A NEW YEAR of Better Endings

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This new year at Better Endings for Your Life Path let’s explore Tools for Better

Endings. I will introduce and model the Tools each week and I invite YOU to

practice Better-Endering on your own! You are welcome to send me your story

(lkwatts@uccs.edu) if you would like me to share it on the blog (I will give you an

author’s byline if you’d like for your Better Endings reflections or story). 

We will practice FOUR Tools for Better Endings relating to a personal Question or Goal you can set in Week One of every month: 

Week One (of each month):  I invite you to set a personal Question related to a Goal you are contemplating in your life.

Week Two:  Consider any DREAM events, dream messages or dream images relating to your Question or Goal. You may reflect on current dreams or on earlier dreams you still can recall that relate to you Question or Goal.

Week Three:  You can explore your inner guidance that relates to your Question or Goal. For instance, what waking dreams, mindful insights, synchronicity, or Golden Tongued Wisdom are you aware of that relates to your Question or Goal?

Week Four:  I invite you to journal about or write out a Better Endings Story. With this story or journal entry you can envision a Better Ending solution and implementation of that solution and insights you have gained with regard to your monthly personal Question or Goal.

The Shortest Distance

Here’s another Life Lesson for me: “The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.” More than a mathematical truism, this adage is a pearl of golden wisdom.

When I walk with my dog Sophie across a street, she loves to demonstrate this principle; she enjoys crossing at a long diagonal to emerge at a further point than just across the street, closer to her beloved walking trail. When she does this, I sing one of our many walking songs, this one I call My Pythagorean Girl:

My Pythagorean Sophie,

You’re my Pythagorean gal.

‘The shortest distance ‘tween two points

is a straight line;

So says my Pythagorean Girl.

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Sophie crossing at a diagonal

It occurred to me about a week ago on our daily walk how meaningful this adage can be. I find that I myself do like a good “shortcut.” Or rather, I like “getting somewhere” and as swiftly as possible.

Finding the shortest distance may call for discernment and self-discipline. In travel, it means setting a course and sticking to it, more or less. While some might prefer to meander, I enjoy establishing an efficient or a good sightseeing route depending on what time I have available, feeling great satisfaction then when I arrive at my destination.

I feel that finding a best Path to accomplish a personal goal or reach a creative guidepost allows me to keep moving forward toward the greater, deeper objectives I am after in this life.

Of course, flexibility is also valuable. Finding a “better” pathway…i.e. a Better Ending… diverting from some predetermined course certainly can lead to changing course sometimes radically to manifest a better ending. The unforeseen byways are often the most beautiful and meaningful and so, on reflection, may have been the shortest distance to a greater goal, all along.

This is where inner guidance or ‘inner tuition’ comes in to that Pythagorean statement of ‘shortest distance.’ Listening to yourself means opening your awareness to guidance as if from some satellite above the earth channeled by your GPS device.

We can always be asking, “What’s next?” and then again, “What Now?”  This allows self-discovery of new vistas and deeper potentials. Such I have learned from Sophia, my wise Pythagorean Gal!

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Sophie after her recent grooming. Such a dear!

I welcome YOUR comments and story!

Life Lesson 2: Soul = Soul, An Answer to Prejudice

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Last week I showed a powerful documentary film in my anthropology class called “The Anatomy of Prejudice.” This film is about a workshop Jane Elliott conducted in the UK using her ‘brown eyes/ blue eyes’ approach. She divides people by the color of their eyes to reveal what I see as the three P’s of Power, Privilege, and Prejudice.  In the debriefing after showing this gripping film, I found myself recounting an experience that happened many years ago in Buffalo, around 1978.

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I was on my way home from a spiritual activity, waiting for a bus in inner city Buffalo around 11:30 PM. The bus stop was on a corner with a bar. A man staggered out of the bar and over to where I stood. He pointed to a car on the streetside and told me that it was his car. Here is our opening conversation that I remember as if it was yesterday:

“I’ll bet you think I’m gonna grab you by the arm and take you over there to my car and rape you!”

(Pause)… “No, I don’t think that.”

I could, you know. All I would have to do is grab you and take you over there to my car.”

I asked this man’s name, he answered Freddie. I asked Freddie if he had a family (yes), and we started a dialogue about each others’ lives. After a few minutes Freddie said to me:“I’m gonna stand here with you until your bus comes; I’m gonna stay right here to make sure that nobody harms you!” 

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Can you feel what I still feel in recounting this story? It almost makes me cry from gratitude and appreciation. Freddie did wait there at the bus stop with me, nearly twenty minutes until the last bus through inner city Buffalo arrived to take me home. We shook hands and I thanked Freddie for his protection, then we  went our separate ways.

I have never forgotten this encounter with Freddie, for it taught me an invaluable Life Lesson:

SOUL = SOUL

Prejudice and acts of discrimination or prejudice-fueled hatred occur largely, I believe, out of ignorance or lack of personal exposure to or interaction with members of the ‘group’ one may be prejudiced against. I was a young, Single White Female, out of her neighborhood element in inner city Buffalo. Freddie was an older, Drunk Black Man. But as soon as we began communicating with each other, asking about each others’ lives and listening to our responses, the group prejudices we had assumed quickly dissolved into the cold night air. We conversed not as White Single Female and Drunk Black Man but, rather, Soul to Soul.  In this light, how could we be anything but grateful and empathetic to one another?

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images are from pixabay.com

 

Soul = Soul is an answer to prejudice and discrimination. When we get to know someone as an individual rather than as a faceless member of some group category, Soul lights up and there is the opportunity for mutual acknowledgement.  Perhaps this is why we want to look one another in the eyes as we speak, since the eyes may open to the Window of Soul.

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments.

Love Equals Love

 

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I meant the first post for this month’s Topic of Life Lessons to be a general introduction to the topic, which I have already written. Instead, I have had a three-part dream this morning and realized while driving to work this morning how it conveys a major life lesson for me: Love Equals Love.  Along with this, Acts of love are Heroic!

In my dream I am visiting all day with a lifelong friend. Since my friend’s gender in the dream is ambiguous, I will call my friend here Dona (Donna/ Don). In Part I of this dream Dona is visiting me and we share some experience together like attending an event or a class, but I do not recall that segment. After that activity, Dona drives us back to her/his location and I ride in the car, talking familiarly with my friend and grateful to be in Dona’s presence. We arrive at Dona’s place and sit out on a portico (that is the word that comes as I write out the dream), suspended over a gorge with water below.

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After talking awhile I realize I have brought my orange tabby cat Emily with me on the visit but did not bring a litter box, so I say maybe we should be leaving. (This often happens in a lucid dream that some element of a physical-world concern can intervene and shorten the dream experience.) Dona says–I believe not wanting that I should leave so soon–that visiting animals often use a fenced area down in the gorge below for their needs.

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Sure enough when I look down to the gorge (where previous to this I had looked and saw a large dog in a region beyond a further fence), Emily is already down there and does relieve herself. One and then up to three or four other ‘local’ cats have gathered just outside the inner fenced area where Emily is. I mention this to Dona.

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All of a sudden Dona gets up and DIVES off from the portico over the cliff! S/he transforms into a cat on the way down so that s/he lands on her feet and then transforms into Dona again, to save Emily from the cats that might have attacked her. After realizing what has just occurred, I (with I think my sister Cheryl) go down a trail to the bottom to check on Dona and Emily.  A younger woman with blue and pink  hues, blonde, is coming up as we go down (angelic?). We get there and Dona is lying down, okay but needing to recuperate, enclosed in a blanket or even a protective tube to help him/her to regenerate from the hard landing.  Emily is fine and I have her in my arms to carry her. We will bring Dona up in the tube, but meanwhile Dona is talking about how this will make for a great story to tell later. Quite a story, Indeed! Dona says this is about the need to take bold action on behalf of others; that this is a sort of action often not taken in today’s world!

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Driving into work after this dream this morning I was replaying the dream in my mind, trying to comprehend and interpret its meaning for me. What came to mind almost immediately is:

Love = Love.

I had been thinking of a spiritual expression I like: Soul = Soul. But then came this slight emendation: LOVE EQUALS LOVE. I realized then how the dream itself was about the love that comes with lifelong friendship; and as well, Dona’s leap into the gorge off from the portico to protect my cat Emily (whom I also love) was an act of love as much as an heroic act of itself!

So yes, a Life Lesson:

Love Equals Love !

Dream Reflection: Whatever form love takes, it IS Love. And love, to be love truly, is always reciprocal.  Love engenders Heroic qualities on behalf of the Beloved.

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images are from pixabay.com

I hope that some of you reading this story can relate to this Life Lesson of Love = Love. It is a beautiful affirmation, for me, of the magnificence of Life itself:

(for, Love = Life = Love).

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!