The general idea of an inheritance is to leave a legacy, to support or contribute to another generation, so that it will continue to multiply in some way.
It’s the essence of whatever is being inherited that we carry forward. If an inheritance feels binding, what needs to shift to move it forward into a new iteration?
Kyle Cease, in his book the Illusion of Money, tells the story of a client keeping historical guns, among other things passed down through the generations, from a relative who had been a civil war soldier. He realized he felt weighted down by his possessions and guilty about it, when what he really wanted to do was travel. As he sold off the things of his inheritance, after his eureka moment, it paid for the life he really wanted. The abundance was there in plain sight.
Cady, my client, inherited a family business started by her grandfather. He passed the business to her mother and aunts and now the third generation is inheriting the business with Cady and two of her cousins elected to manage it.
The company thrived while her grandad owned it. Over the years while her mother and aunts managed it, it maintained an income and presence while the physical assets declined.
The second generation, did not inherit a sense of vision for the company and didn’t decide on one of their own. They moved forward by default, maintaining the company with big hearts and no boundaries. To Cady and her cousins, it feels like they’ve been handed an income, yes, and a major mess.
To start, the current generation must decide what they want for their lives and lifestyles, what they want to honor in the original intentions for the business, and from there design the next iteration of the comapny. It’s meant to benefit them, not bind them.
Do they want an ongoing money maker that they manage, for example, while it increases in value? Or a one-time sell off that they invest? Someone else to manage it while they travel and do other things, or to be hands on? The business model they choose going forward will match the design of their lives. The inheritance gives them the fabulous opportunity to choose.
Aware of the history, they can understand the energetics of the company they are inheriting and can choose what to keep and what to discard, without throwing the baby out with the bath water, as the cliché goes.
Spoken or unspoken, each generation played out a mission—on purpose or by default. The third generation can now determine their new mission and as they step into it, so many more ideas are likely come to them, doors opening because they are being true to themselves and the gift.
We are all inheriting something. It’s handed down by previous governments, previous management, ancestors, historical statistics, genetics, trainers, designers, families, and societal norms.
Statistics, averages, genetics, reports, stories, accepted ways of thinking, and arcs of history all tell you what has been.
None of which you are bound to.
What do you want to be an heir to? You could be a statistic or you could be a wayward cell making a new way forward.
The essence of your inheritance is up for your interpretation and that’s the point! What will you make of what you’ve inherited? Will you multiply the talents for good, so to speak, or remain frozen feeling you have to carry it forward as is? As if you have no choice but to do what the previous generation did? The previous history makers? The previous decision makers?
In the examples above, thay are not simply inheriting guns and a business. They’re inheriting dreams, ideas, and victories. What will multiply the good? What would honor the gift? What will cause them to thrive?
Cease’s client could keep the guns all his life while his heart withers from the disconnect with himself. Cady and her cousins could take the family business forward in its current state while feeling burdened, disconnected from it and overwhelmed. But broken hearts and burden seem antithetical to the purpose of inheritance.
Things do not bind us. Consciousness does. And consciousness also frees us.
When we change it, we change the statistics, we change arcs of history, we change which genes are firing, we change the averages and make new reference points for future generations–what becomes tomorrow’s history and another generation’s choices of what they carry forward and multiply.
Here’s to more of You in this world,