The Room of Requirement

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Last Sunday around 1:30 AM I discovered a “room of requirement,” right here in my new home! Immediately I recognized this was a waking dream confirming my emerging insight this month, that Love Matters (answering my monthly question: “How Can/ Does Love Really Matter After All?”).

I was in bed with my two pets Sophie (a Shorkie dog) and Emily (my orange tabby cat), looking forward to a restful sleep after being up late the night before.  Sophie started barking; I listened and heard a ‘drip, drip, drip, coming from the living room. It was raining outside, and when I got up to check it out I found my sliding porch door had sprung a leak, endangering the new wood flooring!

My first effort to plug the hole was to use a roll of “magic tape” I found in a kitchen drawer. This prevented the drip temporarily, but I knew it would not hold up through the night.  I live about 30 minutes from the nearest store that would be open 24 hours and have sealing materials and I did not wish to go out.

I went into the guest bathroom to use the toilet while asking inwardly, what could I do? For the first time ever, suddenly I noticed a door behind the bathroom door that I had never seen or been told about. It was a linen closet. Inside were not only extra towels but also a large red emergency kit. In the kit was an unopened package containing a roll of “absolute waterproof tape”!

I recognized this immediately as a gift of love from Spirit/ the Universe (call It what you wish!) in my time of need. This reminded me of the Room of Requirement from the Harry Potter saga.

The Absolute Waterproof tape worked to seal off my interior leak through the night. In the morning then I went to a store and came back to seal the sliding door both outside and inside. Mission accomplished.

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images are from pixabay.com

So What’s Love Got to Do With It/ How Can Love Matter? I believe “Soul Exists Because God (/the Universe…) Loves IT.”  In times of need, when you ask, even with the smallest of need as also with the greatest, It CAN embrace you and bring real solutions or balm for your anguish.  Sometimes, as I have found, we just need to be open to ACCEPT the love that Spirit brings in the Moment.

As my Better Endings story for this month of April 2019 then, I simply acknowledge:

Love Matters!

Because of this, I am okay, no matter what, wherever I am and whatever circumstances or conditions I encounter. Gratitude for all good things received and trust in the goodness of Spirit can lift our hearts to soar with the angels and is ever with us in times of need.

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

Potent Potions

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Felix Felicis: Liquid Luck!  J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter wins this helpful elixir by concocting the most perfect potion in Professor Slughorn’s Potions class at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  So, when Harry really needs a boost of fortuitous inner nudging in order to achieve an important aspect of his mission as the Chosen One to save the world from the evil horcruxes of Voldemort, he drinks a vial of this potent potion and knows just what to do to accomplish his purpose.

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So, what is your Felix Felicis? For some of you it may be a Mantra, which focusses your attention on higher awareness.  Or it could be a talisman, like a rabbit’s foot or a very comfortable, old pair of socks. (We may explore both of these topics later this month.)

“Luck”…after all, what is it?  Is it magical, or is it a matter of focusing your attention on a goal and persisting in the direction of that central focus? Can you create your own good fortune by committing wholeheartedly to its worthy cause? I would say the cause does have to be worthy, and then, yes absolutely, the sky’s no limit!

Is Liquid Luck for real then, or does it provide Harry merely a placebo effect, allowing him to draw upon his own deepest wisdom based upon the self-confidence that comes with his belief?  Rowling alludes to that assumption when she portrays Ron Weasley winning a Quidditch contest because he thinks Harry has gifted him his Liquid Luck.

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images are from pixabay.com

Placebo effect or a direct causal agent, it matters not.  Use every possible positive means to achieve your worthy goal!  Now then the only caveat is, choose well that which is truly worthy of your focus.

I welcome YOUR comments and story!

The Helpers

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In every Hero’s Adventure—as in your own Journey of life—“when the student is ready, the Teacher appears.” Teachers, Masters, Mentors, Guardian Angels, Guides, and Signs or signposts arrive to escort us or to prepare us for the challenging passage into the Unknown.

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When we look back we can appreciate how a Helper arrived who allowed us to advance in ways we probably never would have otherwise considered. That special teacher appears who lights up a whole field of study for you at school, or that talented role model who demonstrates qualities you long to develop in yourself; by accepting such encounters we connect with our deepest aspirations and claim our life’s motivating Mission or Purpose.

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is playing as I write this, so as we are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of J. K. Rowling’s gift of the wondrous world of Harry Potter, let’s focus on Dumbledore as the archetypal Mystic Helper. The qualities Dumbledore exhibits in his mentoring of Harry are those latent qualities Harry is needing to develop in himself in order to fulfill his destiny: magical abilities, teaching skills, the practice of right discernment, balancing good vs. evil impulses, and dedication based on love foremost.

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Think of a Helper who appeared or is now present in your life and whose example and insights have helped you develop aspects of your own nature that have allowed you to move further along on your own purposeful journey.

How did you meet this Helper? What interests or abilities has s/he aided you to develop?

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images are from pixabay.com

This month we honor and celebrate The Helpers.

I invite your Comments and Stories.

Mystical March

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March corresponds with the MYSTIC Archetype according to the Avalon Archetype Institute pantheon of the Twelve primordial Archetypes developed by Dr. Charles and Nin Bebeau and Debra Breazzano (MS/LPT).

All twelve of the primary archetypes of the unconscious dwell within us all, with some being more or less dominant and more or less in Strength or in Shadow mode.

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Archetypes appear both in the culturescapes around us—in literature, film and historical accounts, e.g.–and in role models within our own sphere of social relations. Archetypes are also internalized and part of our own psychic makeup, embedded as energies within our unconscious matrix of role identities and persona attitudes or perspectives.

What is YOUR Mystic persona ‘about’?  This month I’ll provide examples and techniques for connecting with and for integrating your MYSTIC Archetype Ally with the rest of your Archetypal Ally Assembly.

Let’s start then with a very clear popular MYSTIC Archetype image, Dumbledore from the Harry Potter saga.

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Dumbledore represents the classic Magi archetype. A bona fide Wizard, Dumbledore mentors young Harry Potter to develop his own Mystic potentials. As the universal-collective Mystic form, Dumbledore’s powers of awareness span from the Below to the Above; he can go into the depths to retrieve the Gold and bring it to the surface or he can ascend for higher awareness.  He is also a Shapeshifter, able to duel with the evil Voldemort via a Protean battle, constantly transforming and adapting his defense to counter any evil cast against him.

Of course there are also feminine forms of the Mystic, as with any of the Twelve.  Minerva McGonagall plays this part well in J.K.Rowling’s saga, and it is she who assumes the role of Headmistress once Dumbledore has stepped Beyond, engaging in her own Protean battle in the final segment of the tale.

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images are from pixabay.com

So, who is the Mystic? Who is it in YOU?

I invite you to call upon your Mystic Archetype part-of-Self this month, and to integrate Him/Her with your conscious pantheon as your Ally.

Gandalf, Dumbledore, your Inner Teacher, and You!

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Two fictional examples of the Teacher archetype aiding an ensemble cast of protagonists to alter their dreamlike lives so they might achieve better endings are Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings saga and Dumbledore from the fantasy mythic adventures of Harry Potter and his friends. Gandalf and Dumbledore have always seemed to me to be the same kind of mythic personage, though Gandalf is cast more for the young adult and Dumbledore more for a child’s conception of the Teacher or Mage  (per Jung or Campbell) energy.

Myths are projections of archetypal personae and challenges that we all face in our everyday lives as everyman and everywoman heroes; so Gandalf or Dumbledore are—as we project onto them as readers or as moviegoers—our own intrinsic Teacher-selves made manifest. These mystical Teachers allow their charges to accomplish what they otherwise might believe to be unllikely, yet they are the hero’s own Higher Energy propelling her or him forward toward the realization of their “impossible dream.”  Saving the entire wizarding and muggle worlds from a force too dangerous even to Name; returning Middle Earth to a state of balance and harmony instead of chaos: these are the tasks of an orphaned boy and of a tiny hobbit; or, you and me. But the magical Wizard Teacher is a protean shape-shifter, a transformer of pure energy into otherwise unimaginable new Forms.  All is possible if we set our hearts to following the directives of this all-knowing, all-powerful Higher Self Ally of the Teacher.

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Have you noticed how Wizard Teachers like Gandalf and Dumbledore conduct their novice apprentices to the attainment of their most worthy desires?  Like Glinda for Dorothy, Gandalf and Dumbledore seem always to know exactly when their presence is of utmost value; they appear only when they are needed, otherwise they remain in the background, invisibly watching.

Now then, this week as I have been contemplating how the Teacher appears in my own heroic journey of Soul, I find that my Inner Teacher(s)—whom I recognize to be “as close as my heartbeat”—are always present yet they appear exactly when and how I require their precious aid. I will share a true example of a life and death situation in which I was quite literally saved by my own Inner Master (an ECK Master associated with the spiritual path of ECKANKAR, which is the belief system and practice to which I adhere). Your own Inner Teacher or Guide may take the form of Christ or Buddha or of Socrates, Rumi, Glinda or whatever archetypal—yet very real—personae you recognize, so long as you believe in and deeply value their protection and guidance.

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I was living in a duplex apartment in Tempe, Arizona with a housemate who worked a four to midnight shift. One early morning while sleeping in the living room, I had heard voices outside so looked out the front window and witnessed a drug transaction involving the scurrilous group of tenants living on the other side of the duplex living room wall. They saw me witness the transaction and started terrorizing me for the next several months, making overt threats in loud voices from the other side of the thin wall separating our lives. One April or May afternoon, I was sitting in a living room chair after a hard morning at graduate school. Suddenly, as clearly as I could hear a person standing in the room right beside me speaking into my right ear, I heard a male voice that I immediately recognized as my spiritual Teacher. He stated very calmly but firmly, “Linda, lock the door.”

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I stepped over to the door, which was slightly ajar, and as I was placing my right hand on the doorknob to close and lock the door, the ringleader of the neighbor gang was reaching to grab the doorknob from the other side, to come in! I just barely closed the door and turned the lock before he could enter. Then I looked out the picture window to my left—the same window through which I had witnessed the drug deal transpire. Huddled down just beneath the window frame was the bodyguard of the drug gang, waiting to abscond me if I were to have run out of the house to escape. I kid you not; this was one of the most dramatic events of this lifetime and I am absolutely certain that had my Teacher not intervened (I know him as Harji, the Inner form of the still current Living ECK Master, Sri Harold Klemp), I would not be on this earthly plane today to share this story. Oddly though, I was not afraid at all after this happened; a calm set over me like a cloak instead. And even more oddly when I look back to it now, I didn’t even call the police. I called a friend, asked her to come pick me up at the house, and I never slept another night in that duplex apartment. I slept for weeks in a sleeping bag on the floor of my Ph.D. advisor’s office until I could locate a new roommate and move into a safer space.

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I ask you to be thinking about how the helpful presence or guidance of your own spiritual or inner archetype Teacher has appeared in your own life experience. I would love for you to share your own memories or stories about how your Teacher or Guide has been leading you to fulfill your own meaningful life lessons or Quest.

Finally, it makes sense why the Teacher appears most clearly in our lives only when most needed. It is because it is not ABOUT the Teacher or Master himself or herself; we are not here to simply follow someone who has already attained to all that which we seek. We are apprentices, aspirants or Learners who are striving to become Masters of spiritual essence and formations of life for ourselves; we may then become or appear as the Teacher for others as we gradually come to master our own lessons and unfold in our own awareness.

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I invite and would love to share YOUR insights and stories about your own Inner Teacher or guidance. Tomorrow I am going to see the new Hobbit movie; maybe we might meet somewhere in the Middle Earth of our dreams!

Your Life Challenges

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A quest is more valuable when there are challenges to overcome in order to achieve it. In fact the challenges that we face in life are in direct relation with our quests as they help us to strengthen our resolve and deepen our understanding. As in fiction, in our lives as well the protagonist must overcome incredible obstacles if she or he is to arrive at a positive, meaningful outcome. Many of the best stories are TRANSFORMATIONAL; the protagonist undergoes a significant CHANGE OF CONSCIOUSNESS in the process of achieving their goals or realizing their deeper reason for the adventure.

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So we ‘should be thankful’ for our obstacles, right? They may not feel like gifts in the moment we experience them, but if we persist to overcome or to survive our challenges, we often look back with gratitude for the tempering and for the lessons learned.

So, while I have titled this post “Your Life Challenges,” I might just as well call it, “Your Greatest Lessons”! What are yours?

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To begin our weekly focus on this topic, I invite you to explore the lessons implicit in some fictional or historical storyline that contains a persistent and difficult challenge.

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I’m thinking of the epic personal sort of challenge Harry Potter faces, for example, in Voldemort. His nemesis with murderous intent through seven years of struggle, Voldemort in all his evil antics is the perfect foil for the alchemical transformation of a young boy and by extension the entire Magical World of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

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The inherent duality of Good and Evil shows up in Harry as he must contend with the feelings engendered in him by the malicious attacks of Voldemort upon his own parents, his friends and himself. How can Harry conquer Voldemort without becoming LIKE him in the process? Indeed, Harry’s greatest Lesson is that both Good and Evil coexist within everyone including himself, but it is his CHOICES that will determine his character and that allow him to cultivate his strengths instead of his weaknesses. Love and friendship provide the anchors Harry can use to bring forth his best qualities despite all evil influences around and within himself. Ultimately Harry faces the greatest challenge of all: to sacrifice his own life for the sake of all he loves. Only in so doing can he finally and forever rid himself of his own darkest potentials; yet when he does, he is granted a form of rebirth of his unriddled, mature character.

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I welcome YOUR insights and stories!

Life Metaphors We Live By

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          So is life, for you, a Road to Glory or a demolition course?  Is it a slow, inevitable march into oblivion or a recurring series of cycles of growth that lift you by trials and gradual achievement toward increasingly lofty goals? Then also, in terms of what you are setting out to achieve with a Life Mapping adventure, will you be able to switch horses midstream, if you wish to, transmuting lead into gold? Yes! You can! (L. Watts, Life Paths, Chapter 2)

When you close your eyes and envision a human life, what is it is like; what image do you see? This is a Life Metaphor.

Life metaphors are schematic cognitive models, habitual ideas you have developed. You might ask yourself, where do they come from and why do you hold this image currently rather than another?

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Some Life Metaphors are culturally shared and defined: Life is a Journey, for instance. This model reflects the epic, mythic hero cycle stories found universally in all cultures such as Joseph Campbell describes in The Hero with 1000 Faces. These stories represent the hero’s adventure as a going, reaching fulfillment, and then and a return to serve humanity, as in the mythic adventures of Prometheus or Theseus, or of Dorothy in The Wizard the Oz or even Harry Potter.

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There is the metaphor of Life as a Mountain, with peaks and valleys: Sisyphus, for example, is compelled to roll a stone up the mountain and then it falls back down and he starts over again, endlessly.

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Or perhaps a Life is like a Hot Air Balloon ride? I saw one land once in a peach orchard while I was working on a farm. It was from Canada. The pilot got out and he seemed to me to have come from another world altogether.

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There are many other life metaphors that reflect and can also influence our understanding of life. Life metaphors can even shape our interpretations of and responses to life events.  Is life a Roller Coaster ride, and if so, when or for whom?

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I have always loved the Life Metaphor of Life as a Carousel, which is why I use the interesting “Carousel” header image with this blog, by the fantastic artist Ann Wipf, showing the horses leaping off from their platform. A carousel goes round and round and up and down, in time with the musical sound and flashing lights of the platform arcade. Traditional carousels may have a brass ring that the riders reach out for and try to catch as they go around. This reminds me of the golden snitch in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter stories; I have a poster on my den wall that shows Harry going for the snitch and it reads: “The game of Quidditch isn’t over until the Golden Snitch is caught.” Such metaphors as these can serve to propel us forward through the trials and tests of life as we aim to attain our life dreams.

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SO THIS WEEK I INVITE YOU TO IMAGINE: what is Life like to you, now? Close your eyes to envision Life or a lifetime; what image do you see? Explore the implications, the metaphoric entailments, thoroughly. How is a lifetime like the image you perceive, and why?

On Tuesday we will look more closely at the variety and basis of Life Metaphors. I invite you to share your stories and insights this week!

Countering Self-Limiting Beliefs with Better Endings (“Riddikulous!”)

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This week we can apply the principle of Better Endings to transforming self-limiting beliefs and personal myths. What are those beliefs that hold you back from Living Your Dream, Now? Are there any personal myths, or restrictive postulates, that you carry in your mindset about yourself, others, or the world/universe?

Joseph Campbell, the comparative mythologist–many of whose ideas my life mapping approach is operationalizing for everyday heroes–refers to self-limiting postulates as your “Dragons.” To slay (or, tame) your Dragon means in Campbell’s terms that you must identify and confront your limiting beliefs to conquer their illusional hold on your potentials so you can become all that you care to be, do all that you dare to do, express all that you ARE.

I’m a big Harry Potter fan. Dispelling limiting self-talk and negative beliefs reminds me of Remus Lupin‘s lesson to Hogwarts students where they confront “Bogarts” representing  their deepest fears and they counter their force by focusing on positive thoughts and saying, “Riddikulous!” Isn’t that exactly what we are talking about this week? Our limiting beliefs are only mental constructs; think powerfully happy thoughts to dispel their oppressive energy. They have no power greater than your own force of positive affirmation or intention.

A Samuel Taylor Coleridge poetry shard has lodged in me since college days:

Like one that on a lonesome road

Doth walk in fear and dread,

 And having once turned round, moves on,

And turns no more his head,

because he knows a frightful fiend

Doth close behind him tread.

If he turns around (I always remembered the pronoun as feminine until checking sources today), well along down the road, will the dragon-fiend still be there? Applying the Law of Assumption, the monster is no longer there so long as you do not bring it with you; so long as you stop running from it.

Of course, there are deep, shadowy, real tormentors and dire conditions that will not go away just by wishing they might. All conditions have their purpose and if they persist, there are good reasons for their presence in one’s life. Better Endings is not about being Polyannish or wearing rose colored denial glasses. Still, how we respond matters. That’s why Rowling’s “Riddikulous!” resonates for me as such a marvelous, profound ‘spell’. Try it on the worst of scenarios and, like Mary Poppins‘ spoonful of sugar, some light can return that might illuminate an opportunity to grow, to learn, to laugh at our fears and to unfold in awareness. So with that, we cannot lose, see?

As eternal Soul, made of spirit substance or the indestructible, vital life energy of the universe (however we call it), we are greater than any physical or emotional circumstance and we are lighter than any ‘heavy object’ that might attempt to weigh us down or hold us back from manifesting all that we are, the I AM, that you ARE.