|By Lori Szepelak|
WESTFIELD Have you ever thought about leaving a "love letter from your heart" to your loved ones?
Louise and Joseph Colletti are big believers in the importance of creating "spiritual wills," and will present an informative workshop on the subject at the Genesis Spiritual Life Center on March 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. During the course of the day, participants will be guided in the creation of a spiritual will.
"A spiritual will is the greatest gift you can give," according to the Collettis, who also stress it is a reflection of one's life, wisdom, experience and love.
"Creating a spiritual will is not about leaving money or material possessions to some church or organization," Joseph Colletti said during an interview with Reminder Publications.
Instead, a spiritual will is the way to leave one's life insights, wisdom and hopes that are of far greater value to those whom you love, he added.
The couple, whose collective business is "Life Tapestries," will teach and coach the participants and allow time for breakout sessions so individuals can retreat to quiet areas to begin work on writing their will segments.
"Genesis is one of the premier spiritual life centers in the area," Joseph Colletti said, noting that many of its parlor rooms and the Carriage House are ideal settings for inspiration.
Louise Colletti is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and is the program director of Mary's Place: Center for Grieving Children in Windsor, Conn. She has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of education, mental health and counseling. Joseph Colletti is an internationally recognized strategic planning facilitator and management consultant, and also conducts workshops on grief and bereavement. He has also been a human resource and organization development professional. They have resided in East Granby, Conn., for more than 30 years.
"We chose the name Life Tapestries because it reflected the substance of what people create when they write their spiritual will," Joseph Colletti added.
The couple will coach participants first on creating a spiritual life map, and then how to develop a written will that will include their significant life learnings, beliefs, principles and requests they wish to pass on. The last steps can also include statements about forgiveness and regrets as well as words of hope for the future.
"The workshop affirms to participants that they have something to say," Joseph Colletti, said, adding "it's incredible" when they see how powerful words of wisdom can be.
The Collettis also stress that there will be ample time to share or dialogue ideas and to be inspired by others.
For inspiration, the Collettis will share snippets from past participants of their workshops. One of their favorites includes: "My Dear Grandkids: I know that I will probably not get to know all of you because I have been called into God's hands once again. I am writing you this letter because I want you to know who your grandfather was, what he thought was important and what his hopes and dreams for you are. I write this out of love for you and I want you to know that this is a love letter from my heart."
Leaving a spiritual legacy can be one of the most powerful and moving events that one can experience since it challenges one to share what is deepest within themselves, according to Joseph Colletti.
"It often touches strong emotions and feelings," he said. "In our busy society we seldom make time for sharing at this depth."
The cost for the daylong workshop is $65 and includes materials and lunch. For more information or to register, call Genesis at 562-3627. The deadline to register for the workshop is March 12.
The Collettis also recently announced the publication of their 132-page guidebook, "Leaving A Spiritual Legacy: Writing a Spiritual Will," that will also be available on March 15 or directly from www.spiritualwill.com or from Amazon.com. The cost is $19.95 plus postage and handling.