Your Yellow Brick Road

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The more clearly you can envision your Life Dream or a future goal, the more you can collapse the space-time, so to speak, between yourself Here and your goal Now. That is, the better you can visualize and embrace the reality of your worthy end achieved, the more evident will become the path that connects you to the place or set of conditions your goal represents to you.

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Last week I invited you to imagine a set of Alternate Future Scapes as a mode of “Future Casting”.  If you established two or more of these Alter-Future visions, choose one now. (If not, go ahead and cast an alternate future scape; nothing is cast in stone so feel free to imagine a desirable set of future conditions that feels good to you Now.)

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Have you played the board game LIFE recently? My favorite recent version is the Wizard of OZ rendition. Dorothy and other characters wend their way from Auntie Em’s farm into the Land of the Munchkins, the Land of OZ, the Witch’s castle, and ultimately back Home, to Kansas. The image of a Life Path as a winding spiral, with bridges to cross, rewards to collect and obstacles or setbacks to overcome along the Way–like Dorothy and her Archetype Allies’ adventure along the Yellow Brick Road–is a classic mythical image of an Epic Journey or of a labyrinth pathway of self-discovery.

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Below is a rather rough sketch of a Winding Path motif.   I invite you to fill this in (or draw your own and fill that in) with incremental steps or phases that lead to the realization of your Alternate Future!  Use your creativity and your mindful awareness of your Goal to represent time frames or the processual stages you anticipate experiencing along the Yellow Brick Road of your own exciting Adventure to the manifestation of your Life Dream. You can share this with a loved one, friend, or children, too. Then you can each talk about what you have projected about your own Life Path.

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Have fun with this. You can create as many of these Life Path pictures as you like, to one or to several alternate futures. But take your time with each one, too. Focus inwardly on recreating–as it were, from the ‘end achieved’–the actual steps you CAN take to bring your Life Dream to fruition.

When I have filled in my own envisioned Pathway to a meaningful Life Dream, I have later been amazed to look back at this mapping some several months or even years later to find that I have been actualizing these stages pretty much in the sequence envisioned.

I invite your Comments and your Stories!

P.S.: Thank you for reading and for your Likes!!! Stay tuned for Friday’s post : Your Next Step

 

Future Casting

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I would like to introduce the notion of Future Casting as a mode of creative visualization. Consider you stand before a blank canvas that represents your future. In fact, imagine you have a stack of empty canvasses, of various sizes, available to you. Take one and put it on an easel; this represents the blank screen of your mind (unless you prefer a physical canvas and paint or other artistic media).

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Now then, focus inwardly on a desirable future scenario. Represent that scenario on your empty canvas or blank page.  Draw, paint, place text, finger paint, place collage images, or do anything to ENVISION your future scenario. Consider this is but one of several possible futures.  Complete one and put it to the side (so you can see it, though). Now, start another.

Your Alternate Future-scapes can be similar to one another, with tweaks or special features with each one; or, they can be very different, representing radically different future conditions or options. The only guideline is to allow yourself TOTAL FREEDOM in your imagining. This is a FANTASY adventure, not necessarily a practical one at this stage.

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After casting two or more of these Alternate Future-scapes, review them, one at a time. Contemplate their message to you. Then, take a walk! Or, do something you enjoy to relax and allow these ideas to percolate or to “incubate” in your consciousness. When you come back, try writing about (or simply use active imagination/ contemplate) any of these alternative futures. You can journal about this over several days, refining ideas, and you can ask yourself what kernel of future reality have you implanted here.

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Be mindful with this practice. Intend to clarify some aspects of the direction you may go in order to realize your Best Case future scenario. Nothing is written in stone nor should it be. Allow Your future envisioning to remain flexible, yet allow some coherent ideas to form around which the rest may flow.

I did this a few months ago and the results were profound. I now know where I am likely to retire and what that will be about.  Having a clear idea of where I am heading helps me to now prepare in that direction, always remaining open to further information.

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 Quantum physicists like Brian Greene now tell us that the future may reach back to us as we reach back to the past; that is, there may be “waves” of probability coming to us in the Present from the Future as there are also memory waves to and from the past.

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Future casting, then, is a matter of perceptual exploration.  If the future is an array of unlimited possibilities more narrowly framed as a set of probabilities connected to present conditions, we can project a future in keeping with our creative intention to move in a direction of our choice. To move beyond the threshold of the Present leading inexorably into consequences or a chain of events outside our control, we only need to stop, look, and Imagine!

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So I encourage you to go Future Casting!

I welcome your Comments and Stories.

Your Quest Totem

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This week I have invited you to reflect on your Life Quest, celebrating yourself as the adventurous protagonist of your own Life Story.  I hope you have reflected on a challenging goal which you aim to fulfill in your life; if not, I encourage you to do so now.

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Now I’d like to introduce a powerful technique and principle to help you to “ground” your intention for realizing your vital quest. It is called TOTEMIC REPRESENTATION. Totems can be anything that represent something you wish to remember or to center your focus upon.  Totems can be as simple as keeping a “talisman” for good luck, like a rabbit’s foot, which helps you to remember your ambition to succeed. If you have a particular idea you wish to center your attention upon, you might create a SYMBOL of that idea that you carry with you or place in a personally meaningful location that you see often. A shrine in your contemplation space or a rosary, for example, might be symbolic of your spiritual beliefs and may help you to practice your faith on a daily basis.

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Totems are very good for representing your goals or Quest, to help you focus on that which you wish to remember or to be reminded about in the process of achieving this purposeful goal.  A simple totemic device for helping you to focus on your Quest is a pictorial Collage or “Vision board.” I invite you to create a collage that represents aspects of your Quest that you recognize as important.

Here below is an image collage I’ve just created to represent my Quest for the next several years. To create this online collage all I had to do was to open a Publisher page and then to INSERT some personal photos and some online royalty free clip-art images from my laptop. You could also use magazine images on a poster board, or create your own artistic collage of images and words. I recommend you place the most central aspects of your Quest centrally in the collage design. I have placed processual steps I feel I need to realize plus results from achieving my quest, accentuating the Positive!

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Once you have created your collage or some other Totemic form that represents your Quest, I encourage you to place this somewhere you see often, such as your bedroom wall or mirror or your office bulletin board, or on your refrigerator door. When you contemplate the images in your collage, notice how synchronous they are with your Quest intention, even more than you realized while placing them on your Vision board.

What action steps does your arrangement of images suggest? Can you read this like a map to the realization of your Quest? What steps can you take in your life now in the direction of fulfilling your Quest?

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I welcome YOUR insights, pictures, and stories!

A View from the Dock of the Bay

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Talking about Active Imagination, this week I keep remembering one of my all-time favorite songs: Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, by Otis Redding.

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I have been there all my life it seems. Literally when I was 19 I went to Alaska and ended up working at a crab and salmon cannery most of the summer in Yakutat, AK. And there was this dock overlooking Yakutat Bay, in 1973, that I would sit at for hours at a time, in awe of the triple levels of mountain ranges ahead on the horizon; contemplating life, my future, spirituality, poetry, and at the time Yeats’s book A Vision, with this song playing over and over in my mind, as it is today. A similar lyric from Don MacClean merges for me with Dock of the Bay:

   You know I’ve heard about people like me,

   But I never made the connection;

   They walk one road to set them free,

   And find they’ve gone the wrong direction.

   But there’s no need for turnin’ round,

   ‘Cause all roads lead to where I am;

   And I believe I’ve walked them all,

   No matter what I may have planned.

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So what is it about Dock of the Bay that lingers; that has dogged my footsteps and supported my own Dreamer nature all my adult life? My favorite line personally is:

    I can’t do what ten people tell me to do;

    So I guess I’ll remain the same.

These lyrics are more than song words; they are banners, manifestos; philosophical cornerstones of a Generation, the late 60’s – 70’s; my formative generation. They comprise a FORGE for the Imagination to be Fired in; an Alchemical cauldron in which Identity itself has stewed, and brewed, through the decades.

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Lyrics like these ring true with my independent-thinking, Explorer instincts.

They are an invitation to ACTIVATE the imagination; to LISTEN DEEPLY, within the cauldron of your own BEINGNESS, and then, to Follow in the direction of your Dreams, unafraid and alive; to activate your spirit of Adventure.

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I invite you to a Creative Visualization technique:

Imagine you are sitting on the Dock of a Bay. Your feet are dangling over the water. Waves wash in and then recede.You smell the salt air, taste the moisture. Boats go here and there at sea. The horizon seems infinite; it carries you anywhere you wish to go in your thoughts, your wishes, your memories, your dream reveries. Just sit here on the dock of your bay, and IMAGINE! Stay as long as you can; go back over a series of days if you like. Bring a question or just enjoy your repose. You are “time out of time”; everywhere and nowhere and there is no place but Here you need to Be. Later, you can journal about your thoughts and feelings and you can ponder the VISIONS that come to you in this practice.

So, here are the lyrics.  Where do they take YOU to? (I invite your reminiscences and stories!)

***

(SITTIN’ ON) THE DOCK OF THE BAY
– written by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper
– lyrics as recorded by Otis Redding December 7, 1967, three days before his death in a plane crash outside Madison, Wisconsin

Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ come
Watching the ships roll in
And then I watch ’em roll away again, yeah

I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

I left my home in Georgia
Headed for the ‘Frisco bay
‘Cause I’ve had nothing to live for
And look like nothin’s gonna come my way

So I’m just gonna sit on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

Look like nothing’s gonna change
Everything still remains the same
I can’t do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess I’ll remain the same, yes

Sittin’ here resting my bones
And this loneliness won’t leave me alone
It’s two thousand miles I roamed
Just to make this dock my home

Now, I’m just gonna sit at the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Oooo-wee, sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Wastin’ time

(whistle)

Here’s a You Tube Link to Otis Redding’s version

And a re-blog of a relevant quote from Albert Schweitzer

from Theresa’s Soul Gatherings blog yesterday:

It is not necessary
to go off on a tour of great cathedrals
in order to find the Deity.
Look within.
You have to sit still to do it.

~ Albert Schweitzer ~
German Theologian, Physician