1. I will celebrate each and every holiday, event, birthday and accomplishment in my life and the lives of family and friends.
  2. I will look for ways to continually enrich my life through learning new cultures and spiritual renewal.
  3. I will seek to simplify and de-clutter my house and my life.
  4. I will make a concerted effort to spend more time with the positive mentors, like-minded people and good friends in my life.
  5. I will remind myself that while my children are my priority, I am important too.
  6.  I will change one thing in my life every single week to make sure I continue to grow and improve my/our quality of life.
  7. I will continue to find new recipes to eat healthy, take really good care of myself and exercise.
  8. I will make time for an “Artist” date each week.
  9. I will find ways to make myself step outside of my comfort zone, set firm goals and work towards them.
  10. I will find ways to make time to meditate and pray every single day no matter what crisis, mishap, or odd circumstance comes along. 

This is my list here at the end of 2011.  Between now and New Years I will work to put these things in place and tweak my list to include things for the coming 2012. 

Cherry Coley ©

It’s a Start Right?

For months I have fretted and wondering how to start a BLOG. I worried over set up, how it should look, should I add pictures? What on earth am I going to talk about? Should I center it on being a Life Coach and if so how would I do that? What sort of things should I include and should it just be around being creative?

In short, I blocked my creativity struggling to figure out how  creative. So, I went back and took stock of myself wondering why when I sat down to write at the computer I suddenly became so very intimidated by the blank page. It was an amazing thing considering my favorite things to do are writing and art. What kind of coach would I be if I can’t even get myself in gear to move forward?

The realization I came to is this: I am what I am, and what I am, is a creator.  I am a writer and artist FIRST and a coach for others second. Somehow recognizing that this is indeed how I am created and my purpose unlocked me and the blank page no longer has the power to feel forbidding or intimidating.  What better way is there to spend my time than to help others be creative while enjoying and experiencing all that life has to offer?

So what’s the answer?  Be authentic in everything you do. Once you have given yourself to your true purpose things start to flow in the direction they are supposed to with minimal effort and much enjoyment, and when you make a life of serving and helping others reach their goals and define their dreams, there is no greater sense of accomplishment. 

Cherry Coley (c)