Life Is… Heeding the Call—Reclaiming Your Life Dream

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We are proceeding month by month with this blog to combine positive Life Metaphors with a universal set of Archetypal character figures that are part of each of our total identities–though to differing proportions consciously and unconsciously for different people and at different times.  For June our Life Metaphor is Life Is…Heeding the Call—Reclaiming Your Life Dream, and we will bring the COMMUNICATOR Archetype into conjunction with this theme.

When you were a child, how did you answer the question: “When I Grow Up, I Want to Be______ ?” And then later when you were in your teenage years, what IDEAL careers or experiences did you ardently desire to bring about  in your future?  Were your Goals back then the same or similar, or very different from the life you are living as an adult and the future goals you have today? Do you in fact still have a LIFE GOAL (or, Dream) that you yet hope to attain, or have you “given up on dreams” or “settled” for the everyday life you have established as an adult?

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I have found that the way people answer that question, “When I Grow Up, I Want To Be ___”, whether from a child’s perspective or as an adult, can be very revealing of the dominant archetypal orientations of the individual. If as a child you wanted to be a Superhero, for instance, this may express your IDEALIST or WARRIOR nature, depending on which Superhero you were identifying with. If you wanted to be a veterinarian, this may reflect your HEALER or NOURISHER archetypal makeup. Often the more “adult” way we answer the same question today still reflects these same archetypal yearnings, even if the form expressed –e.g. now maybe much more practical sounding—may not seem so “childish”.

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Listen to your Inner Child self as It answers this question today. Putting all practicality aside for the time being: What DO you want to be when you GROW UP?” Now then, what Part of Self does that express in you? Is there a part of you still longing to fulfill Its Strengths and dreams and ideals? Let this part of yourself SPEAK, communicate Its needs and wishes, which are part of the larger Self you aim to Realize.

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So let’s see, how might I answer that question today?

When I GROW UP, I want to be:

…giving back to the Whole of life, to others, in ways that utilize my deepest strengths and insights from the first 60 years of this life (at least).

What archetypal potentials does that yearning reflect?

COMMUNICATOR, MYSTIC, IDEALIST, HEALER, TEACHER.

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Interestingly, four of the five archetypal potentials indicated above (Teacher, Communicator, Healer and Mystic) are “Dissolving”  stage archetypes: those involved with RESOLUTION and INTEGRATION of the 3 process stages of Origination, Maintaining, and Dissolving archetype expressions. Dissolving archetype character traits bring processes and lessons to a stage of understanding, usefulness, and resolution. So it certainly makes sense that as I approach a “Giving Back” cycle of life after 60, these archetypes are stepping forth to guide the reins.

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I invite YOU to answer these questions and to LISTEN to these energies from within your own greater Self! What are they calling you to BE/ KNOW/ DO, Now?

I invite and welcome your comments and stories.

GO AHEAD THEN…Do What You LOVE!

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On one of Sachemspeak’s blogs this week he mentioned “Julie and Julia” and an associated blog site, Salon.com .  Julie Powell did exactly what I have been suggesting all this week; she did ONE THING that would propel her to achieve a larger goal. Julie was a writer but she was having trouble getting published. One thing she loved was cooking, so she decided to build her public visibility platform by writing a blog about cooking. Since she had long regarded Julia Child as a role model, she wrote about preparing one Julia Child recipe from her landmark book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, every day for one full year. The blog was a huge success, drawing much attention to Julie Powell as a writer, and she ultimately published Julie & Julia, her book adapted as the popular film about Child and about Powell’s own writing of her blog, and she has never stopped writing and publishing since.

As I also can attest to, writing a blog is an excellent writing tool, not just for platform building but also because it is addressed to a general, public audience. It is certainly ONE THING any writer can do to help launch their dedication and progression toward publishing their works.

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Most important to finding and acting upon the ONE THING you can do to launch you toward fully manifesting your Life Dream, or to revitalize your motivation to accomplish that, is to DO WHAT YOU LOVE. Clearly your Life Dream is a goal based on realizing your deepest love in life; it fulfills your Life Mission, what drives you and fuels your creative imagination and your desire to serve. Your ONE THING then will also be something you love, something that will light you up as it orients you and sets your course deliberately and clearly toward your bigger picture goal.

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So, stop for a moment, close your eyes and DREAM! Where would you LOVE to be three years from now, five years from now, and in the fullest expression of your Life Vision, your Dream Life? Center in that Goal, develop it, nurture your ambition to achieve that Goal for the highest, better interest of everyone concerned. Now then, what is ONE THING you can do in the plannable future that will be an intermediate, definite BIG STEP in the direction of mobilizing and actualizing your Dream?

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So now then, go ahead and PLAN IT! Set it up. Follow your intuition, carry it out! Your Inner ARTIST will be there right beside you all along, helping you to REALIZE your VISION.

Your One Thing? Part two

I would like as many readers as possible to try the life mapping Tool (repeated below here) of choosing “One Thing” you can do to propel you truly toward your ultimate Life Dream.  So I will add to that post today with some further examples of types of actions one could take to aim themselves toward realizing specific goals.

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For example, if your dream is to become a professional in some area that you haven’t completed the relevant education for, there is no reason to give up on that dream. Nowadays there are many online university degree programs. You can research a program that grants the sort of degree you will need, and take a course! If you like that one, take another! If it is meant to be, you will complete your degree. Don’t let age or earlier decisions hold you back from pursuing your Dream. Even if it leads you ultimately into a different direction, still it may help you to realize your deeper desire, e.g simply to pursue your dream and learn more about that.

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If your Dream is to live in an ideal location, such as Hawai’i, for instance, look into that. Start putting aside small amounts toward a vacation there; research special airfares; watch TV programs about that. Now if your Dream is to relocate to an ideal location, you can also define that more flexibly; maybe something closer to home will have the same qualities you define as ideal. Even redecorating your current home or building a pool in the backyard can help you to orient toward your ideal and may make you happier in the process.

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I would love to share here some of your own ideas and stories about what is YOUR ONE THING? If you have used this approach successfully, please let us know about that. Or if you are contemplating some ONE THING that can propel you to YOUR Dream, I would love to hear your excitement about that too!

You can simply add your COMMENTS to this post, or send your response as a story (click here for information about how to send your story).

***   ***

from Sunday, May 24,2015:

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Here’s a thought: ALLOW the Future to affect your Present NOW. Contemplate a desirable future event, deeply. Then imagine backwards to where you are presently. What might you be doing now or in the foreseeable near future that can carry you, even PROPEL you forward to the realization of that desired effect or set of conditions?

We do this in reverse order unthinkingly, much of the ‘time.’ That is, we are generally dimly aware of how our present thoughts or actions might influence future developments or “consequences.” But reasoning or imagining backwards instead FROM a desired future can help us be more mindful of our thoughts and actions as constituting a process by which future and present are naturally interconnected or ‘entangled’.

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Adapting the PRESENT in view of a desired future can LAUNCH and PROPEL you directly to that desirable set of outcomes, like a “truly aimed”  arrow from a taut bow.  I offer this concept of discerning the “One Thing” to life mapping clients who are aiming to manifest life goals. To be effective, the One Thing needs to be something very definite and will generally incorporate ‘out of the box’ thinking.

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Here is a personal example: While engaged in an archetypal psychotherapy process several years ago, I was developing the Life Maps Process by conducting a series of interview studies and writing articles about the results. When I began to understand that the interview subjects were benefitting from the very process of engaging in life review and reflection, I wanted to take this beyond the “study” phase to write and publish a personal development book and handbook by which people could do this on their own. My therapist helped me to recognize One Thing I could do to create the time and mental space I would need to make this shift of focus and produce the book: a full month writing retreat! Although I had very little savings, she asked me to consider taking a one month retreat, and the more I thought about that prospect, the better it sounded.

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I found a way to hire a pet sitter and I rented a chalet in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for a full month that next summer. I brought my elder cat companion Ariel with me. Every day for 10 to 14 hours almost every day, I wrote a proposal, several preliminary chapters and the opening chapter pages for a full book. Since then, I have never stopped my forward motion toward manifesting this dream.  I have now acquired an agent and have a well developed, full book manuscript and proposal. Hopefully in a few months we will begin to circulate the proposal. With true fulfillment, I will at length be able to announce to you here when LIFE PATHS: Life Mapping to Live Your Dream, Now! will be released.

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The point is that the writing retreat was precisely the One Thing that would launch and propel me in the true direction of realizing my future goal. It took planning. It took a leap of faith to find the means to accomplish the agenda. It took finding the right place, the right chalet. But when it all came together, it was like magic and every day was filled with wonder and delight. I was manifesting in the present every day that month material that would only fully coalesce in the future of my envisioning. Most of the material that I organized and wrote is still embedded in the current manuscript, though much additional material has developed since what I could only begin to conceive of then. The retreat SET IN MOTION for me a process that has only accelerated ever since.

So, WHAT IS YOUR ONE THING?  What future Life Dream would you love to be able to manifest, IF ONLY?  If only WHAT? You had the time, the money, the opportunity of one sort or another? Then consider: how can you OPEN THE PORTAL of that specific OPPORTUNITY?

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I invite youto take some time to work this ONE THING out. Don’t just commit to a new habit or activity in order to move toward your envisioned future. It’s not (usually) just about exercising more or journaling more or reading more; although, in principle any of those COULD be your One Thing, if it can truly FUEL your specific trajectory forward to realize your goal. But is there something more, something different, something DISTINCT that you CAN DO that will aim you irrevocably in the direction of fulfilling the very future that is reaching back to you RIGHT NOW and calling you forth?

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I welcome your Comments and Stories!

What Is Your One Thing?

Flowering Meadow

Here’s a thought: ALLOW the Future to affect your Present NOW. Contemplate a desirable future event, deeply. Then imagine backwards to where you are presently. What might you be doing now or in the foreseeable near future that can carry you, even PROPEL you forward to the realization of that desired effect or set of conditions?

We do this in reverse order unthinkingly, much of the ‘time.’ That is, we are generally dimly aware of how our present thoughts or actions might influence future developments or “consequences.” But reasoning or imagining backwards instead FROM a desired future can help us be more mindful of our thoughts and actions as constituting a process by which future and present are naturally interconnected or ‘entangled’.

vector-summer-background-with-turtle_f1EKrTB_

Adapting the PRESENT in view of a desired future can LAUNCH and PROPEL you directly to that desirable set of outcomes, like a “truly aimed”  arrow from a taut bow.  I offer this concept of discerning the “One Thing” to life mapping clients who are aiming to manifest life goals. To be effective, the One Thing needs to be something very definite and will generally incorporate ‘out of the box’ thinking.

arrow-design_71x2-M

Here is a personal example: While engaged in an archetypal psychotherapy process several years ago, I was developing the Life Maps Process by conducting a series of interview studies and writing articles about the results. When I began to understand that the interview subjects were benefitting from the very process of engaging in life review and reflection, I wanted to take this beyond the “study” phase to write and publish a personal development book and handbook by which people could do this on their own. My therapist helped me to recognize One Thing I could do to create the time and mental space I would need to make this shift of focus and produce the book: a full month writing retreat! Although I had very little savings, she asked me to consider taking a one month retreat, and the more I thought about that prospect, the better it sounded.

artist-figure-1_2-021114-ykwv1

I found a way to hire a pet sitter and I rented a chalet in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for a full month that next summer. I brought my elder cat companion Ariel with me. Every day for 10 to 14 hours almost every day, I wrote a proposal, several preliminary chapters and the opening chapter pages for a full book. Since then, I have never stopped my forward motion toward manifesting this dream.  I have now acquired an agent and have a well developed, full book manuscript and proposal. Hopefully in a few months we will begin to circulate the proposal. With true fulfillment, I will at length be able to announce to you here when LIFE PATHS: Life Mapping to Live Your Dream, Now! will be released.

NX_train_lowangleview_mountain

The point is that the writing retreat was precisely the One Thing that would launch and propel me in the true direction of realizing my future goal. It took planning. It took a leap of faith to find the means to accomplish the agenda. It took finding the right place, the right chalet. But when it all came together, it was like magic and every day was filled with wonder and delight. I was manifesting in the present every day that month material that would only fully coalesce in the future of my envisioning. Most of the material that I organized and wrote is still embedded in the current manuscript, though much additional material has developed since what I could only begin to conceive of then. The retreat SET IN MOTION for me a process that has only accelerated ever since.

So, WHAT IS YOUR ONE THING?  What future Life Dream would you love to be able to manifest, IF ONLY?  If only WHAT? You had the time, the money, the opportunity of one sort or another? Then consider: how can you OPEN THE PORTAL of that specific OPPORTUNITY?

vintage-steam-train-locomotive_MymuEuL_

I invite youto take some time to work this ONE THING out. Don’t just commit to a new habit or activity in order to move toward your envisioned future. It’s not (usually) just about exercising more or journaling more or reading more; although, in principle any of those COULD be your One Thing, if it can truly FUEL your specific trajectory forward to realize your goal. But is there something more, something different, something DISTINCT that you CAN DO that will aim you irrevocably in the direction of fulfilling the very future that is reaching back to you RIGHT NOW and calling you forth?

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I welcome your Comments and Stories!

What’s Around the Bend?

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What is around the corner in your life that you can envision as you “look forward” to embrace and maximize your future potentials?

Yes, being mindful and accepting of the here and now is important for appreciating life as it is, yet Nowness embraces more than the present in timespace; past-present-future are interconnected or we could say “entangled,” always. On Through the Wormhole this past week  the focus of the episode on state of the art  Physics perspectives was about the question of how the Future affects the Present. The Future exists Now, as a manifold of possibilities. How you envision your own future helps to orient toward and manifest specific potentials of the future conditions you envision.

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This past semester I conducted some 65 students through a life mapping process, and they created some really amazing Life Dream Maps for themselves as a means of artistically grounding Future Action Plans they developed. Many of their Life Dream Maps were in the form of board game designs, reflecting versions of the Milton Bradley game of LIFE. These life mappers embellished their game boards beautifully, representing their anticipated goals and Turning Points with personally very meaningful images.

Since this week at Better Endings for Life Paths is about conjoining your ARTIST Archetype Ally with the image of Crossing the Threshold to establish a desirable set of life conditions, I invite you to envision and create your own Life Dream Map.

On a large, blank sheet of paper (maybe 11″x 17″), sketch out a winding pathway or devise your own “pathway” sort of image. Consider the major steps or cornerstone “turning point” spaces on your path to be pivotal actions or events you can anticipate experiencing as you wend your way consciously to manifest your Life Dream. Represent some image of your Life Dream itself as the Goal or destination point on your game board.  In designing your Future Dream Map, be as specific as you can about time frames for arriving at your Turning Point spaces. But you can also include playful transition points that, if you “land” on these steps, might say something like “Pause to Reflect,” “Move Back two steps before moving forward,” or “Leap ahead confidently” to the next Turning Point.

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Have fun with this. Play it as an actual game if you like or play with your friends by each of you creating their own game boards! Whether you sketch this out roughly or artistically invest quality time in producing your game board, I encourage you to display it and save it as a time capsule that you can look back at as you proceed along your own path to manifest your Dream!

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I welcome your insights and stories!

The Body-Life of Soul and Crossing Over

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It is so interesting and humbling to observe how blogging works within my life now. 10:45 Sunday PM, reflecting on the week’s topic and, again, how it relates to conditions in my  life as well as connects  with readers’ lives. This week, for example, is about utilizing the ARTISTarchetype to help Cross the Threshold of experience… Sunday (earlier tonight) I wrote of this in relation to Nanci Griffith’s rendition of “Across the Great Divide” and how this could relate to the divide between life and death with regards to the character played by Julianne Moore in Still Alice. Then my sister Lee called and  let me know that my mother, Betty Watts, is facing her own great divide even in this moment; she struggles at a nursing home with late stage Parkinson’s and now they are asking to insert a food tube because she is having too much difficulty swallowing even the pureed diet she has been restricted to for over a year already. We all know (five children, plus her extended in-laws and by now 6 grandchildren and several great grandchildren, and friends) that my mother’s time on this earth in her current body is limited and fragile. All her children have been planning to be with her July 4, but now it appears that may be optimistic; we must let her go as smoothly as we can so she suffers as little as possible.

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Life in an embodied state is such a gift of Love, especially near its close; what else? Think about it for a moment. We are Soul: magnificent, eternal Beingness with the divine gift of conscious awareness, channeling through these very limited body states in order to learn, but even more so in order to give and to receive love.  In the end, it is only Love that matters. All else is imagining and manipulating form and substance, exercising thoughts, struggling with emotional conditions tied to the body states. Only Love is real, in the beginning as well as at the time of Crossing Over, transitioning from Form back into Formlessness (or into another, less dense form), from limited, dense matter to pure spiritual energy again, as the cycles of Life continue to flow endlessly like the waves of the Sea.

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Which brings me to the next serendipitous connection: tonight before coming to bed I saw that showing on TV was THE LIFE OF PI. Also about Crossing troubled waters, this book and film are about spiritual awareness and specifically about using the power of IMAGINATION to survive nearly insurmountable, life threatening odds. Pi survives by his faith and the resourcefulness of his imaginative faculties. We never even really know for certain what the character Pi endures after he is cast adrift upon a lifeboat when an ocean going merchant vessel  with his family on board has sunk, so transformed is his outer experience by his creative perceptions. Does Pi really survive with a Bengal tiger on board the lifeboat, or in the end is that a metaphor for enduring a very rough passage with a murderous chef?

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Always at the most challenging moments, Pi calls out to God with GRATITUDE for his life, for the opportunity to have existed with awareness even unto what could be his imminent death. After every such outburst of faith and gratitude, though unsought, God or the universe itself provides gifts that allow Pi to endure yet another storm of turmoil.

So we can all learn from the Life of Pi to trust and to rely upon our innate powers of imagination to see us through the best as well as the “worst” of our times in bodies. Remember, for instance, to DREAM and to ENVISION what your next step shall be.

These bodies are themselves vessels; but we are Soul, not bodies; Soul on  a Great Journey of Love.

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Enough then. May Blessings Be to All. Goodnight.

Across the Great Divide

This week we will explore the connection between the ARTIST archetype and the life metaphor of Crossing the Threshold to Embark on your Greatest Adventure.  One connection that comes to mind for me is Nanci Griffith’s beautifully artistic rendition of the song by Kate Wolf, “Across the Great Divide.”  Here are the lyrics and the song itself (click here to hear it):

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Across the Great Divide

(by Kate Wolf), performed by Nanci Griffith

I’ve been walkin’ in my sleep
Countin’ troubles ‘stead of countin’ sheep
Where the years went I can’t say
I just turned around and they’ve gone away

I’ve been siftin’ through the layers
Of dusty books and faded papers
They tell a story I used to know
And it was one that happened so long ago

Chorus
It’s gone away in yesterday
Now I find myself on the mountainside
Where the rivers change direction
Across the Great Divide

Now, I heard the owl a-callin’
Softly as the night was fallin’
With a question and I replied
But he’s gone across the borderline

Chorus

The finest hour that I have seen
Is the one that comes between
The edge of night and the break of day
It’s when the darkness rolls away

Chorus Twice

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The divide between “the edge of night and the break of day” certainly evokes the potential for a major Threshold Crossing, one ripe with possibility but also with uncertainty.

Last night I watched the film Still Alice with Julianne Moore. The brilliant woman she portrayed, struggling with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, must straddle “where the rivers change direction” and come to terms with the value of the quality of life as contrasted with healthful longevity. Her loved ones, who cannot accompany their mother and wife directly on her journey into the oblivion of memory loss, provide her with that quality of loving companionship and compassion that allows her to have the best possible transition she can.

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The ARTIST helps us to forge and to accomplish our greatest life transitions. In Still Alice, the main character, a linguistics professor at Columbia University, relies on her skills at the art of communication to maintain her grip on life and to nurture her relations and herself for as long as she is able. She practices memory tasks with words; she spends several days slowly but surely crafting one final address, to sponsor a benefit for Alzheimers.  She demonstrates GRACE and forebearance and so she exits gradually but in the highest spirit she can muster. Seeing her fortitude, those around her provide their loving support, acknowledging her gifts to the end.

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How might you call upon your inner ARTIST Ally to help you to identify and Cross the Great Divide?

What is it for you?

The Art of Illuminating

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n historical practice I have always been endeared to is the contemplative art of Illuminating. Monks, perhaps sworn to vows of silence, charity and celibacy, would spend long, prayerful days, months and years embellishing a sacred text. Every letter, especially opening ones, and every phrase was lovingly enhanced and colored by the artist’s brush. The Artist-Monk himself gained deep insight about the text he was illuminating in the process of heightening the meaning and value of the work for other readers. Many of the finished products would be housed in special Church libraries or archives, well guarded there to withstand the onslaught of human histories; preserved as pristine artefacts of a more pure, illuminated time.

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This art of Illuminating appears to have been mainly lost to today’s fast paced publishing world and our Western consumer culture. Now we dash off an email, hardly even taking the time or giving the thought to write and send a personal letter. We consume electronic text as though it were of no value except for the information relayed. After all, everything now is disposable; we prize the Delete key above all others.  Are too many emails potentially threatening our computer’s memory capacity? “Delete; Delete them All!” we can command, and it is done. (Later we will purge the Deleted file itself to finally rid our minds of the accumulated textual debris.)

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How might we revitalize the Art of Illuminating in our everyday lives today?

It starts with where we place our attention and with what attitude we attend to the objects of our perception. Remember to appreciate Beauty, every day. Rise for the sunrise, pull off the road to appreciate a mountain scape, walk your dog just before sunset then maybe go to a park or canyon to witness the panorama of color that the sunset bestows. Take in the beauty of our natural environment with every breath and you will find that the pace of life will slow down and become more calm, as will your interactions with others.

photo of a gorgeous sunset from a Maldivian island

Let Beauty be your Muse, as the ancients knew.

If we are to address the issues of global climate change and technological explosion from a humane standpoint and with a balanced point of view, I believe we must return to the art of Illuminating every precious moment, every vital resource and every life form.

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I always welcome your Comments and Stories.

Avril, My Inner ARTIST

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I highly recommend “archetype dialogue” as a fun, dynamic mode of active imagination and/or journaling. It can help you to meet &  greet your own usually unconscious ensemble cast of archetypal personas that are very important facets of your own Self! Just as an example of how freeform yet deep-reaching and energizing an informal practice of archetypal tuning in and dialogue can be, allow me to model the approach by engaging in conversation with my own ARTIST Ally.

The process is simple. Relax and invite your archetypal cast of characters or one of them in specific to engage in dialogue. Allow yourself to shift between consciousness states naturally. It may help to consider how dominant archetypes are associated with role personas you occupy. Shift attention to a situational mode in which you normally ‘channel’—as it were; or, enact—the archetypal viewpoint you wish to engage with (e.g., if you are a teacher, the Teacher archetype, or as a Parent, the Nourisher or the Elder Leader archetype). In this dialogue your core conscious persona—“you” as your normal subjective self, or Soul—will usually remain the interviewing or initiating narrator.

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So, to begin:

L:            What may I call you?

A:           I am April; you know: lw/avril !

L:            Oh, well that is lovely then. It makes sense!

A:           Tell the story for your blog post; I’ll help…

L:            Well, okay. When I was in college in Buffalo I had an amazing mentor who was a Philosophy professor, Toni (Antoinette) Mann Paterson. She became a good friend. While she was first getting to know me as a student, through a Creative Studies program she was helping facilitate one semester, Toni asked me one day:

“What is your name?”

“Linda,” I answered, bemused because she already knew that.

“No, it’s not! I mean, what is your REAL name?”

“(Long pause)… … April?”

“Yes, That’s it! You don’t feel to me like a Linda, at all. Now April, that name suits you.”

L:            Okay, so the name April for me actually goes back to when I was around 7 or 8. My older brother told me I was an orphan. He used the fact that my Mom had lost my birth certificate to convince me I had been adopted. Since I was smaller than my siblings and always felt somewhat an awkward child, it was not hard for me to believe my brother’s ruse. I came up then with the alternate name of April from a little girl down the street who often played on a trampoline in her yard. Having the name of a month appealed to my sense of difference; especially “April”.

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A:           It was me who was the author of the artistic aspects of your journaling then, when you signed lw/avril !

L:            So you were!

A:           I wrote poetry, and invented your “Foto” scapes practice of describing scenes with words as you would use a “Camera Obscura”…

L:            The name of one of our journals!  I—or we, then—journalled constantly back then—filling some 20 journals in the first four years of college. Thanks for that! I have always thought of my journal as a Friend; I guess that is, in part, you!

A:           And our Inner Guide, too, the Mahanta.

L:            Absolutely.

A:           So then, what has been the value to you of our journaling?

L:            It has never ended; this very conversation and this blog are extensions of our never-ending alliance!

A:           C’est bon! Oui, Oui, mon Amie!

lw / Avril

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******   ******

I invite and welcome YOUR insights and stories!

L’Artiste

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In exploring (the) twelve universal, primordial archetypes this year, it should be clear by now that all twelve of these persona figures exist within each of us. No matter your profession or lifestyle, you have within you an inner ARTIST.  Are you well acquainted with yours?

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The ARTIST within you can bring a special form of balance to your overall outlook on life. S/he can magnify and heighten the colors, tone, and passionate feel of your existence.

One simple tool to evoke your ARTIST, whenever you wish to bring Her forth (or Him), is to go to an art museum or to an art show. Immerse yourself for a few hours in the realm of Art, then when you step back into the normally lit world outside the museum or show, pay attention to how your sense of Vision and your appreciation of color, tone and form have been enhanced!

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When I first attended college in Buffalo, New York, my university campus was across the street from the Albright-Knox Art Museum. I would quite often spend full afternoons at the museum. During the time I was at the college, the museum housed a special Impressionists exhibit including several of Vincent Van Gogh’s original oil paintings. I had read Vincent by Joost Poldermans and I was very taken by Van Gogh’s life and his dynamic, passionate, visionary form of art. I oftentimes spent several hours at a time sitting on a museum bench just opposite Vincent’s “Old Mill” painting. I studied the painting and contemplated it deeply, journaling about how the blue of the creek cutting across the composition matched the blue of Vincent’s eyes, and reveling in the brilliance of the colors and the comforting vibrancy of the natural panorama there revealed.  But more than just absorbing and bathing as it were in the art itself, I watched the people who walked by, themselves watching the painting.

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Some viewers walked past Vincent’s “Old Mill” swiftly, hardly pausing to notice. Others heard the call as I had and they stood transfixed for several radiant moments. The pure Artist’s ART calls forth the dormant ARTIST.  We are transformed by the experience of sharing the Artist’s gaze. It blends with our own Artistic sensibility, raising our awareness of Form, Balance, and Vibration to a more holistic level of awareness.

Sunset watter as liquid gold

So, in leaving the museum or Art show, try to maintain your newly blended perspective that integrates your archetypal ARTIST viewpoint with whatever other energies you are holding. This can help you to jog your emotional sensitivity and rekindle your ideals.

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A Quantum Leap into the Void?

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I love the concept of a quantum leap being how an electron shifts into a higher orbit around the nucleus of an atom under conditions of an ‘excited’ state. Some surmise the electron even pops out of one dimension and into another before popping back in at the higher dimension because the shift is allmost instantaneous. Now given that more recent physics than the Bohr model that gave rise to this notion may account for such apparent disappearnces and reappearances as due to a modal wave transition rather than as a discrete popping or ‘leaping’ effect, still metaphorically a Quantum Leap has come to mean a rather sudden and qualitatively total sort of transformation, as to a higher state of consciousness than one has held before.

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Then there is the notion of a “leap into the Void.” Here the idea is that you need a great deal of faith and trust to take a step in a very uncertain direction, hoping that the outcome will somehow be positive. For this, I like the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when our hero must ostensibly step off of a sheer cliff into a deep chasm if he is to demonstrate his trust in Divine intervention to validate his purity of heart and thereby his worthiness to approach the sacred Holy Grail.

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Both of these concepts of a Quantum Leap and a Leap into the Void pertain to this month’s focus on “Crossing the Threshold to Embark on Your Greatest Adventure.” Truly crossing a threshold is an heroic act, an act of faith, and it results in a new and higher state of consciousness.  New levels of consciousness, too I would say, create new arrangements and modes of circumstances in our lives overall, for they enact a departure from habitual thoughts or behaviors based on a choice to advance to a desired “new” state.

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Of course, some might add, a leap into a Void might fail, too. And a quantum leap might remove one from a familiar “safe zone” to which afterwards one might wish they could return.

As I approach retirement in three years and usher a colleague off into retirement at a luncheon tomorrow, these concepts have a definite resonance and relevance to the major shifts we all undergo as we wend our sometimes uncertain way through life.  But remembering the FAITH and TRUST that heroic characters demonstrate reinforces my awareness that these significant departures are imbued with a power and energy of their own that will serve the heroic adventurer well!

In the Harz Mountains, Germany

When you think back to the times in your life before now when you took a small or large step in a new direction, remember how most of these ‘departures’ have served you well. You would not be where you are today, in all measures, had you not taken the steps laid out before you or that you laid out before yourself in pursuit of your goals.

So, set a course and Sail! Take all the time you need to envision and plan for your forward momentum when the time to LEAP arrives. Then TRUST that whatever comes, you will be there to benefit from the motion of change and the new breath of transformation this will bring!

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Crossing a Threshold to Embark on Your Greatest Adventure

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For the month of May I will illuminate here the archetype of the ARTIST and the Life Metaphor of Life as “Crossing a Threshold to Embark on your Greatest Adventure.” Crossing a Threshold refers to taking a step in a bold new direction that leads to the fulfillment of Living Your Dream, Now!

Most people live most of their lives either going forward into the future based on  experiences and effects from their past, or they live from day to day in the protective bubble of present events that stretch from the familiar past into a similar future.  This does not necessarily embody living with awareness in the NOW.

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Nowness is often mistaken for yet remains independent of timespace; it is where your consciousness is rooted, Moment by Moment. It is a state of balance or stasis you maintain that embues the liberation to choose freely what your experience—in or out of timespace–shall Be.

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In order to step across the threshold of experience rather than being condemned to repeat or perpetuate sameness–like the mythical Sisyphus going up and back down his mountain interminally–you must know who you Are (Soul, not embodiment) and where you desire and intend to go based on your mission, purpose and goals, or your Life Dream. So, it helps to contemplate where you are at this time in your life in relation to that which you desire to manifest that may or may not extend from your present life conditions.

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To genuinely cross the threshold to fulfill your life mission and dream, you need to detach yourself from your present, like a marionette cutting her strings to find s/he was a human all along!

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Can you think of a time when you accomplished a ‘quantum leap’ to a whole new quality or level of life experience than before? How did you do this?

We will explore this question this week and I invite and welcome your insights and your stories.