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  • Writer's pictureSaila Kokkonen

What is your living legacy?

What does the term legacy mean for you? Does it bring to mind certain images, positive, negative, exciting, enabling, even angst-inducing, binding?

For example, a rich kid forced into the family business? A life spent working on someone else’s dreams than your own? Slaving away trying to give your children better opportunities than you had?

For most of my adult life I’ve been into pondering and trying to live by a perceived mission or purpose. The past year especially has awakened me to get more focused around the themes of guardianship and legacy, maybe, in a way, more “grown up terms” of stating much the same. Astrologically, guardianship and legacy represent especially Saturnian themes that grow and mature with linear time. And it’s specifically a Saturn transit to my midheaven, my angle of public aspirations, that’s awakened this process in me. Saturn is the archetypal father energy, about structure, processes, rules and regulations - systems we organize and support our lives by - but also limit and restrict by.

The natural order of human development

Saturn’s linear growth in terms of human development can be viewed as growing from baby to child to teenager to young adult to potentially a parent, and so on. With responsibility naturally increasing along the way, if the developmental process goes, well, naturally. When the developmental process is somehow impaired, and certain stages of it disturbed, parts of us may be incapable of moving on and growing up. For example, if our emotional needs haven’t been met growing up, a part of us may get stuck in self-centered-emotional-teenager-drama mode. It may be understandable but for sure not ideal. In part, also the popularity of self-serving manifestation techniques seems to play on emotionally lingering somewhere in young-adulthood.

In any case, with time, the natural order of things is for us to mature into responsible adults who enjoy our roles as guardians - guardians for what, depends on one’s personal passions of course. Also the growth path looks different for all of us, so it’s also about an inner calling to grow into wanting to be able to hold more responsibility and finding joy in that.

At 36, I’ve started to mature into that what seems like sustainably. I took on a bit too much to carry on my shoulders too early, martyring myself, so I’ve gone the route of denouncing all of it, not wanting to be needed or contacted by anyone. I had to be underground for a while to rest and reset, to then start to build my capacity more consciously. For someone with giant dreams and visions, it’s also taken maturing into the understanding (and acceptance!) of how much time and resources what I want to create in the world will take, so a lot of invisible, behind the scenes work is involved. I’m thrilled to be learning to enjoy the process!

Lacking role models for true adulthood

Talk about the joys of responsibility, one major thing that probably leaves several of us hanging around in a young adult-y, semi-entitlement of expecting someone else to fix things for us, is that there’s not really an abundance of awesome role models for holistic, true, abundant adulthood. We see role models for success that comes at great cost: burnout, lost health, lost or broken relationships, constant stress, exhaustion and hurry, denouncing all enjoyment or self-care, and just a general lack of joy and life force. And no, that’s not responsible behavior because of the damage it causes to our own health and the collateral damage it causes to those around us.

No wonder at least some part of us wants to Peter Pan it and skip the growing up part - who wants that if the price is so high?!

So it’s not just our inner children and teenagers that need healing, it’s our inner adult, too. I see growing into true adulthood ideally as growing into a holistic lifestyle. Not a blind fixation on an end result at any cost, but a ways to enjoy the process of life and creation: putting on one’s own oxygen mask first, investing into self-care, things that bring joy and cherishing one’s relationships, among others. That then enables looking beyond our own lives at what broader contribution we may want to make. Not working ourselves to death, but not full avoidance of responsibility either.

Humans as guardians of Mother Earth

I’m someone who has been easily excited by the prospect of creating or improving something as a one-off-project, a book, a course, a home renovation, whatever. The concept of maintenance and caretaking as an ongoing, daily ‘slog’ hasn’t really naturally appealed to me. However, I’ve started understanding the adherence to natural annual cycles and the build-up of investments over time through the prospect of guardianship over land and property. It’s brought to life for me the beauty and importance of caretaking and slow development. Embracing the responsibility of the investment over time, the ‘invisible slog’, out of love and reverence, where results are not necessarily immediate.

I care about Mother Earth deeply and see humans as a potentially wonderful gardeners for enhancing her creations and taking inspiration from her. We do not really own anything - in the span of a lifetime it’s all ‘rentals’ - including our own bodies. But we are temporary custodians, each of our own pieces of Mother Earth, starting with our own physical vessels, potentially including some real estate, land and other resources, whether owned, rented, and so on. And we can build a lifestyle around the old piece of wisdom to leave whatever we have access to in better condition than we found it - from a place of love and reverence. That is the philosophy of most native peoples, and their reason for existence: guardianship. Something I’ve come to feel extends to the reason for existence of all of humanity, no matter how far our individual lives may temporarily have digressed from it.

At the end of the day, I understand legacy to have a lot to do with guardianship. I view legacy as a combination of material or immaterial creations that can be left behind to upcoming generations, but even more importantly, a living thing, a living legacy, a life lived as a legacy - through guardianship. It’s the energy, the inspiration, the example that we spread to the people around us, whether children, partners, colleagues, neighbors, social media followers, whathaveyou. And more than about ‘building empires’, I view it as the day-to-day micro experiences and investments. For example, remaining grounded while handling a tough conversation, or having your children witness you setting the example of self-care during a super busy week to be able to show up with more presence.

My nearing-middle-age take is that building a lifestyle of guardianship-aiming-towards-legacy can bring tremendous meaning and fulfilment to a life. It can be a heartfelt process of deepening our relationships with ourselves, our surroundings and our loved ones. An inner compass to live by and grow towards, yet fully embracing our unique journeys with our unique programming and backgrounds.

What could a life of living legacy look like for you?

My name is Saila and I have a passion for connecting the dots, interpreting meanings and weaving new realities into being. I envision my legacy to be rebirthing an ‘educational system’ into a living a system that supports self-discovery, holistic ways of knowing, creativity, guardianship, understanding natural cycles of time as well as humanity’s place in the cosmos, and organizing into strong, intergenerational grassroots communities.

While growing towards my own living legacy, I support others in doing the same through astrological consultations into one’s family roots and ancestry, as well as astrocoaching to create a playbook for one’s living legacy - read more if interested!


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