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Women's Lives, Women's Legacies: Passing Your Beliefs and Blessings to Future Generations Paperback – August 27, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"As much a tool for self-knowledge as a vehicle for preserving a legacy." -- Cleveland Plain Dealer

"As much of an intriguing read as it is an in-depth guide on how to document one's life." -- American Jewish World

"While it's possible to create a spiritual-ethical will on one's own, Freed hopes that women will work in community." -- Minnesota Women's Press

"[Examines] ethical wills from a feminist point of view, [and how] women have been left out of the process." -- PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly

From the Inside Flap

A spiritual-ethical will is a record of who you are---a link to your past and a gift to the future. In it you can articulate your values, impart your wisdom, bless your loved ones, and express how you hope to be remembered after you are gone.

Whether you are reclaiming your history or supplementing a legal will, Rachael Freed will guide you through each life-changing step in the legacy writing process. One day your descendants will hold your document in their hands and know who you were, what mattered to you, and what you contributed to the world.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Fairview Press (August 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157749119X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577491194
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,506,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm a woman who's been blessed with a long and varied life. I've always wanted to share my experiences with my nieces, and to offer them my hard-earned wisdom so that they might move into womanhood a little better informed than I was. I've also had an inner desire to be seen and valued by them.
The beautifully written and accessible WOMEN'S LIVES, WOMEN'S LEGACIES offers encouragement and serves as a guide so that I may begin to write my life and in the process, come to love and appreciate myself more fully. I love the personal stories and poetry in the book. As I read, I find myself moving to that spiritual place inside myself of loving my own being as well as all the women who've lived before me and those who will come after. This book is a celebration of and addition to the heritage of women.
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Format: Paperback
I am a writer, counselor, and teacher in my 60's, married for over 40 years, with grown children and one grandchild. So I can recommend this book especially to midlife and older women. This book can help us harvest the fruits of our abundant life experience and share them with a wisdom-starved world.
Through stories, commentary, and especially "reflection and writing" suggestions, this book guides us to contemplate aspects and details of our lives we may tend to take for granted, plumbing the rich depths of their meaning to us, our families, and the world. To name just a few examples: pregnancy, miscarriage, and birth; hanging clothes on a clothesline, specific childhood memories, family relationships, friendships, personal rituals, illness and healing experiences, personal response to world events.
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Format: Paperback
I must admit, I've read the personal stories, poems and quotes found throughout the book, but haven't finished the writing exercises; my spiritual ethical will is a work-in-progress! This book has inspired me to learn more about my roots, particularly my Jewish heritage. Since beginning the book I have contacted my great-aunt and have arranged to spend time with her next month, to better understand my genealogical and spiritual roots before moving ahead with the writing process.
As a social worker in long-term care and senior housing, I am acutely aware of how many women's stories go untold. I would love to use this book as a guide for a writing group; just think of all the stories and pearls of wisdom that could be saved!
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Format: Paperback
A motivational book providing the tools and inspiration to crystallize one's beliefs and values into words that can be understood by those they love, especially future generations.
As a sculptor and former psychotherapist I have long been attracted to the benefits of self examination. Yet this rich, full bodied book warmly encouraged me, a woman of 66 years, to go much deeper, though I thought I already had done so. All aspects of this compelling book interested me, however, particularly notable was the prompt (and poem) inquiring What I Loved Most In My Life. After reflecting on this in great detail, allowing all of my senses to participate, I was urged to write What I'll Miss When I Die. Rachael Freed's gentle wisdom walked me through this exercise urging me to focus clearly and take my time. Not only did the act of writing stir me to spend more precious time than I had before, directed to thoughts of what is important to me after the cobwebs have cleared, but to rejoice in the accomplishment of being ready to share these insights with my family so they will know me in a more direct way, free of unnecessary speculation.
I will enjoy gifting this volume to many friends, especially for their Birthdays. It's a gift that keeps on giving.
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Format: Paperback
What a magnificent volume! Not only is it filled to brimming with meaty quotes and wonderful examples of women searching their souls for wisdom to share, but it exhorts us all to reach into every corner of our lives to leave similarly meaningful morsels to our descendants.
The author has covered all bases. She shares her own thinking with her audience, bringing her personal warmth and insights into our work. With great compassion, she gives us permission to look at, accept or reject each piece of the puzzle, preparing us for the range of feelings which may arise within us as we put into words the miracles that are our lives.
I am a medical social worker specializing in bereavement work, a daughter, a sister of sisters, a mother of daughters, a Jewish woman who serves in a leadership capacity. This book will resonate too, with men and women of many circumstances.
I look forward to savoring this book again, word for word, in quiet moments down the road, as I use it to prepare my own spiritual-ethical will. In the meantime, I plan to make a gift of Women's Lives, Women's Legacies to all the women I love.
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Format: Paperback
"Legacy work is different from autobiography, memoir, life review, and genealogy not so much in what is written, but in our intent." ~ pg. 2

Women's Lives, Women's Legacies is a practical and inspirational guide. Through a systematic approach women can access their beliefs and bless the next generation with a healing journal of life and love. Divided into three sections, there is a process of discovery through the past, present and future.

How did you receive your name? This section is fascinating and then an example of how to write about your name is given to provide perspective and inspiration.

"Begin by thinking about the home you lived in when you were growing up." ~ pg. 68

Through childhood memories you can start to create a picture of how you became who you are today. This section includes memory triggers, which are especially helpful. You may want to go through photo albums while experiencing this section of the book. I found it useful to photocopy groups of pictures for reference and organized my pictures by year.

I loved the section on "Reflections and Writing" where you complete sentences like:

What I have loved most about my life is...

A fairy tale, children's story, fictional character, or book that has had an important influence on my life is...

This book is amazing in its ability to help you remember long-forgotten memories. There are sections for friendship, family, motherhood, sexuality, spirituality and secrets. Throughout this creative work, there are some startlingly beautiful poems and wise quotes. There are lists of descriptive words you can expand on like: playful, sensual, and imaginative.
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