Miracles: More than Magical Thinking

A waking dream about my monthly question of ‘What Difference Does It Make?’ comes from watching a Saturday television documentary on a channel I have never watched before. This was a biographical story about a farmer named Jason which got me thinking about the difference or the relationship as well between miracles and magical thinking.

Jason had been a professional football player, a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens. You might think this was his dream come true, but no; Jason’s ‘better endings’ story came from asking inwardly for guidance to find his real calling. The answer to his prayerful question was that he should become a farmer. A man of deep spiritual faith, Jason quit his day job and found the farm of his dreams to which to move his family. Having made this choice, a long sequence of miraculous seeming opportunities unfolded, which Jason regards as acts of divine intervention.

The farm Jason ended up buying was not even on sale when he saw it first, but in an indirect way he was redirected to ask and the owners agreed to sell. Jason named his farm “First Fruits,” gifting not just the first season’s crops but indeed all crops for the next several years to anybody in his community in need of produce or food donations. Gratitude poured back from all directions; farmhands, a new tractor, roosters that appeared by a roadside when he was thinking about wanting to find some roosters, and even a donkey that was gifted exactly when he was worried about how to protect some goats against predator coyotes: all were gifted just as the need arose.

images are from pixabay.com

Jason’s story reminds me of a similar sort of autobiographical story described in the interesting book, Behaving as if the God in All Life Mattered. There, too, Machaelle Wright tells how she followed her inner guidance despite in her case drastic abuses and obstacles, emerging with an uncanny ability to conjure forth the slightest need–such as manifesting physical tools in her hands during contemplations–to aid her very positive farming enterprise.

So what is the difference or the relationship between miracles and magical thinking? The latter is generally regarded as a matter of frivolous or selfish, wishful thinking; that one should be able, figuratively speaking, to twitch their nose or wave a magic wand to satisfy their or others’ material needs. Some prayer, I would aver, is really a matter of magical thinking being projected onto a concept of divinity in service to selfish desires. As if divinity or the universal good–however you might comprehend that–doesn’t know what one ‘needs’ until It is petitioned, or doesn’t know as well as some mere human what is needed or most beneficial to the highest good or needs of all concerned.

I find in my own practice that true prayer–which I would relabel as contemplative communication with Spirit or the universal good–involves listening TO and FOR the divine principle and being receptive to ITS moment to moment guidance, which can lead to definitely ‘miraculous’ daily events! I comprehend this as enjoining a TANDEM relationship with spiritual guidance and oversight, as it were. It is like riding a two-seated bicycle with Spirit, sometimes on the front driver’s seat and sometimes taking up the rear to allow the guiding wisdom of Spirit to lead the way toward well considered, worthy aims or solutions.

What Difference Does It Make?  The reality of  a positive, tandem relationship with Spirit or the Universe proves in every daily miracle acknowledged or acted upon that the smallest pursuit DOES matter, CAN matter for fulfilling “the greatest interests of all concerned,” so long as that is the intended result of one’s most humble inner quest.

I welcome YOUR story and Comments!

The Sacred Marriage

 

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This month let’s focus on the stage of the Hero’s Cycle known as the Sacred Marriage.    To Joseph Campbell, drawing from Jung, this is that stage by which the masculine and feminine energies of the Hero are merged, allowing the Hero to go forth as a more integrated Whole Self as s/he continues to pursue their Quest.

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To Jung more directly, this is a union of the Animus and Anima and brings about a major transformation of character.  If it represents the actual goal of the individual, it can even be seen as an alchemical achievement of the highest magnitude: Mysterium Conjunctionus!   Masculine + feminine (both energies coexisting within both men and women), or Soul + Spirit, or even Earth + Heaven/ Human + Divine: this is the apex of integrated unity, gold out of lead.

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While the Sacred Marriage is often depicted via an actual Marriage of two characters, ultimately it is an internal achievement, as the individual attains a balance within of their animus and anima traits. Because of this, it can occur within anyone as a solo accomplishment or it could manifest as a relationship union.

Integration or even fusion as the Sacred Marriage represents is a significant spiritual development for it allows the Self to emerge as fully formed, as an expression of Soul.

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images are from pixabay.com

A CONTEMPLATION AND JOURNALING PROMPT:

Can you relate to the topic of the Sacred Marriage?

Do you feel you have achieved this INTERNALLY, whether or not you are partnered with your spouse or a significant other?

If so, what does this open up for you in terms of pursuing your greater goals? If not, how shall you achieve this; again, internally?

I welcome your Comments and Stories!

Making a True Departure / Shifting to Here-Now

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I recognize a distinction between the Present as a current moment in time-space and the Here-Now as a spiritual focus. The NOW experienced in contemplative spiritual practice is a liberating orientation while the notion of Present from a time-space frame of reference is artificial and can be self-limiting. It is a matter of perspective or more accurately it depends upon where you place your attention. If we accept, as I do, that time is an illusion or an artifice of context, then as we shift our focus of attention such as to look ahead with creative visualization or to re-envision a former state of being by reactivating a stored memory, we can focus our consciousness in such a manner as to alter our Present reality. From this angle, the Past is NOW, the Present is NOW, and the Future is also available NOW.

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When I was first in college in Buffalo, New York, I had a friend Ann who was an artist specializing in sculpture. Ann created this amazing piece of conceptual art which was comprised of a five foot tall vertical array of multicolored fabric cords with simply a one foot tall plexiglass tube around them. The art was interactive so it invited you to change the position of the tube up or down along the colored cords, slightly compressing the bundle of colors as you would shift the transparent tube. To me this has always been an excellent metaphor for the practice of contemplation or active imagination. We simply shift our consciousness from Here-Now to another Here-Now to OBSERVE; we focus our locus of attention as we choose. We thus can place and activate our consciousness in any dimension of Nowness at will.

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pictures are frompixabay.com

Locked within a Time orientation, the Present is a bubble from which we never seem able to escape. The freedom to Act is in the Now. To bring about a true change of life conditions as in realizing a desired future that is a true departure from present conditions requires only a subtle shifting of your attention to a Now of your imagining.

See?

I welcome your comments and viewpoint.

Prepare Well for Your Departure

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Every one of the incremental phases of a Hero’s Adventure (click here for the Monthly Topics tab) holds an archetypal Frame of its own, meaning it is embued with a special power by its categorical/ culturally patterned nature. Departure is a ‘thing’ as well as part of the longer process it initiates. So let’s consider here how does one successfully Depart?  I would say from experience that a good Departure requires a mindful, spiritually and psychologically deep approach in order to facilitate a highly successful Adventure.

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Some 39 years ago in 1978 I initiated a Departure from everything I had known. I would take a leap into the Unknown by moving West, from Buffalo, New York to Tempe, Arizona to enter graduate school.  I was leaving so I could study Native American languages and cultures in the Southwest setting so appropriate to that objective. I was to leave family, friends, and all my familiar Eastern environments and weather to go to the Desert and start anew.

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The preparation for departure was quite a long process of nearly two years.  I first took a cross-country bus trip with a dear spiritual friend, Grace. And such an adventure that trip became!  The bus broke down so we were rerouted through Sedona, a mecca of sorts for me at the time as my spiritual group had land there we got to visit.  Plus I met new friends and together we faced the possibility of there being a murderer(signaled by a police woman’s warning) who boarded in Albuquerque, causing me to sink into one of the deepest contemplations of my life—altering my consciousness altogether by the time we arrived in Sedona. (He got off in Flagstaff with his traveling partner, saying: “Goodbye, New Mexico, forever!” To me, when I addressed him after spreading the rumor around the bus as to whom he might be, he had said: “So, how do you feel about YOUR life?”)

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This trip primed me for a love of the Southwest, and I spent the next year in Buffalo preparing for the Big Adventure. I plastered beautiful photographs from Sedona Life magazine all over my office wall.  I asked questions of my Inner Guide nightly in contemplations, e.g.: “Should I really make such a big move?” “Will I be okay?”

Every night then I would dream and in the dream I would be shown an answer to my question. For example one night I asked, “But what about Chela (my beloved Cat companion)? How can she make such a long trip in an overcrowded car with me?”  That night I dreamed I was driving a van across country to Arizona, and in the back, stretched out contentedly on a blanket covering a Player Piano that was musically soothing her, was Chela.

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One morning about six months prior to my departure to the Southwest, I woke with a musical ditty on my mind:

I’m leaving

But there are a few doors left to close

Before I get over there.

For the next six months, that lyric and melody became a daily mantra for me. I came to realize I needed to smooth out some rough edges in my relationships, for instance, and this ditty helped me do that mindfully and with clear intent.

The time came. I packed up my ’66 red convertible Buick Special that my father had gifted me, packed with all the belongings I would carry, and my dear Chela. A friend, Cathy, accompanied us, as she had friends in Mesa, Arizona I would stay with temporarily until I could get situated near the campus at Arizona State University.  We only made one stop along the way, in Colorado Springs at the Garden of the Gods, where I walked Chela and admired the red rocks there which are so similar to the red rocks of Sedona. (Fourteen years later, guess where I moved to teach after graduating with my doctorate? Yes, Colorado Springs, where I have remained ever since.)

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The move to Arizona went exceedingly well. I cried one torrential outpour of tears about two days after reaching there, releasing my pain and fear and grief over leaving everything and everyone familiar to me up til then. But then I met new friends—several of whom I had been shown in those premonition dreams back in Buffalo—and I embarked upon my studies that helped me eventually build a successful, exciting career as an anthropologist.

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images are from pixabay.com

So consider, how shall you PREPARE for your DEPARTURE?  Give this pregnant phase of your Adventure all the loving attention and all the time and dreaming you can invest.  Contemplate where your departure can take you. Prepare for the life you are creating for yourself with this golden opportunity.

Then, Go with Spirit, my friends!  Enjoy your most beautiful Adventure!

Walking the Labyrinth: A Healing Journey

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Lately I have been taken to Walk the Labyrinth, often. I find it to be a superb physical template for the spiritual journey of supplication and immersion that can lead to greater Clarity and Wholeness.

Wholeness is one of the key motifs of the labyrinth path. It is thus a healing journey, a winding, twisting, road that leads one into the Center for a period of contemplative repose, then back out to bring one’s awareness from the inner guidance there received back to one’s daily life.

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When I walk a labyrinth I experience an unwinding and a rewinding of newly harvested potentials.  On the way in, I am winnowing through the concerns of the present, sorting to extract the essential core of the questions or situations I wish to draw attention to spiritually. I am preparing the ground, planting the seeds for deep contemplation at the Center. I am also opening myself to the Presence of Spirit in my own way.

Having arrived at the Center, I feel fully exposed to Spirit and the Divine. I surrender my cares and am the supplicant, asking for inner guidance or resolve, but mainly seeking clarity about the situation being reflected upon. How shall I manage or approach the situation? How can I improve my relationship with all of life inwardly and outwardly in relation to this? I become silent, I go within and actively contemplate, in a state of utter repose and surrender.

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When I feel ready to leave the Center, I re-emerge from the inner focus. I gather my insights, look to see if there is any one idea I am bringing back from the contemplation that can help me to advance with the situation I have been focusing upon. Sometimes there is a new sense of alignment with Spirit in relation to this situation, other times I just feel more integrated, supported, and ready to return to my daily life knowing I will know what to do when the situation calls for action or further reflection.

Walking out from the labyrinth I am “stepping down” with the awareness received, bringing the clarity or sense of love and resolve within me, carrying this like a newborn babe.

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After walking the labyrinth three times over the past week and a half, yesterday I was walking in a shopping mall, partly for a necessary purpose and partly just to walk for exercise. I realized I could still walk a labyrinth there; anywhere you go if you go mindfully and with deep intention to focus your attention in a grounded, holistic way, you are essentially walking Your labyrinth, your path of life, winding and unwinding, attaining a Center and opening, surrendering, accepting with gratitude the vision or lesson received, and bringing that back into your outer, daily life.

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images are from pixabay.com

I welcome your comments and stories!

On a Clear Day…The Future is NOW

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We are exploring the MYSTIC Archetype throughout this month of March.  The Mystic, including your own unconscious persona Mystic archetype Ally within what I refer to as your Ensemble Cast of Mythic Archetype Allies, is capable of serving as a Seer, able to foresee future potentials and probabilities.

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Time is an illusion, as spiritual teachers and more recently modern physicists have emphasized. I have always found a paradox in the spiritual invocation to “Live only in the Present Moment; all exists only Now!” and the notion that NOWNESS in this spiritual sense is not coterminous with the Present tense such as is imaginally constructed in English or other Indo-European languages and cultures.

Spiritual sciences (e.g. Eckankar, my own path of forty plus years) speak of the “spacetime continuum,” as would Einstein, who recognized the inseparability of time-space values.  Physicist Brian Green, in THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE, has demonstrated that the Present on Earth may be Past or Future to some alien being within our own galaxy but on a distant planet (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/fabric-of-cosmos.html). Physicists including Green have also recently claimed that the Future sends information to the Present (or past, backwards in ‘time’) just as we also “look back” on the timetrack when we apply our faculties of memory and reflection.

Future prospection is a very appealing notion to me. We use it whenever we anticipate or wonder about or even ‘daydream’ about “the Future.” So, folks, I invite you to wrap your thoughts around this newsflash:

THE  FUTURE  IS  NOW!

Where/when you place the spotlight of your aware attention is Here-Now! The Present moment is a bubble of awareness along the spacetime-track of your conscious attention, like the floating air bubble in a leveling tool. Now consider that you can shift your attention along this track as easily as you might tilt the leveling tool, to focus on a past or future scenario.

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You do need to be open to this possibility; to accept your own capacity to perceive a wider spectrum of the spacetime continuum.  I have had definite prophetic dreams which later manifested very directly as perceived in the dream, and I often revisit past moments in contemplative inner journeys.  As I prepare for retiring in a little over two years, I often imagine my future scenario living near a lake in Western New York.

What many call “daydreaming” is a great tool for future prospection. It s so simple: close your outer eyes, open your inner awareness, and Be-Here-Now!

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images gratefully from pixabay.com

For example:  In a future within my expanded NOW awareness, I see the mist of the Falls (Niagara Falls) downriver from where Sophie (my dog) and I are standing on the Four Sisters Islands, just upstream from the mighty cascade. It is a Spring day, one of the first since the snow has melted from the winter season. It is around 3 PM on a weekday, with only a few cars parked behind us in the parking area behind the footbridge we have crossed to be here. In this future outlook I recall a distant past of visiting near this same spot but from a different vantage point as a teenager. Some things have changed.  The mist rising from the Falls appears a little closer; can that be in forty years or is that a function of changes in my own perception? The city is much more built up all around, though the tourist sites are much as I remember and the traffic feels as busy but less chaotic. My thoughts now are thoughts of a big move to come; am I making the right choices? Will I meet new friends after I move? I do not wish to be a burden on my sister’s circle of relations, as she has a well-established family of her own friends from her forty years of living where she is. I am looking for a sign as I sit by the rushing waters, Sophie safely on a tie out within reach.  A leaf floats into a little pool formed by a cluster of rounded rocks at the edge of the island. It hovers within this little pool, as if lodged in a suspended animation of placid calm in the midst of the greater turbulence just outside this little enclave. That is my sign then! (“And I shall have some peace there; for peace comes dropping slow…” [W.B. Yeats, Lake Isle of Innisfree])

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Please use this yourself! It is simple and profound. Just close your outer eyes, open your inner awareness, and shift your attention to Be-Here-Now!

I invite and always welcome your Comments, Insights and Stories.

 

 

May the Balance of the Force Be With You

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When Star Wars first emerged in 1977, I was there. I crossed the city of Buffalo twelve times on my little yellow Puch moped to see that first installment. I could very much relate to the idea of the Force as Spirit then, and I still do. The continuing saga of Star Wars including Episode VII, which I saw in 3D at an IMAX theatre on the first day it came out last week, continues to develop the theme of the Force but they have emphasized the notion of “bringing balance to the Force” with the characters of Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) and now his dark, worrisome grandson, Kylo Ren. Thus the story continually pits the Light Side against the Dark Side of the Force, as if this dualistic jostling can ever bring true Balance or peace. No, they cancel each other out but they can never bring a genuine, lasting Balance. So, what does?

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Note the resemblance to Jedi Master Yoda!

I want to say here that the Force as I know it, and as many of you do who practice active contemplation, prayer or deep meditation, is not inherently dualistic. We can understand It as trinary: embodying the Light, the Dark, and the NEUTRAL force emanations of Spirit. The Light and Dark are only energetic expressions of that Neutral force operating within the limited worlds of Duality.

To answer power with power,

the Jedi way this is not.

In this war, a danger there is,

of losing who we are. Yoda

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Note the difference between Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters.  Jedi Knights “fight for the Good;” they serve the Light Side of the Force as versus Siths, who serve the Dark Emperor and their own selfish desires. But true, tempered Jedi Masters generally exhibit Detachment and acceptance in the face of conflict. They might fight if they are called upon to defend some worthy cause in the worlds of duality, but they have their Home in Divine Love or in the Heart of Spirit Itself.

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To connect with Spirit you need only find Your Center and hold your awareness Here. Do not be pulled to the right or to the left, “right” or “wrong,” up or down, or in any Outer direction that is dependent on external pressures. Find your genuine, core spiritual nature within and operate from this Soul perspective. It will not steer you wrong if you Listen closely to what your Heart—which could take the form of an inner or an outer, tried and trusted spiritual Guide—advises, and act accordingly.

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The Jedi Masters represent an Elder Leader archetype form that I wish to celebrate and invite you to cultivate this month. What is your own ELDER LEADER nature? When does it emerge in you in its most balanced form?  Invite your ELDER LEADER to reveal Its WAY to you this month of January, as January is the astrological month associated with Capricorn and the Elder Leader Archetype Ally.

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images from pixabay.com

Remember, the FORCE IS with you, always! May it inform your Way!

Envision Your Dream, Daily

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There’s a principle referred to in many meditative traditions called “Dying Daily.” This means that every day as you practice contemplation or meditation you SURRENDER. In a way you are surrendering your ‘old self’ to be reborn to the ‘new’, daily.

So, here’s a thought. Remember to DREAM daily. By this I mean, envision your Life Dream every day, knowing that your Present exists in relationship with this desired future condition! Then every day you are living INTO your “dream come true.”

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Many years ago I made a huge transition when I moved from Buffalo, New York (a lifelong Easterner til then) to Phoenix, Arizona (Out West). Every night for the year preceding this big move, I contemplated and asked questions inwardly  about this momentous turning point.  I work spiritually as many do with an Inner Guide figure, which helps me to focus on gaining higher awareness.  And every night, my question would be answered in a dream. One night, I woke with an actual song jingle and melody:

“I’m leaving, but there are a few doors left to close before I get over there.”

For the rest of the six months or so before my Great Adventure West, I sang this song frequently every day. Meanwhile I also taped pictures from SEDONA LIFE Magazine, a wonderful photojournalist sort of magazine depicting the amazing red rocks and canyons of Sedona, Arizona onto my office wall.

I was PREPARING, both outwardly and inwardly; orienting toward the new life I was about to assume with this trip upon which I was about to embark. The song lyric helped me realize every day that every action I was taking was movng me in the direction of this transformational life experience.

My move from Buffalo to Phoenix was indeed transformational! I became an anthropologist and experienced the Southwest and Native American cultures like I never could even have imagined as an Easterner.

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So, what is YOUR DREAM around the horizon of some major departure? IMAGINE it daily; place PICTURES of your destination in your mind … and on your walls.  LIVE your dream now, in your imagination. Contemplate it, meditate about it. Surrender to its amazing potentials.

Now as I approach returning ‘back East’ for transitioning into the next stage of my life in 3 years, on my computer desktop I have a sepia postcard of the lake I will relocate near. Along the right of my screen is the lakeside  shoreline, winding up and around toward a clock tower that represents the very town I will be moving to. So, I have copied and pasted a little rowboat icon onto the base of this shoreline. Now every time I take some action in my daily life that moves me somehow closer to realizing this Big Move, I move the rowboat icon up the shoreline just a bit, closer to my Dream destination.

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What are you doing or what might you do to ENVISION your future Dream come true? I welcome your insights and stories!

 

Celebrating St. Francis, A Mystic Healer  

 

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Prayer is in practice a means of seeking Better Endings. Whether in the form of a petition or surrender, asking for Divine intervention or giving love, or receptively by listening to or connecting with attributes of the Divine in meditative or active contemplation, we pray to focus our human consciousness on Higher Wisdom, to give and or to receive Divine (impersonal, detached) love. And this may indeed foster Better Endings for all concerned, even in the mindful experience of an illuminated consciousness itself.  Singing a mantra, practicing true contemplation, outer prayer, or even prayerful artistic engagement such as creating a mandala or Sufi whirling dervish dancing all can create conditions conducive to healing and Higher Awareness and hence may enhance positive health effects such as lower blood pressure, more serenity and lower stress.

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We may not all agree as to the best form of prayer based on our individual preferences and religious traditions, but tuning in to Higher Wisdom, love, protection and awareness is in itself a positive action of the human will and Soul that can bring benefits beyond the seeking of assistance or intervention.

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The prayer-poem famously attributed to Saint Francis is a prayer of exquisite quality that anyone can use as a template or matrix around which to ground and Center their consciousness.  This is a poem that fosters Healing and Better Endings in all respects:

St. Francis’s Prayer

Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace

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This week I invite you to bring St. Francis’s prayer with you in your heart as you go about your day to day affairs. You may wish to print and cut out the prayer poem and place it in visible locations at your office, car or home. At night as you prepare for sleep, you might wish to read the prayer aloud and gently contemplate its relevance to your current life conditions and attitudes.

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Better Endings to You!

I invite your insights and stories.

Desiderata  

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I have contemplated an important truth this past week, for myself at least, about archetypal psychology—my own. The goal is always balance and integration, working collaboratively with pairings or with broader clusters or constellations (as I like to think of them) of persona archetype Allies. When I find myself out of balance, it may be that one of these personae is being too dominant, “sticking out like a sore thumb.” That is not who I am…For example, I am not “Elder Leader” or “Warrior” standing alone.  My Nourisher, Mystic, Idealist and even my Descender Ally facets can bring balance to my approach to an endeavor with which Elder Leader or Warrior might be tasked.

Whew!  I cannot be that which I am not; I am not within my holistic, integrated Self an overly rigid, “intransigent” person. Even in a situation that calls for me to exercise a disciplinary action I must find repose and come from a center of balance. Still, I must at the same time own and exercise authority in its rightful scope… :

 After writing all but the last sentence above, I dreamed a type of dream I thought I had transcended: a dream in which, once again, I run from a magnificently graceful, powerful Anima image: I run from owning my own Power and Grace. This time it is Mountain Lion. I am in a city scape with a same-aged, female friend. We approach and pass a female mountain lion, laying in repose along the sidewalk. I urge my friend to run once we pass Her, sensing she will pursue us, as that is Her nature.  Mountain Lioness leaps and knocks me to the pavement softly in one bound. I wait for further action but She hovers over me as if waiting for me to act. AWAKEN.

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Two weeks ago while I was already laden with this ongoing test of consciousness, I took a walk with Sophia to a St. Francis retreat center, where in a Garden of Peace I walked right up to the poem-prayer Desiderata, which I recognized immediately was a Healing form of waking dream or golden-tongued wisdom for me at this trying time.

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So, I/we all move on, always seeking Balance which must be won and re-won with every unfolding adventure. There is always another layer of life lessons to explore and integrate, as best we can in the Moment.

 

Better Endings to YOU!

I  welcome your insights and stories!

 

 

Walking the Labyrinth Path

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Last weekend a friend came to visit. We reconnected by visiting an area where we once shared a home, and near there we walked an outdoor labyrinth on monastery grounds near our old home. While we sat on a bench waiting for another pair to complete their walk, first my friend found a beautiful red and white spotted feather from a bird (flicker?) that flew overhead; the bird then joined several others in the nearby trees. Then I looked to  the North and watched an amazing, unusual being walk stealthily past: what appeared to me to be a coyote/wolf mix  (or perhaps a stray Russian wolfhound or hybrid)! He turned his head to watch us as he continued along with his own quest.

In Native American “power animal” symbology, sometimes a flicker (woodpecker) can mean a move/ relocation; a coyote/wolf hybrid could mean something that “helps you see your own mistake” (coyote) and “being a Pathfinder” (wolf).

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So then we walked the Labyrinth (a Chartres modelled rose path). The slow winding pathway is so liberating to the mind and heart; with every turn your contemplation deepens. At times when you seem very close to the Center you are actually far away, and when you feel most far away you are but around the bend to Home, the Center that represents Self-Realization or God-Awareness.

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At the Center of this labyrinth someone had created a heart shape made of small reddish rocks, and both my friend and I deposited something meaningful into the heart. Then we walked back out, for myself I would say feeling less encumbered than on the way in.

As if this labyrinth walk were not enough, the very next day my friend took her son and his girlfriend back to that same labyrinth, and I took my dog Sophie on a walk at a Franciscan Retreat Center where—guess what?—I fairly stumbled upon yet another Chartres style outdoor Labyrinth!

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(I found this on Zillow today while surfing online for homes for sale near where I will retire in 3 years.  I actually do intend to have a labyrinth there, so this was such a strong sign of confirmation!)

So again I was able to walk the Labyrinthine path. This is a great way to “center”; to examine and release your thoughts about any situation and symbolically to reconnect with your own inner divinity. At a time in my life when I am facing a difficult ordeal at the workplace, the Labyrinth helps me to “unwind” the  complex weave.

In the Labyrinth nothing external seems too heavy or important.

The Labyrinth Path leads Home!

 

 

Enjoy the Fruit from Your Labors of Love

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Life is a Bowl of Cherries means you get to enjoy the fruits of all the work you have done and the love you have given and shared as you bring about and experience the “manifesting” stages of your life. My 88 year old mother, for example, though suffering from late stage Parkinsons, has her family’s love and support for all she has given us. She has more visitors than many at her nursing home, and this is one of the fruits of her many sacrifices and gifts of being a terrific mother through the years.

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How can you manifest a future wherein you will benefit from the fruits of your own labor and dedication? How will you construct this future as one filled with abundance and vital purpose? As I anticipate retirement in just a few years, I see this not as any form of slowing down or resting but as a graduation from my primary career work into a continuing adventure of service, creative productivity, and giving back to life for all I have received and learned through life experiences.

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A Contemplation and Journaling Seed:

What are to be the fruits of your life’s labor of love? Some you are already enjoying Now; what are these? Others you can yet choose to manifest; what are those? How will you help these fruits to mature?

It always helps to visualize and contemplate your future of abundant growth while appreciating the bounty of the present moment as well.

Tuning In to Your Mystic Awareness

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How can you tune in to your own inner Mystic Guide? Let’s count some of the many ways available to you:

Active imagination

Meditation

Contemplation

Yoga

Dream work

Archetype Dialogue Journaling

Prayer

Mindfulness

Each of these natural modes of accessing your unconscious and/or spiritual awareness offers great potential for engaging your Mystic archetype as an Ally who can help your conscious self by sharing deep insights. Let me describe a few of these methods, then, that you may wish to practice.

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Active imagination:

This is the technique Carl Jung himself used which he wrote about extensively (e.g. see the marvelous new Reader’s Edition of Jung’s The Red Book). It is a mode of creative visualization. You can journal about your inner experience after returning to your normal waking perspective.

Contemplation:

Contemplation is an active, engaged form of meditation. You maintain awareness while asking an inward question for inner guidance, or you can travel, either astrally (in your emotional state of consciousness), mentally, or via soul travel, to explore dimensions of consciousness beyond the Physical realm. With active contemplation you may assume the perspective of being in the state which you wish to observe, and release your conscious mind to allow whatever experience is relevant from that perspective. You may begin with active imagination and then shift into a contemplative experience.

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Dream work:

Dreams occur from many different levels of consciousness, so different kinds of dreams reflect these different levels of perception (and action). Lucid dreaming occurs when you become aware within a dream that you are dreaming; achieving lucid dreaming can help you to be more conscious of your ability to control your outer states of consciousness while waking as well as your dream state.  Archetypal dreams—which Jung was interested in—appear with symbolic content that can reflect either universal, collective archetypal imagery (e.g. a snake can refer to transformation, or a circle can refer to completion or wholeness) and also personal unconscious archetypal parts of Self can appear as personas in your nightly dream. Waking dreams may also happen (more so when you pay attention as such), wherein you realize an outer occurrence has a symbolic component or gives you an answer you are seeking in a serendipitous manner. Some mystical philosophers would remind us that the outer life is as much of a dream as a nightly, “inner” dream scenario.’ (A good primer: The Art of Spiritual Dreaming, by Harold Klemp.)

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Archetype Dialogue Journaling:

Using active imagination and contemplation, you can enter into a conversation with your own personal unconscious archetypal ‘parts of Self’. This is the approach I use with the Life Maps Process, and it is the approach Jung used that is described in his The Red Book.  Once you become proficient at invoking and ‘shifting’ between these perspectives, you can journal a dialogue with your varying archetypal personae as it occurs. This can allow you to explore your conflicting attitudes and motivations. These different archetypal perspectives may be identified with “typical situations” in your life; that is, with the distinct ROLES you have established and that you enact daily.

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You can approach your MYSTIC archetype for a direct, dynamic dialogue or within a soul travel type of inner encounter.  Remember, all you have to do inwardly is to ASK! And then, accept what happens with a loving heart, ready to learn, and record your experience so you can interpret and remember the insights gained.

Follow Your Mystic Guide

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This year at Life Paths for Better Endings we are conjoining twelve universal archetypal figures with twelve positive, goal-affirming Life Metaphors. This month we are focusing on The MYSTIC archetype in connection with the metaphor, Life is an Epic Journey. For our third week of the month, we bring these two ideas together, and it is natural to recognize that since life is an Epic Journey, the Mystic serves as a Guide.

I am very familiar with this fortuitous awareness of being able to follow a mystic Guide, as on my own spiritual path I recognize an Inner Master who appears often in my dreams and contemplations to offer his amazing, loving guidance, insight and protection. For me, acceptance of this inner guidance has been a major blessing in my life. I am deeply grateful to have discovered that life is so much more than outer appearances and that there are other-dimensional guides available always, for everyone, at any time.  While I work in a very worldly job outwardly as a professor, I feel extremely fortunate that this sphere has not confined my awareness or limited my perceptions of spiritual realities, and I will not deny nor apologize for my acknowledgement of the wonderful experiences this spiritual awareness has afforded me, time and time again.

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The Mystic Guide—however else it may appear to you—is available as an archetypal persona that is a part of your Self and that you can call upon for clarity and direction whenever you are wondering what your next step could be.  Allow me to share an example.

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When I was an undergrad in college many years ago in Buffalo, New York, I was on a quite successful intercollegiate fencing team. The last college tournament I participated in was a nationals qualifying event during my senior year of college. Our team had placed 9th of over 125 universities (by two touches we would have been 7th) the previous year, but two of that team had graduated, and two less experienced, junior varsity teammates had joined me and my friend Ro (we had been the strongest fencers at that previous nationals, placing highly ourselves as well). Our coach, Denny, became overly aggressive in trying to force our younger teammates to step up beyond their level of skill, and he was also becoming overly forceful and aggressive with these teammates at meets. So at this last event, I did well as did my friend Ro; the rest competed as well as they could yet came up short of our coach’s demands. I found myself at that tournament at Ohio State University cheering on every good ‘touch’, whether by a teammate or by an opponent or by myself. I congratulated if an opponent won a bout as much as if a teammate did. Something was turning in me; my sense of competitiveness shifted to an appreciation of the sheer beauty of fencing as an art and of the endeavors and talents of each individual.

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When we left that event, I sat in the back of the team van for the long ride home to Buffalo from Columbus, Ohio. I had recently discovered the practice of mantra singing, and for nearly the entirety of that road trip, I closed my eyes and chanted a single word: IS.  I sang that word as a mantra over and over: Is-is-is-is-is-is-isssss! I was contemplating existence itself, or ISness. And something amazing happened inwardly: I found myself in a round, high, turret like room with library shelves and books all around me, many stories deep, and a dome at the top. I was seated at a round table in the center, and all I had to do to get a book was to think of that and one of the books would come to me. ALL of the books in that round library were about the same subject: Language. I absorbed book after book, studying the titles, drinking in the immensity of the topic; its breadth and depth. All the while listening inwardly to:  IS-IS-IS-IS-IS-IS…

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When we arrived back at our gym at the university in Buffalo, I approached Denny and announced to him that I was quitting the team from that moment forward. I took my own fencing equipment with me, and left. (My friend Ro did the same some weeks later.) But from the deep contemplation experience, I had found my next step in my own journey. That next week I started studying language intensively at the college library, and the next year I entered a graduate program in Linguistics at SUNY Buffalo; this has been the basis of my career foundation ever since.

Book in a library

It was something within me which I can now recognize as my inner Mystic Guide that set me to singing IS that day and showed me my inner passion for language that would become central to my life’s journey.  Something shifted inwardly while at the tournament that day, and this subtle shift in consciousness allowed me to be open to the inner direction of this mystical calling.

You and I only need, ever, to be willing to Listen and Learn!

Home Base

Heart Floating Away Showing Loss Of Love And Broken Heart

Let’s pick up today where we left off on Tuesday:

“Our projected journey ends where it begins because it is not really about going anywhere; rather, it is about remembering who we ARE, what our Source, IS.”

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I invite you now to close your eyes and imagine a place or a relationship or a memory of a time where you have felt totally, authentically “at Home.”   Envision this homey, comfy place or relationship as your Source—a location you “live IN” even Now, where you return to in your thoughts and feelings when you desire to be safe and protected in a nourishing wholeness.

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Write or engage in active contemplation about your “home base.” Describe and imagine the sights and the sounds, the smells and colors and the deep textures of your Heartland, this place or personal  relationship that in some recess of your Soul grounds and defines you.

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I can imagine three places and three relationships that carry this feeling of Home for me. One is a certain spot overlooking the Canadian Niagara Falls; another is what I call my Eagle’s Nest overlooking Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona, AZ; the third is a sacred, personal temple on an Inner plane I often visit in contemplations. Also D/M, Ariel, and Sophie are relationships with whom I have shared such comfort as to feel eternally at Home within the heart.

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Choose one of your Home Base memories or touchstones to contemplate upon deeply. Be-Here-Now! Allow yourself to fully settle into the comfort of this favorite homeland in your heart. What do you feel here? It is Love, I am sure. Love like the warm rays of the sun surrounding and uplifting you in the midst of winter, nurturing and renewing your every atom, every cell.

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When I first traveled to Sedona, AZ, 38 years ago, I found a private spot in Oak Creek Canyon that I call my Eagle’s Nest.  Sitting in the aerie overlooking the verdant, spacious canyon, even now I feel at peace in this quiet, harmonious expanse of colors, light and sounds. I wrote a poem there that first day:

The Canyon

It is drawing me into Its depths;

It will contain me,

Yet in that instant It shall free me

Until me-ness dissolves

beyond eternity

Where just Is-ness, IS

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So where is YOUR Homeland, your connection with Source?

Active IMAGINING

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I have mentioned the practice of Active Imagination here and there throughout this site, but this week let’s focus on Active Imagination as our focal topic. Many forms of meditation, contemplation, yoga, mantra chanting, children’s creative play, nighttime dreaming especially when lucid (aware of dreaming while in it), daydreaming, fiction or drama or fantasy writing, journaling, prayerfulness, and Mindfulness techniques all could constitute Active Imagination practices, as long as You are Present and Aware. Active Imagination entails an exploration and exercise of your own imaginative faculty within your own perceptual multi-verse.

 The fragment of ancient theatre Amphitheatre

When was the last time you ‘just’ sat (or laid down on a bed of meadow grass, for example) and imagined; deeply and fully? I did that this morning (written on Thursday). I went to a café, opened this laptop, started a new file called JOURNAL, and engaged for an hour or so actively envisioning on the page my future life after retirement. Every fear I privately nurture about that transition I allowed myself to feel and yet when I envisioned in words various aspects of the life I may live, I felt my fears greatly reduced and a relieving sense of freedom entered my consciousness instead.

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               From the journal (a brief sample):

… Maybe I will mainly be alone with my pets. Then Cheryl will be not far away, and there are many places to visit that will feel familiar (Lewiston, Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Canada). Will that feel weird with no one other than my pets to share it with wholly at this advancing age?

… Put Academe behind me. Hike in the state parks, get a used motorboat; go boating with Sophie and alone or with Cheryl (my sister) and her friends. EXPLORE, outwardly and inwardly. EXPAND HORIZONS. Contemplate. Write. Offer workshops and life mapping. Present spiritual events, facilitate and join satsang and book discussions. Join a Scrabble club. Fence with seniors if I wish to. Travel and enjoy visitors. Learn at Chautauqua. Write to my heart’s contentment! Publish more. Go deeper philosophically, spiritually. READ MORE. DREAM DEEPLY. IMAGINE. EXPAND.

Honestly I can tell you that after taking time to creatively envision, freely and without constraint, I felt even physically better than before I did this: less encumbered, lighter, less blocked. And the rest of the day (now 11:20 PM on the same day as I compose this), my imagination remains open and I feel like a child again in relation to a greater acceptance of Trust and of Possibility!

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Oddly synergistic events also transpired after engaging in this active imagination practice. Without my having scheduled it directly, men showed up to clear trees from my yard, removing debris and clutter more than I had even expected this team to do when they would arrive. This clearing of clutter is a big step in the direction of realizing the future of my imaginings, as I am gradually working to improve my home’s condition in preparation to sell the house before moving. It was like…Magic!

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So I invite you to take ample time to JUST IMAGINE. Exercise your Creative imaginative PLAY via direct, daily contemplation; journaling “alternate future lifescapes”; writing “from the future”; composing magazine image collages or creating mandalas.  Many techniques such as these are included in the Life Paths Handbook, to come.  Remembering to simply take ‘time out’ for IMAGINING can help you to “live INTO” your goal or life dream with creativity, building a clarity of intention while remaining flexible to new ideas along the Way.

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I WELCOME YOUR INSIGHTS AND STORIES

Tuning In and Giving Forth: Benefits of Your Spiritual Practice

 

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There are so many beautiful pathways of Spirit, available to all states of consciousness.  I like to realize how we are each of us exactly where we are meant to be, right now, to benefit from all of the lessons and blessings of Divine Love and Spirit. All we have to remember to do, and to have a method for doing, is to Tune In, so then we fill with Divine Love as the Life Force of creation, and then we may also Give Forth in service and divine love to others. It is a reciprocal relationship, the giving and the receiving as One, like a heartbeat, a Breath.

My purpose with this blog is to provide “personal growth and development” opportunities and insights about or toward anyone’s Better Endings. As such, I want to support and validate everyone’s approach to spirituality this week, as a primary focus for establishing growth and development in our lives.  (For those whose understanding of life and the Universe is more secular, agnostic or even “non-spiritual”, facilitating an existential ‘Aha!’ or a phenomenological focus on creative re-envisioning will do!)

For Tuesday’s Prompts List, I invite you to contemplate, meditate or pray upon, talk about, or create art around one or more of the following topics in relation to the BENEFITS you receive from Tuning In and from your interaction with Spirit/ the Life Force/ Divine Love. I invite and welcome your expressions if you would like to share them with others:

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The Prompts:

In what ways do you or have you or might you Benefit from the following forms of spiritual practice:

  • Inner Guidance (incl. via Spiritual Teachers, Masters, Guides)
  • Outer Guidance (e.g. waking dreams or attending spiritual talks or reading)
  • Lucid Dreams & Visionary experience
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness
  • True Contemplation/ active imagination
  • Writing
  • Chanting/ Mantras
  • Prayer
  • Song, Art, Poetic Expression, Photography, Movement, Dance, Music
  • archetypal dialogue
  • Signs/ synchronicity
  • Healing/ “alchemy”
  • Illumination
  • Prescience
  • Exploration of Higher Realities/ Parallel Worlds/ Heavens
  • Near-Death or Out of Body Experiences
  • Faith
  • Divine Love
  • Congregational sharing/ Family
  • Relationship with and in Nature
  • Communion/ Unity with Spirit and the Divine
  • Surrender
  • Vision Quest
  • OTHER…

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As a Tuesday bonus for readers, I share below a poem that moved me (re-blogged from iithinks.wordpress.com) and that reminds me of Rumi’s intimate communication with his own spiritual Master and with God. Here is a pure expression of gratitude for all that Spirit brings.

MY LIFE: TEARS OF GRATITUDE

(http://iithinks.wordpress.com/)

tears
Each tear trickling down my face
Splashes on the ground
and explodes in gratitude towards you
Darkness consumed my world
Broken and shattered by fear
No matter if I looked within myself or without
I cried that night for death
An escape that seemed so sweet
From the prison holding me captive by my fright
Instead, in your all encompassing mercy
Your love descended and you grasped my hand
And led me gently to the key unlocking truth, beauty and light
You brought me the latihan of Subud
But I was unsure of what to do and how to be
Then the angels sang a song of truth that captivated me:
“In facing He who has All
There is nothing that Man can do
Except empty himself in patient surrender”
On that day, my virginity was cast aside
I was impregnated with your divine power
And for the first time in my existence, my Inner Self came to life
Everything I thought I knew
Was burned to the ground, turned ashes and dust
What else could happen in an experience of your reality?
But it was also an illuminating light
Bringing clarity, understanding and the knowledge of Unity
Here I saw beyond right and wrong and all other forms of duality
I began to accept all that was born of your sacred divinity
Any who climbed the multiplicity of your paths using aught but sincerity
And I began to understand my own way of worship: Its rights and wrongs
Most of all, in my darkness
I was showered with your breathtaking and indescribable Love
It descended from the heavens above and poured forth from the heavens within
Although the darkness still lives with me, it is not of me
Now I am those moments of Peace, moments of Love, moments of Reality
In the end, I have been given that which sustains and nourishes me: hope in your divine mercy
What, oh Sacred Love, have I done for all this?
I know no explanation can be demanded of your overflowing Grace
My forehead kisses the ground in prayer and I simply ask that you always stay
Each tear trickling down my face
Splashes on the ground
and explodes in gratitude towards You
http://iithinks.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/my-life-tears-of-gratitude/

Epiphany: Warming up your vehicle–>Life Application, by E for Encouragement; and Making Lemonade, by Mirror of Health and Fashion (Two Guest Re-blogs)

Dear Readers: For this week’s Guest Re-Blog, I have selected two nice posts that reinforce our theme of “Habitual Better Endings”. Here are two Good Habit suggestions. I have used a very similar Lemonade cleanser recipe for a cleansing fast and found it very helpful as well as tasty! – L

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1)  Warming up our Vehicles/ Warming up Our Mornings with Affirmations and Prayer

Monday, 17 March 2014~~This morning, I was driving with a family member in her vehicle to run errands.  In the driver’s seat, I asked her, “How long do you warm up your car?”  (The temperature was in the 40′s F.)

“I don’t.  I just go,” she answered.

“Oh,” I replied slowly.  (I was taught to always warm up my vehicle in the morning for good functioning and longevity of the vehicle.)

My epiphany: Besides good functioning vehicles, we as individuals (mothers, fathers, community leaders, employees, students, role-models) for a better-functioning day, deliberately need to warm up our mornings with positive affirmations, prayer, Bible reading, deep breathing, etc.

Yes, I agree: stabilizing and creating good habits can be difficult. However, with the right motivation in the morning or “common sense” of warming up a vehicle, I am positive of a great functioning day and life.

“Cheers!” to warming up our mornings as we “warm up” our vehicles to function well.

E for Encouragement 

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Day Cleanse with tasty lemonade

Posted on March 13, 2014 by Mirror of Health & Fashion

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We all know how body cleanse is an important in our life.We need to clean our body like we wash our face,hands or using a body scrub to clean the skin.Detoxification is the process of eliminating toxic substances from your body. Please notice,before beginning any detox diet, it is always good idea to check with your health care provider, especially if there are any health issues.I like to use my lemonade detox drink,which is great because lemon contains an ascorbic acid,which is good cleanser.Choose your day of cleanse,in that day I eat only fresh fruits and vegetables and drink 8-10 glasses of this lemonade drink.

http://mirrorofyourhealth.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/day-cleanse-with-tasty-lemonade/comment-page-1/#comment-217

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How Quitting Smoking Helped Me Gain Detachment and Spiritual Freedom

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I started smoking in 8th grade, when I was only 15. My father smoked so I emulated him, sneaking cigarettes at first from his packs and then later, from 18 on, buying cartons at a time. By college I was a pack-a-day smoker, with favorite brands I identified with: Old Gold, Kent, Camel non-filter. I had friends who were also smokers since high school and I felt more “cool”—less of a nerd—by smoking. It began to represent me as a habit I thought was part of my persona. I smoked when I drank coffee, studied, wrote poetry, journalled. These all became intertwined as a pattern that I believed identified me as an individual.

But I was also athletic in college; I was on a successful fencing team. These two practices of smoking and fencing clashed. I learned this the hard way when once, at a fencing tournament in Rhode Island that I had worked hard with two of my teammates to qualify for, I literally collapsed on the strip after just a few seconds, unable to get my breath. I lost this bout; winning it would have let me move on to the next round in the tourney. That very evening at the hotel, by synchronicity–and divine intervention–I saw a program on TV about what the lungs of a smoker can look like. I committed that night to quit the habit.

No smoking sign

It took me exactly a year to break the habit. I started by switching to low tar and nicotine brands, True and Carlton. I allowed myself to smoke as many of these as I liked, but no other brands. These were bland and relatively tasteless compared to the heavy duty brands I had used before, so my desire gradually weakened. Then, for the grand finale of a month or so, I switched to salted sunflower seeds. I allowed myself to eat as many of these as I liked, to satisfy the oral fixation smoking had established. I filled glass after glass with the hulls of seeds I ingested, replacing salt and the cracking of seeds for the nicotine and smoke of cigarettes.

It worked. I reached the point where I would rather have nothing in my mouth than another sunflower seed. A few months later I attended a college lecture with a roommate of mine who smoked, Michael. Triggered by a disagreement with something the speaker had said, I asked, “Michael, give me a cigarette!” I took one drag, though, and I felt a nauseating, “negative” charge of electricity that spread in moments from my head to my toes. I put out the cigarette immediately, and I have never had the slightest inkling of  a desire to smoke, ever again. That was 1975.

Quitting smoking was amazing in my life for its results. I could BREATHE again. My head and thoughts felt CLEAR, as if for the first time ever. I could CONTEMPLATE—which I have daily since 1974 as a spiritual practice—and not feel “earthbound” with a clouded mind. I felt FREE to think, to explore, to thrive.

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In retrospect, quitting smoking counted as a success, as a coup, something I have been able to bank upon many times since whenever other negative habits or thoughts have developed in my life. If I could break the smoking habit (and around the same time, drinking alcohol, which dropped away very easily, though), I could detach myself from anything, or anyone, that might otherwise hold me down or hold me back from pursuing my dreams. Quitting a ‘bad’ habit gave me the strength to implement good habits based on self-discipline and freed me to pursue my dreams with passion instead of compulsion.

Finish A Dream: Your Goal Fulfilled

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(Re-blogged from The CrazyBagLady@BulanLifestyle)

Some twenty years ago I dreamed I was hiking along a high mountain trail. Several others were also on a trek to reach the top of this peak. It was a hard trail with a steep, rocky incline in hot weather that seared the skin. Many turned back; only a handful reached the top, singly. I was among these, arriving at the apex after a long, winding ascent.

Finally at the top, I see there is a canyon chasm between the edge of the mountainside I have scaled and what I know to be my true destination: an even higher peak separated from the one I am on by a huge divide.

At first I believe I may be able to cross, for there are steps, suspended in space, hovering between the two peaks. One of the other climbers starts across these floating steps, but they become narrower and further apart as the aspirant attempts to bridge the gulf. He turns back, returns; the steps drop into the gorge as he steps back onto the ledge at the top of the canyon.

The others leave, descending back down the mountain. I stay, alone, gazing across to the realm I desire to reach. I am passionately aware that I have worked so hard to reach this plateau, only to find my deepest goal seemingly impossible to attain.

There is a picnic table at the canyon edge. I sit at the table, not wanting to give up, not knowing how I can go forward. A woman appears and comes over to stand next to me at the table. She seems an Ancient one, yet ageless. She has salt-and-pepper hair, dark eyes, light skin—she reminds me of a person I know to be highly enlightened in my outer life.

“How can I ever get over there?” I implore of this woman whom I know to be a Guide.

“How would you get to another planet?” she replies.

Then, I am alone again; the Guide has disappeared.

I awaken in bed, bemused by the dream, saddened to learn it “was only a dream”. It felt so real, like I was finally “almost There,” to the fulfillment of a spiritual Quest.

Now, many years later, I recall this dream. The feelings are still potent, the desire as ardent as it was then.

I sit for contemplation, return to the picnic table AS IF I have never left.

“How would I travel to another planet?” I ask inwardly, suddenly aware of the obvious solution.

“Direct projection,” I utter in silence. Assume the destination-state accomplished; be-here-Now.

I walk to the edge of the cliff, sit tailor fashion; appreciate the rarified atma-sphere, quiet serenity. I close my eyes, open inwardly, sing a mantra syllable as pure as the air is high: Hu. I become this Sound, resonate with its pulse as a warm, glowing Light.

I open my Heart to just BE. Feel… SHIFT.

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Open eyes: a Temple nestled in a misty enclave. Light forms come and go from round platforms surrounding a domed spire. Blues in magenta, iced in golds and white.

Approach. Friendly beings exchange silent greetings as we pass. Enter temple—Door always open, an archway. Inside is still open space, nature, gardens, rooms that appear as I imagine a purpose: library, classroom, stables with horses. I explore, unlimited. See a fountain, sit at a gossamer bench around it, close eyes to listen to the Flow.

Open eyes: sitting tailor fashion, looking across the Canyon. See? A picnic table, across the gulf, far from where I AM.

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               Complete a dream according to your deepest desire. Imagine life as you assume it to Be, your Heart and Soul fulfilled.                 – lw