VOCATION!

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I have always loved the word “vocation,” as to me there is a big difference between VOCATION and WORK. As Life Themes these often show up distinctively in people’s Life Maps, too. While Work or Career might be one Theme a person charts in terms of “types of events or situations” recurring over the course of their life up to Retirement at least, people usually identify VOCATION distinctively; for example as a specific “calling,” or a beloved activity such as Writing, Art, Music, Outdoors, Hiking, a competitive sport such as Swimming or Basketball, etcetera. So this month let our focus be on exploring the role and influence of VOCATION or Callings in our lives.

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Writing has always been a vocation for me. From a young age, my personal Journal has been a close friend and companion. Literally, I would address my journal as I wrote, and somehow I knew It (or, someone on a spiritual or an internal dimension) was always there, listening! By college years I was maintaining several different journals at a time: one for poetry, one for  dreams and spiritual experiences. another for philosophical musings, and one as a basic diary, at least.

It was through my journal writing that my writing vocation grew and blossomed over time.  I would write short stories, dramatic dialogue pieces, and evocative descriptive essays that I called ‘Photos.’ I started a science fiction trilogy in graduate school which I developed to the degree that I have a complete first book manuscript, the second book is started, and the rest is outlined (now including a quatrain or fourth installment). I intend during my upcoming retirement to publish this series, called The Dawnbreakers.

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Through my years as a professor I have continued journaling, and alongside academic publications (two books, several journal articles, a book chapter and several invited book reviews), my VOCATION has only intensified, so that in 2002 after receiving tenure, I realized I wanted to find a way to do something more creative and public service- oriented with my career, so I began the LIFE MAPPING project that has culminated in my new book, YOUR LIFE PATH (click or see right panel for ordering information). This is a mainstream, personal growth and development book and Toolkit. It lets you become a Life Mapper of your own Life Story, truly!  Based on my understanding of mythology, archetypal psychotherapy, and life history studies including Joseph Campbell’s The Hero Cycle, rites of passage, and Jung’s methods for discovering your own internalized, archetypal “parts of Self”, I have developed this approach of life mapping over many years of research, teaching, and individual coaching so that anyone can discover and reflect upon their own Life Story. This lets you realize the Strengths (and obstacles) you have developed through your own life experience to Now so that you can envision your Life Dream and begin, Now, to manifest and fulfill your sense of Life Purpose and Life Mission. So, please check it out, it really is very good!

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images are from pixabay.com

So my vocation has brought me to this point, and now I have three sequels to Your Life Path in process already. I so look forward to my retirement years (beginning as of this June 8, yay!) so I can shift all of my focus to this more spiritual dimension of my own sense of a personal Calling in this lifetime.

I welcome YOUR story!

Your Artist’s Day at the Roundtable

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We have been using Arthur’s Roundtable as a metaphor for integrating your own archetypal persona Ensemble Cast.  These parts of Self—which I am presenting as prototypically twelve primordial archetype forms based on Dr. Charles and Nin Bebeau of the former Avalon Archetype Institute—each have a vital role to play in connection with your own recurring Life Themes and your life’s Mission.

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The ARTIST as an archetypal Ally is a very important persona, regardless of your career.  Let’s imagine it is your ARTIST’s DAY at Arthur’s Roundtable. Invite your Inner Artist to step up to be celebrated. Allow your Artist to express herself or himself to the rest of the Twelve.

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Does your Artist have a name? What is that name, to you? Ask your Artist to speak about or to otherwise express (draw? create  a mandala or a collage? write a poem about?) her/his current interests, goals and concerns about your life overall as a Total Self System. Dialogue in your journal, if you like, with your Artist persona.

As an example of how you along with the rest of your Ensemble Cast might engage your Artist in dialogue, I’ll demonstrate a brief Roundtable conversation with my own Artist Ally:

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L: Welcome, Artist! We celebrate you this evening at the Roundtable. Is there a name by which you might like to be called?

Artist: Sedona.

Communicator: Oh! Well that’s interesting; why Sedona?

Artist: Remember the Sedona Life Magazine? That was me who put pictures from that magazine on your wall the year before we moved to Arizona. I helped us all to ENVISION the Beauty of Arizona to help us to make that Big Move.

Mystic: So, Sedona, why do you remind us of this now?

Artist: We are ready to envision the next stage of our Journey. 

L: Maybe we should call you Chautauqua, then?

Artist: No, I am still your Sedona.  What did Sedona mean to you?

L:  It was an Ideal, a deep Inspiration,  a Goal to arrive at that at the time represented a major undertaking. Thank you for helping us to Ground our Vision in that way.

Idealist: We need that again, don’t we?

Mystic: You mean, more of an inspiration?

Idealist: Yes. Lately Linda, we know you have become a little worried about your overall retirement picture. I feel it in my Shadow nature. You are losing some of your self-confidence about what we will be doing in retirement.

L: Yes, I feel like I have pinned a lot on something that might not manifest as we most wish it would.

Mystic: But whatever comes about, we will forge and continue with our spiritual quest; of that you can be sure.

Artist: It will be a timespace full of Beauty. Hozhoni, as a Navajo might say!

L: I need your help in this, Sedona.

Artist: I will be there with you; I am always.

L: What can I do to reinforce this positive Vision of our future fulfillment in connection with our coming Big Move?

Artist: Take many pictures while enjoying your upcoming, interim road trip Home—Home to where we will be living next. Enlarge and maybe frame some of these: the Lake, the Hills, Boats, smiling People; your Sister, Mother, and special places that catch your attention.

L: Thanks!

******   ******

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images from pixabay.com

So, now it’s Your Turn! Enjoy

I welcome your Comments and Stories!

What Are Your Favorite Colors? Color Your World Vibrant!

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This month we are exploring and celebrating the ARTIST in all of us: focusing on your ARTIST Archetype Ally as a significant cast member of your Total Self System, in terms of archetypal psychology.

The Artist persona archetype is often suppressed because of conditioning or socialization from childhood. “Don’t be such a Dreamer,” a parent might admonish their child who shows early artistic interests. “Practical” career interests are often encouraged over one’s artistic ambitions. And so, the Inner Artist may be drawn inward, maybe even pairing with a Descender archetype comrade.

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These suppressed personae are still a big part of who you are in the fullness of your Self and personality.

Aim to encourage your Inner Artist to express herself or himself this month, this week, today! I proclaim this blog to be a SAFE SPACE for you as the ARTIST you are and can be.

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What are some of your favorite colors? Why these, by the way? Here is some space below for you to journal your responses to these questions:

 

 

 

 

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For me, I love purples and blues, maroon, gold, and white. I have associations with each of these colors; I love also how they combine to form MAGENTA, which was the main color that appeared in an aura photograph taken of me a few years ago.

I associate purples with my astrological sign of Cancer. It feels deep and mysterious and is the color of the Etheric plane or the collective unconscious in one aspect of my belief system. Blues suggest mental phenomena to me: high thoughts, broad beliefs, and positive consciousness or Mindfulness itself suggest this color to me. Maroon is a special color. I associate it with Teaching (with a capital T); I often imagine spiritual Masters wearing maroon robes when I practice spiritual contemplation. And white, well, that is the GOAL altogether, is it not? White Light, blending yet transcending all other hues and shades. White Light brings me to a peaceful state unencumbered by earthly matters or concerns. I can live in the White Light, and maybe part of me always does!

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Many Native American cultures identify specific colors to represent their sacred cardinal directions. The Hopis, for example, use the following color associations:

NW:  yellow (Kwini’wi, summer sunset)

SW:  green  (Te’vyuna, winter sunset)

SE:  red (Ta’tyuka, winter sunrise)

NE: white (Ho’poko, summer sunrise)

Above: black (O’mi)

Below: Below (At’kyami)

Hopis see these cardinal color elements all around in their sacred environment and they place them into their ceremonial paraphernalia. They truly do color their world with these primary color forms.

Similarly, I invite you to color your world with your own primary favorite colors. As you go to work today or take a walk at Sunset, pay attention to seeing colors deeply, especially your favorite hues and tones. Breathe these colors in; project them out and about you.

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The very process of focusing on color and form can bring forth your artistic sensibilities. This can help you to harmonize with your environment and to heighten your every day life experience.

So, take note! Allow your Artist archetype Ally to accompany you, helping direct your attention to the Beauty beneath the otherwise drab-appearing normalcy of the world all around you.

See?

 There is a New World for you to enter, daily!

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images from pixabay.com

I welcome your insights, comments, and stories! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY, and Better endings to you!

The Artist’s Passion

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Why have so many well-known artists been plagued with depression or addictive personalities? Sometimes the strain of living with artistic sensibilities in a world that may seem better suited to pragmatism or materialistic reality can lead one to feel isolated, an outsider, never “fitting in” with normative expectations. Some might say if this is not a necessary outlook for an artist, it may at least seem helpful for the artist to be true to her/his own unique viewpoint.

Painters, writers, musicians, dancers, actors and others who center their lives around their Art contribute so much of beauty and insight so that others might grow from  absorbing the Artist’s perspective.  They fulfill an immeasurably valuable human service in this capacity.

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Each of us also contains within our Psyche our own ARTIST persona Archetype, which is informed by the history of Artists we have known.  As such, the ‘melancholy’ aspect we might culturally attribute to Artists in general can also affect the development or inhibition of our own artistic nature.

As all Archetypes have both positive, light-bearing or Strength facets as well as potential Shadow forms, let’s celebrate the ARTIST in others and in ourselves this month by embracing the totality of the ARTIST Archetype.

Think of one artist whose art (whether by painting, sculpture, music, dance, photography, writing or other forms) has been influential to your thinking or to your appreciation of life. What about this person allowed his or her art to reach such a heightened level as to become shared worldwide (if it is)? For example, on Sunday I mentioned Vincent Van Gogh, whose life certainly exemplifies the dynamic tension of “an artist”; his outlook helps us all to perceive life beneath the mere surfaces, striking at the vibrancy and passion of perception.  Whatever other factors may have been influential, such as possibly lead in the paint he used, Vincent ultimately sacrificed his very life for the sake of his artistic passions.

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A better ending envisioning for an Artist’s solitary life might allow for his or her sensibilities to be embraced rather than marginalized. Integrating one’s artistic tendencies with other archetypal outlooks may also be beneficial.  Be that as it may, for now let’s just accept and appreciate the artists in our own lives, in our Culture, in our Selves!

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images are from pixabay.com

I invite YOUR Comments and Stories!

Your Artistic Vein

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May is associated with the Archetype of the ARTIST. We each have artistic tendencies, whether or not we have developed these talents for our profession or as hobbies.

Your Inner Artist brings a sensitivity to form, color, texture, vibrancy, and style.  S/he helps you to appreciate symmetry, balance, and holistic design.

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Certain sorts of life experience may evoke or stimulate your ARTIST Archetype Ally. For me, spending time at an art museum or strolling through an art show allows my ARTIST to surface, center stage.

I love the sense of heightened appreciation of light, beauty, and form that infuses my senses when I step out from a museum after having absorbed myself in the artworks inside.

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When I was first in college in Buffalo, New York, the Albright-Knox art museum was just across the street from the campus.  For most of the time I was there, the museum hosted an Impressionists Hall that included one particular original painting by Vincent Van Gogh called “The Old Mill.” I had read Vincent, by Joost Poldermans, and I was (still am) fascinated by Van Gogh’s brilliant art. I became mesmerized by this one painting every time I visited the exhibit. There was a bench opposite from the painting, and I would sit literally for hours in front of this dynamic, folksy tableau of color, texture, and human passion. I would journal about the painting or about life. I would watch the museum patrons as they approached, viewed, and left or stood to discuss Vincent’s work.

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images from pixabay.com

(Notice in this one how the clouds are reaching forward like a hand over the landscape!)

I felt that the color of the rivulet flowing across the scene in “The Old Mill” painting mirrored Vincent’s own eyes of blue, placing his presence as centrally positioned, eternally embedded in the Southern French landscape portrayed.

This week, I invite you to give yourself an Artist’s Date, such as Julia Cameron describes in her excellent book, The Artist’s Way. This is  a time out, a chance for you to do something differently and pay attention to your environment. Maybe it is taking a walk along a lake, or a different road home. Or, simply engage in art in some form for its own sake. In fact, I encourage you to read and engage with the exercises in The Artist’s Way all this month.

I welcome your Comments and invite your Stories about your relationship with your own ARTIST Ally.

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.

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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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