- I’m more open and expressive of my love and appreciation with people every day.
- I have more intimacy and understanding in my marriage.
- I feel light. I’m ready to enter death, whenever it comes, mindfully without any sense of angst about my relationships.
- If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, the people who matter most will know in no uncertain terms, how important they are to me.
These are some of the ways Catherine’s life has changed by working through WILLOW’s curriculum for writing Love Letters and a Heart Will. The exploration brought her and some friends together to delve into the scope of their personal feelings about the fact that someday and they don’t know when, they are each going to die and whether they are intentional about it or not, they each will leave a legacy. Moving through the process, they soon discovered or confirmed who and what matter most in their lives.
Catherine’s Heart Will (five pages about her life story and lessons to pass onto people she loves and future generations) was an affirmation that she is on track about how she wants to live her life.
“It’s helped me say yes to what’s important and no to what’s not in my life. For example I used to get irritable and stressed when I felt compromised for time. If activities were too close together I would end up not enjoying either, even though I wanted to do both. I’m getting better at saying no to one if it might compromise my ability to be present to both.”
A Surprise Gift
One of the most impactful moments for Catherine, she explained, was when she learned that her husband—if he ever discovered he had limited time to live—would want to go into the mountains by himself. Feeling shocked and abandoned at first, she soon relaxed into the idea that she could actually support him on that. She’s so grateful to have explored this possible future scenario and feels she’ll be better prepared to support her husband and take care of herself if that situation ever occurred.
In addition to her Heart Will Catherine wrote eight letters (of love and gratitude) to family members and close friends. Five of those were emails, some just a few paragraphs that didn’t take long at all. She didn’t write them with the desire nor need to get responses. She did, however, receive some responses and they cracked her heart open in the very best way.
“Why wait until you know you’re going to die? Why not enrich your relationships now?”
Catherine also noted that not everyone in her group wrote a Heart Will or Love Letters. For some the power and the beauty was in the the process of appreciating their relationships and the finite nature of life.
This is available to you now. If you haven’t already received the WILLOW guide on How to Write your Heart Will, download it below. You can also follow these steps to write a five-minutes Love Letter:
- Choose someone who matters to you.
- Begin with Dear “name” and write as if you are speaking directly to them.
- Set a timer to five minutes.
- Complete these phrase with as many words as you need, and with what comes freely to your mind.
- What I love / appreciate about you is…
- I forgive you for …
- Please forgive me for …
- My hopes and dreams for you are….
If you want to learn about the origins of Heart Wills and Love Letters and reasons past participants joined the process take a look at How to Live Until you Die. Also more testimonials can be found on our website.
If you haven’t started writing or feel there’s more to say, consider diving into the self-reflection and writing process at our upcoming Legacy, Love Letters + Heart Wills retreat in Mexico! Join us from October 29 to November 4, 2018 and experience the day of the Dead in San Jose del Cabo.
What about you?
How has writing a Heart Will or Love Letter changed you?
What are you waiting for to begin writing?