Awakened Living Study Program, Lesson 38: FAMILY MISSION

 

Introduction
Dear brothers and sisters: Good morning and thank you for attending our weekly Awakened Living Study Program. My name is Alaye Soteme and I will be your host. Our topic for today’s Study is FAMILY MISSION. May we focus our full attention on this study for the lessons of life because knowledge is POWER, knowledge is SUCCESS, knowledge is FORGIVENESS, knowledge is WISDOM, knowledge is ENLIGHTENMENT and knowledge is AWAKENED LIVING.

All quotes relating to GOD are interpreted in a Universal sense; in other words our use of the word GOD does not refer to any religion, cultural Gods, saviors, or created Gods. GOD is the underlying ESSENCE of the Universe. GOD has no chosen people, GOD has no Sacred Text and GOD has no Sacred Place! The Universe is the Sacred Text, the Universe is the Sacred Place and all creatures are Testaments of GOD! 

Further you are here to look at life from a different angle. You are not here to follow what others have put in place be it their religion, their Gods, their sacred texts, their beliefs or their way of thinking. You are here to share your LIGHT with the world.  The beliefs of our ancestors are our liabilities. Our challenge is to look at life in ways that promote interdependence and destroy all forms of discrimination including racism, tribalism, nationalism, nepotism, fundamentalism, fanaticism, favoritism, exclusivism, chosen people and racial superiority. 

Lastly, none of the quotes here is absolute or written in blood. They are all human thoughts and ideas based on their experiences and according to their levels of consciousness. The Awakened Living Study Program is a platform to study what others have said and improve on them. Do not for any reason use the quotes as mantra for life because you are the LIGHT!

Opening Meditation
You may offer an appropriate prayer before reading, discussing and reflecting on the famous quotes and the Sacred Texts verses. You may use the following prayer:

O LOVE who pervades the universe, we thank you for this opportunity to learn. We pray for LOVE to manifest amongst us to guide our readings, discussions and reflections. We specially pray for peace of mind and save us from all distractions and concerns of mind and body so that we may learn the lessons of life for our guidance and the transformation of our lives. In the name of Love, the Earth and the Universe, Amen.

Announcements
The Study Leader may make announcements at this time. Welcome new members, recognize birthdays or anniversaries; make an award or recognize a contribution; announce Circle of Life successes. This is also an opportunity for anyone to share an experience, give thanks or make a request for special prayers.

Opening Thoughts
The leader or an appointed person will stand and read the opening thoughts. The opening thoughts explain the topic of discussion. You may use the information below or explain it in your own words.

The family is the most important organization in the world but most families exist without a mission statement. We want to change that today. Before we do that I want you to consider the following questions: What is your family vision for the future? What is your family purpose? What are your family values? What are your family goals? For some of you this may be the first time you entertained such thoughts but it is a step in the right direction. The answers to these questions are the building blocks of a family mission statement. This presentation will explore the different ways to write your family mission statement.

Famous Quotes
Take turns to read the famous quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote.  Please give credit to the author of the quote and as an assignment for presentations each person may choose an author and find out more about the author to share with the group during the next session.

1 My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. Maya Angelou
2 A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history. Mahatma Gandhi
3 To succeed in your mission, you must have single-minded devotion to your goal. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
4 I believe each of us has a mission in life, and that one cannot truly be living their most fulfilled life until they recognize this mission and dedicate their life to pursuing it. Blake Mycoskie
5 Outstanding people have one thing in common: An absolute sense of mission. Zig Ziglar
6 A mission statement is not something you write overnight... But fundamentally, your mission statement becomes your constitution, the solid expression of your vision and values. It becomes the criterion by which you measure everything else in your life. Stephen Covey
7 To discover your mission and put it into action - instead of worrying on the sidelines - is to find peace of mind and a heart full of love. Scilla Elworthy
8 My mission is a cosmic mission. My concern is for all of humanity, and not only this present world, but the world hereafter. My mission penetrates the past, present, and future, and encompasses all humanity. Sun Myung Moon
9 I think the whole mission of being here on Earth is to accept what you have, and my journey was to accept my own life and not pretend anything else. I think that's what we all struggle with. Michael Nyqvist
10 My mission is to stay healthy and productive and serve as a good example. Patti Smith

Sacred Texts Quotes
Take turns to read all the sacred text quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote. In your discussion compare and contrast the quotes. What did you learn from the similarities and differences? What quote inspires you? What life lessons did you learn from the quote? Please give credit to the sacred text during your reading by mentioning the name of the text and where the quote could be found. 

1 I created you human beings because I desired to see you lead a joyous life. Tenrikyo. Ofudesaki 14.25
2 The soul which is free from the defect of karma gets to the highest point of the universe, knows all and perceives all, and obtains the transcendental bliss everlasting. Jainism. Kundakunda, Pancastikaya 170
3 Lao Tan said, "I was letting my mind wander in the beginning of things." "What does this mean?" asked Confucius. Lao Tan said, "It means to attain Perfect Beauty and wander in Perfect Happiness. He who attains Perfect Beauty and wanders in Perfect Happiness may be called the Perfect Man." Taoism Chuang Tzu 21
4 Let us live in joy, never hating those who hate us. let us live in freedom, without hared even among those who hate. Let us live in joy, never falling sick like those who are sick. Let us live in freedom, without disease even among those who are ill. Let us live in joy, never attached among those who are selfishly attached. Let us live in freedom even among those who are bound by selfish attachments. Let us live in joy, never hoarding things among those who hoard. Let us live in growing joy like the bright gods. Buddhism. Dhammapada 197-200
5 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Judaism, Tanakh: Micah 6:8
6 The kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Christianity. New Testament, Romans 14.17
7 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Judaism, Tanakh: Jeremiah 29:11-13
8 You should devote yourselves to find joy in pleasures of the Dharma, and should take no pleasure in desires. Buddhism. Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti 4
9 The Infinite is the source of joy. There is no joy in the finite. Only in the Infinite is there joy. Ask to know the Infinite. Hinduism. Chandogya Upanishad 7.23
10 To seek gladness through righteous persistence is the way to accord with heaven and to respond to men. Confucianism. I Ching 58: Joy

Teaching Story
The teaching story is a story, a parable or thoughts related to the topic of discussion. An appointed person will read each story and the group will take turns and discuss. What does the story mean to you? What did you learn from the story? Did the story add anything new to the topic of discussion? How has this study enriched your life?

Our teaching story is on the importance of a family mission statement

  1. A family mission statement includes a family vision. This vision guides the family and keeps it on course.
  2. A family mission statement is a project of the whole family. Working together on the things that bind a family enhances the cohesion of the family.
  3. A family mission statement includes family values. A shared sense of values binds the family together. Further written family values help families to refer to the values when needed.
  4. A Family mission statement includes the history of the family. Knowledge of the history of a family gives children a sense of belonging. A study conducted by Dr. Duke, of Emory University showed that children who knew more about their families were more resilient ( able to cope with stress or bounce back from difficult conditions) than those who do not. To find out more about your knowledge of your family history you may take the “Do You Know?” 20 Questions About Family Stories.

Closing Meditation
The closing meditation presents the highlights of the Study.  The highlights should include among others what you have learned and what aspects of the study are worth noting. The leader or an appointed person may share the closing meditation. You may use the thoughts and information provided below but I encourage you to use the contributions of the participants and current relevant information.

Our closing Meditation is on writing your Family Mission Statement. Without over emphasizing it, living with your family without a family mission statement is like a person on a journey with no destination in mind. If you think about that it pretty much tells us that anything goes and a family where anything goes could easily perish or become the misfits of society. We can all take steps today to change the direction of our families by writing our Family Mission Statement. Here are some steps for writing your Family Mission Statement:

  1. Have a Disclosure Meeting: Anyone could introduce the subject. Give family members time to consider it on their own. “What is a Family Mission Statement?” “Why do we need a Family Mission Statement? How do we write a Family Mission Statement? Let each member do their own research on writing a Family Mission Statement. Elect a secretary to write down your thoughts and concerns.
  2. Have a Discussion Meeting: Here is when you discuss your findings on the importance of a family mission statement.
  3. Have a Values Discussion Meeting: If you do not have a written down set of values this is the time to do so. You may use the Universal Spiritual Family Values at unism.org as your guide.
  4. Write Your Family Mission Statement: Your family mission statement should reflect the thoughts of all people in the family. A good Family Mission Statement involves all members of the family.
  5. Hang your Family Mission Statement: Hang your Family Mission Statement where is it visible for everyone to see.
  6. Memorize Your Family Mission Statement: It is important to know the contents of your Family Mission Statement without the document to guide you always.

There are many sample Family Mission Statements on the Internet but your Family Mission Statement is unique. Let your uniqueness show in the development of your Family Mission Statement and you can do that by answering the following question from your hearts: What is the purpose of our family?

Donations
You may accept gifts and donations at this time for the work you are doing. It takes effort, time and money to put the Study Program together so I encourage attendants to give. An appointed person may now pass the donation bag. The leader may bless the gifts after the donations.

Closing Prayer
Always close your Study Program with a prayer or an affirmation. Pray for guidance and direction during the week. Pray for everyone present. The leader or an appointed person may offer the closing prayer.

Refreshments
You may serve refreshments after the Study. This is a time to relax and socialize. Get to know the people in the Program with you and I mean really know them well. One of the secrets of success is connection so I encourage you to know the people around you. The host may decide what to serve or he or she may ask the attendants what they want for refreshments before each Study Program.

Talent Contribution
You may now entertain the group with your talent in music, songs, dance and poetry including playing musical instruments. This is also a good time to share some Awakened Living tips for the benefit of the group. 

Circle of Life
The Circle of Life depicts different aspects of your life. You are at the center and the different aspects radiate outwards to form a circle as long as they are in harmony. You can pinpoint an aspect of your life at any given time and find out if you are in harmony with the rest of the circle. If an aspect needs improvement you may have an uneven circle. Your challenge then is to work on the area that needs improvement in order to keep it in harmony with the rest of the circle.

There are 12 aspects in this version of the Wheel of Life including Health, Spirituality, Family, Relationships, Education, Mission, Finances, Work, Play, Personal Development, Environment, and creativity. Take time to answer the following questions and begin to work on the areas that need improvement.

Health
1. Are you healthy?
2. Do you have any bad habits like drinking, smoking, pornography, fast foods, etc?

Spirituality
1. Are you spiritual?
2. When was the last time you meditated, chanted, affirmed or prayed?

Family
1. Do you have a family?
2. Are you happy with your spouse, children, and parents?

Relationships
1. Do you have friends?
2. Are you happy with your friends, co-workers, boss?

Education
1. Do you have a degree?
2. When was the last time you read a book?

Mission
1. Do you have a mission statement?
2. What is your life mission?

Finances
1 Are you financially stable?
2. Do you have any debts?

Work
1. Do you have a job, career?
2. Are you happy with your job, career?

Play
1. Do you play regularly?
2. When was the last time you played with your friends, children, spouse, parents or pet?

Personal Development
1. Do you lose your temper often?
2. When was the last time you took a class on human development?

Environment
1 Are you happy with your environment?
2. How are you reducing pollution?

Creativity
1. Are you sharing your creativity?
2. When was the last time you wrote a poem, painted, sang, danced, or played a musical instrument?

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