Make Every Day a Good Day

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My waking dream this month is from a book called Wisdom of the Heart, by Harold Klemp:

“…life does not give rewards for good

or punishment for evil. It merely gives

results. Life is what you make it.” (pg. 26)

The same author says, “Make every day a good day.”  I found this gem a few days ago and have been using it like a mantra. Each day has been a gem of its own so  far, with new connections, insights and positive motion forward with responsibilities and creative projects.

Starting over–ostensibly alone but for my pet family–carries a full load of worries or trepidation as well as excitement and adventurous, fresh opportunities. Mainly I am faced daily with choices: everything from what Medicare plan to enroll in–as I turn 65 next month–to when it would be best to start social security allotments, how to address health matters, and how best to follow through with new local connections and with my writing and service ambitions.

I am approaching every new day as like a time capsule, using lists to keep me focused on what I need to do each day to fully ‘move in,’ to conquer immediate fears or anxieties, and to shape my new way of life in a new environs. A move is such a golden opportunity to establish yourself in a manner that accords with your current state of consciousness and intentions.

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images are from pixabay.com

I find I truly am now, mainly, gratefully, “living my Dream, Now!” every day. That does not mean everything is smooth sailing. In fact, to move forward consciously requires attending to my habits and thoughts, to choose wisely that which will continue to allow this Dream to unfold naturally and with beauty.

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

Yes I say, Say YES with Relocation

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So I have relocated, to a Dream Life sort of scenario in Ithaca, NY.  And it really is spectacular, a lovely community nestled in an idyllic environment of lakes and forests, birds and abundant cultural opportunities. And as Relocation always offers new possibilities to create the life of your Dream, I am practicing a basic principle of Relocation as I begin this new adventure:

Say YES!

Of course you will sometimes want to practice right discrimination to also say No (to repeating pathways to bad habits from the past, e.g.), but all in all I am saying YES to opportunities as they arise. The Universe/ Spirit, I find, is meeting me at the precipice of this new adventure, presenting opportunities.  I have met a small community of Eckists (my spiritual group) at a class last week, which led to lunch with two of these new friends yesterday and my agreement to transport a new friend to a weekly meetup group, and to travelling with new friends to a spiritual service in Syracuse tomorrow. I responded to discovery that a local college (one of my favorites: Ithaca College!) might have adjunct teaching positions available, so I applied a couple of months ago and–long story short–I will be teaching there as well as in Colorado via online teaching, come this Fall semester! Another online lead has led to the chance to meet a potential new friend who has welcomed me to the area.  And people here are NICE, so far everywhere.

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Say YES is I believe an important principle when working in tandem with Spirit/ the Universe (however you wish to construe this), always. It can lead you forward so long as you trust (and exercise) your ‘instinct’ and WELCOME new directions, new connections, a new life.

Of course old friends will always be on my mind as I move forward here. It does seem impossible that my friends and colleagues of the past 25 years are now as remote from here as my family was while I was living in Colorado. I aim to continue to nurture these connections. But I am ready and willing to step forth with this new Life Chapter, too. As much or more lies ahead as in the rear view mirror.

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images are from pixabay.com

Life is ephemeral, as a remembered W.B. Yeats poem (click here) states. Friends, family and this life as a whole is on loan to us from Divine Love/ the Universe. It is what we do with our associations that matters. Separation is only a temporary illusion, one might also say. New friends may be Souls we meet again.

I welcome YOUR Comments and Story!

Draw a Cornmeal Line (Don’t Look Back!)

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Pueblo Native American cultures (e.g. Hopi, San Juan and Zuni) of New Mexico and Arizona have strong traditions for ‘drawing a line’ between that which has ended and that which continues forward. This takes several forms in ceremonial use and is very evident when a person has died, transcending this surface plane to move on to higher worlds spiritually. Because the emotional bond is so strong among family and loved ones, at a ceremony a cornmeal line is scattered on the earth to signify that the departed shall go on spiritually while the bereaved must allow that spirit to go on and let them go. Otherwise the deceased Soul might want to linger and visit their loved ones psychically and the bereaved might be tempted to follow their loved one to the other side.

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To cross a threshold from one domain of life experience to a new Life Chapter full of ripe opportunities, it is important to draw that line, to make a clean departure or separation; to not look back once you have committed to your new direction forward.

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For example as I prepare to retire in just over a year now, to launch a second career around writing and services related to Life Path mapping (see sidebar), it is hard not to let doubts belay my forward progress. Shall I really retire to a lakeside community where just this past month I was beset by a throng of pest invaders? Maybe I should just sell the house but relocate in my present Colorado town: easier, safer?

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But, no! Life carries us forward and we must discern Its directions and accept and walk upon the path that opens up before us based on our own life purpose and mission. I must trust in Spirit, relying upon all the insights gained along the way.

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So yesterday I did an Alternate Futurescapes journaling myself (see previous post). I still envision myself (in most of the alt-scenarios, not all) moving to the lakeside community, but now it is to a recently built or well-maintained, very pest resistant sort of home, maybe a condominium or town home with homeowners fees that tend to pests regularly, or I could buy land and place a modular or a cabin on that. Anyway, my experience was a wake-up call for self (and pet) protection and vigilance, but it was not a barrier to stepping forth, come what may, to Live My Dream.

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images are from pixabay.com

So, draw a cornmeal line. Say your goodbyes, allow the past to pass while you turn your shoulders, brace against any inclement symbolic winds, and step cleanly and fully forward into your next step, the next Life Chapter of your mythically charged Life Story.

I welcome your comments and stories!

Beware the Naysayers

My cross country trip is still ongoing, and in fact after booking for home to deliver my dog safely and visit a doctor, I am actually on a flight this morning right back to New York State. My entire family is gathering to celebrate an early 90th birthday for my mother, Elizabeth (Betty), and I do not want to miss this big event.I am still not 100 percent recovered from the ordeals of this trip, but I am going anyway.

I do hope I have met the tests and challenges of the threshold Guardians well enough to find resolution and restore my body’s health fully soon. I am still taking every necessary precaution and hoping the harsh lotions do their healing work and ebb in their harshness soon. I have a threshold to Cross this next month and need the fortitude and enthusiasm to accomplish that.

To wind up this month’s discussion of the phase of a hero cycle involving the encounter with threshold guardians, allow me to mention two common varieties: Naysayers and Gatekeepers. You might encounter either or both along your Journey’s Quest.

When I was in grad school, and since then as a professor, I became aware of an almost guaranteed stage a student will experience in the course of pursuing their academic—and personal life—dreams. Invariably as they approach their threshold of commencing on a major task or study (E.g a dissertation or thesis venture) there will be someone who challenges their goal.

“Are you really going to try to do your study at Zuni Pueblo?” These Naysayers would ask. “They don’t like White people. They will never talk with you!”

Or, “Your idea is too big / too small… it will take too long… maybe you should try something easier, or different.”

But you know what I observed? Those enterprising students who refused to be deterred by their appointed Naysayers were those who succeeded to graduate in the field of their choice. Those who could be swayed very often did not finish with the program or degree they were seeking to obtain.

And then there are the Gatekeepers. You know of these and perhaps you are yourself in a role that serves as a gatekeeper for others, too. The gatekeeper minds the entranceway to a role or status opportunity. S/he sets or upholds the standards of admission. I remember when my best high school friend, Barb, came from a guidance counselor visit having been told, “You are not college material.” Yet Barbara was the school’s most talented artist. She went on to become a sought after wax figure sculptor who has peopled whole museums as well as a line of period wax dolls. Once later she took a college class just to investigate that direction. She excelled but was bored by the academic approach. She could have accomplished much in that direction had she chosen to, but then again perhaps Spirit had other plans which the Gatekeeper unwittingly opened.
If you are in a position to be a Gatekeeper fir others this is a sacred responsibility. Say YES as often as you can. Encourage the Aspirant to engage in meaningful self reflection rather than imposing what might be your own feelings of self limitation upon them.

The approach of Life Path Mapping which I will be providing with my upcoming book, YOUR LIFE PATH, is all about encouraging you to review, reflect, and then steer or if necessary redirect your life course so that you will absolutely Live Your Dream, Now! This month I intend to deliver the manuscript to the publisher; that is the Threshold I aim to cross during this next phase of my own Hero Cycle Quest!

Departure: A Double Entendre in Current America

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This month I am sharing about the phase of the Hero’s Adventure known as the Departure. It is a response to the Call to Adventure and must be undertaken mindfully, with good intention in order to bypass Threshold Guardians and Cross the Threshold of Adventure as you embark upon your Quest that only you can fully accomplish!

But as I attend to the news in this unsettling era of American conservatism in the White House, I recognize that “departure” is a word with a double meaning. The first meaning is as described in the above paragraph. The second is darker, more foreboding. A Departure can also be a turning AWAY from everything one has valued or known to be true for themselves. Where this new administration is going–or trying rather forcefully to take us to–is an extreme departure from much of what I value dearly and hold to be true based on the evidence of science and the witness of my heart.

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Climate change; Native American sovereignty rights over reservation and cultural resources; immigration and an open heart for refugees fleeing violence, poverty or corruption; racial and religious equality and freedom of choice including a woman’s choice over her own reproductive rights: suddenly all of these appear imperiled.

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The first sort of departure, acting on the intention to embark upon an Adventure in pursuit of one’s Dream, is positive and it can bear much bounty of a profound, heroic nature for all concerned. The second, a reversal of value-orientations developed over decades or even centuries in our democratic nation, feels ‘negative’ and disheartening to me. I feel disempowered by this second-order form of departure from the course the vast majority of people in my entire country have been pursuing toward achieving our collective American Dream.

So, the first departure, you must hold to, even in times of radical change and upheaval. Never turn back from your Dream!

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As to the second, darker seeming reversal (or any such external sort of reversal of charge threatening to obtrude within your world), do what you can, of course. Step forth, speak out as that becomes available for you, march, sign petitions as an active citizen who does have rights of free expression and whose values DO MATTER!

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Perhaps the collective good will ultimately triumph over the narrow nationalism and bigotry we see paraded about before us daily. The political comedians and newscasters are doing their best to stem the tide. Activism IS bearing fruit and will continue to do so. If that is the departure you are now being called to or in addition to the positive path you are set upon, all the best to you.

But my core message here for you is to not let the Threshold Guardians–any would-be naysayers or fatalistic pessimism itself–deter you from heading out on or continuing forth with YOUR Adventure.  Joseph Campbell would remind us that every successful Hero’s Adventure, both in the pursuing and in the realization of one’s Quest, one’s Dream, profoundly benefits not just the individual but the Universe as a Whole.

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images are from pixabay.com

We need to support one another in our joyful pursuit of our Dreams, perhaps Now more than ever.

I welcome YOUR Comments and Story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live Your Dream, Now!

 

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The through-line and credo for the Life Maps Process which I share as a life coaching tool and have prepared in book form hopefully being circulated right now or soon by my agent is “Live Your Dream, Now!”

For Your Reflections:

What Live Your Dream, Now! means is that you do NOT have to wait for anyone or anything in order to begin living the life of your Dream! How? You can identify the VALUES you wish to be expressing in your Dream-Come-True future scenario, and start NOW to live by those values.

For example, some of the values I intend to be integrating daily Now in relation to my active post-retirement scenario include:

  • Patience
  • Greater forbearance of differences (no conflict or need to ‘prove’ anything to anyone, ever)
  • Appreciation of life as separate from an institutionalized career (e.g. freedom from Academe, enjoyment of Nature and of basic human experience)

What do you hope to be experiencing as you live into your future Life Dream? How can you begin to practice and enjoy those kinds of experiences already?

  • time for daily walks in Nature
  • daily contemplations and journaling
  • reading more
  • writing daily
  • offering life mapping services, workshops, seminars
  • travel, near and far
  • more time to share with family and friends

What is ONE THING you could be doing now or in the foreseeable near future that could help to propel you INTO the realization of your Life Dream?

  • Create brochures that offer services
  • Merge web sites to make static one more active
  • Podcast

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Plant the Seeds:

Here’s a creative tool you can use to establish a clear INTENTION and VISION of the positive Life Dream or some aspect of that which you can begin NOW to manifest simply by focussing and anchoring your Mystic attention.

CREATE AN IMAGE BOARD

An image board can be a collage of images or simply a white poster board with some central images placed on it that display the life of your dreams.You can IMAGE your “dream home” or “dream environment,” or  clearly represent any VALUE that you aim to be living NOW so as to bring this value with you into Living Your Dream.

Place your Image Board somewhere you will see it daily. You could place it where you do your daily meditations or contemplations or yoga, or some place that evokes for you a sense of transformation and emergence!

I welcome your insights and stories!

What Does Your Mystic Predict?

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Although by general rule I don’t seek out fortune tellers—preferring to draw upon my own inner Mystic Ally, as I invite you also to consult—I do know quite unequivocally that seership or fortune telling can be quite accurate and valid. I know this from my own prophetic dreams but also because of an event that occurred 22 years ago.

In 1993 I completed my PhD at Arizona State University. That February or so, two job announcements came to my attention that appeared relevant to my preparation, one in Colorado Springs, Colorado and the other at the University of Texas at Austin.  I applied to both and I was put on short lists for them both. The first to invite me to interview was in Colorado. I interviewed over a three day period, from a Tuesday through a Thursday, enjoying the interview process and feeling quite good about the potential fit with my background and teaching experience.

That very Saturday, for the first time ever, I went with a friend for a lark to a Renaissance Festival in Phoenix, Arizona.  Not far into the theme park I saw a booth for a Palm Reader named Madame Carolyn. Because my Great-Great Aunt Bessie, whom I had cherished growing up, had read palms and was somewhat of a gypsy, I figured this would be fun. Neither myself nor the friend I was with, please remember, had ever even met this woman before this moment.

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The very first words out of Mme. Carolyn’s mouth to me were:

“You’re going to get the job.”

Well, that surely caught my attention after I had just been interviewing that last week. Her next words were even more ‘telling’:

“And you’re going to work in one of the other two places where I do Renaissance Fairs: either Colorado Springs, Colorado, or Austin, Texas.”

Zowie! The next week I received the job offer in Colorado Springs and I began teaching that August and have been there ever since. Every summer too, of course, I continue to visit Mme. Carolyn at the Colorado Renaissance Festival in Larkspur, Colorado (about 20 minutes from my home). Over the years she has foretold equally astounding potentials. I have learned that what she is able to do with me is to see positive potentials. Then it is up to me whether or not to act on those potentials and bring them about.

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Forecasting and engaging in your own creative future envisioning can be a very helpful tool. In the Life Mapping Process which I share with people and will provide in my upcoming book, Your Life Path, I provide several “Future Casting” techniques to help you to envision, plan for, and manifest your Life Dream. The motto of this approach to Life Mapping is:

Live Your Dream, Now!

But first you need to tune into what your current Life Dream IS. It may morph and transform as you work with this Dream image, but wherever you are at Now is an excellent point at which to sit at the ‘dock of the bay’, as it were, and cast your line or net into the waters.

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images from pixabay.com

Close your eyes and call upon your own Mystic Archetype Ally.  Ask him/her to foretell for you  where you will  be/ what you will be doing five years from now (or more or less depending upon what it is you are hoping to fulfill in this time frame), with your most positive Life Dream potentials achieved.

You can engage with your Inner Mystic in active imagination (contemplation) or by writing a back-and-forth dialogue with your Mystic. You could use an artistic approach to sketch or draw an image of your Life Dream fulfilled. Or you could make a collage of magazine pictures or computer images to represent your Dream.

I invite you to share with us all here your insights and results!

Proclaim Your Inner Idealist !

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What are your ideals? It’s “open mike” for your Idealist archetype Ally part-of-Self to proclaim your highest ideal values.

I invite you to write or speak a list of IDEALIST statements or affirmations you would love to share. As an example here are some affirmations from my own IDEALIST point of view:

“Never Give Up, yet always give UP (Surrender to Spirit and be willing to Accept ITS bounty)!”

“Aim for the Heavens in all you do; you do not have to “nearly die” to get Here!”

“Trust.”

“Honesty.”

“Faith.”

“Dream, and then ACT on your inner Dream Guidance.”

“Sit still and Do Something!”

“There are no strangers; all are cut from the same cloth.”

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Now then, all you need to do is take some ‘time out’ and LISTEN! Allow your own highest Ideals to guide you on your journey, day to day and moment by moment. Your IDEALIST will support you always and will remind you of your own highest nature.

So ask yourself:

“What are My highest Ideals?

How can I allow these ideals to steer Me along a more positive life course?

How can my Ideals lead Me to define My Life Dream and to Live My Dream, Now! ?”

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I welcome your insights and stories!

 

 

 

 

For A Kinder, Gentler World

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As I conclude this month of pairing the Lover archetype Ally with the postulate to Live Your Dream, Now! I find within some personal reflections and insights from this segment of the journey.

For myself I  realize how sensitive—not fragile but acutely aware of my own and others’ feelings—my Lover persona can be. It is tender and vulnerable and you know what? I like that about me…er, about that aspect of my integrated Self. I protect this tender, heart dwelling Lover nature, and I value her presence and her willingness to ‘hang in there’ with me, even though often she must submerge into the unconscious reservoir to refresh and renew her own nature.

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For those not familiar with the understanding of archetypal energies and specifically about unconscious persona archetype energies that influence and can contribute either in Strength or Shadow manner to our conscious constructions and expressions of Self (á la Jung or Hillman or other popular authors or herein), let me reassure you that becoming aware of and connecting willfully with your sometimes ‘buried’ archetypal personae does not make you “multiple” or schizophrenic. In fact, as all these authors would note, it is in aligning with and working to strengthen, illuminate and ally with our archetypal personae—which all of us have at least latently in human consciousness or what Jung called Psyche—the resulting individuation and integration forges a much more balanced, aware, and dynamic Self that is closer to expressing our full Soul potentials in this world.

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But back to the Lover seeking to Live my Dream, Now! This month she has shown me through her tender sensibilities how hard this world can sometimes be. Not always, of course (fortunately!). But in our urbane world often people are not led primarily by their own loving natures so much as by the Mind or by the Rule (Elder Leader energies).  My sensitive Lover persona runs for cover when I bump up against someone’s anger or cold indifference, though I realize it is simply the way of the world I live in to throw such energies about, some times. I too have to sometimes muster my own Elder Leader traits to meet such interactions ‘head on’. I try to do so in a balanced way, as far as possible to bring a greater balance to my environment. Sometimes it is necessary to be firm.

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So I realize it is in part my Lover persona who seeks a Kinder, Gentler World. That is one reason I am intending to retire to a small rural town soon enough. I look forward to walks along the lake and in the nearby parks and moving gently through lake water in a rowboat or small motorboat or canoe or kayak. I envision walking with my Soul companion Sophie (my Shorkie), and cuddling with her and with my furry cat friends. Well, of course I do that already! To the extent we daydream we create the life of our dreams here and now; we do not have to wait to Live Your Dream, Now!, which is the very point after all, n’est-ce pas?

May You Dream Your Dream and Live It Daily!

I welcome your insights, always.

Do What You Love, Love What You Do

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We are all inherently Lovers as we have the LOVER archetype as one of our universal unconscious potentials. Of course this takes different forms for different persons and changes over time.  Perhaps if we think of each of our primary archetypal energies as having their own life cycles within the overall life course of the Self or Psyche, we can observe how these energies shift form as we develop our personalities or identity over time. For me at 61, my LOVER energies are as strong as ever, but they are focused very differently than earlier in my  life.

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Nowadays my LOVER is in love with Life in the largest sense, and with my pets, close family, friends, and more impersonally with colleagues and students, and it drives me forward with my writing toward fruition: publishing and sharing. It keeps me moving forward no matter how long it may take, because I love the process as well as the emerging product and I am grateful for the opportunities available along every step of the Way.

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Do You Love What You Do? Is that the same for you as Doing What You Love, or, not? 

How can you transition from loving what you do to truly and completely DOING WHAT YOU LOVE? What would that look like for you? How might you enhance even what you presently love doing in order for your life to manifest core values and ideals that you associate with your LIFE DREAM, right NOW?

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I encourage you to take some time out to consider this question. Daydream about DOING WHAT YOU LOVE. Journal about it; actively contemplate and envision your Dream Come True. You can ask your LOVER archetype in active imagination to help you visualize and imagine deeply DOING WHAT YOU LOVE, Full Throttle. Then consider, is there anything you can be doing Now to help you merge these two dimensions of loving what you do/ doing what you love, more fully?

I welcome your insights and stories!

Live Your Dream, Now!

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“Live Your Dream, Now!” is the  credo for the personal development handbook Your Life Path, which I currently am waiting for my agent to begin circulating after she attends to a major “launch” and probably some other projects.  Your Life Path will provide a complete, three stage rites of passage process for which you will be able to use life mapping and other creative self-discovery tools to uncover patterns and archetypal influences in your own Life Story that have been helping or hindering you from actively claiming and fulfilling your Life Mission and, yes, Living Your Dream, Now.

Living your dream NOW means that after you claim or excavate your goals and can identify the Strengths you have developed through overcoming challenges and learning valuable Life Lessons, you can begin Here and Now to conduct your day to day life integrating the values you desire to be expressing with the realization of your highest sense of purpose and adventure.

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This month we are exploring the principle Live Your Dream, Now as a positive affirmation and postulate.  Consider first, then, do you presently even ‘have’ a Dream; or, how do you currently conceive of and envision your Life Dream? What would your life look like if you were exactly where you would wish to be living, doing precisely what you would most love to be doing in your IDEAL future scenario?

Or are you already Living Your Dream? Even if the life you are living fulfills you, where is it leading for you? I believe human consciousness or perhaps even all sentient beings strive not just for survival on a daily basis but also for self-transcendence. We want our Tomorrows to be ever more spectacular, even if we are the best we have ever been right Now.

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Here is a Future Life Mapping Tool: Create a Game of LIFE game board that includes the sorts of twists and turns you can anticipate passing through along the winding road of your own Life Journey from Now toward some Future life scenario in which you have fulfilled your life goals. You can do this with a friend or family member and talk about each other’s game boards.

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I like the Wizard of OZ game of LIFE version because it reminds me very clearly of Life Mapping. Dorothy begins on her Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Kansas, of course, and she and the rest of her archetypal ensemble cast members weave and wend their way through ordeals and tests, making choices along the way and gaining salaries (rewards). Eventually they return HOME, of course, having gained much of value along the Way.

Joseph Campbell, the world famous comparative mythologist who gave us The Hero with 1000 Faces recognized that the Hero’s Adventure that we are naturally all set upon in the journey of a lifetime always leads HOME.

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So let’s start there this month. Where truly is your Mythic HOME? Set that as your destination on your game board of LIFE!

I welcome your insights and please share with us your life mapping results!!!

Lovers of Life, Live Your Dream!

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October’s universal Archetype figure is that of the LOVER, which we will pair all this glorious month with the life metaphor Life Is… Living Your Dream, Now! What a coniunctio mysterium or sacred marriage, as Jung might observe (e.g. https://retiredeagle.wordpress.com/tag/coniunctio/), with Lovers as an image of coniunctio itself, resulting in Living Your Dream!

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There are so many ways Love can manifest in our lives; what matters is that our capacity to give and to receive love grows as we do, finding greater and greater forms of experience, expression and sharing.

“My love is deep; the more I give to thee,

The more I have, both are infinite.”

~William Shakespeare

This will be fun! As we explore the LOVER archetype Ally this month to reveal its purpose in helping us to manifest a life of fulfillment and passion, let us not hold back.  Open your heart to receive and to give Love—personal or impersonal, romantic or divine. There is nothing more completing of our intentions and desires than to give and receive love freely for the better interests of all concerned. Now, guided by the principle of Live Your Dream, Now, this love that we wish to expose and expand can find a greater vehicle and channel.

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I welcome your Insights and Stories!

Crossing a Threshold to Embark on Your Greatest Adventure

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For the month of May I will illuminate here the archetype of the ARTIST and the Life Metaphor of Life as “Crossing a Threshold to Embark on your Greatest Adventure.” Crossing a Threshold refers to taking a step in a bold new direction that leads to the fulfillment of Living Your Dream, Now!

Most people live most of their lives either going forward into the future based on  experiences and effects from their past, or they live from day to day in the protective bubble of present events that stretch from the familiar past into a similar future.  This does not necessarily embody living with awareness in the NOW.

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Nowness is often mistaken for yet remains independent of timespace; it is where your consciousness is rooted, Moment by Moment. It is a state of balance or stasis you maintain that embues the liberation to choose freely what your experience—in or out of timespace–shall Be.

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In order to step across the threshold of experience rather than being condemned to repeat or perpetuate sameness–like the mythical Sisyphus going up and back down his mountain interminally–you must know who you Are (Soul, not embodiment) and where you desire and intend to go based on your mission, purpose and goals, or your Life Dream. So, it helps to contemplate where you are at this time in your life in relation to that which you desire to manifest that may or may not extend from your present life conditions.

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To genuinely cross the threshold to fulfill your life mission and dream, you need to detach yourself from your present, like a marionette cutting her strings to find s/he was a human all along!

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Can you think of a time when you accomplished a ‘quantum leap’ to a whole new quality or level of life experience than before? How did you do this?

We will explore this question this week and I invite and welcome your insights and your stories.

Where Are You Going?

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Socrates is known for the following zinger:

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Why did he say this, do you think? It is so easy to become settled into crusted routines and habits in our lives. Years pass, decades even, until one day we wake up and ask ourselves, where has the time gone? This is especially true with regard to fulfilling our life’s purpose.  I have shared before the motivational “wake-up call” I received one morning 13 years ago. Plastered before me like a placard posted squarely  in my inner vision between sleeping and waking were these bold words:

YOU HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY

TO REALIZE YOUR DREAMS,

NOT JUST FOR GETTING BY.

Believe me, I know how hard it can be to persist, daily, toward the realization of your dreams. For ever since I received this inner beckoning, I have not turned back. This inner vision led me to revise my career in the direction of developing the approach of life mapping which my book-in-progress, Life Paths: Live Your Dream, Now! will, eventually, provide for the general public. I realize now that this visionary admonition to pursue one’s dreams was intended not just for me but for everyone, including you.

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So, WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

This week I am presenting you with journaling or contemplation prompts to consider: Where Are You At? (Sunday); Where Are You Going? (today through Thursday); and How Will You Get There? (Friday).  These are not random questions. Together they comprise a call to action with respect to your life dreams. They allow you to examine your current position within the overall life you choose to live. 

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Have you read or seen a movie version of Lost Horizon? When I was growing up, maybe around 12 years old, I read and re-read that amazing novel by James Hilton several times, about Hugh Conway finding his mission in life at the fabled Himalayan temple of Shangri-La. The Universe/ Spirit delivers Hugh and his brother and a small group of fellow air crash passengers to this hidden Temple where an aged master awaits Conway to bestow upon him the mantle of responsibility to maintain the vision and purpose of Shangri-La as a place of peace and knowledge that will be of immeasurable value to the future of humanity in the case of a worldwide calamity. After having to escort his brother and other non-believers back to the mundane world of European urbanity, Conway returns on his quest to find Shangri-La on his own, and eventually, he does. Here is a Soul who knows “where he is going,” at least in the sense of his life’s calling and mission. He becomes so passionate about fulfilling this Quest that nothing can possibly prevent him from achieving his purpose; he is a man utterly transformed by the awareness of his own potential and responsibility to life itself.

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Can you relate to Hugh Conway’s Quest in some way in your own life? What is your Shangri-La? Let me ask again, then:

WHERE ARE YOU GOING?

I invite you to contemplate inwardly and to journal or otherwise engage with this question and the response that it elicits from Within. As always, I invite and welcome all of your insights and stories.

AS IF

 Blue Magical Background

Since May, we have explored the following sequence of weekly topics here at Life Paths for Better Endings:

  • Your Origin Story
  • Your Vision Quest
  • Your Life Metaphor
  • Your Life Course Schema
  • Your Significant Life Events
  • Your Life Themes
  • Your Turning Points
  • Your Life Chapters
  • Your Life Story Genre
  • Your Story as Myth
  • Your Narrative Statement
  • Universal Archetypes
  • Your Ensemble Cast of “Archemes”
  • Your Guardians of the Threshold
  • Dreaming
  • Active Imagination
  • What Are Your Dragons?
  • Your Quest
  • Your Life Challenges
  • Your Archetype Strengths
  • Hold Fast to Your Dream
  • Your Action Plan
  • Your Life Dream Totem

The final, culminating topic of this six-month process—our theme for this week—is Live Your Dream, Now!

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First, you can find and develop linkages from your present life experience to connect with your future goal. This allows you to gradually live into your Dream by continuing those practices and attitudes that already serve your sense of life purpose or Mission while gradually making changes in the direction of fully manifesting your goals.

Second, I introduced the idea of As Above, So Below. You can use prayer, meditation or active contemplation to creatively envision and explore inwardly that which in time you aim to manifest outwardly.

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A third way to Live Your Dream, Now! is by applying the “As If” principle. You are free to Act already, currently, AS IF you ARE Living Your Life Dream, Now! This is a practice you can utilize as a way of integrating the high values of your Life Dream into your everyday present reality. What attitudes will you want to be expressing as you express your fully self-actualized roles with your Life Dream achieved? Acting AS IF you are already living your Dream means that you do not have to wait for any material changes in order to express the Self (persona) you aim to be expressing in your most Self-realized nature! See?

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The AS IF principle means that you already ARE everything you ever will be, inwardly as Soul. To unfold into your highest expression of Self you need only to BE THIS NOW! Assume the perspective of the fully Self-Realized Being that you ARE and live from this perspective and attitude! Are there certain values and qualities of perception or attitude you might associate with your highest Self? Respect, Patience, Generosity, Flexibitlity, Expertise in your life’s vocation, etcetera? Since these qualities already exist within you NOW, Act AS IF you have already fully developed these and let your life adjust itself around your Self-realized expression.

These three aspects or practices that let you Live Your Dream, Now! together activate the three phases of the Law of Manifestation that Denise shared about here just a few weeks ago: Seeing;  Knowing; and Being.

I invite you insights from your own life experience!

As Above, So Below–Live Your Dream, Now! Part 2

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You might have noticed how over the past six months this blog site has utilized a principle of threes. Three topics per weekly theme have served to introduce, to invite you to explore, and then to provide an exercise for you to practice that could help you to ground or integrate the weekly theme.

For this final week of this Life Paths for Better Endings sequence of themes, I will engage you with our theme of Live Your Dream, Now! via presenting three facets of this idea. On Sunday I invited you to look at how aspects of your present NOW could already be linked with the future NOW of your Life Dream fulfilled. This step allows you to look at what you can be doing or adding to your current life routines or activities to orient or steer yourself in the direction of manifesting your Life Dream ‘down the road’ while continuing your day to day life in an expectant state.

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Second, for today through Thursday, Live Your Dream, Now! can also mean to visualize your Life Dream via exercising your active imagination. You may use meditation, prayer or contemplation to place yourself imaginatively into your desired future life Dreamscape.  Use your creative imagination to explore this inner space. Go here often. Explore in depth! Write in your journal about what you experience, or create a poem or a piece of art to represent or make a totem about your vision, and/or you can share your insights and Aha! moments with your loved ones.

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As Eastern religious traditions emphasize (although, this is a universal spiritual/ creative principle): As Above, So Below! That means that what we manifest outwardly begins as a seed inwardly. To nurture that seed so that it grows into the outward manifestation of our Life Dream fulfilled, we may feed that thought form from within via contemplation, meditation, or prayerful states of faith and steadfast Knowingness.

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I will develop a third and final step for you on Friday that can help you further to Live Your Dream, Now. In general, this principle of Live Your Dream, Now! is the throughline for the Life Maps Process in its entirety. It is important to understand that your Life Dream—and we all have one, whether or not we are currently nurturing it—is something definite and real; it is not merely a nebulous or unrealistic,  ‘pie in the sky’ wish. Live Your Dream, NOW means that we do not have to wait to act on our desires to fulfill our deepest aspirations. We can begin NOW, today, in THIS MOMENT to live into this positive state of consciousness of your dream fulfilled!

I invite your insights and stories.

Live Your Dream, Now!

Mushrooms Magic Background

This week is the final week of a six month process at Better Endings. Over the past six months this site has presented a series of topics to help you to establish a Vision for your future Life Path; a Life Dream that you CAN manifest fully. This Life Dream is not intended as “just a dream” nor as a product of “magical thinking.” Your Life Dream is to be LIVED, not merely imagined. It represents not the Impossible, but the POSSIBLE and even the PROBABLE, so long as you nurture and cultivate this Reality that is Parallel to the life you are currently enacting.

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Between the present life you are living and the Now you are living so far imaginatively with your Life Dream, there are connections that should not be overlooked.  What are they? In other words, I believe you would not even be able to conceive of a Life Dream except that there are key elements of your present life that will give rise to the Reality of your Life Dream Achieved, so long as you nurture and develop these.

Architectural detail of a antique staircase with stone steps

Over the past few weeks my own Life Dream has become clearer for me; now I desire to create a Life Dreams Institute (whereas before, I envisioned a Life Paths Institute; now I see a much greater potential emerging.) Elements present in my life now that can allow me to manifest this Dream include this blog and the book manuscript and Life Mapping Handbook it represents, along with retirement savings which I have been talking with professionals about, and the realization of where I want to relocate to in order to establish such a ‘retreat’ locale. Of course there is MUCH yet to transpire, much to nurture and to accommodate as I proceed step by step in the pursuit of my life goals. Much can change in the process, too; it is always wisest to be FLEXIBLE in relation to your Life Dream. The Universe/ Spirit will show you more over time and will lead you to the highest expression of your Dream, if you let It.

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What is required of you and of me is faith and persistence; trust and a willingness to stay true to your Dream.

Today then, I invite you to contemplate your current life IN RELATION TO your fully realized Life Dream. What are you doing now or what could you be doing, now or in the near future, that can help to pave the way to the gradual realization of your Life Dream Achieved? Perhaps there is ONE THING you can set into motion which will orient your Life Path toward fulfilling your goals. What IS IT? Engage in an Active Imagination/meditation/contemplation so you can visualize your Next Step, your One Thing you can do to keep you moving in the right direction.

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PLease don’t interpret me to ever be saying that I would see your or my own life Now as being deficient in any way! Where we are Now is the fulfillment of where we have oriented ourselves up TO now, isn’t it? To me that is an empowering perspective.  We are the Creators of the life we are living (hopefully in tandem with our divine given talents and potentials).

Spring Gardening

Live your Dream, NOW! Means that your Life Dream will never magically pop into existence. It requires your creative envisioning and your active participation and contemplation to gradually apply the Law of Manifestation so to bring it INTO existence, in the ever-expanding and transformative NOW. (I am linking to some earlier blog ideas if you’d like to retrace some of the steps we have taken through this process.)

I invite your Comments and Stories.

What is your Next Step, Now?

 

A Wake-Up Call

RESPONS

Imagine waking one morning to this billboard-like statement pasted between your eyebrows, with bold letters in a black box just like the one above:

“You Have the Responsibility to Realize Your Dreams, Not Just for Getting By.”

I experienced this lucid dream some 14 years ago, and it was this VISION, this direct admonition of my spiritual and personal responsibility to pursue my greatest Life Dream, that has ultimately conducted me down a long and winding pathway ever since that morning to find out what that Dream IS, and to Follow it through.

Some few months after waking to this dream command, while wondering what topic to conduct research about for a university sabbatical, I woke to an auditory dream message just as clear as the sign above, that simply stated:

“LIFE PATHS”

And so, I embarked on research to develop a way to help people graphically be able to MAP their LIFE PATHS. One thing has led to another, so that now, 13 years down the road, I have gradually, step by step, with interview research then articles, then workshops and classes, then a published academic book and article, then more classes and individual coaching, manifested much already of my own Dream by developing the LIFE MAPS PROCESS. Over the past six years, in addition to the academic book (The ‘Life Map’ as a Cognitive Structure Underlying Behavior–A New Tool for Psychological Understanding; Mellen Press, 2010), I have come to understand what my original dream directive was really about: a self-help personal growth and development book that would allow anybody (e.g.,You) to apply the LIFE MAPS PROCESS directly;  so that anyone can

“LIVE YOUR DREAM, NOW!”

The book, called LIFE PATHS, with its companion self-help Handbook (The Life Maps Portfolio Handbook) now exists. I have completed a major edit and a wonderful agent will begin marketing LIFE PATHS later this summer. (Of course, I won’t put the cart before the horse; there is much work yet ahead before this can be released, but at least it is on a track headed potentially in the right direction.)

I realized quite awhile ago that my original dream impetus, the signpost I woke to that sent me on this quest to realize MY Dream, was intended equally for YOU; that is, for everyone!

So, please consider taking this to Heart:

YOU HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY

TO REALIZE YOUR DREAMS;

NOT JUST FOR GETTING BY.

Today’s post initiates the next phase for sharing the Life Maps Process with all who might wish to benefit from it. This process is framed as a Rites of Passage adventure, with three stages of Life Mapping and Reflection; Life Path Exploration (via Descent and Re-Emergence); and Future Life Dream Projection and Manifestation.  The 80+ creative techniques and activities which the Handbook provides that include journalling, active imagination, “Archetype dialogue”, dreamwork, collage making, vision questing, action planning, Mandala envisioning, and Totemic grounding will guide you as the reader/ life mapper through a tried and true adventure of self-discovery, realization, and attainment of Your Dream.

For the next six months in this blog, I will gradually introduce several life mapping sorts of creative modalities. I invite you to try them out for yourself. While they are but a sampling of the full toolkit that will become available with LIFE PATHS, the Tuesday posts will from here on provide a series of life mapping opportunities designed as a processual series of steps that will allow you to sample the Life Maps Process. This Process allows you to review and reflect on your recurring Life Themes, to see your Life Story as composed of meaningful Life Chapters, and to Meet & Greet your own “mythic archetypal cast” of unconscious “Archeme Allies”.

So, WELCOME to Better Endings for LIFE PATHS; especially, your own!

The format for our weekly blog (see Weekly Topics menu) will from here forth include a presentation of concepts and principles for the Weekly Topic on Sundays, then a Life Mapping activity on Tuesdays offered for you to practice, and discussion of feedback from you and my sharing of case stories and other considerations around the weekly topic on Fridays.

I certainly invite you to practice any or all of the life mapping opportunities that will be presented here. Although this may involve a very personal process of self-discovery, I welcome your insights, questions and feedback, either publicly as Comments and Stories of your own (which I will share), or privately (see Contact menu).

This morning Synchronicity presented herself in the form of a relevant image and quote from Confucius, by Theresa of Soulgatherings (link below):

Re-blogged with permission from Theresa

(Soulgatherings.wordpress.com)

hearts

To put the world right in order,
we must first put the nation in order;
to put the nation in order,
we must first put the family in order;
to put the family in order,
we must first cultivate our personal life;
to cultivate our personal life,
we must first set our hearts right.

Confucius ~

Better Endings to Your Life Path!!! – Linda

Maximize YOU!

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How do we manifest Better Endings in relation to our work & career? A number of factors come to mind, including: “Love What You Do, and Do What You Love;” “Aim High;” and “Be True to Yourself”.  We could merge these into a single Better Endings principle: “Maximize You!”

Lidiya’s guest post on ThursdayThe Only Way to Get What You Want, reblogged from her Let’sReach Success.com site reminds us that commitment is important to success in any endeavor. Her suggestions reinforce the idea of “Maximize You”. Here below I repeat again her suggested 6 points to remember:

1. It’s absolutely possible to reach all your goals.

2. You already have what it takes.

3. You’ll need to work hard.

4. Then to do it repeatedly.

5. You’ll need to go the extra mile and go beyond what is considered average.

6. It will also take dedication and sacrifices.

Allow me to add some thoughts regarding the several aspects of “Maximize You!” mentioned above.

airship

Aim High

Setting goals beyond the immediate project or beyond your current role can stimulate you to envision new possibilities for growth and development. When you complete your current project with excellence, how might it lead to something beyond that project that is worthy of your attention and adaptive skillset?

Be True to Yourself

Are you where you want to be, doing all that you are capable of in this context? Then good! You are where you are meant to be, where you can learn most, already! (Better Endings isn’t necessarily or always about change.) Is there something else you would like to be doing and that you could, by Aiming High, potentially achieve? Maximizing You means you get to BE YOU, wherever you are. Be honest and open with yourself, and with others. Goethe wrote: “As soon as you Trust Yourself, you will know how to live.”

Love What You Do, Do What You Love

This old adage actually encapsulates a dynamic principle of itself, which comes down to maintaining a positive Attitude. My father who grew up on a farm in Kentucky during the Great Depression and went on to serve as a bomber pilot in the Pacific in WWII then later earned a Ph.D. in metallurgy and worked as an Aeronautics Engineer on the first shuttle, used often to counsel me: “If you’re going to be a ditch digger, then be the very best ditch digger you can be!” (BTW, he worked for A&T digging ditches to lay telephone wire while in college, so he was speaking from experience.) No matter what you are doing, if you apply all of your capabilities to doing that job well, it will maximize your potentials in that role while also preparing you for something greater.

life-is-not-problem-but-reality

Ajaytao

As we develop our potentials, new potentials open up for us to move into; our lives expand according to the unfolding of our interests and abilities.

All this can be summed up even more simply: “Never Sell Yourself Short!”

If you can imagine a goal—and you can—you can envision a pathway to reach your goal. Follow that pathway you envision and you set a process into motion that will bring you into the Nowness of your goal achieved.

It helps as well, though, to conceive of your goal in terms of VALUES rather than as material objectives. If you Aim High to be Happier at your current job, for example, and you are True to Yourself, then in the process of giving that job or process your all, you expand your potentials so that, perhaps, new opportunities will arise.

But after all, I would also remind anyone, don’t “beat yourself up” if where you are is precisely where you need to be, even if you might wish it could be otherwise. You can Maximize You anywhere, in any current situation. Better Endings is not necessarily about “improving” a situation; sometimes it can mean simply being YOU within the situation you are in, as fully—as mindfully—as you are presently able. Sometimes we may simply count our blessings for all that we have, and give of ourselves from Here and Now, so that all good things can simply Be as they Are, and we grow accordingly.

1976-1013-A2016

******   ******

Your insights are always welcome!

vector2059-010413

How do we manifest Better Endings in relation to our work & career? A number of factors come to mind, including: “Love What You Do, and Do What You Love;” “Aim High;” and “Be True to Yourself”.  We could merge these into a single Better Endings principle: “Maximize You!”

Lidiya’s guest post on ThursdayThe Only Way to Get What You Want, reblogged from her Let’sReach Success.com site reminds us that commitment is important to success in any endeavor. Her suggestions reinforce the idea of “Maximize You”. Here below I repeat again her suggested 6 points to remember:

1. It’s absolutely possible to reach all your goals.

2. You already have what it takes.

3. You’ll need to work hard.

4. Then to do it repeatedly.

5. You’ll need to go the extra mile and go beyond what is considered average.

6. It will also take dedication and sacrifices.

Allow me to add some thoughts regarding the several aspects of “Maximize You!” mentioned above.

airship

Aim High

Setting goals beyond the immediate project or beyond your current role can stimulate you to envision new possibilities for growth and development. When you complete your current project with excellence, how might it lead to something beyond that project that is worthy of your attention and adaptive skillset?

Be True to Yourself

Are you where you want to be, doing all that you are capable of in this context? Then good! You are where you are meant to be, where you can learn most, already! (Better Endings isn’t necessarily or always about change.) Is there something else you would like to be doing and that you could, by Aiming High, potentially achieve? Maximizing You means you get to BE YOU, wherever you are. Be honest and open with yourself, and with others. Goethe wrote: “As soon as you Trust Yourself, you will know how to live.”

Love What You Do, Do What You Love

This old adage actually encapsulates a dynamic principle of itself, which comes down to maintaining a positive Attitude. My father who grew up on a farm in Kentucky during the Great Depression and went on to serve as a bomber pilot in the Pacific in WWII then later earned a Ph.D. in metallurgy and worked as an Aeronautics Engineer on the first shuttle, used often to counsel me: “If you’re going to be a ditch digger, then be the very best ditch digger you can be!” (BTW, he worked for A&T digging ditches to lay telephone wire while in college, so he was speaking from experience.) No matter what you are doing, if you apply all of your capabilities to doing that job well, it will maximize your potentials in that role while also preparing you for something greater.

life-is-not-problem-but-reality

Ajaytao

As we develop our potentials, new potentials open up for us to move into; our lives expand according to the unfolding of our interests and abilities.

All this can be summed up even more simply: “Never Sell Yourself Short!”

If you can imagine a goal—and you can—you can envision a pathway to reach your goal. Follow that pathway you envision and you set a process into motion that will bring you into the Nowness of your goal achieved.

It helps as well, though, to conceive of your goal in terms of VALUES rather than as material objectives. If you Aim High to be Happier at your current job, for example, and you are True to Yourself, then in the process of giving that job or process your all, you expand your potentials so that, perhaps, new opportunities will arise.

But after all, I would also remind anyone, don’t “beat yourself up” if where you are is precisely where you need to be, even if you might wish it could be otherwise. You can Maximize You anywhere, in any current situation. Better Endings is not necessarily about “improving” a situation; sometimes it can mean simply being YOU within the situation you are in, as fully—as mindfully—as you are presently able. Sometimes we may simply count our blessings for all that we have, and give of ourselves from Here and Now, so that all good things can simply Be as they Are, and we grow accordingly.

1976-1013-A2016

******   ******

Your insights are always welcome!

The Future from Here-Now

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Tomorrow depends on today and on the ripples from the past that we allow to affect us in this present Moment, which many spiritual approaches would say is all there IS: Now-Be-Here. John Thomas Dodds expressed a satisfaction with the Present that illuminates the Allness of this awareness quite nicely when he replied to yesterday’s query about What is Your Bliss? finding that his Bliss is exactly what he is already experiencing, Here-Now:

        It’s simple: being exactly where I am right at this very moment, typing these words with love and beauty surrounding me in joy.

        Being where I’ve always wanted to be, with who I always wanted to be with, oh yes, of course, four cats playing in the garden.

That all that IS is complete in the Now can also be seen as a Paradox. Everything exists Now, yet through our memories and our future projection faculties, yesterday is Here and Now when we focus our spotlight of attention upon an elapsed moment, as is a Future potential Here and Now when we view it from the viewpoint of this eternal Present. This means simply that past-present-future is a seamless Whole and all three are inseparably interconnected. The more aware we are of conditions and influences from the Past and in the Present, the better able we are to manifest a future reality state, as it were,  based on consciously chosen values and experiences. You need not simply roll along on the waves to accept “whatever comes”.  You have the capacity to choose and to plan as needed to create the life conditions you desire to express. That is why the motto or ‘tagline’ for the approach to Life Mapping I’ve been developing and sharing with life coaching is: “Live Your Dream, Now!”

background made of color swatches and plans

 

For Tuesday’s Better Endings prompts list this week, then, around the topic of manifesting Your Life Dream, I offer the following topics:

  • Where I am headed as things stand today?
  • What do I want in my future that is not present in my life today?
  • What shall I carry forward?
  • Where to from Here?
  • My Life Dream is:
  • A Sea Change (then, now or future)
  • Stuck patterns; what can I do?
  • How might I integrate my future values here and now?
  • Inner conflicts about my future prospects (This can be in the form of an Archetypal Dialogue.)
  • The plus factor; what I would add/change/modify if I could (and, how)
  • At a crossroads/ Multiple paths forward (reflect)
  • At the Threshold (What do I see from Here-Now as I look ahead?);  what is around the bend?)
  • Threshold Guardians (What factors or self-limiting thoughts appear to block my going forward?)
  • Crossing the Threshold
  • “Going Home”

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I invite you to choose one or more of the above prompts (or use your own) to write about, contemplate/meditate upon, talk about, and or to share about with us here, expressing your insights or stories.