Reading the Tea Leaves (Pay Attention to Your Signs)

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“Not everything has meaning!”
(my college fencing coach Roxanne, en route to a competition in NYC)

Later, to myself: “No, but anything can!”

I am a huge believer in using outer signs for listening to and following inner guidance. I have found through long experience that so long as I reflect deeply and act in a balanced way in response to ‘waking dreams’ that catch my attention while I am mulling over some question or pursuing some meaningful goal, good things follow.

Responding to outer signs can help to keep the flow of communication open between Spirit or the Universe, Inner Guides or whatever you prefer to acknowledge, and your own higher awareness. The more you can progress in tandem with your inner nudges or guidance, the easier it becomes over time to wend your way through challenging situations and key decisions; and, life is more fun!

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So what are your ‘tea leaves’ telling you this month about some meaningful question you are pondering? Pay attention to the slightest waking dreams or outer signs: random seeming thoughts or insights you may have; statements that stand out to you from a passerby or on tv or in your reading; roadside messages on signs that you pass, or even bumper stickers that catch your eye… Any of these or several taken together could offer you a breakthrough insight on your problem or query.

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Some people like to set up an image or a specific object that they will see if their potential decision is correct.

If you want to try this, you can set up a sign of affirmation for your question that would not be common or likely for you to see, and you can set a time frame as well for encountering your sign. When I was working on my final book proposal for Your Life Path (see right panel), I set up the sign of a blue butterfly if I was going to be able to find a publisher. Right around the time my wonderful literary agent began circulating the book proposal, I started seeing blue butterflies everywhere. This encouraged me with every step of the proposal and publishing process. Now I have several items in my home with blue butterflies on them to remind me that this book process has initiated a longterm project, with much yet to come for me to fully realize its potentials in terms of writing and service.

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images are from pixabay.com

What are you asking to better understand or what decision are you weighing? Pay attention to YOUR outer signs; they are all around!

What Then? (Week Two: the Dreaming)

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For Week Two of our monthly Better Endings process this year, I ask you to reflect on your dreams or inner guidance with respect to a monthly personal question or quest.

I have been dreaming a lot this past two weeks since posing the question, “What Then?” In one dream a friend standing behind me introduces me to a couple of potential new friends in a new location. As I am in transition already, moving gradually to my new home in a new town for me, this seems quite likely! I took note of the appearance of the two potential new friends so I might recognize them when or if this comes about outwardly.

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Another dream shows me (from my dream journal): “approaching a space, like a hole on a white membrane, that if I were to enter, it ‘would go on forever… like a wormhole’.” It felt like a purification portal of some sort–I woke up wondering what it would mean to enter into that space and sensed it would be “transformative” and that it indicates a passage to embracing or becoming/ joining with “all that IS.”

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images are from pixabay.com

These two dreams taken together both are positive indicators that the new direction I have already embarked upon is a forward motion, advancing into new potentials. A step into an apparent void, perhaps, yet clearly full of positive potentials. The wormhole-like image felt as though to enter would be like a death or a near-death experience. Yet it was placed before me as what is next, something I must enter into, a natural passage of spiritual development even though it is a mysterious movement into a void or the Unknown.

Ready, Set, I Accept!

What are YOUR dreams telling you this week or month about some deep personal question you are contemplating? I encourage you to keep a dream journal and to review it at least once a week. I had forgotten the “wormhole” dream until reviewing my dream journal. (Interesting, though, how I used a wormhole picture in last week’s blog post when I first established my monthly quest for understanding.)

Dream On!

What Then?

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“They went from world to world,

and each time they lost the world they left, 

lost it in time dilation, their friends

getting old and dying while they were in NAFAL flight.

If there were a way to live in their own time,

and yet move among the worlds,

they wanted to try it. …

(Ursula LeGuin, “The Shubies’ Story”)

I envisioned. Wrote, edited,published, prepared for the Big Move, left… to live my dream, Now! Arrived at one place, then searched for the next. Found it. A refuge for me and my pet family. Moving, again.

But, why all this? Or as W. B. Yeats once asked:

“What Then?”

His chosen comrades thought at school
He must grow a famous man;
He thought the same and lived by rule,
All his twenties crammed with toil;
What then?’ sang Plato’s ghost.  ‘What then?’

Everything he wrote was read,
After certain years he won
Sufficient money for his need,
Friends that have been friends indeed;
What then?’ sang Plato’s ghost.  ‘ What then?’

All his happier dreams came true –
A small old house, wife, daughter, son,
Grounds where plum and cabbage grew,
poets and Wits about him drew;
What then.?’ sang Plato’s ghost.  ‘What then?’

The work is done,’ grown old he thought,
‘According to my boyish plan;
Let the fools rage, I swerved in naught,
Something to perfection brought’;
But louder sang that ghost, ‘What then?’

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I once posed a similar or perhaps it was the same question to a Philosopher, my college mentor, Dr Antoinette Patterson in Buffalo, NY.  I was glum that day.

“So, what?”

I asked Toni in her office, there for an independent study session on a topic we had agreed to, the ‘philosophy of Silence’. 

“Take out a pencil and a piece of paper, and write down

two words and a question mark:

So   What ?   Your assignment by next week

is to answer that question.”

Bemused by my mentor’s response to what I thought was a futile question, I went off to seek for answers.  I read an essay by Emerson called “The Transparent Eyeball” and many poems and essays about silence, thinking somehow that must connect. Who was I beyond my embodied personality; what was Life beyond the day to day back and forth of conversations and classes?

When I went back to Toni’s office for our session that next Wednesday, she was waiting for me. After I shared about what I had been reading and journaling about, having not really answered the question at all, she took me to a far corner of her office where she had set up a card table with a large, empty sheet of sketch paper she had laid across it. She had me write “WH-” words on every corner of the page:

What? 

Why?                                            Where?

When?

Dr. P. then used a pencil to draw connections between these WH- words, allowing the  lines of connection to intersect at the center of the page where she drew a blank circle and wrote in that space one word:

W  H  A  N

There before us on the page was our answer to the proverbial question.

So What?

Whan.

In that moment in that office on that one day, nothing seemed clearer than that one discovery: the answer to every question about meaning or purpose, about Why/ Where/ When/ What resolves to a singular unity: WHAN!

As we discussed what is WHAN, I realized it meant not to worry about Why? or what Matters. Life IS, therefore life is meaningful of Itself alone; and no amount of thinking or wishing or proving or disproving would ever have any effect upon that which simply IS. Whan! and so Life flows forth and I must with it, wherever It may lead.

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images are from pixabay.com

So this is my monthly Better Endings life question to answer for myself this February:

What Then?

I sense this is the natural follow-up question to the discovery of Whan!

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments. I encourage you to form a personal monthly question to explore with your dreams and contemplation this month.

Better Endings Stories/ Month One

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The process I am encouraging you to engage with this year is a Better Endings approach. Week One for each month you may pose a personal question involving a deep personal life goal or pursuit. Week Two: record and reflect on your nightly dreams for insights about your question. Week Three: look for Waking Dreams that could further help you to understand and resolve your question. Then Week Four (this week for January), I invite you to compose or creatively envision a Better Endings Story about how you CAN manifest a positive future scenario with regard to your personal quest.

Creative visualization via active imagination or contemplation is a fun, helpful Tool that lets us exercise our Higher Self imagination.

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So, let’s have at! It can help to give a title to your Better Endings future scenario. Use the insights you have been gathering about your question throughout the month. My own BE Story for January, by way of example, is:

Writing Forth

The path is being cleared even now for me to go forth, to finally settle into my writing future at my new home. It is amazing how swiftly the universe of Spirit has opened this new space which is exactly what I need for moving ahead.

Now is a time for doing what I can to prepare the ground and nourish the roots for future growth. Interesting how my sister gave me a spruce/ evergreen tree which is sprouting new growth wildly now and that my strongest dream was of a woman in white clearing the path ahead with a spruce branch. 

I will design my new home, which I am closing on this Friday, as a constant writing retreat. There is a writers group that meets Fridays 10-12 at the nearby library from there. And it is closer to a wider community interested in body-mind-spirit topics with which my writing projects connect.  I can finally settle down to publish the first of my science fiction/ fantasy books while also offering life mapping services re. Your Life Path (see right panel to order) and completing the second manuscript on the Life Paths series.

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images are from pixabay.com

So, I invite you to reflect on a question you have been pondering this month (or you can establish one now). What insights have you gained this month as you contemplate your question? It is part of your greater Life Quest. Once you have assembled some of your insights around your question, write a Better Endings Story!

I welcome Your Story or Comments.

The Waking Dream

 

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Am I a man, dreaming I am a butterfly?
or a butterfly, dreaming I am a man?

-Lao Tzu

Life is like a dream, truly! Waking and sleeping are simply different states of consciousness. When you think of the outer or waking life as like a dream, this can help you to recognize that the same principles that operate in the dream state are also happening ‘out here.’  The dreamlike images or symbols you see in your day to day life can offer guidance for some action or direction to take. (Btw the best book I have found about this is The Art of Spiritual Dreaming, by Harold Klemp.)  So when you are pondering a meaningful question, look around you to recognize serendipitous outer signs and guidance. These are waking dreams.

I remember once, long ago in Arizona when I was a grad student there, I got angry one day. Almost immediately after fuming for a bit, I sat on and broke my eyeglasses. Immediately I saw that was a waking dream showing me how my anger was distorting my vision or perspective. This was a wake-up call. I corrected my viewpoint, quickly!

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So for this second week of the monthly process for this blog this year, I invite you to pay attention to outer signs or waking dreams to help you understand and find answers to one deep question you are considering this month.

My question this month is about how I can revitalize my writing activity. My waking dream is a quote I saw in a recent horoscope: “There is a part of you that isn’t your body, your words, your thoughts, or your feelings. This part of you is doing something mysterious and exciting!”

Reflection:

I usually have been so driven with regards to my writing. Lately I am in a cocoon-realizing that publishing my recent book (see right panel to order YOUR LIFE PATH!) was only a first step and does not of itself accomplish my purpose without more effort on my part to “get it out there.” When I move again (beginning in February and completing by June) I will resettle into the process for continuing this process and completing the second book in the Life Path series. For now I must be content to fulfill my current responsibilities with teaching and preparing for the move.

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How about you? What are you pondering this month? Look around you for waking dreams that can bring solutions, guidance and understanding.

I welcome YOUR STORY and Comments!

Dreamin’

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Last week I invited you to state a personal question for the month to explore by reflecting on your dreams, your inner guidance, and outer ‘signs’ or synchronicity (waking dreams). Please review your question again or develop one now. This week, I invite you to reflect on your question by posing your question inwardly to invoke nighttime dreams about your topic, and/or to review and reflect upon your recent dreams that are relevant to your question.

For my part, second week posts will include some dream tips as well as modeling from my own process and experiences.

Dream Tip:  A.C.T. on your dreams! To me this means: 1) ASK for (and then ACCESS or record) dreams that are relevant to your personal question. Then 2) CONSIDER or CONTEMPLATE the messages from the relevant dreams you receive. And 3) TAKE ACTION based on the dream’s message as you understand it, to manifest positive personal growth and development.

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Dreams are our personal inner laboratory for exploring any question, principle, or choice we may have as well as being a fertile, unlimited field for exploring the inner landscape of the Cosmos!

Example: My own question for this month is about how I can revitalize my writing activity and move forward with that creative and service oriented process despite being overburdened with responsibilities and necessary new home mortgage procedures (I will be moving again, gradually from Feb 1 til July, and meanwhile moving back and forth between two residences as of Feb 1.) This week I am asking for dreams and reviewing my dream journal (Tip 2: Always keep a dream journal and review it often.)

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I have kept a dream journal (within a larger journal usually) since I was twenty.  I know that when I do have a pressing personal question, reviewing my dream journal will always throw light upon that question because I know we mull over our deep questions inwardly sometimes even before we are consciously aware of the importance of a challenge or issue we are pondering.

Some dream journal entries relevant to my question:

8/12/18 [just after relocation]: Dreamed of worry over future employment and service potentials after graduating from grad school [as though I just had left college]. I know this represents my lifelong concern over making a difference: ‘What difference does it make?’ or settling into a life with a lack of creative productivity.

8/18/18: An adventure dream –in story form– Russell Crowe as the older and me as the younger Self. We stop by a room with xmas decorations we have set up, en route to some upcoming activity. I see someone else, a friend from from my past, will be involved with that upcoming activity.

8/27/18: Dream of presenting a partially completed manuscript to  an advisor–thinking it was in good form but open it and it is like a seafood gumbo: a miasma! So, it is back to work.

1/6/2019: See a lady in white going before me and to left along a trail going upwards, carrying a large pine branch. I follow humbly and am grateful.

This morning (1/9/19): Mulling over a question about how to proceed forward and am shown this  “hole” on a white field, that sucks in like a whirlpool drain in a sink…maybe a wormhole! But as I contemplate whether to dive into it (as being proposed inwardly for me to do), I have a fear because I am told the “It goes on forever!” My fear is that everything I have ever been, known, or done will be dissolved, and if it goes on forever, how will I ever emerge to have any solid reality ever again? (on waking, think the message is that this positive, needed leap of faith is to be very deeply TRANSFORMATIVE!)

REFLECTION/ INTERPRETATIONS : 

Two of the dreams show a higher (or elder) and a younger (or outer) Self, or a Guide I am learning from or following. That Higher Self/ Guide is blazing a trail or helping me with my creative and spiritual ambitions. The pine branch means clearing a pathway forward (and now I see the lady in white possibly as my current realtor who has found my next location, a great space for writing!) The future is about transformation and will require dropping the past…plunging into the void of new experience!

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images are from pixabay.com

So, dear Better Endings reader, go forth! Review or start a new dream journal for this year’s process and ask/ write out your question inwardly, then review your Dreams.

I welcome YOUR Story, Questions, and Comments!

Personal Growth

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Welcome to the new year at Better Endings! Each month I shall be inviting you to explore and contemplate a question related to your own personal growth. Week One you can pose the question. Week Two I invite you to work with your dreams to find messages relating to your query. Week Three you can further pursue outer signs and ideas to arrive at some solutions and practices you can use, and Week Four I will invite you to journal about or write a Better Endings envisioning that reveals your movement forward with regard to your question that month (see Monthly Topics page).

I will be modeling the process week by week with excerpts from my own experience/ questions, and I invite you to keep a journal of your own self-exploration process. I welcome any stories you might wish to share either in the Comments area or you can send me pieces to post between the weekly sessions (see Share Your Story page).

For myself I will be pursuing a general question for the whole year, with individual monthly questions that are part of the overall inquiry for personal growth and development. I am asking: How can I establish true Happiness, outwardly as well as inwardly, from my present  and developing circumstances after having recently retired and relocated across country ‘alone’ though with my dear pet companions Emily (cat) and Sophie (Shorkie dog).

For January, I pose for myself a more specific question: How am I to revitalize my writing and related public service activities despite the busy life I have taken on in my new location?

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When I first arrived at the idea for this yearly process for the blog this year (last week), I was at a restaurant having breakfast. The waitress seated me in a half-booth directly facing a painting on the back wall that captured my attention. The picture was a colorful carnival scene. A young woman riding in the air on an airplane carousel ride was waving down to a younger, nondescript figure of a younger person who was riding on a merry-go-round and waving up at the woman from below.

I recognized this picture as a waking dream about the very process of personal growth  I hope we can achieve with the blog this year for all who partake of the weekly journaling and contemplation approach. The picture represents communication between Soul or one’s Higher Self and Self (one’s outward, temporal personhood).

While the younger Self rides along with the ups and downs of the carousel ride of life, s/he can take heart to know that their Higher Self looks on!

I realized how the Ups and Downs of life are both equally important, both balanced by an overview perspective of inner guidance and personal reflection and growth. One dips and then resurfaces; rises and then returns to balance along the learning curve of a life of challenging experience and joy.

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images are from pixabay.com

So with regard to my personal first question for this month, I see an initial clue in this painting. I have been in the doldrums for the past six weeks about my writing goals, allowing myself to be so busy outwardly with other activities that my writing process has been put to the side. This picture tells me to keep looking UP, to communicate with my Higher Self and inner guidance in order to see more of the Bigger Picture. Outer activities are preparing the way for further unfoldment to come.

I welcome YOUR Story or Comments!

 

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!

My Animal Pet Companions Family

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Emily and Sophie

I live with my home family of Sophie and Emily. Without them I would be living alone, as has been true most of my adult life. Occasional partners (up to 17 years ago already) and an excellent on and off roommate until my recent move from Colorado to New York state have provided off and on human companionship, but my animal Soul Companions are always constant and remain for lifetimes of love and togetherness. Without them I would feel bereft, isolated from the cornucopia of life.  With them life is full of joy daily.  Walking with my Sophie  and cuddling with Em bring such great warmth of Spirit so that I know, as I hope they do, that we are never alone.

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Sophie, November 25, 2018

Living with pets for as long as I can remember and all through my adult life has allowed me the freedom to pursue my independent life dreams of writing, travel and teaching. My life has been unconventional, without a longterm spouse or children, and it is my pet companions who have supported this fun and a productive life.

How about you? How have your animal Soul companions brought joy and comfort to your life?

I welcome YOUR story and comments!

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Eyes: A Pet Reincarnation Tale

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My Cat Emily

I had a dear cat companion named la for 13 years. She was an orange-white calico/tabby with gold eyes. Chela and I were very Soul-bonded. She would ride draped around my shoulders as I walked through a room and she was—as most of my dear animal companions have been—my close confidante.

A few weeks after Chela passed away (I had to have her euthanized due to a severe neurological condition), she came to me in a vision between sleeping and waking. She showed me where she was staying: in a clearing in a wooded area with many other animals of various species there too. She introduced me to them from a wooden stage in the clearing and I got up on the stage and said hello to them as well.

Six months or so after Chela’s departure, I had a significant dream. I was returning from visiting a former mentor, a philosophy professor from my early college days in Buffalo who had herself already passed away. As I was closing an iron gate of the castle grounds where I had been visiting my mentor, I knelt down to greet and welcome into my arms a beautiful little female cat—orange and back with white splotches. I felt immediate recognition and familiarity as we greeted each other, so grateful for seeing each other again!

That very day of this dream, the first words out of my then-mentor (my PhD advisor in Anthropology)’s mouth were:

Linda, could you take a kitten?

I answered immediately:

Only if she is orange and black with white splotches!

And my mentor’s next words:

One is!

So, I took home with me that day from my mentor’s home little Ariel. Her orange-white accent stripes intermixed with orange-black calico and white splotches (a tortoise shell Harlequin calico kitty) looked exactly like Chela’s, and she had gold eyes. As Chela before her, Ariel and I were very closely bonded Soul companions, for the next twenty years!

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A few years after Ariel had come into my life, I had another significant dream, this one a past-life vision. I dreamed I was a young Archaic Homo Sapiens (like a pre-human simian) boy. I was walking along in a savannah veld region with cliffs alongside the open plain. I hardly had language except for a gew major concepts in my consciousness: “ground”, “sky”, “storm”. As I looked up at the rapidly greening sky overhead (Note: I did not learn until after this dream in this present life that a green sky could mean tornado weather), I ran toward the cliffs and climbed to get into the safety of a dark cave.

While in the cave, the storm clouds quickly amassed and dropped a heavy storm. Looking around in the cave, I saw a pair of golden yellow eyes, looking back at me!

“Tiger!” I thought.

The tiger and myself as a simian boy had both sought refuge from the storm in the same cave. Yet, the Tiger did not harm me. When the storm had passed, we locked eyes with each other again and the Tiger left the cave first.

Then as I was waking from this past life vision, I had yet another brief glimpse from a later lifetime. This time I was an older, African tribal human walking stealthily through a jungle. A lion had spotted me and just as he had launched into the air to attack me, a female tiger jumped into the lion’s path to intervene!

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stock images are from pixabay.com

My cat Ariel, like Chela before her (and my golden-eyed Emily today!), loved nothing better than to have me prop up a bed-cover with a pillow beside me to form a cave beside me as I would sleep, especially in cold weather. Ever since this past life visionary experience about the Tiger, I called Ariel, Golden Eyes!

Animals are Soul just as much as you or I. That is my belief based on experience. What about you? Have you had glimpses of other lifetimes with your dear animal Soul companions?

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

Our Animal Soul Companions

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The Life Theme we will be exploring this month is Pets.  I regard my pets as Animal Soul Companions and always have. I was the child in my family who would bring home a box filled with a mother cat and her six kittens and put them in our garage. I cannot remember a time when I did not have at least one dear animal friend.

Once I closed the garage door after a pigeon flew in. Pidgey remained my confidante in the garage for many months, flying outside in the morning when I left for school and then returning to the garage when he saw my school bus arrive home.

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Pets are such wonderful companions!  My current home family includes my dog Sophie and my cat Emily. Without them I do not know how I could have left all my friends in Colorado to relocate to where we now live in New York state.

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Emily (in Colorado)

Sophie, my Shorkie (Shitzu/ Yorkie girl) is my co-pilot in life; she has traveled with me seven times across country, bless her Soul. We walk 2-3 times a day. She and Emily are my constant companions and I am thankful every moment!

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Sophie (on a road trip)

I do believe that all animals, including humans, are Soul using our carbon bodies to get around in this Physical world. What we all share is love or the capacity to give and receive Love in the form of unconditional acceptance and companionship.

What about you? Have pets provided a Life Theme of companionship for you?

I welcome YOUR story and comments!

Daily Miracles

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For this final post about our monthly theme of Spirituality as a Life Theme, I’d like to express gratitude for those daily miracles that happened just two days ago and indicated to me the ever-present protection and guidance of Spirit.

I drove to New Jersey then took a subway train to Manhattan for lunch with my wonderful, excellent literary agent (pinch!), then back again in time to give my dog Sophie her dinner and insulin. All day I noticed the miraculous workings of this tandem relationship with Spirit.

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Once while driving I was nearly in what would have been a terrible accident. I pulled into the left lane but a car was already there, in my blind spot! For a dangerous, long moment we shared the same lane. I was able to fold back unto the right lane just a fragment of time before the worst would have occurred. It felt like there was a force field separating our two vehicles just to the perfect degree to allow us to adjust and correct the situation.

At the subway station in Journal Square, Jersey City, I had only a short time left to reach Manhattan in time for my meeting, and all of the spaces in the parking structure were taken. I drove around three times and came to the realization I would need to exit the parking garage and try my luck outside in the mayhem of the over-crowded street parking, which would make it nearly impossible to stay on schedule. Instead, as I was ruefully leaving the parking structure, just one parking space, just wide enough for my car to fit into, miraculously appeared. I had been driving around hoping for someone to leave, and no one had left, I was sure!

Once in New York, hailing a cab was no ordeal at all; both going to and returning from the restaurant across from Central Park a taxi pulled over immediately.

Lunch went splendidly as always with this amazing, brilliant soul who sees and inspires the value of my writing. She gave good advice and guidance about promoting my new book, Your Life Path (see right panel or click here to order), telling me I need to promote the book in every blog post (😊). We also talked about my next book which is in progress.

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images are from pixabay.com

Then the return trip was smooth, bringing me home—thanks to the excellent voice guidance of Siri on my phone—just in time for my Sophie to receive her meal and insulin in a timely manner. Once while I was booking it homeward a squirrel found itself in my lane and s/he literally high-tailed it—now I understand that phrase. Its tail fluffed high as it scooted quickly out of danger, so quickly that it looked like a gentle hand of Spirit must have cupped it from behind and given a needed push! Usually squirrels tend to slow down when confused in such a situation, so again I was grateful for the intervention.

So, home safely, I was reminded of the quote I was going to be posting as the full post today. It is about the subtle nature of Spirit or the Universe, the Force; whatever you choose to know It as. Paul Twitchell wrote that Spirit is:

“…that thread, so fine as to be invisible yet so strong as to be unbreakable, that binds together all beings in all planes, and beyond time into eternity.”

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

Mapping Your Spiritual Life Path

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Each Life Theme that threads through our lives, interweaving with other Themes to form the fabric of a life creates its own warp and weft; its own pattern. Some Life Themes are uplifting while others might hold you down in the doldrums or could oscillate between highs and lows like a roller coaster ride.

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You can map any Life Theme to discover its pattern in your life.  Start simply by making a list of “shaping events” relevant to that Theme. Shaping events are events or situations that “have shaped the person you have become.”

After listing events for a Theme you can assign an impact score from -5 to +5 to rate the retrospective negative to positive shaping impact of that event, including binary or dual impact scores (e.g. +3/-2 or +5/-5) to indicate events with both positive and negative impacts.

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So I invite you to make a list of events you associate with Spirituality in your life.  Note the age you were at when each event occurred and assign retrospective impact scores. After composing this list then I invite you to PLOT these events on a chronological Life Path grid, as shown above. Plot the impact scores on the positive and/or negative spaces above and below the Age Line. You can connect binary or dual impact events with a vertical line crossing the neutral Age Line.

Now you can simply connect the dots–the relative highs and lows of adjacent events on your chart–to reveal the pattern of influence of Spiritual events on your life over time.

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images are from pixabay.com

When I map my own Life Theme of Spirituality (privately), I realize how spirituality has been the buttress  of my life always. After a time of seeking which had its ups and downs, once I found a path that works for me it has continuously provided an upward drift to my life. It is the wind beneath my wings and helps me understand any and every event as meaningful and positive.

What is YOUR Story? I invite your comments or questions.

A Waking Dream

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A few days ago I was stressing out about my next direction after the big move I have recently undertaken. I found myself reading my Cancer horoscope, which is something I have not done in quite awhile. Here is what it said:

There is a part of you that is not your body.  It is not your thoughts, your words or your feelings. This part of you is doing something mysterious and exciting. Let it be. Give it space.

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I take this horoscope message as a waking dream, one way that Spirit or the Universe communicates and brings about daily miracles.  In this month of focusing for this blog on the Life Theme of Spirituality, it is wonderful to be gifted with such a message. It helps me to accept where I am at and welcome the new possibilities open before me after this Big Move.

Soul IS doing something mysterious and exciting. Is it so for you as well now?  It is good to remember who we are NOT, so as to remember and better come to appreciate what IS!

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images are from pixabay.com

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

Hook Your Wagon to a Star

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When I was in graduate school in Buffalo, I had a little yellow Puch moped for transportation. When I would ride as needed in heavy traffic, I used to remember a ine from Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage:

Hook your wagon

to a Star.

“Hook your moped to a Mack Truck!” I would substitute mentally, hugging the wake of a large truck for security on the road against faster moving cars whose drivers often would disregard my little moped.

There was a principle involved. ‘Hooking my moped to a truck’ meant, to me, living in tandem with Spirit. Active choice plus faith in helping to bring about the most positive potentials of any life situation have carried me along on this journey, so far,  through relationships with people, my animal friends, and places I could not have foreseen and yet now, I will never forsake or forget.

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So, again, having recently set out on an unknown highway to encounter places and people unknown, I must trust in Spirit, surrender my fears, be grateful for what IS, and enjoy the adventure.

In the process I am relearning some basic lessons: acceptance of change, gratitude for what is permanent, willingness to forge ahead, one small footstep at a time.

I am also unlearning now. This new process has only begun, yet I am already unlearning what had only seemed most solid; peering ahead to where I had assumed was No-thing. Yet here it is, I am, Life is, even Love is, yet not at all as I had imagined it might be. Spirit leads me onward–not necessarily forward as I would have expected, yet onward inexorably nevertheless.

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images are from pixabay.com

I do not know what lies ahead; I must simply release what was before yet carry forth, not memories so much as a dim awareness of the certainty of love itself, of life itself as Spirit. New life birthing yet of the same indelible fabric that weaves through us all.

Thank you to all who have shared with me to any extent this lifetime of human (and broader!) experience. Thank You with love for all you Are!

The Force of Spirit

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Spirituality is one of my core Life Themes. All of my life it has been a motivating force to my thoughts, questioning, and adventures.

Spirituality brings depth to any experience. It frames experience as gifts and as lessons to grow by.  It provides guidance and protection as a source of inner guidance. It illuminates the meaning and purpose of life events and relationships. It nourishes and supports one, always.

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To map the Theme of Spirituality over the life course can be revealing. One of my earliest “shaping events” based on what I would come to understand as Spiritual was that when I was around 7 or 8 I recognized a “blue man” in my conscious awareness. Somewhat like an invisible friend, the Blue Man was with me always, in my thoughts as well as my actions. I could pose questions to him and he would help me understand things generally. Because of him, I for awhile believed that all adults, not just him, could read my thoughts and knew everything about me; I even thought animals, though choosing not to speak, could do the same.

I remember as well when I was around twelve I stayed home from school one day. I was shy and for some reason wanted to avoid going in that day, though really I was only “faking” being ill. For some reason that day my mother was angry with me; I do not remember why but I do recall feeling guilty, perhaps for malingering. I went to my room an wrote in my diary. I remember writing a lot, painfully confronting that maybe the Devil had sent me to this world, but even so I chose instead to be a vehicle for God! When I discovered this little diary several decades later and found that diary entry I was surprised; the entire entry was about one sentence long! But that was a Turning Point for me. From then forth I have always sought to be a positive agent to be of spiritual value in the world.

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images are from pixabay.com

What about YOU? What are some early ‘shaping events’ involving spirituality in your life? How have these affected your sojourn through life to Now? What lessons do you take forward from these?

I welcome your story and comments!