Resurrection / Rebirth!

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The final stage of the Hero Cycle that we are exploring with this year’s themes is that of Resurrection / Rebirth. ‘The End’ is always a New Beginning!  Whether or not you believe in reincarnation (I do), we live out our lives in epic proportions, undergoing many cycles within greater Cycles as we spiral through our life experiences to reach the heights of our aspirations and fulfillment.

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With my research into life path mapping that I have conducted over the last fifteen years, I have discovered there are three primary types of Life Course Schemas or cultural models of a lifetime that are overlapping in our cultural outlook today. I call these Linear, Cyclic, and Seamless Life Course Models. I want to describe the Linear and Cyclic Life Course Models for you here.

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Linear Models are predicated on a long held view of the life course emphasized in developmental psychology and proposed primarily by Erik Erikson in 1950 (Childhood and Society). This model postulates eight developmental stages everyone passes though as they mature. (You can read about this also in Gail Sheehy’s book Passages and in her later, updated New Passages book). Many of us have been conditioned according to this Linear-stages or step-by-step model of a lifetime, but in today’s “post-modern” reality, this Linear model really does not hold up so well for most people. Instead of ‘one education, one job or career, one relationship,’nowadays most of us find ourselves needing to be flexible and to adapt to major interruptions of our plans as we go along.

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The Cyclic Life Course Model accounts for our need to adjust to life’s changes. I have found in my interview research that people who have experienced major, early life disruptions as a child such as from their parents’ divorce tend to have developed a Cyclic Life Course model on their own. Some will say life occurs in cycles like decades, seven year cycles, twelve year cycles or some other periodic cycle. These folks also say they do not experience or worry about “mid-life crises,” because as one cycle ends and another begins, they always have the opportunity to refresh and renew!

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images are from pixabay.com

So how about you? Do you hold to more of a LINEAR model of life, with set stages of development you aim to achieve? Or do you hold a CYCLIC view of life instead, remaining flexible and open to start anew when a cycle ends for another to begin? (BTW, You might hold instead to a SEAMLESS model, believing that life just happens and you can adjust to whatever comes your way.)

I invite you to contemplate and journal about a CYCLIC approach to your life. Make a timeline of major life events to see if you discover any sort of cyclical pattern there. If so, where are you at in your current cycle? Are you ending a minor or major cycle? Starting a new one? Or are you right in the middle of one cycle, giving your all as you develop your talents and relationships?

I welcome YOUR Comments and Story!

On the Road Again!

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As this month winds down with its theme of Departure, I am en route for an exciting adventure. I will write this post as a travelogue, to reflect on the experience of Departure.

Before (Wed., Feb 22):

This trip is to be a microcosm of a much bigger departure in my life. It is a preparation for launching both my upcoming book activity and my graduation–er, retirement–in around a year and a half. I am traveling to the location I have chosen to live in for the next major stage of my life as I shift focus from teaching as a primary activity to writing and coaching as primary. As well, I am seeking to live the life of my dreams, just as I am offering to others with my book about Life Path Mapping, to be titled, YOUR LIFE PATH. For me in addition to life as an author and coach, this will allow living by a lake with my pets, nearer to family and located in proximity to a wide array of opportunities for travel as well as for extended career ventures.

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So this is to be a true Departure with full double entrendre: a leaving from one place to arrive at another physical location but more importantly as well, departing from life as I have known it to Now in order to embark upon a life changing Adventure.  I am driving my new car which I selected for this future activity, a Subaru Cross Trek which I have nicknamed Scout. And that is what this journey is set up to be: a scouting trip.

En Route (Monday, Feb. 27)

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In Ohio now, third night of the Road Trip. It has certainly been an adventure already. I was plagued with an attack of blood sucking bugs on my first night out (Saturday)–apparently not exactly bed bugs but possibly chiggers. After ravaging my back, legs and neck, they left a very strange (to me) stain of gloppy orange-blood goo on the bedspread!  What was this about?

Challenging obstacles test our mettle. The process of encountering hardship and overcoming the difficulties is part and parcel of a growth experience.  The bug bite scenario led me to wash all my clothes at the next stop (fortunately at my friend Pam’s home in Iowa) and to throw away my carry on luggage, to divest of potential deterrents. I have also showered twice and bathed my dog Sophie. Is this a cleansing in preparation for the rest of the journey?

Yet to Come (musing Monday night, prior to arrival at the main locations of my travels)

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I like to set goals for a cross-country adventure, and this trip is chock full of purposes and intended outcomes. Quoting from my dear departed Grandmother Rugh (and her from Robert Frost):

“I have promises to keep,

and miles to go before I sleep.”

On this trip I will be conducting a full month’s writing retreat at a rental home in the lakeside community I will retire to not this but next summer. By the end of this stay, I aim to send out the final manuscript to the publisher for my book. I’ll be putting on final touches of format, aiming to deliver this book as a missive, the product of over a decade and a half of development and writing. I am blessed to have publicists to visit during this stay; you may see  evidence at this site of changes reflecting the preparation for eventually launching the book. I love that this has become a more team oriented project over time, since meeting a wonderful, encouraging Agent nearly 5 years ago, to following her inspiration to constantly improve upon the product for the prospective reading public, to securing a contract and procuring a publicizing agency with people as wonderful as my Agent is, to enlisting a great friend who is expert at graphics and another with a professional editing past, and sharing all of this process with friends, colleagues, and family too.

This ends the Departure phase as tomorrow I’ll begin the full encounter with the mythic stuff of the adventure itself. It will begin by visiting my mother at her nursing home tomorrow. Nearly ninety and with late stage Parkinson’s, Mom is one who is forging her Life Path  day by day now, showing all of us that pain and infirmity are less important to her than life itself; perhaps rather I should say, than love itself.  Her endurance is an act of love for all her family and friends. I hope deeply that there is even more than meets the eye to her lingering life experience. I feel she is already in the course of a beautiful inner transformation in ways not obvious to us from the outside. I hope she is preparing spiritually for the best leap forward in Crossing the Threshold to her next life that she possibly can; like the Monarch butterfly gradually emerging from her chrysalis.

May I be so fortunate as to give my All to life and to the Spirit in All; or rather, to immerse as a vehicle for Love Itself!

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images are gratefully from pixabay.com

I welcome your Comments and Stories!

 

 

 

What Is Your One Thing?

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Here’s a thought: ALLOW the Future to affect your Present NOW. Contemplate a desirable future event, deeply. Then imagine backwards to where you are presently. What might you be doing now or in the foreseeable near future that can carry you, even PROPEL you forward to the realization of that desired effect or set of conditions?

We do this in reverse order unthinkingly, much of the ‘time.’ That is, we are generally dimly aware of how our present thoughts or actions might influence future developments or “consequences.” But reasoning or imagining backwards instead FROM a desired future can help us be more mindful of our thoughts and actions as constituting a process by which future and present are naturally interconnected or ‘entangled’.

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Adapting the PRESENT in view of a desired future can LAUNCH and PROPEL you directly to that desirable set of outcomes, like a “truly aimed”  arrow from a taut bow.  I offer this concept of discerning the “One Thing” to life mapping clients who are aiming to manifest life goals. To be effective, the One Thing needs to be something very definite and will generally incorporate ‘out of the box’ thinking.

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Here is a personal example: While engaged in an archetypal psychotherapy process several years ago, I was developing the Life Maps Process by conducting a series of interview studies and writing articles about the results. When I began to understand that the interview subjects were benefitting from the very process of engaging in life review and reflection, I wanted to take this beyond the “study” phase to write and publish a personal development book and handbook by which people could do this on their own. My therapist helped me to recognize One Thing I could do to create the time and mental space I would need to make this shift of focus and produce the book: a full month writing retreat! Although I had very little savings, she asked me to consider taking a one month retreat, and the more I thought about that prospect, the better it sounded.

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I found a way to hire a pet sitter and I rented a chalet in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for a full month that next summer. I brought my elder cat companion Ariel with me. Every day for 10 to 14 hours almost every day, I wrote a proposal, several preliminary chapters and the opening chapter pages for a full book. Since then, I have never stopped my forward motion toward manifesting this dream.  I have now acquired an agent and have a well developed, full book manuscript and proposal. Hopefully in a few months we will begin to circulate the proposal. With true fulfillment, I will at length be able to announce to you here when LIFE PATHS: Life Mapping to Live Your Dream, Now! will be released.

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The point is that the writing retreat was precisely the One Thing that would launch and propel me in the true direction of realizing my future goal. It took planning. It took a leap of faith to find the means to accomplish the agenda. It took finding the right place, the right chalet. But when it all came together, it was like magic and every day was filled with wonder and delight. I was manifesting in the present every day that month material that would only fully coalesce in the future of my envisioning. Most of the material that I organized and wrote is still embedded in the current manuscript, though much additional material has developed since what I could only begin to conceive of then. The retreat SET IN MOTION for me a process that has only accelerated ever since.

So, WHAT IS YOUR ONE THING?  What future Life Dream would you love to be able to manifest, IF ONLY?  If only WHAT? You had the time, the money, the opportunity of one sort or another? Then consider: how can you OPEN THE PORTAL of that specific OPPORTUNITY?

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I invite youto take some time to work this ONE THING out. Don’t just commit to a new habit or activity in order to move toward your envisioned future. It’s not (usually) just about exercising more or journaling more or reading more; although, in principle any of those COULD be your One Thing, if it can truly FUEL your specific trajectory forward to realize your goal. But is there something more, something different, something DISTINCT that you CAN DO that will aim you irrevocably in the direction of fulfilling the very future that is reaching back to you RIGHT NOW and calling you forth?

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I welcome your Comments and Stories!

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