This week’s inspirational topic was prompted by a bit of philosophy from the author Osho. As many of my readers know, I believe that estate planning involves so much more than providing the essential estate planning documents. Yes, the right documents and preparing them well is so important as is updating your old estate planning documents regularly.
However, just as important are the life principles behind the paper and what this simple act of love can do for us. I call this, estate planning from the heart verses only the mind.
Building Inner Happiness and Strength Through Estate Planning
I contend that doing your estate plan builds your inner happiness and inspires strength because it can revitalize our life and infuse us with great purpose. This infusion, if you will, is all about traveling out of the mind and back to the heart into a place of compassionate estate planning.
So, in his book, The Power of Love, Osho talks about how our whole society is dominated by the head, because the head is capable of earning money. He says that the is capable of achieving your ambitions, it is efficient just as machines are efficient. The heart, however, is the most significant thing because it is the gateway to your being, to your eternal life source.
I admit, this may sound a bit “touchy feely”, especially coming from a lawyer. But remember, having spent years dealing with Florida trust administration and probate administration matters in Florida, and being closely involved with those who’ve recently lost a loved one, things begin to take a different perspective as they have for me.
Why is it important to return to the heart? Sure, the heart cannot fulfill what Osho calls our “egoist desires” and yet the heart makes us more aesthetic and more sensitive to all the beauty and wonder that surrounds us…and it is there. All we need to do is stop, listen, and observe.
I recently watched the most current Star Wars movie, and I was reminded of this when they talk about the force. Again, perhaps you think it sounds corny, but there is light all around us.
You might ask how do I come back to the heart and what does this even mean?
I believe that people take different paths to the heart. For some, a spiritual practice is helpful and for others practices such as meditation, yoga or being in nature are instrumental. The big idea is to find out what stirs you and begin there. It also can be a simple as looking into the eyes of a child. When you feel a familiar stirring in your heart, then you’ll know that you’re on the right road, away from the stark regiment and often cruel processes of the mind and returning to your center.
Why is coming back to the heart a sort of homecoming? You might say that a return to your heart is a return to authenticity. Osho says that your head is all borrowed, and I love this because much of becoming a lawyer is about retraining your brain. It is my opinion that this process of mentally conditioning lawyers is largely not beneficial to the individual lawyer or society because it aids in a highly critical and non-heart based outlook. Unfortunately, it is often the case that the stronger the mind, the weaker the connection to the heart or all things spiritual.
George Lucas might say that a strict pursuit of the mind at the expense of the heart is a pursuit of the dark side of the force.
Relating this Back to Estate Planning
For me, this answer is simple. Estate planning is a heart based activity, albeit with a mental component. Often the estate planning session is where people are at their most caring and selfless, thinking only of the future welfare of loved ones. If that doesn’t speak to getting back to the heart, I don’t know what does.
Steve Gibbs, Esq.