In honor of Samhain (sa’ win), the Celtic holiday that honors the ancestors, I decided to write about ancestral inheritance and how it relates to creating lifework you love.
To get started, I invite you to reflect on the following:
Who were your ancestors?
What did they stand for?
What did they do in their lifetime?
Are there any behavioral or vocational patterns that are carried from generation to generation?
These are interesting questions to contemplate, especially when viewed through the lens of someone who yearns to make their lifework more meaningful.
Because what if you and your calling are partly the culmination of the experiences of every single person who made you – your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. – all the way back to the beginning of human history?
Or at the very least, what if your life has been deeply influenced by the stories and personalities of the generations that came before you? And by “stories” I mean tales of the “olden days” but also the simple day-to-day events that shape a family.
Add to this your personal experiences, your soul’s desires, your unique gifts and talents, and you might realize that you are the expression of something ancient and new, simultaneously.
In other words, we are all unique, yet filled with an unseen, unknown history that colors and informs our uniqueness.
Considering this, I invite you to contemplate the notion that you inherited more than eye coloring from your ancestors. You may have also inherited talents, patterns or compulsions that cannot be easily explained, but hold clues to your calling.
Let me give you an example from my own life:
I often feel a need to create something unique, or be on the cutting edge of new and exciting ventures. I can’t really explain it, other than to say it’s strong and constant.
I also have a very odd, deep seated feeling of being a warrior, even if the only war I ever fight is a spiritual battle within my Self. This feeling makes no logical sense, but it is there nonetheless.
Additionally, I have an obsession with spirituality and finding ways to connect more thoughtfully and more meaningfully with the Divine.
And even though I have been conscious of these feelings for decades, it wasn’t until I started reflecting on my ancestral lineage that I began to wonder if I’d actually inherited some of these traits from my ancestors.
Of course, if you want to get totally “woo-woo”, you might say my soul chose to incarnate into this lineage because it perfectly aligns with my soul’s desires.
Regardless, I am a true American “mutt” with ancestors who come from Norway, Scotland, England, Wales, Germany, France and Romania, of both Christian and Jewish lineages.
But it is my British Isles ancestors who interest me most. Perhaps because I can trace them back to the 14th century, thanks to my grandparents and others from the same lineage.
This particular line is filled with pioneers, warriors, and deeply religious people whose religious tradition went against the cultural norms of the day.
They were Normans, Celts, and Anglo-Saxons – invaders and the invaded.