The Room of Requirement

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Last Sunday around 1:30 AM I discovered a “room of requirement,” right here in my new home! Immediately I recognized this was a waking dream confirming my emerging insight this month, that Love Matters (answering my monthly question: “How Can/ Does Love Really Matter After All?”).

I was in bed with my two pets Sophie (a Shorkie dog) and Emily (my orange tabby cat), looking forward to a restful sleep after being up late the night before.  Sophie started barking; I listened and heard a ‘drip, drip, drip, coming from the living room. It was raining outside, and when I got up to check it out I found my sliding porch door had sprung a leak, endangering the new wood flooring!

My first effort to plug the hole was to use a roll of “magic tape” I found in a kitchen drawer. This prevented the drip temporarily, but I knew it would not hold up through the night.  I live about 30 minutes from the nearest store that would be open 24 hours and have sealing materials and I did not wish to go out.

I went into the guest bathroom to use the toilet while asking inwardly, what could I do? For the first time ever, suddenly I noticed a door behind the bathroom door that I had never seen or been told about. It was a linen closet. Inside were not only extra towels but also a large red emergency kit. In the kit was an unopened package containing a roll of “absolute waterproof tape”!

I recognized this immediately as a gift of love from Spirit/ the Universe (call It what you wish!) in my time of need. This reminded me of the Room of Requirement from the Harry Potter saga.

The Absolute Waterproof tape worked to seal off my interior leak through the night. In the morning then I went to a store and came back to seal the sliding door both outside and inside. Mission accomplished.

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images are from pixabay.com

So What’s Love Got to Do With It/ How Can Love Matter? I believe “Soul Exists Because God (/the Universe…) Loves IT.”  In times of need, when you ask, even with the smallest of need as also with the greatest, It CAN embrace you and bring real solutions or balm for your anguish.  Sometimes, as I have found, we just need to be open to ACCEPT the love that Spirit brings in the Moment.

As my Better Endings story for this month of April 2019 then, I simply acknowledge:

Love Matters!

Because of this, I am okay, no matter what, wherever I am and whatever circumstances or conditions I encounter. Gratitude for all good things received and trust in the goodness of Spirit can lift our hearts to soar with the angels and is ever with us in times of need.

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

Stephen Hawking from the Other Side (or, What’s Love Got to Do With It?)

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This year we are exploring and pursuing our dreams here at Better Endings. Each month I invite you to put forth a deep personal question that relates to your high spiritual quest, let’s say, for it pertains to your greatest sense of mission or life purpose, in this life or beyond.

After posing your question (week 1) I encourage you to pay attention to and record your nightly dreams (week 2), then to contemplate your waking dreams and emerging insights about your question (week 3), so by the end of the month (week 4) you can compose/ write a Better Endings story or scenario about how best to incorporate what you have learned into your future Life Path.

I am excited this week from a dream I had yesterday morning (4/9) and to reflect on how it pertains to my own monthly personal question (but, please use your own): What’s Love Got to Do With It? (or, Does/ How Can Love Matter?)

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In my dream I am at a campus of—truly—Higher Learning (n.b., always use present tense in recalling your dream). First I am visiting a sports field where teams dressed in white and azure blue are playing a game akin to soccer except they use thought impulses to propel or to counter the ‘ball’ along the field a to goal area. A middle-aged appearing man approaches the field to observe the game with us from the right. I think to myself, ‘Is that Stephen Hawking?’—from his shock of hair though it is reddish here, and from his lithe step…until I realize this man is not in a wheelchair, which throws me at first.

Then I wheel/ drive a wheeled chair vehicle to carry a friend (woman, semitic appearing) to a special meal event. (This part was so important in my dreaming that it had an instant replay so I would be sure to recall it on waking.) The guest of honor at this honorary meal was indeed Stephen Hawking! This time he appeared more like I would envision him though he was seated upright and without any wheelchair or speech problems.

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The people who had organized and were hosting this special event are two of the greatest spiritual leaders I have been fortunate to know: Luisa and Gordon (last names not used here for their privacy), who are superb leaders with a spiritual group I have been associated with in Colorado. Several other guests at the table include a couple of other folks from that group and some special, once famous bright thinkers who have ‘passed on.’

Hawking shares a new insight he has gained since translating his form into the higher planes with the death of his physical form. Luisa observes that the principle he is describing could help ‘the Poor’ (though she qualifies that she is not yet sure if she would support such use for the sake of wanting people to strengthen rather than being dependent on quick solutions). Hawking agrees. He says that ‘students’ can, ‘even now’ (i.e. in the Physical, I surmise) use this principle to create abundance to meet their immediate needs, by manifesting through some sort of feedback loop effect, “reflecting (thought? spirit?) back on itself.” This statement is so astounding and exciting to me in the ‘dream’ that I wake up immediately on hearing this (btw, a good way to remember an important lucid dream message is to train yourself to wake up right then).

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So, “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” Everything. My bigger question about Love this month is ‘(How) Can Love Matter?’ which itself more deeply asks: Is there (after all) a meaning and purpose or positive results from living this (i.e. a particular) lifetime? As Love Is All, the basic fabric of the Universe and all things and Spirit Itself that fills such universe (my view), What/How Can Love Matter (“in the End”)?

In this dream of Stephen Hawking continuing to grow and share his uniquely gifted insight from Beyond in an after this lifetime context, well then, Wow!

Love/ Life/ It CAN and often DOES Matter, Very Much!

A lifetime of experience is not wasted and provides spacetime for developing or honing awareness and, hopefully, wisdom. We are unfolding this individualized awareness and character not just in a single lifetime (my belief includes the assumption of reincarnation to the point of eventually transcending even that); and not only in our current bodies that carry us along for a life cycle, but beyond that as well.

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images are from pixabay.com

It comes down to what we can do with the love we have expressed and the awareness gained in a lifetime of focused experience. The old adage, “you can’t take it with you” does not abide here. True enough, we do not take or physical body nor our material acquisitions with us as we translate from this lifetime into the next/ other dimensions. But we do retain our individualized consciousness as a facet of our higher Soul awareness, a spark of divine wisdom, a molecule in the creative fountainhead, from the Ocean of love/life force Itself (my limited view, of course).

So, goodbye to Despair! This has been my deeper concern over the past few monthly themes. (This) lifetime can/ does/ shall matter, for Love is All, the source and basis of all transcendent awareness. This reminds me of a useful insight:

“Soul is a happy entity.

IT cannot be any other way.”

(Paul Twitchell)

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments

What’s Love Got to Do With It? (Love Matters)

Hi All, I am merging week One and Week Two topics this time because the author interview posted last week came through unexpectedly, and I was asked to share that.

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This past month has brought difficult news about two of my good friends who are facing very difficult health conditions. Both are facing their conditions with strength and some degree of appropriate humor, but they are facing the impending mortality of their physical bodies and the mysterious transition of spirit which that entails. As I ask myself what should my monthly contemplation question be for April, I hold my friends dearly in my heart as I ask, “What Is (the Value of) Love?” or maybe more specifically, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” Because Love seems to be what matters most in dealing with issues of life and transition.

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When I was in high school in the turbulent early 1970’s, my father once grounded me because he said I “do not know what love is.” We were at a restaurant with the family for a Sunday brunch. Dad made some negative comment about the Beatles, especially John Lennon. I said boldly,

“All they are singing about is Love!”

For this Dad grounded me for a month, to think more deeply about the true meaning of love (to be generous with his motivation; actually he just didn’t like for anyone to challenge or contradict him in public). But I have never forgotten this experience and have often asked myself, at every new stage or transition of my life:

“Do I truly know what Love Is?  What Is Love, Really?”

This means, for me: why is love so important; am I truly capable of love or of being loved; and what does/ how can love matter, for I sense it is the most important state of consciousness one can have/ develop/ give/ receive/ share. I have come to believe that “Love is All!;” that at the base of any vital experience IS Love, a fountainhead of grateful bounty and blessings, the foundation of a true harmonious connection with another being or with nature or with our own higher Self, Spirit, and Divinity Itself; or else, the apparent lack of love, an emotional or spiritual vacuum.

In all, my best understanding so far is simple:

Love Matters.

So this shall be my personal growth question for this month, about how love matters and how the fact of Love, as an unconditional spiritual force, matters to the continuation and transformations of Life. I am reminded at the start of one of my favorite songs ever, about Love. It happens to be by the Beatles. (You may Click here to listen.)

In My Life

(by Paul McCartney, John Lennon)

There are places I’ll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before,
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more
In my life– I love you more

 What is YOUR question for the month of April? I invite you to set your focus question as a contemplation seed for personal growth.

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

 

 

 

Book Intro

Here is a new Author’s Interview I was asked to share with NFReads.com:

Author Interview With Dr. Linda K. Watts

Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!

I, Dr. Linda K. Watts, am a Ph.D. cultural, linguistic and psychological anthropologist who has been a professor for the University of Colorado Colorado Springs for 26 years. I am currently teaching as an adjunct for Ithaca College after my semi-retirement in 2018; I continue to teach online for the University of Colorado while focussing on writing and developing my related Life Path Mapping services. I have authored two academic books, many academic articles, and my third book, Your Life Path: Life Mapping Tools to Help You Follow Your Heart and Live Your Dream, Now, is a mainstream personal growth and development style book published by Skyhorse Publishers in March 2018.

What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?

When I was contemplating taking a research sabbatical as a professor, one morning while waking from sleep I saw a sign… black bold letters on a white square in the middle of my forehead… that stated:

YOU HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO REALIZE YOUR DREAMS,

NOT JUST FOR GETTING BY.

I took this as a wakeup call and started asking inwardly about ‘What Is My Dream, really?’ Then a few months later as I woke I heard these words: Life Paths. I knew that would be my research topic though the concept developed over time. I developed a way to map peoples’ significant life events with Excel software, then gradually developed a full life mapping process including Life Themes, Life Chapters, and Life Story/ Life Myth notions. I also came to understand that the Life Themes people self-identify (e.g. Work, Romance, Travel, Spirituality, etcetera) can be associated with a system of twelve Archetype characters (e.g. Romance: LOVER archetype; Travel: IDEALIST archetype), based on a very well developed archetypal system developed by Dr. Charles Bebeau that lines up well with Jung’s ideas. So, people can reflect on how different facets of their overall Persona (or their Ensemble Cast of Archetype Characters related to their Life Themes) have shown up in relation to their Life Chapters, Turning Points, and the overall Ups and Downs of their most significant Shaping Events.

For several years I developed the self-discovery based life mapping tools by working intensively with individuals and also from teaching university classes that I team taught with a History professor. He taught the history of Mythology, while I taught students how to map out and reflect on the mythic warp and weave of their own Life Stories. Eventually I added a full set of flexible, creative procedures for mapping one’s Future potentials in relation to major Goals to help one manifest their own Life Dream. I have found this approach to be very helpful for people. It can be a life changing and is always a fun, illuminating process.

What inspires/inspired your creativity?

My early development of these ideas came from interview studies which I wrote academic articles about (see my scholarly book: The Life Map as an Implicit Cognitive Structure Underlying Behavior, Mellen Press). After beginning to teach the process as a self-discovery, personal growth set of life mapping techniques, I took a one month writing retreat. I rented a chateau in Colorado and for one month every day I wrote chapter beginnings and planned what would eventually become Your Life Path. Also around four years before I found a publisher, I attended a writers conference in California where agents were accepting chapters and book proposals in advance, for personal author-agent conferences. I met my agent there, Linda Langton of Langton International Literary Agency. She has been amazing. She inspired me to really turn my material into a for-the-public personal development book. I used her recommended outline for my book proposal and she circulated the proposal and found a publisher. Then the copy editors for the publisher (Skyhorse Publishing) did a good job on helping do a very close edit of the book.

How do you deal with creative block?

I set up a regular place and time for writing. While writing the final manuscript for Your Life Path, for maybe two years every Friday I went to a town about thirty miles from home, sat at the same booth in a Panera restaurant, and wrote for three to five hours at a time, at least.

As well, I would say for writer’s block I give it time. If nothing is percolating, let it rest. Allow the time for inner reflection.

What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

The tiniest final editing errors! After many hours of editing, copy editing, and more copy editing, I still see editing flaws that drive me nuts. Oh well…

Also, since my publisher targets mainly libraries, I had to collapse my life mapping tools to chapter ending techniques for people to complete externally. I would rather my book were a trade book with full template pages for engaging with the creative activities. (I have made a free downloadable set of Tools available at my blog.)

Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

My publisher asked me to choose some stock images that I liked, then theytook it from there. The actual picture I chose showed someone on a hill from far away, with his arms in the air, elated. The publisher’s artist zoomed in on this image to show the figure as a close up instead. The publishers also had ideas about what kind of image they wanted for marketing purposes, so I was not totally on my own with that.

How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

After several years of teaching and coaching with my Life Path Mapping process, almost everyone has had very positive responses. Only a couple in all that time were resistant to the self-reflection involved. I just let them have their own reaction and experience. I have not had reviews that I know of so haven’t yet dealt with negative reviews.

How has your creation process improved over time?

Practice, practice, practice. Just like playing an instrument, or a sport, developing your writing style and voice rewards persistence, dedication and patience. Reading sections out loud to a writerly friend has helped. And my agent asked me to write a blog, which I do now (called Better Endings for Your Life Path, betterendingsnow.com). Blog writing is a great way to develop a simple, public writing style and voice and to interact with people, especially other bloggers.

What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?

Best: being able to share the book with people including family, friends, students who used the book as a text once it was published, and especially ‘strangers’ at book events.

Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?

Both. I am personally satisfied if my writing is effective in reaching a reader and helping someone illuminate their own life path and life dream.

What role do emotions play in creativity?

I need to be in an energetic sort of space to write well. It cannot be drudgery. I feel a strong sense of mission and purpose with writing, a passion that carries its own emotional force.

Do you have any creativity tricks?

Regular times for writing, as mentioned earlier, helps me to focus and be present for creative writing sessions. I also rely a lot on journaling and dream journaling for deep inspiration and reflection.

What are your plans for future books?

I am writing the second book in the Life Paths series now, called Better Endings. This will help the reader reflect on Turning Points or transitions in their lives and use journaling and reflection to apply a “principle of better endings”. It starts by a playful look at films, literature and history and how you might creatively envision “better endings” for some of these stories that you might wish had better endings according to your own taste or vision, then it asks you to apply this same practice to facets of your own life events, past, present and future!

This will be followed by a third Life Paths book which helps people illuminate some of their most important Life Story events.

I also have finished a science fiction novel which I intend to develop into a trilogy.

Tell us some quirky facts about yourself

I was on a fencing team in college and became quite a good foil fencer. Our team and myself personally came in ninth (two touches from seventh!) out of 125 universities in my junior year at the intercollegiate nationals fencing tournament. Once a fencer, always a fencer…as I gained many life values and lessons from this sport.

I am also actually a member of the clergy in the spiritual path of Eckankar, which I have practiced for over 44 years. While I do not write about this in my public works, certainly my spiritual interest in dreams and “soul travel” informs my ideas and values.

I am also a cultural and linguistic anthropologist. The anthropological technique of life history research is at the basis of my Life Path Mapping process.

Also I really enjoy works by Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung (read THE RED BOOK!), and James Hillman (also Carol Pearson and somewhat Carolyn Myss). I think an awareness of archetypal or depth psychology is helpful to anyone. We are ensemble selves. It is important to understand our multi—faceted conscious and unconscious personae and to let them speak to the greater Self and to each other; to integrate as a unified Self so as to realize the deeper Life Dream of the Soul.

Books