Health Related Better Endings

tombstone-1541070__180

Why is it that so many novels, plays and films about persons afflicted with illness end with that person dying? For that matter, folks, what really is a “terminal illness?” Okay, yes, of course there are medical conditions that will be more than not likely to terminate with a person’s passing. (That condition applies to us all, “in the end.”) But there are many “better ending” scenarios that could be focused on instead of mainly spotlighting the loss and grief associated with transitioning from the body or losing a loved one. For this post I choose to focus on the many possible BETTER ENDINGS facets of such conditions.

Firstly, many people with “life-threatening” illnesses either do not succumb at all (live out a normal life span) or they survive much longer than was at first or is generally anticipated. In such cases, such ‘illness’ conditions offer the person many tremendously positive opportunities for growth, improved health, and greater spiritual awareness or empowerment. These outcomes can be beneficial regardless of the progression, or reversal or remission, of the health condition leading to such positive results.

stock-photo-man-trying-to-open-door-to-a-new-better-world-conceptual-change-two-worlds-hell-and-paradise-306053711

Carolyn Myss, in her well known 1996 book, Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DTEMVYW/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1#nav-subnav) , looks carefully at  some possible cultural or ‘energetic’ aspects of health conditions as well as healing. She asks why it is that sometimes a person might “hold onto” an illness condition, choosing to continue with “unhealthy” behaviors rather than choosing to make some possibly health-improving changes.

As a Better Endings theme, I invite you to think of some health-related story you are familiar with that “ends badly” (to you) or perhaps is too predictably about a character’s eventual decline and their loved ones’ loss and adjustment.

meditation-1023497__180

Steel Magnolias (http://stageagent.com/shows/play/705/steel-magnolias), for example, is a movie I cannot even watch fully through a second time because it caused me to sob throughout the last scenes and for probably an hour afterwards when I watched it for the first time. M’lynn’s daughter Shelby (played by Julia Roberts) suffers from a severe diabetic condition which she dies from while giving birth to her son after marrying the man of her dreams. Shelby’s mother (played brilliantly by Sally Fields) tries to persuade her daughter not to bring her pregnancy to term, knowing the dangers.  Shelby risks these dangers to bear her husband a child and she dies as a consequence.

A Better Endings scenario might have found Shelby and her Louisiana born and bred husband Jackson (played by Dylan McDermott) deciding to adopt rather than to risk Shelby’s life in this manner. It could have been about the joy of adopting a child from China or Nicaraugua, for instance, and the joy that child brings to all in the community rather than spotlighting the loss and grief M’lynn and the rest of the family endure.

girl-481537__180

Please all, I am NOT saying that death and bereavement are ‘bad’ occurrences in themselves or that they are by any means often ‘unnecessary’ or avoidable.  All I am getting at here is that illness or other heavily impactful circumstances are opportunities for positive growth and reflection, whatever the outcomes. We can celebrate all the potential GOOD that might come about from our positive responses to these conditions in our own lives or others’ rather than stigmatizing or even sometimes marginalizing people ‘afflicted’ with such challenging life conditions.

harmony-1229883__180

images are from pixabay.com

I welcome your comments and stories.

Create A Golden Child Vision Board   

card-1487927__180

Now that August is waning it is a good time to harness the Leonine energies of your Golden Child part of Self. I invite you to create a Vision Board of your future aspirations from the perspective of your Golden Child viewpoint.

foot-450370__180

An easy way to compose a Vision Board with your computer is simply by going to a graphics site you like (I recommend pixabay.com, as all its images are free to use online; or you could use clip art or simply Google Images).  Create a blank Word or Publisher page, set up in landscape mode.  Next, Imagine! Assume the perspective of your Golden Child persona, that part of You that is bold and adventuresome and often even gregarious. What does THIS You wish to project into your future with regard to any situation or with regard to your Life Dream as a whole?

dream-catcher-902508__180

Your Vision Board will be an image collage representing various aspects of your future (or, situational) Vision. All you need to do is to copy and paste from images you find online onto your ‘blank page’.  For example, if you see your future self living in Hawaii, find an image that evokes Hawaii for you and copy and paste it onto your page. Assemble your Vision Board collage by simply adjusting the size and shapes of the images you gather and arranging them in a meaningful way on your collage Board.

vision-board-520757__180

I always pilot every self-help Tool I develop first for myself before inviting others to utilize that Tool. So below is the Vision Board collage I created a few days ago to channel, as it were, my Golden Child vision for the future of our imaginings. Needless to say I won’t explain my images here; your vision is private. You can share it with others but be careful not to dilute its energetic force for you by explaining it overmuch to others. I can share that without even intending it as such, the little writer-girl image I placed on the bottom right of my collage does portray my Golden Child persona very directly.

Capture

I invite you now to create and compose your own Golden Child Vision Board. Be sure to use images of what CAN BE and include images that portray your means of manifesting your Dream!

sun-695083__180

all images used above are from pixabay.com

After you complete your Vision Board, I encourage you to save it on your computer Desktop but also to print it out in color and place it somewhere important to you where you can see it often. Let your Golden Child Vision Board remind you of your Dream, of your Vision and of your CAN-DO attitude.

I welcome your Comments, Insights, and Stories!

See Your Golden Child in the Mirror

stock-photo-beautiful-woman-in-the-mirror-reflected-the-smiles-magically-in-retro-interior-339921071

Here’s a fun technique for bolstering your self-image: See Your Golden Child archetype (part of Self) in the Mirror!  Your Golden Child is that part of you that is bright and outgoing, full of charm and generosity in (her/his) most positive expression.

frog-1498908__180

Look your Golden Child in the eyes in your mirror (outwardly or inwardly).  Notice her or his shining expression and gleaming smile, maybe with a bit of mischief in the eyes. Let her or him speak to you, too. What is your Golden Child telling you? What is s/he asking you to do TODAY in order to allow this important facet of your Self to express itself through your thoughts, words and actions?

stock-photo-laughing-girl-with-daisy-in-her-hairs-showing-thumbs-up-309067889

Feel free to print this post out and write out a dialogue with your Golden Child in the Mirror space below. Just as an example, here is a brief version of my own Mirror Conversation with my Golden Child today:

GC:   I SEE YOU!

LW:  Ahah, I remember that from Finding Dory and from Avatar too.

GC:  But, do you get it?

cat-697113__180

LW:  Sure, “I SEE You!” And since you are ME, too—

GC: Well, a “part” of You as you soooo like to say—

LW: OK, as you are an important part of US, thank you for Seeing Me, and for Being Here!

GC:  Go get’em Tiger!

black-and-white-1284036__180

pictures are from pixabay.com

LW:  Excuse me?

GC: You know what I am saying, now FEEL IT. BE IT. The Bengal Tiger you were when we were on the Buff State Fencing Team, right?

LW:  You were with me a lot back then…

GC: You bet I was/am! Time is an Illusion, remember? So, ET LA! EXHALE! LUNGE!!!

   I invite you to write YOUR OWN Golden Child dialogue or affirmation in the MIRROR:

MIRROR

Step Up to the Plate

softball-843844__180

Baseball has a great tradition of “stepping up to the plate.” Metaphorically, so do we all get our sweet opportunities, our times that we are “up to bat.” This is appropriate language for the August GOLDEN CHILD archetype.  This is that ‘part of you’ that wants to Step Up for you, boldly, to take a swing and hit the ball out of the Park!

hit-1407826__180

I am thinking of the one World Series baseball game I remember from many years ago while I was a graduate student in Arizona. It was the A’s vs. another team (Dodgers?) and I remember Kirk Gibson was on the A’s team. (Feel free to correct me re. teams, if you’d like.) Anyway I do know that Kirk Gibson had a leg injury so he was in the locker room. The game score was tied; the A’s could win the pennant if they won this game.  The score on the field was I think two points over the A’s from the other team at the ninth inning, A’s up, already with two outs. Then Kirk Gibson surprises the crowd, limping out from the locker room onto the batter’s plate. He swings twice: two strikes (or he may have had some balls in but it came to two strikes.)  Then, yes of course, Kirk Gibson finds the sweet spot and swings: HOME RUN, 3 runs to home plate; the A’s WIN!

baseball-1407798__180

Kirk Gibson was truly the Golden Child for the team that day.

So, what is that situation right now or coming up in your life for which you’d like to call your Golden Child from out of the locker room to take (His/Her) turn at bat? What is it that you would like for your Golden Child to say or do that would help you as a Total Self to achieve your worthy Goal? Better yet, let this Golden Child part of you speak for him/herself.  Imagine a scene in which he/she says just what needs to be said. Write it out as a statement from your Golden Child to that other or whomever you need to say that to. Write it out. Pin it up. Or better yet, SEND IT or SAY IT yourself. Even if you say it inwardly to that person or whomever you need to be assertive with, do that. You should notice how you stand up taller and feel more positive, hopeful and empowered.

train_steam_comingup

images are from pixabay.com

Try it! Here is a blank space below to write out your Golden Child proclamation or statement:

 

Capture

500

This blog has surpassed 500 posts!

I welcome your insights and stories!

Sowelu: Be Like the Sun…

 

landscape-982178__180

Nourishing the Self is so important for manifesting our highest potentials in any endeavor. Through eating nourishing foods, or through prayer/meditation/ contemplation, or a walk in Nature, we store positive energy for the new day like a solar panel collects the rays of the Sun to energize Life. (Betterendings 7/26/16)

On this July 31st we are at the cusp, a meaningful cycle shift, from the Archetypal energies of the Nourisher (July) archetype into that of the Golden Child (August).  To me an apt symbol of this powerful shift is found in the Nordic rune of Sowelu (see the rune below that looks like a lightning bolt, third line down on the left.)

stock-vector-alphabet-with-ancient-old-norse-runes-futhark-set-of-scandinavian-and-germanic-letters-on-293573042

Sowelu (various spellings) has always been a special rune to me. It is a symbol of WHOLENESS and represents the energy of the SUN, which always gives and is of service to the Whole, “without asking anything in return.”

sunrise-182302__180

When once my beloved harlequin calico cat Ariel fell from a balcony and punctured her lung on a grill underneath the balcony window (!), at an emergency clinic I placed a Sowelu rune stone with Ariel in her special oxygen chamber to give her strength. She survived and lived til twenty!

wallpaper-1494070__180

I wear the Sowelu as a talisman on a necklace in times when I choose to exert extra strong focus on a goal. This past ten days or so I have been wearing Sowelu as my book proposal for Your Life Path is now in the hands of publishers.

Here below is one of many versions of a descriptive summary of the Sowelu rune (http://www.drnikki.com/readings-chat-and-email/modalities/rune-stones/rune-stones-sowelu/) :

The rune of Wholeness Sowelu

Sowelu is the final of the runes of the Elder Futhark. After travelings through the entire set of Runes we come to Sowelu – Wholeness. Sowelu is the wholeness to which we all belong and are connected. Sowelu is finding wholeness and completeness within whom we are and how we interact with others. Sowelu is the Sun in it’s most magnificent and beneficent guises. Sowelu is the harvest from the fields stored and ready to carry through the dark of winter’s night. Sowelu is achievement. Sowelu is celebration. Sowelu means having what we need when we need it – even if we can’t see the truth of that in the current moment.

Sowelu’s wholeness can also be the wholeness found in a happy and appropriate relationship. Sowelu indicates that your personal regenerative powers will allow for you to continue to grow even after you have achieved wholeness. It is once you have achieved wholeness for the self that you can truly participate as an equal partner in a romantic relationship. For, as it is often said, we must learn to love ourselves before we can turn the internal light of self-love out to the world. Loving ourselves allows us to choose those relationships that are healthy and nurturing for us and our partner.

Sowelu speaks of basking in the glory of the sun’s rays. The spiritual warrior has achieved his center. His final arrow has been released and he now knows the inner workings of his own character. Through this position of wholeness a new, stronger, more solid, and higher foundation is created.

sun-flower-1536088__180

images are from pixabay.com

So, fellow bloggers and readers, shine on! Be like the SUN that always rises anew; You too can illumine the darker spaces and fill your Day with Light.

Eat, Laugh, and Create Better Endings!

salad-1477486__340

The Nurturer (or, Nourisher) archetype in us likes to bring about Better Endings; or, perhaps more accurately, the Nurturer initiates Better (New) Beginnings. It is an initiating or ‘originating’ energy in our Psyche.

animal-927904__340

Think about it. Meal time engages us in daily ritual with our Nourisher archetype Ally. (I write this after partaking of an excellent, light breakfast at one of my favorite restaurant retreats.) Why is it so important, as nutritionists tell us, to start the day with a “good breakfast”? Because in this manner we nurture as well as nourish ourselves as we set out upon the journey of our day’s travail. Nourishing the Self is so important for manifesting our highest potentials in any endeavor. Through eating nourishing foods, or through prayer/meditation/ contemplation, or a walk in Nature, we store positive energy for the new day like a solar panel collects the rays of the Sun to energize Life.

buddha-828819__340

I am aware as I write of nourishment and the Nurturer archetype that there are many in the world right now whose internal Nurturer energies are in Shadow. Hunger and starvation, including those afflicted with eating disorders such as Anarexia Nervosa, inhibit the self-nurturing we all need in order to survive and to thrive at our highest potentials. (This is different from fasting, however, which can be a means of drawing upon spiritual nourishment.) Hunger is a calling out not only for food but for love and nurturing. Maslow reminded of how without the most basic nourishment of sufficient food, it is exceedingly difficult for anyone to achieve self-actualizing modes of achievement or creativity.

stock-photo-group-of-african-black-children-holding-rice-malnutrition-starvation-hunger-starving-hunger-symbol-322041203

So, let us nourish and nurture one another.  And I invoke you to nourish and nurture your Self in every way possible, allowing this to flow outwards to support and uplift others in your family, your social network, and the world at large. If we might think of our Selves as microcosms of the greater Macrocosmic life systems in which we are born, live, and serve, then we know that to start with self-nurturing is a means by which the world itself can become a more nourishing place for all.

catholic-1295787__340stock-vector-help-and-solidarity-stop-hunger-stamp-text-vector-sign-hunger-in-africa-vector-conceptual-384336292

images are free at pixabay.com

Thank you for reading and supporting my own journey. I welcome your insights and stories!

The Art of Better Rendering: Mining YOUR Story

vintage-1336545__340

Humans are inherently Storytellers. We conceptualize  and tell others about significant events and time frames of our lives as narratives. Stories have beginnings, middles and ends; stories have challenges the protagonists face. Stories are comic (with positive resolutions or ‘happy endings’), or they may be tragic or as yet unresolved.

stock-photo-what-is-your-story-258163544

Recognizing our human capacity to spin a good tale, especially about significant or critical events in our lives, carries tremendous potential from the perspective of this blog’s focus on Better Endings. Let’s talk about “better-endering” or perhaps better even, “better rendering!” We can apply the PRINCIPLE of Better Ending envisioning to events from our own life, either in the Past, Present or Future, by SEEING and then TELLING these potentials, weaving them into the story we would tell about our experiences.

For the Past, for example, we can revisit our significant events with an eye to seeing the LESSON we have learned from that experience. Some say that the more we can MAKE SENSE of our past events, the more likely we are to face similar challenges more successfully in the future. Live and Grow becomes a story in itself. I invite you to print this post and  write the Lesson or Strengths you have gained from some past event in the space provided below:

frame

For the Present, we are the central protagonist, on par with mythical heroes or Everypersons in literature. What can YOU DO to bring about a Better Ending to some thread of the Story you are currently living? What are the inherent potentials of the Moment you are presently constructing—whether positive or not? WRITE/ TELL the most positive outcomes of the life you are living NOW. This is important. I encourage you to journal, talk with a loved one, or artistically visualize and represent the positive potentials of your CURRENT Life Chapter. Here is some space to jot some ideas about this story:

frame

For the Future, well, here the ground is So-o-o-o RIPE for you to envision Better Endings. The Future, I believe, is NOT fixed in stone. We can consider the future as a relatively open, endless set of possibilities. Now then, which potential becomes a STATE in some future Present is ultimately up to YOU. Current or lifelong patterns and habits of thought, motivation, and action certainly orient us along a pathway from Present to Future that sometimes SEEMS relatively fixed and immutable.  That is where MINDFULNESS, however YOU can practice this, comes in. One technique I offer in Your Life Path is to envision several “Alternate Future Lifescapes.” Envision a desirable Future Scenario. Write it out or practice active contemplation about it. Then, either on the same day or later, creatively envision an Alternate future scape; several even. What does this desirable imaginative future CARRY that reveals your deepest values, goals and motivations? What CORE VALUES does your desired Future embody? Here is some space to jot some ideas, but I invite you to write this out elsewhere as a descriptive STORY of the life you can be living as you REALIZE this desired future set of conditions and lifestyle:

frame

Now then, PICTURE your Life Story as a WHOLE. What is the MESSAGE of Your Story; your Legacy that you would like to leave?

frame

And finally, how? What are some things or ONE THING you can be doing Now or in the near, realistic, practical future that can help to bring about your most desirable future conditions, your own Better Ending?

frame

Better Rendering means to re-tell your Story focusing on the lessons, messages, and strengths you have gained that you can APPLY to your Present in order to manifest the life of your dreams.

celtic-42346__340

images are from pixabay.com

I welcome your Comments and Stories!

 

 

 

 

Picture Your Life BETTER

stock-photo-mystic-journey-ahead-a-quiet-lane-on-a-beautiful-forest-with-stream-129465749

Imagine each Chapter of your Life Story as a picture. You can look at any of these pictures in your mental bank, as it were, to reflect and to examine that chapter like a single event framed in a dynamic, holographic wide angle photograph.

fantasy-1152845__340

 

Imagine the Big Picture of the Life Chapter you are in Now. Where are YOU in this picture? I invite you to journal, discuss with a loved one, or visually represent your response:

frame

How do you envision your current chapter might end and the next one begin? What IMAGE comes to mind as you imagine a coming TRANSITION? Journal, discuss,  or visually represent this coming Transition:

frame

Finally, draw yourself into the most positive potentials of a desirable future life chapter. Is this your next chapter or are there one or more other transitional chapters you can anticipate between now and then? See if you can imagine the series of chapters that can bring you to the fulfillment of your Life Dream, your Dream Come True. Journal or visually represent your response:

frame

Transitional Chapter

frame

Transitional Chapter

frame

My Life Dream Realized!

sun-451441__340

As you engage with this imaginative technique you are drawing upon your Artist archetype Ally. YOU as Artist are a Visionary. Imagination is your Divine gift that can lift you from any situation and help you to manifest a Better Ending!

star-1212958__340

images are gratefully from pixabay.com

I welcome your comments and stories from engaging with this imaginative self-development Tool. You could Comment to this post or send me a Facebook or email message and I will share your response in the Comments section.

 

 

What Are Your Favorite Colors? Color Your World Vibrant!

vincent-van-gogh-74018__180

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.

colorful-abstract-background-1084082__180

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.

sunrise-182302__180

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:

 

 

 

 

pansy-337140__180

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!

stock-photo-hand-painted-hopi-instrument-in-tight-close-up-in-taos-nm-269464247

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.

sheds-977672__180

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!

sunset-51890__180

images from pixabay.com

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

The Artist’s Passion

van-gogh-433546__180

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.

man-343674__180

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.

van-gogh-698329__180

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!

indian-76338__180

images are from pixabay.com

I invite YOUR Comments and Stories!

A Mystic Better Ending

magician-367467__340

Some stories have better endings as their theme. Transformational storylines in general are often of this nature: faced with dire adversity and challenged to the depths, a protagonist overcomes  their own inherent flaws to triumph for the better interests of all concerned.

The Arthurian legend is of this nature, even though King Arthur himself is killed in battle at the end of the saga. Yet, he has triumphed in his very effort to rekindle knightly chivalry in a context of surrounding chicanery. The Roundtable itself symbolizes a Mystic ideal of shared heroic camaraderie and courage to offset and overcome the forces of Darkness or selfish greed.

king-33509__340

Arthur’s own mentor, of course, is the Mystic Wizard Merlin, who has tutored Arthur from childhood to use his intuitive understanding, his Heart, in becoming the greatest, fairest Leader he can be. Camelot represents something like a Shangri La utopian Kingdom set in a practical feudalistic society.

Arthur overcomes internal adversity in mastering the duality presented by his beloved Guenevere and his similarly beloved Lancelot finding each other in kismet despite their deep respect for and loyalty to Arthur. This situation challenges King Arthur to the core. He must oust Lancelot and pass sentence on his Queen because that is the law of the land to which he is bound by his own chivalrous nature. Various accounts hint at Arthur’s inward forgiveness and acceptance of the star-crossed lovers despite his necessary actions in the human realm.

excalibur-476989__340

I believe the resolution of the story of Arthur highlights the depths and heights—the duality–of the human condition. We are each of us Soul, having a human experience, yet our nature is of divine love as eternal, in-dwelling Soul. Our Outer lives often call for action that our Inner natures resolve better, deeper than may be possible to realize or to express directly. As such, we learn our lessons and unfold,/ moving on to continue to face ourselves and set new goals. Relationships ‘end,’ yet if they have fulfilled their purpose, then moving on is for the better interests of all concerned.

buddha-1155732__340

images from pixabay.com

The Mystic archetype is that part of each of us that can embrace duality or paradox and achieve what Jung calls the Mysterium Conjunctionus: the Sacred Marriage of Opposite natures, united as One. This is an INNER marriage, of Spirit/Self with Body/Emotion/Mind.  This is the Better-est Ending of all, Always.

Be a Wayshower: Positive Role Models

beach-630466__340

Role models are often our greatest Teachers without trying to be.  We see in others examples of what we are striving to achieve in our own lives; we emulate those who exhibit and live up to our high ideals and strong values. Role models illuminate the pathway we are set upon, as we follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before.

Who have been your greatest Role Models or Wayshowers?  Spiritual prophets and faith leaders demonstrate the canonical Wayshower form.  Religions have formed around the heroic spiritual values of their founders. If your role model is a spiritual Wayshower, what have you applied to your own attitudes and behaviors based on the values your role model has exhibited?

stained-glass-579048__340

“What would XXX do now? (Where XXX might be Christ or Buddha or Mother Theresa or the Mahanta or Muhammed, or your parent or a primary role model teacher or friend.) You might ask yourself this question when you seek to arrive at a positive decision or course of action that resonates with your deepest values and beliefs.

stock-photo-happy-child-playing-with-toy-wings-against-summer-sky-background-retro-toned-288233360

Some of what I have gained from my Role Models (I invite you to write your own list and I welcome your sharing in Comments or stories):

  • Practice, practice, practice to attain self-discipline (from my fencing coach in college when I was on what became a highly successful intercollegiate fencing team);
  • Edit, edit, edit to arrive at writing that ‘sings’ (from writing books and teachers);
  • Contemplate, read deeply, dream to arrive at spiritual awareness and realizations (from spiritual authors and Guides);
  • Do not sell yourself short, go for your Dreams and persist to manifest your ideals to advance creatively and to be of service (from several teachers and author role models);
  • Accept, forgive, love unconditionally to attain a balanced viewpoint free of negativity (from my pets and closest friends and family).

20140702_161135

My Sophia

So also consider, in what ways are you and can you be a role model Wayshower for others? Learning from role models and applying these lessons is a reciprocal process that allows us to be of service to others as well.  So remember to be a positive role model, allowing your attitudes and actions to inspire those around you, whether in public or with your closest loved ones.

lesson-1014915__340

images (except My Sophia) are gratefully from pixabay.com

You never know who is watching and listening, and what their needs might be that you could help them with, even unknowingly. In fact this mode of being a role model simply by the example of your highest or most mindful attitude or behavior is the highest order of teaching for its humility bespeaks the authenticity of the role model’s overall effectiveness in practice.

heart-598373__340

Better Endings to You!

 

A Better Ending for the TEACHER Archetype: Mr. Holland’s Opus

music-313574__180

Welcome to our third yearly cycle of Better Endings for Your Life Path! This month’s Sagittarian related Universal Archetype is the TEACHER.  So for this week I offer a “Better Ending” revision of a popular story involving the TEACHER Archetype. And I know right where to go: Mr. Holland’s Opus. This is a popular film that I have always ‘loved to hate,’ precisely because of its ending! This is the tale of a gifted high school music teacher who sacrifices much with respect to his own possible career as a composer by dedicating so much to his teaching. He has a symphony composition he works on for decades, but it is never ‘finished’ enough for him to submit for professional success.  The movie script celebrates that at his retirement–and somewhat like the fable “It’s a Wonderful Life”—many of Mr. Holland’s former students show up to honor his positive influence on their lives, and, his student orchestra plays his unfinished symphony for the first time.

classic-185798__180

This sounds so positive and heartwarming, so why do I “love to hate” this story?  Well, I am a Teacher! I hate that the likeable but often frustrated Mr. Holland has to sacrifice his deep passion and talent for being a composer for the sake of teaching and inspiring his students.  Yes, of course it is a good thing that he has encouraged and fostered his students’ success in their lives, but it need not have been at his own expense or sacrifice. His completing the composition and sharing it professionally with the world, possibly launching him into a wider public field of musical contribution, would also inspire his students!

So, here’s my application of the Principle of Better Endings to the storyline of “Mr. Holland’s Opus”; er, let’s call that instead, Dr. Holland’s Symphony!    

heinrich-bender-906556__180

Glenn Holland accepted a job teaching music at JFK High School after earning his MA in Music at Columbia University, in order to earn a living and support his family while he worked on his major musical opus, a symphony he had nurtured ever since his own high school piano teacher and mentor, Francis Scelsa, had taken his class to a Metropolitan symphony event and asked him to close his eyes and “see” the music rather than using only his ears.

stock-photo-pang-ung-reflection-of-pine-tree-in-a-lake-meahongson-thailand-248037082

Glenn found teaching music at high school disappointing at first; it seemed hardly any of his students appreciated music in the way he felt they could. Over the years he dedicated himself to becoming a better Teacher, one who could inspire a dedicated passion in his students, and over time, more and more of those under his tutelage did find their own love of music and the arts, though most went on to other pursuits after graduating.

Glenn never gave up on his dream of completing his symphony, music that haunted him and called him to the piano every summer break and Winter intercession. One  summer, after a huge success with bringing the JFK High School orchestra to perform at a national competition at Ohio State University, Glenn heard from within what his own inner Teacher compelled him to do; he rented a cabin in the Chautauqua Lake region in New York for two full months. Glenn’s wife and son were supportive; Wendy was also a teacher and was directing a summer school program that summer, and their son Cole had left for college the previous year but he would spend the summer at home helping his mother.

stock-photo-modern-log-cabin-home-in-a-forest-environment-112937398

Glenn immersed in his symphony for two full, glorious months of his personal composing retreat. He felt like Gustav Mahler, with his cabin on the lake, and often he would take long walks along the shoreline or row out onto the lake in a small rowboat to greet the sunrise before resuming his work of love at the piano.

Glenn was deeply affected by a statement a colleague of his had recently shared at his retirement from teaching:  “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” (See Ehttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113862/plotsummary?ref_=tt_stry_pl).   At 52 himself already, Glenn knew in his heart of hearts that it did not have to be that way; he could yet indeed fulfill his inner calling.

stock-photo-wooden-pier-on-big-lake-in-groningen-133463168

And so it came about that around 12 noon, July 12, a few days after a wonderful Fourth of July season at the Chautauqua Institution where their own world famous Symphony performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 had brought Glenn to uncontrollable tears, he did it: his “Monarch Symphony” was complete! In Glenn’s elation, he called a member of the Chautauqua symphony whom he had befriended over the summer: Paul Williamson, who played violin there every summer but also taught high school music in Pennsylvania during the academic year.  When Paul read Glenn’s symphony and heard Glenn play its overture on the piano, he was struck with its eloquent simplicity.

      “What will you be doing with this? Where will you publish it?”

      “I’ll start sending it out around to music agencies next month, but I just wanted to share this with someone!”

To Glenn’s surprise, Paul asked for a copy of the composition—which Glenn gave readily as he knew he could trust this man—and Paul showed it to the Director/composer of the Chautauqua Symphony herself, Sheilah Parnes, who loved it immediately. Near the end of the Chautauqua season the symphony always performs a new composition, and oddly this year Sheilah had not yet committed to any of the few scores she had been reviewing.  She put Glenn Holland’s “Monarch Symphony”—named after Monarch butterflies—onto the program schedule and August 20th, the Chautauqua Symphony played and recorded the world premiere performance of the Holland Monarch Symphony.

stock-photo-symphony-concert-a-man-playing-the-cello-hand-close-up-120211552

Glenn’s symphony was a huge success. He sold it that very September to a major music agency, and he realized finally that his talent was no chimera; as if he had opened a door to a new world of possibility, he developed several more compositions and began a new symphony. Glenn also received letters of reference from his Chautauqua colleagues and, in what he might have felt was his “eleventh hour,” Glenn received an invitation with a full scholarship from Julliard to earn his doctorate in Composing.

Glenn Holland quit his job at JFK High School that December.  At a closing assembly in his honor, Glenn expressed his gratitude for all that he had gained from teaching through the years, and many of his former students expressed not only their gratitude for his teaching but also they spilled over in their speeches about the “new hope” he had brought to each of their hearts by his perseverance and success.

The evening of that assembly, at a gala community event at the local performing arts center, the JFK High School Orchestra, under Glenn Holland’s heartful conducting for the last time, played the Monarch Symphony, Symphony No. 1 of the later Dr. Holland’s repertoire which grew to seven symphonic masterpieces over the next twenty-five years.

music-176566__180

******   ******

I welcome your Comments and invite you to write your OWN Better Ending to a story involving the Teacher Archetype this month!

Welcome to A New Year of Better Endings — with “The Descent and Re-emergence of Theseus”

maze-56060__180

Welcome to a new year at Better Endings for Your Life Path! This year I will modify the process by returning to the principle of Better Endings, which was the focus for Year 1 of this blog. This time I will be pairing this principle with astrologically appropriate monthly archetype characters. The process will be as follows, from week to week each month:

Week One: A popular or fictional story that reflects a Better Ending involving the monthly archetype as a protagonist;

Week Two: Inspirational quotes or positive postulates pertaining to the monthly theme;

Week Three:  A Life Mapping self-discovery ‘better endings’ technique relating to the monthly archetype;

Week Four: A personal story or stories (yours are invited!) applying the monthly archetype in a ‘better ending’ scenario.

Check out the Weekly Topics tab or see below for a list of astrologically appropriate Archetypes. (The Archeypes are arranged in this wheel according to their energetic stages as I: Origination, II: Maintenance, III: Dissolving; as described by Dr. Charles Bebeau).

wheel2

Better Endings is a positive personal growth and development principle by which you may either find the lesson, value, or opportunity within any life situation or by which you can constructively “re-vision”  a story or plotline that leads to a different, positive outcome as a result of your imaginative reframing. You can apply this principle to fictional stories and films, but you can also apply this constructive approach to your own life situations and choices.

sunset-850877__180

For the remainder of November then, let’s get started. As we have but two weeks, for this month I will truncate the process with two different topics per week according to the sequence described above.

November’s persona Archetype, related to Scorpio, is that of the DESCENDER. A well known mythic story that expresses a ‘better ending’ scenario involving a DESCENDER protagonist is that of Theseus and the Minotaur. Allow me here a Better Endings summary of this classic tale:

stock-photo-beautiful-marble-sculpture-of-theseus-slaying-minotaur-313245542

Theseus, son of King Aegeus of Athens, sailed to Crete, the domain of King Minos, who kept within a deep labyrinth a monstrous half-man/half-bull Minotaur.  King Minos, whose own son had been assassinated at the Athenian games, demanded of Aegeus that seven men and seven women would be sent every seventh year to be fed to and devoured by the Minotaur, in order to spare Athens itself from Minos’s wrath. Theseus’s quest on the third of these sacrificial voyages was to kill the Minotaur and rescue his compatriots.

stock-photo-the-bodyart-man-angry-minotaur-with-axe-in-cave-280280789

Before entering the labyrinth, from which noone who entered had ever emerged, Theseus encountered King  Minos’s daughter Ariadne, who was immediately attracted to the young hero. Ariadne gifted Theseus with a skein of golden thread she had woven, by which he would be able to find his way out of the labyrinth with his compatriots after defeating the monster, asking only for Theseus to take her with him back to Athens.

labyrinth-117278__180

Theseus entered and descended into the depths of the dark, winding labyrinth, unwinding the skein of thread as he proceeded.  At the core in the deepest recess of the maze, Theseus engaged the Minotaur, manos a manos. After a terrible battle, Theseus succeeded in killing and beheading the beast, grasping the Minotaur’s bull head in his hand.

minotaur-766176__180

Theseus rescued the Athenians and led them back to the surface, out of the labyrinthian maze. Not as taken by Ariadne as she was with him, Theseus and his men boarded the boat without her and sailed to Athens, victorious. Yet Theseus erred; he had told his father he would change a black flag on the boat to white had he succeeded.  King Aegeus, seeing the black flag instead, assumed his son had been killed and attacked, but Theseus’ own forces defeated Aegeus, killing him such that on Theseus’s return to the shores of Athens, he was crowned King earlier than would have otherwise occurred, succeeding his father. Theseus ruled as a just and heroic King, remembered by many as the heroic founder of Athens, for many generations.

hiking-1036972__180

all images from pixabay.com

Many archetypal-psychological interpreters of this phase of Theseus’s mythic adventures see in the Labyrinth the deep recesses of the Unconscious. They note that the Minotaur was born to Minos’s wife, Queen Pasiphae, after she had coupled with a Bull sent by Poseidon when Minos vainly requested the Bull in order to claim his own godly pretensions; but he had failed to sacrifice the Bull as Poseidon had demanded. The Minotaur thus was the embarassing consequence of Minos’s indiscretion to the gods. He is the product of human hubris and guilt, lodged deeply in the Unconscious.

Do you have a Minotaur lodged between your own higher nature and archetypal ‘crew’ members of your archetypal cast? Do you have the courage to confront the Beast and rescue your Allies as a strong and responsible Self? Meeting this challenge allows you to reintegrate and strengthen your Self through your descent and re-emergence from the Labyrinth.

Healing Words of Ghandi on Interfaith Unity

 

interfaith

 (From  http://www.adathjeshurun.org/interfaith-families-negotiating-the-winter-holidays/)

Mahatma Ghandi famously once replied when asked if he was a Hindu:

“Yes I am. I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew.” 
(http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Hinduism/2009/07/Gandhi-Quotes.aspx#MI4RfZYYqfbkyX3B.99)

ornamental round lace pattern, circle background with many detai

Here are some more of M. Ghandi’s statements about the inherent unity of religion qua spirituality, from (http://www.mkgandhi.org/religionmk.htm) :

I believe in the fundamental Truth of all great religions of the world. And I believe that if only we could, all of us, read the scriptures of the different Faiths from the stand-point of the followers of those faiths, we should find that they were at the bottom, all one and were all helpful to one another.

Belief in one God is the cornerstone of all religions. But I do not foresee a time when there would be only one religion on earth in practice. In theory, since there is one God, there can be only one religion.

The one religion is beyond all speech. Imperfect men put it into such language as they can command, and their words are interpreted by other men equally imperfect. Hence the necessity for tolerance, which does not mean indifference towards one’s own Faith, but a more intelligent and pure love for it.

Living faith in his God means acceptance of the brotherhood of mankind. It also means equal respect for all religions. It would be height of intolerance…to believe that your religion is superior to other religions and that you would be justified in wanting others to change over to your faith.

All worship the same Spirit but as all forms do not agree with all, all names do not appeal to all. Each chooses the name according to his associations and He being the Indweller, All-powerful and Omniscient, knows our innermost feelings and responds to us according to our hearts.

Cute owl on real cardboard background. Lacy bird on paper.

Faith in any form can bring healings of the Heart and Better Endings to those who believe.  

What’s Around the Bend?

fog in the forest

Here’s a fun game you can use to contemplate your own Better Endings. Think of a situation in your life that could have multiple outcomes. Draw a circle that fits just within an 8 ½ x 11” page.  List several possible outcomes (without judging them) and then create as many pie slices—PLUS ONE—as you have listed possible outcomes. Write an outcome onto each pie slice, saving the extra slice for OTHER.

Next, get a piece of any-colored, medium thick construction paper.  Cut out the circle on the pie slices page and then use that circle as a guide to cut out the same sized circle from the construction paper. Also draw and then cut out a hole on the construction paper radiating from the center and exactly the same size as ONE pie slice. Please leave yourself some space between the very center and where this cut-out on the construction paper occurs.

 pieslices

Now then, punch one hole to insert a brass push-clasp through the very center, the kind where you can open the two brass wings to secure your two pages together at the middle, so that your pie slice alternate outcome descriptions face toward the back of your construction page circle. If you like you can write the situation whose multiple endings you are contemplating outside on the top construction page circle.

View on Maldives Islands from airplane

Now you are free to swerve the construction paper circle on its axis, exposing one pie slice option at a time. Which option feels most desirable to you? You can journal, write about or talk with a friend about the option you like most and how you might best be able to bring about that outcome.

What is ONE THING you can do now or in the foreseeable future to move you definitely in the direction of realizing your favorite outcome? This action is a SEED for your Better Ending.

Write out a PLAN for realizing this Better Ending, and in your life start taking all of the ACTIONS you have envisioned according to your design.

When you focus your pie slice on a less desirable option, you can also think or write or talk about how to prevent that outcome from occurring.

Crystals

Have Fun! I welcome your insights and stories.

Life is Better Endings with the Healer as Your Ally

Yoga in park

What, to you, is a “better ending”? Whether we apply this notion to a preferred fictional ending in novels or films or to outcomes in our own life conditions, a better ending is in some fashion more satisfying or ultimately more fulfilling for all concerned, even if it is not necessarily happier than some other conclusion or set of conditions.

This month we will focus around the metaphor of life as better endings, pairing this with the collective and personal archetype of the HEALER.

moringa framed on drumstick

Certainly a Healer might facilitate or impart a better ending, whether by effecting a cure or healing of an illness or in some other manner improving upon a set of deleterious or less than ideal circumstances. I like the notion of my personal archetypal HEALER Ally–a part of my greater Self–having the capacity, the agency, to bring about better endings in my life. I can look to this part of mySelf–and you to yours–for healing a broken heart or to seek a solution that improves upon an out of balance situation.

watercolor-vector-gzhel-doily-round-lace-pattern_fysZ4pcO

So I invite you this month to get more in touch with your own inner HEALER and to contemplate the meaning of potential Better Endings in your life. Always feel free to share your insights or stories (which I would publish here). 

To Nourish Your Dreams, Change It UP!

staiway in forest disappearing in strong fog

One fun way to let your Nourisher archetype Ally express itself is to Change It Up! That means, practice doing things outside from your normal routine.  Julia Cameron called this taking an “artist’s date” in her seminal book, THE ARTIST’S WAY.  She recommends we do this at least once a week in order to break through writers block or any other form of artistic or emotional blockage.

So take a different way home from work, and look around at the change of scenery. Maybe stop off at a park and take a walk. Be spontaneous! Go to a $1.00 film in the middle of your day; popcorn may be called for! Or go to a museum or that arboretum you have always meant to visit. How about the zoo; when is the last time you went? For me, that would have to include a carousel ride!

ornamental-lace-pattern_GJcie39_

Changing It Up is an easy, fun way to NOURISH your Self, and you can use this “time out” to lightly focus on your Life Dream.  Freeing up space in your life that jogs you free from daily or weekly routines allows you ro “prospect” your future alternatives.

So go ahead: write a poem, color in a Mandala or in a Mehndi or Labyrinth art book. You can paste a wall with your creative output! Or go on a photographic spree, capturing sunsets or sunrises on those extra evening or crisp, early morning outings.

Colorful sunrise on a lake

And always, keep open to bringing change IN to your life. Open your Heart to receive the blessings of Life! You are so deserving!!!

I had a Better Ending/ Change It Up Moment myself, today. I drove to Denver and met with a financial consultant from my retirement fund organization. I told her about my Life Dream that involves retirement in 3 years. After signing a few forms, I moved all retirement funds into secure accounts, removing the risk of losing retirement income or having to postpone retirement due to any possible financial collapse or downturn. So, voila! In one “time out” moment apart from my normal routine, I have secured a modest but reasonable retirement income–for life!–so long as I stay true to the parameters of what we discussed today.

Thank you, Nourisher!!! Thank you, Soul and Spirit and my Inner Guidance…All of you are NOURISHERS too!

Prayer Flags

Have you had a Nourisher “time out” or a ‘Better Endings’ Moment? I would love to hear your stories and for you to share them here!

The Principle of BETTER ENDINGS

Spider sitting in his web in the morning

I am extremely grateful for this blog, the book it is prefacing, the agent who recommended it, and for all you readers whether checking in or visiting regularly.  Now Your Life Path will soon be circulated to publishers and I have a sequel book already in progress. The two main features of the approach I am sharing here and in these books are Life Mapping and the Principle of BETTER ENDINGS; these personal growth & development tools are closely interconnected.

Life Mapping is a process anyone can use  that I will be presenting as a complete rites of passage program in Your Life Path—Life Mapping to Live Your Dream, Now!  This tool allows you to  visually map  the significant, shaping events of your life and then to see how these have formed into Life Themes, Life Chapters, and a coherent Life Story that has mythic significance with you as the key dramatic protagonist! From the point of dwelling “at the Threshold” of awareness—indeed like standing at the top of a mountain, able to view vistas of past, present and possible futures—life mapping can help you to mine the potentials you have already  developed so as to “re-model” your future based on claiming or reclaiming and refining your own Life Dream.


This photo of Pikes Peak is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 Life Mapping can help you to discover pathways to your own Better Endings. But for today I would like to remind regular readers and introduce more recent and new readers of this blog to what I mean by the Principle of BETTER ENDINGS itself and how you can apply that, not only through life mapping but in your everyday life.

The first year of this blog (November 2013- November 2014; see calendar below) was called Better Endings, and it is here that I first explored and developed this concept and came to realize that it is indeed a principle that anyone can apply. It started to become apparent for me when I left a movie showing of the newest King Kong just before Kong was about to cascade off from the top of the Empire State Building to his imminent death; a death of primal significance metaphorically: a death of all that is primal and wild within all of us, within me. So I left the theatre and went to a coffeeshop where I took out my writing journal and rewrote the ending of this classic plot. In my version, Kong Lives! This was to me a Better Ending.   So I started practicing this approach with several other stories with endings I had always wished had resolved otherwise. I felt a giddy, almost guilty sense of satisfaction and empowerment, like I was discovering a freedom I never knew I had!

abstract

Try it sometime. Just think of a story whose ending you have never liked, and revise it! Maybe Juliet wakes up before Romeo swallows the poison, and they marry and live happily ever after.  Or maybe Lincoln never died from his bullet wound; it just grazed his forehead. Yes, history itself is an open field for re-visioning with this process.

Your own life is also a ripe, open terrain for replanting, re-visioning, re-modeling! The decisions you have made, moves, choices, risks taken or not, desires expressed fully or repressed; with every step we take in life we are re-routing our Life Path according to parallel realities!

So this is the principle of Better Endings that I am inviting you to explore and to practice. For me it has grown over time to become a principle I apply every day. Even writing this blog, for me, is an act of applying Better Endings. The principle is useful regardless of your spiritual path or philosophical bent.  It is something more than simply “positive thinking,” because better endings are not always necessarily “positive” in the maintsream sense, though they are positive for the person seeking valuable, meaningful change, adventure, or greater awareness.

Sunflower close-up with bee sitting on it

I welcome your comments and stories!