Eulogy writing is a mechanism to reshape your life, define your own path, and live your fullest life. In this ELEVATE session, Eileen Grimes (Founder of Loved As You Are) shares her inspiring story. She will empower attendees with reflection prompts for those looking to build trust in themselves and dig in to living their fullest lives. She uses activities for how to move forward after introspection so as to move past the “stuck”.
Eileen Grimes explains how writing your own eulogy is a mechanism to reshape your life, define your own path, and live your fullest life.
Eileen Grimes: First of all, I’m so grateful for you being here today with me. My name’s Eileen Grimes. I’ll dive into that a little bit later. But I first wanted to invite you today to show up as you are, as deeply as you’re able and whatever mental space you’re coming from. And first and foremost, I love the live chat piece of this, and I think the connection is so incredibly important here. So I would love to see who’s here. Say hi, show me you’re here. I see Sophia. Hi. How are you doing? Hey, Angie. And where people are coming from?
I find that these events are so incredibly powerful in the connections that we create, and so connect with each other, find ways to talk with each other in this space, but also outside, whether it’s in LinkedIn or other spaces. I would love to connect with people. So definitely feel free. We’ve got some LA, we’ve got Atlanta, Florida. I’m coming in from Spokane, Washington, but lived in Philly for a while myself, as well as lived in Berkeley for a little while and grew up in Seattle on the west side. So been all over and it’s wonderful to see so many people from so many different places. So I wanted to just first and foremost say “Hello, I acknowledge that you’re here. I’m not just talking into this empty space.”
So with that being said, please connect. That is one of the most powerful things that we can do as women, as allies, as people in this space together, is to find that connection because we are so much stronger when we’re together. Gosh, has this not been an incredible day with amazing speakers? I truly feel so honored that you made this space to show up today for yourself and just show up with me here on a topic that, my gosh, I don’t know that I would’ve necessarily wanted to approach, because we’re going to be talking a little bit about mortality.
So thank you for being brave just in showing up. I want to start. So one of the things that I’ve been doing or a lot of centering practices and been working on those with clients, and I felt really called to share one of those with you today. So wherever you are, hopefully in a space that you’re feeling comfortable, but do this to the best of your ability with wherever you are and wherever you’re at. So whether you’re sitting or standing, whatever feels the best for you, I want you to start by first grounding your feet to the floor. And if you feel comfortable closing your eyes and then start taking some breaths in. And as you breathe in, I want you to really focus on that space that’s deep down in your torso, down to your sacrum. That sacrum is that bone that’s fused together by five bones located at the base of your spine. And as you breathe in, I want you to imagine a ball of light in that space.
Notice its color, its brightness. Does it have a temperature or texture? As you breathe in, feel the light strengthen on every breath, whether that’s the size, the shape, the opacity, whatever way that is, let it strengthen as you breathe. And as you’re breathing out, I want you to let go of anything that doesn’t continue to feed that light. Anything that’s not yours to hold onto. Anything that’s just not part of you. If you feel called to put your hands on your belly or your heart, do so. If not, keep them to your side or at your legs or on your lap. Just to know your presence in this space, to feel your physical presence taking up space. I want you to continue to breathe in and out, noticing that light, not in judgment, not hoping for it to be something it’s not. Seeing it as it is. I want you to take about five more deep breaths in and out, just seeing that light.
Now as you take one more final breath in, I want you to hold it, hold the breath and that light as long as you’re able, let it fill you up and bring you here fully and completely. And then when you’re ready to let go, think about those last things you’ve been holding onto from today, from the week, from the month, my gosh, the year, we’re at the end of this year, that are going to allow you to finish this day for yourself at the most present that you can be. And then let it go. Let that shit go. When you’re ready, I want you to feel free to open your eyes if you’re not ready and just feel free to focus on that image as I talk and keep that sense of awareness inward because we don’t always get that time. We don’t always get that time to feel fully present. And if that’s what feels right, right now, please feel free to do so.
So my friends, thank you so, so much for having me. My name is Eileen Grimes. In addition to my roles as mother, author, founder, podcast host, chief growth officer of a human-centric leadership and cultural consulting firm, I’m an innovator and passionate, curious, continuously self-reflective, he and a healer, a light bringer, and the list goes on. Now, it wasn’t until after I decided to write my own eulogy in 2020 that I’d be able to fully sit with you here today and declare those things about myself.
I don’t know about you, but sharing about me, and especially things that are my strengths was not always my strongest trait or one that I felt very comfortable in. In fact, right now, I want you to share in the chat what are some of your strengths. For some of those of you who are in the corporate world, you might be in self-evaluation time right now, and it is time to shout that from the rooftops. How have you succeeded this year? What have you learned? How have you grown? Share some of those things in the chat. We want to celebrate each other and be able to hear those things. So what are your strengths?
Determine and resilient learner. I love that, Caitlin. Yes, definitely. Connecting dots across functionalities. Yes, it’s amazing what can happen when we see how we cross those gaps, certainly, and bringing people together. Relationship building, thoughtfulness. Empathetic. Mission driven. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Keep them coming. Growth mindset. Raised 500,000 for my nonprofit, Kendra. Heck yeah. That’s amazing. Oh my gosh, yes. Please keep these coming. I love this. Let us celebrate this, and that’s the next piece of this. I want you to take it further. And how are you celebrating those, not just writing them down. I love that we’re sharing these, but how have you paused to celebrate where you are now on December 6th, this Wednesday, December 6th, about how much you’ve learned and grown since January 1st of this year. I mean since the day you were born, really. But even since just January 1st, is anyone celebrating? I highly, highly encourage you to do so.
I myself love dance parties. But you… Celebrating by making awesome coffee for myself. Yes, Ingrid. Absolutely. So finding those ways that we can celebrate even if they’re small celebrations, but just to acknowledge that we’ve made it where we are. So definitely keep those coming. I love hearing these and we are allowed to take up space by sharing these things because we deserve this. We have done the work, and you are here and deserve to be heard. So I’m going to go back to the eulogy. So this lead up to writing was wrought in the fires of living my own life’s trauma from abusive relationships and losing pieces of myself to them throughout my life, to almost losing my dad to encephalitis in 2019. And then that facepalm of some large events in 2020 that we don’t need to talk about because we all know them.
It all came to a head. The past however many years long of hiding behind the walls of perfectionism and not feeling at ease with who I was and how I showed up in this world brought existential gut punch after existential gut punch. So I sat down with my own mortality and wrote, I asked myself, “If I left this earth today, what was I leaving behind? Who was I showing up as in this life I had been living? Was it the fullest version of myself? Was it one that I was okay being shared in front of family and friends?”
Do you ever feel like there’s, sometimes you hear the same message over and over and over and over, and then one day you hear it again, but this time it’s different This time it’s from the messenger who opens up your soul and allows the words to flow in. Well, apparently that messenger was me. After writing the first eulogy I cried. That cry you just can’t stop, the kind where years of shoving things down finally opened the floodgates and strangely brings in more calm. It was the start of grieving the time I had spent trying to be some version of myself for others I didn’t even know. After taking up space with those tears, I knew things were never going to look the same again. I took the time to decide for myself what I wanted from this life. What were the values I had to live this one life I had without abandoning myself?
What success mean to me and what were its dimensions? And I talk about dimensions because success isn’t one thing. I created the definition for me that was based on the impact that I wanted to have, the influence I had with others, the financial freedom that aligned for me and what time meant in a life that was my own version of success. Who did I spend it with and what did I spend it doing? With those self-reflections I wrote a new version of my eulogy, one that I now strive for daily, one, which my mind and heart are aligned and I show up as my full imperfect self because that’s the only one I can share my unique perspective and experiences that I’ve had. One that’s creative beyond belief, one that knows when we share spaces in which we can see each other. That’s what I’m talking about right here. We can see each other in our lights connecting. We can change the world.
So I ask you today to consider how are you showing up in your own life? Where do you dimm that light you felt and saw earlier? How are you leading those around you? In my heart, I know great leaders emerge when they ignite their own radiant light, shine bright as fuck, pardon my language, and spark the potential of others. And I want to see your light shine. So I’m giving you some homework. Did I mention I taught high school math on my very winding path to sitting with you here today? Nope, I did. So your homework is, as much of this as you want to take on. Define what success means to you. Follow those dimensions to success, what matters to you most? What is the most important to you? Get clear on how you want to show up in this world and share that with at least one other person.
And I am happy. If you want to share it with me, please, please, please slide into my dms or shoot me a message over on LinkedIn, whatever it looks like. But share it. Keep that light your very own and shine it as bright as you’re able to because it is you and you deserve so much to be seen, heard, and loved as you are. Thank you so much for having me here today. I am so grateful for having this opportunity to connect with all of you today. I hope you had a moment to pause, center and see the light that you truly bring into this world. I will end this a little early just to make sure that there is space if anyone has questions. But please, please, please enjoy the rest of your time here at Elevate and have a kick ass rest of 2023.