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Rachael Freed
Rachael Freed, Founder of Life-Legacies (for information, visit, Senior Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist. An inspirational lecturer and workshop facilitator, she provides legacy-related programs and training for health care, philanthropic, and religious organizations, for public and non-profit corporations, and for diverse groups of individuals experiencing life transitions. She is the author of Women's Lives, Women's Legacies: Passing Your Beliefs and Blessings to Future Generations and The Women's Legacies Workbook for the Busy Woman: A Step-by-Step Guide for Writing a Spiritual-Ethical Will in 2 Hours or Less. Freed is currently working on: Your Legacy Matters: Harvesting the Love and Lessons of Your Life - An Intergenerational Guide for Creating Your Ethical Will..

Freed has trained cardiac professionals internationally to support cardiac families. The 25th Year Anniversary Edition of Heartmates: A Guide for the Spouse and Family of the Heart Patient will be published in August, 2012 and the Third Edition of The Heartmates Journal: A Companion for Partners of People with Heart Disease, are the only resources available to support the emotional and spiritual recovery of families coping with heart disease. For more information, visit

Entries by Rachael Freed

#119 Blessings: The Foundation of Legacy Writing

(0) Comments | Posted April 26, 2016 | 10:45 AM


Blessing our children is as old as Genesis: Jacob blessed his twelve grown sons before his death (Gen: 49). Jacob knew that he was nearing his end. We are not all so fortunate.

As I...

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#117 Legacy: Linking the Past and the Future Through Story

(0) Comments | Posted March 9, 2016 | 11:23 AM

As storytelling beings, we are captivated by stories, particularly those that are connected to us. Stories we write about our families - our ancestors - their values, and their time in history, enable our children (and theirs) to transcend time and space, to discover or rediscover their history, deepen their...

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#113 The Legacy of the Acorn

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2015 | 5:21 PM

I often wished that when I was young someone had whispered into my ear, "You are a beautiful soul." But now I wish someone had whispered, "You matter, your life matters, you were created in the image of God."

That's what all of us need in these months of...

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The Legacies of Autumn #111

(0) Comments | Posted August 23, 2015 | 4:11 PM

When August's Tips&Tools about PLAY evoked so many reader responses, I decided to share just a few before we move to September's topic:
Another winner -- from one child who didn't play enough to another -- and from one who still needs to play more. "Work before pleasure" is...
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Legacy Writing: The Value of Play #110

(0) Comments | Posted August 23, 2015 | 3:51 PM


In a sling for six weeks this spring, I had lots of time to reflect on my life and what I want my legacy to be. One of the things I thought about was the balance of work and play and how my imbalance favoring work has been...

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Legacy Writing: Gratitude for Life and Health

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 10:50 AM

This month I propose we reflect and write to loved ones about gratitude, beginning with the little things, the things we take for granted, like the miracle of our bodies: digestion and elimination, thirst and urination, our heartbeat and our breathing. So simple but so necessary, so ordinary yet so...

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Legacy Writing: A Tool to Discover and Communicate Values

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2015 | 1:29 PM


It's difficult to articulate values without falling into cliches: everyone wants family to have each other's back, to be close, loving, and safe -- to have peace in the world -- to be kind, compassionate, and generous to all -- to 'turn the other cheek' and be forgiving.

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The Legacy of Confusion

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 3:46 PM


I recently stepped up to be the speaker at an Al-Anon meeting when the assigned speaker didn't show up. What better topic than "confusion" which I was feeling at that moment and from my experience just days before.

I had been invited to a gathering...

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Harvesting the Light: Legacy for the Holidays

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2014 | 11:37 AM

The days are getting shorter, the nights longer and darker. Temperatures are falling, but when our perspective is legacy and we warm our hearts and those we love by communicating gratitude and stories about how blessed we are, it feels like a summer day. Another way to say it is:...

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The Legacy of Community

(0) Comments | Posted October 3, 2014 | 1:55 PM

I recently worked with a women's book club. They'd chosen of my three Legacy books, The Legacy Workbook for the Busy Woman. I invited them to read chapter 2, "Breaking the Silence..." and to write about one domestic activity they liked, and one they didn't.

These women are serious...

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The Legacy of Voice

(0) Comments | Posted September 7, 2014 | 9:34 PM

Meandering through FaceBook this morning, I was attracted to a TED talk by a poet and educator, Clint Smith. It was only four minutes long, but unbelievably powerful for me.

He spoke with passion about how "silence is the residue of fear." He quoted Martin Luther King, Jr: "In...

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Legacy: Read, Read, Read

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 1:58 PM

Read, read, read -- that's what summer is for! What better way to share values, to let ourselves be known to the next generation, than by sharing our love of reading: to share our favorite books from youth and adolescence and how books have expanded our adult lives.


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The Legacy of Water

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 3:38 PM

It's difficult for most of us to remember or be moved by a lecture. As storytelling beings, we tend to remember stories and their details. Occasionally a story may open us to a new perspective that foreshadows a change in our values and behaviors. It follows then if we want...

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Loneliness and Legacy

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 1:39 PM

At a professional meeting I attended recently, we were discussing ways to reduce loneliness experienced by seniors and people living alone.

"All the lonely people, where do they come from?" -- The Beatles, "Eleanor Rigsby"

This is not a new topic. I used Dr. James Lynch's long out-of-print 1977...

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The Legacy of Spring Cleaning

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 9:06 AM

Though by the thermometer it may not feel like spring, by the calendar spring has arrived. The ritual of spring cleaning has a long history. I can still see my mother wearing her 1940's housewifely apron, the symbol for making everything "spick and span" as well as doing the deep...

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The Legacy of Lost Dreams

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 5:38 PM

When we write our stories to future generations, we are tempted to tell stories of our successes. It's how we want to be seen and remembered, as successful, talented, and wise.

Though it may go against the grain, it may be more useful, more human, to tell stories in...

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Legacies of Migration and Exile

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2014 | 1:42 PM

Just a day after returning from a legacy writing retreat with a focus on migration and legacy, I found myself in a nail salon listening to a woman sitting behind me. Her voice was thin and dull. I heard no expression of feeling though she didn't seem to notice. What...

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Legacies Through the Decades

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 3:36 PM

At a recent reading/conversation about my new book, Your Legacy Matters, I was asked an important legacy question: how to write about who we most essentially are and what matters most to us... to be known by those who will come after us, and to be connected to the larger...

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The Legacy of Dreams

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2013 | 3:26 PM

I'm reading Roger Kamenetz's book, The History of Last Night's Dream, Discovering the Hidden Path to the Soul, and had this dream.

The context: I am the crone responsible to tell the family-tribal story to the grandchildren and great grandchildren, especially urgent now because the tribe is in danger....

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Legacy Letters and Charitable Giving

(0) Comments | Posted October 4, 2013 | 3:06 PM

Except for the beauty of the richly-colored leaves fluttering to the ground announcing the season, Columbus Day, and Halloween, October seems a quiet month preceding the chaotic holiday season.

However, my mail is filling with gift catalogs with product I nor anyone I know needs or even wants. Their...

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