Vocation Better Endings

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One of my favorite classic movies is the Deborah Kerr/ Cary Grant version of An Affair to Remember. One of the reasons for the enormous popularity of this story is not just the romantic kismet between the main characters Nickie Ferrante and Terry McKay but also because of what they represent to each other as opportunities to Follow Their Hearts and Realize their Dreams, apart from the normative, mediocre lives/ relationships they have been oriented to before they meet.

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They each have ardent vocations: Miss McKay’s as a working class children’s vocal teacher and Nickie’s as a painter.  Once they meet Nickie vows to give up his money-seeking, playboy lifestyle to earn a living for his wife from his painting, though he could instead marry into money and continue with a carefree, empty life instead. Terry is willing to risk pursuing true love with Nickie rather than settling for a predictable life where her own career is likely to be sacrificed or to come second to her husband’s.

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Both Terry and Nickie’s vocations fulfill their deeply artistic natures.  They are following their hearts as well as recognizing kindred Souls in one another.  Both have “gone to Sea” on an ocean liner seeking deeper truths than their engagements of ‘convenience’ offer. So, An Affair to Remember is a Better Endings tale, through and through.

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images are from pixabay.com

Of course the ending of this film is itself a Better Ending conclusion, wonderfully acted by Grant and Kerr.  It is Nickie Ferrante’s art that saves their relationship: a painting of Terry wearing his Aunt’s shawl, in Terry’s bedroom, that Nickie had been told “a crippled woman” had purchased.

“If you can paint, I can walk!” 

May you, too, Follow Your Heart. Listen closely to the beat of your own drum. This way you, like Terry and Nickie, can embark on the Journey to Live Your Best  Life!

I welcome YOUR Comments and STORY

 

Map Your Relationships

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Life Mapping lets you review the trends and potentialities of each of your Life Themes within the epic adventure of your lifetime! This year at Better Endings for Your Life Path we are exploring one Life Theme per month (see monthly topics) by using and reflecting on life mapping techniques; for February we are focusing on Relationships.

Many life mappers identify Relationships as a primary Life Theme, either directly or according to sub-themes like Family, Romance, Pets, and/or Friends.  I would like to invite you to choose one or more of these topics to map across your life course. If you choose more than one, then I would ask you to color code the events you will map for each Theme you are exploring.

The basic technique of life mapping which I will be presenting fully with my upcoming book, YOUR LIFE PATH (see right panel!), invites you to first make a list of Significant Life Events pertaining to your Theme(s), then plot their relative impact on shaping “the person you have become.”

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First then, make a list of events or situations involving key relationships in your life. You can make separate lists if you are exploring more than one Relationship theme, like one list for Romantic relationships and a separate list for Family or for Friends events (or do one at a time). Keep a wide left margin on your page. Let this be a list of events or situations that have influenced you in significant ways. You can start with the earliest or with the most impactful life experience involving this Theme, then feel free to recall earlier or later events freely (you will order these chronologically later).

After you have a list of key events, in the wide left margin next to each event, note the age you were when this occurred (either a single date or a time frame). Then ask yourself, “How has this event or situation impacted the person I have become?” RATE the event or situation relative to the time frame when it occurred, from -5 to +5, where -5 is extremely negative and +5 is extremely positive. Note that you could rate the same event as both Plus and Minus in its impact, such as -3/+5 if you recognize the event has had both a negative as well as a distinctively positive impact on your life for one reason or another.

Now then, you can use the Life Map chart below to simply PLOT the impact scores you have used to rate the relative positive and/or negative influence of each event in your list. Use a pencil (you can copy this post and enlarge the chart or make your own separately) to put a dot or an x along the time line , marking onto the 0 to +5 or 0 to -5 lines to represent your events. Plot these impacts according to the relative age you were when they occurred. You can write your Age for each event along the center, neutral Age Line.

You can “connect the dots” of your plotted events on the chart to reveal trends or PATTERNS of how this Theme has unfolded in your life.  Connect two plotted events especially if they seem somehow connected to you as forming a trend, like if you went from a negative experience to a positive one, or if a series of events were all negative or all positive (or neutral = ) on the chart).

It can help to draw a vertical hash-marked or dotted line where the event you have plotted is so significant that you may feel you were “a different person” before and after this event occurred. (These are your Critical Life Events or Turning Points.)

If you want to map more than one relationship sub-theme, repeat the above steps for each Theme you are interested in exploring.

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images are from pixabay.com

After plotting your Map, review it. Journal or contemplate (or both) or talk with a loved one about the PATTERNS you observe in this Theme. If you have mapped multiple Themes, do you notice differences in the patterning of each of these as they have interwoven within the fabric of your Life Story?

I welcome YOUR Comments and Story!

Pets and Rebirth of a Dear Companion

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Yesterday I read a post from a favorite blogger about how she was wondering whether seeing her recently passed dog’s collar that showed up on the first day of Hanukkah could be a sign from her beloved companion, perhaps even that he would be coming back, as she had at the time been contemplating finding another puppy .I do believe in reincarnation, and since Animals are Soul, Too (There is a book of that title, by Harold Klemp), our Soul companions that we share our lives with in their animal and our human forms can also return if that is in the highest spiritual interest of all concerned.

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I am an animal lover and have had pets all my life. I do recognize that some of them have been with me in more than one animal companion form.  My cat Ariel came to me in such a way that I knew with certainty that she was returning from having been my cat Chela who had passed away around nine months earlier. There are many layers to this story, including dreams I had had when Chela was with me about other lives we had had together going way back to when I was an archaic human boy and she was a Tiger:

Yellow Eyes (the dream, in present tense for better recall):

I am a young boy walking alone in the veld. Language is minimal. I look around, taking stock of the environs. “Sky, storm” I think as I see the sky has a greenish tint and that signifies a violent storm is coming. “Cliff’” I think as I see a wall of cliffs with caves and I climb up there to take shelter from the storm, which swiftly comes with high winds wailing outside the cave. I look around and see a pair of yellow eyes looking back at me. “Tiger.” She also is seeking refuge from the storm. We seem to understand that we are both there for that reason and we do not attack one another.  The storm passes. Tiger leaves the cave, with an appreciative gaze as she leaves.  Later, a different life: I am a young man (indigenous native in a rainforest).  A lion is about to pounce upon me as I am walking through the jungle. Then a Tiger leaps onto the scene and prevents the Lion from reaching me.

Other memories of this same Soul as a white horse  while I am some sort of soldier.

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Then fast forward to after Chela’s (as a calico orange female cat–also with Yellow/ Gold Eyes–, my closest companion for 11 years)  passing.  Around nine months later I wake from a dream. I am leaving a castle where I had been visiting a mentor who had recently died; she is who had introduced me to Chela while I was taking an Independent Study in Philosophy with her, Toni.  I look down as I am about to close the gate and see a female cat, ‘black and white with orange blotches’ coming toward me. Excited, I kneel down: “There you are!” and she leaps into my arms; we are so close, so familiar.  That very day of the dream I go to the office of my then mentor, my PhD advisor, Betsy. Her first words to me:

“Linda, do you know anyone who could take a kitten?”

“Not unless it is black and white with orange blotches,” I answered.

“One is!”

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images are from pixabay.com

So I met Ariel that day, also with golden eyes, who was with me for the next twenty years. We were as close as Chela and I had been, loving companion Souls who travelled together and loved each other deeply.  She had marks on her forelegs and forehead of an orange calico just like Chela had been, though Ariel was a beautiful Harlequin Tortoise Shell Calico.

Because there is a need for ‘death’ (I call it translation in my faith), there must also be rebirth. We learn through cycles of growth and change.  It is all about love after all, which is reciprocal always or it is not love. Reciprocity and cyclicity are two aspects of the same relationship with Love, Life, and Spiritual Freedom. So I believe.

I welcome YOUR comments and Story!

Jungian Re-integration: Gathering Wholeness

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Allow me to share two difficult stories around the theme of re-integration this week. Carl Jung recognized three stages in the process of psychological individuation that are closely tied with the three phases of the hero cycle or the three stages of rites of passage cycles. For Jung these three stages of individuation include: integration, disintegration, and reintegration. The story of Isis descending to retrieve and reassemble the dismembered parts of her brother-husband Osiris well illustrates this process.

We may feel as if we are whole until some disruptive experience  dismembers us and we feel we have  “fallen to pieces.” Then we must “pick up the pieces” and “put ourselves back together again,” resulting in a new self with regard to difficulties we have faced.

On NPR on Saturday, I listened to a story that reminded me of this theme of Jungian reintegration. A mother, Sarah, was dealt the worst blow life has to offer: one of her two twin sons, Caleb, died from a genetic illness. Sarah donated Caleb’s body to science. Yet she found she could not leave it at that; two years later Sarah followed up on where various body parts of her beloved son were delivered and to what use they were being put.  She found that Caleb’s cornea was still in use in studies of infant blindness; DNA studies comparing her two twins’ blood samples had revealed thousands of discrepancies of an epigenetic nature; and Caleb’s retina was a valuable resource in a Philadelphia study of infant illnesses.

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In tracing what had happened with her son’s donated parts, Sarah was re-integrating her very memory of Caleb. He had not died without purpose or consequence, and Sarah’s decision to donate his young body to science had served more than to alleviate her own suffering. Sarah summed it up nicely:

“The choices you make affect others.”

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images are from pixabay.com

The second story I wish to share is as grim as Sarah’s.  Just yesterday while driving on an interstate highway to Denver, I passed a male deer which had just been struck by a vehicle. It was terrible. The deer had been impacted at its rear so that both of its rear legs were broken. I pulled off The highway to call the state police. That poor deer was scraping itself off from the highway shoulder, in terrible agony. He could not survive for long in that condition. The state troopers would euthanize this Soul’s mortal body. I knew this was the only way for this Deer Soul to return to wholeness spiritually, though it could never return to its physical family. I stayed until the troopers arrived, sending what peace and love I could to the struggling animal.

Reintegration is a reassembling of parts of the Self which may have been lost or dismembered through crisis.  As we pick up the pieces we go forward with what we have left, hopefully contributing to others from the lessons we have gained from our ordeals, so that others may suffer less down the road.

These stories are grim indeed.  But they remind us of how life may also deal harsh experience. Yet, the hero cycle or rites of passage allow the process of individuation to be always an upward spiral of growth and purpose.

I welcome always your comments and stories.

Happily Ever After

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Certainly one of the greatest elixirs is Happiness. After attaining our worthy goal, we achieve a degree of happiness which we can carry forward with us into the next ordeal and adventure. Probably most people would claim greater happiness—for themselves and for others—as a measure of success, whatever their endeavor.

What makes you happy in the deepest sense? I mean, not only in the moment but long-term? A child (or a pet’s) smiling face (or their playfully wagging tail or purr), a beautiful mountainscape or an Oceanside sunset: these bring a valuable though transitory happiness. They warm the heart and bring a smile. They reveal, I would say, a deeper state of intrinsic happiness. They reveal a harmony of Nature, an innocence of Spirit; breaths of fresh air, a tonic to the Soul!

Still, how can you expand your condition of happiness beyond the fleeting moment?

So I ask again, what could make you Happy in the grandest sense? Is it your job? (Stay then! Take it as far as you can!) Or your relationship(s)? Then Bravo/a to you! Or maybe it is your chosen environment, where you experience At Oneness with the All One? (More cosmic, loving power to you!!!)

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For many people, enduring happiness is yet an elusive goal. Achieving their ultimate happiness shall be a result of fulfilling their most ardent endeavors (or, it may be found in the very practice of those endeavors themselves). Many will gain their enduring happiness by serving others and/or producing good works; by fulfilling, that is, their sense of Purpose and their Mission for this life.

So now, what is your Purpose; what can you claim as your Life Mission?

As a personal example, my life mission inflects on several levels. I have a spiritual Mission, which I do not feel the need to share. On a practical level, I have always sought, in one form or another, to serve the Whole…that is, to embrace and express my own inherent wholeness as well as to serve however I can the greater Whole of the community, family, fencing team (e.g.), and the world in which I live. Like many, I have always strived to make a positive contribution—whether through teaching, sharing in general, through responsible service, or through writing/publishing.

“What difference does it make?”

“It doesn’t matter!”

These were my calls in the wilderness to God, my deep laments through at least the first five decades of this life. So then, I would try harder, work more.

Until, gradually, as on cats’ feet, the Process itself—e.g. of communicating, teaching, contemplating, writing, living—has become fruitful in itself, in the moment of Doing, Being, or Knowing.  I find that I am still very goal-oriented, yet now my goal and the process I engage with to fulfill the goal have merged as one focus; see?

With this transformational shift from a ‘product/goal’ to a ‘process’-oriented mindset, now that I check in with my Self, Happiness has set in!

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images are from pixabay.com

This is not to presume that I am always “happy” in the glib/ surface sense. That has never been my goal. Actually I can sometimes let things bother me now just as much if not more than ever before. This comes from my passion for advancing what is in process. Disruptions or interruptions of this forward arching flow can set me back, but only long enough overall now until I can accept and absorb the lesson (for there is always a lesson!), and move on.

What Is Your Life Mission?

My upcoming book that is announced in the right panel of this blog, Your Life Path, is my best contribution so far to serve the Whole. This book provides a complete/ original Life Path Mapping process with its chapter-ending self-discovery Tools. I have developed and practiced this approach over the last fifteen years, through interview research, analysis of results, producing a previous academic book on the subject, and—more importantly—through developing the embedded self-help Toolkit from applying the mapping and reflection process with large classes of students and with many individuals, as a “life path mapping” coaching approach.  It has been helpful for many and even deeply transformative for some.

The Your Life Path Tools can guide you gradually yet gently to review your past, to reconsider your present with regard to how you have reached where you are in life now; then to explore your values, your inner conflicts and challenges (from an archetypal psychological  perspective), and to reveal your deepest, most integrative goals. It leads you to express and embrace your Life Mission; then to claim your Life Dream and plan a fulfilling future course, beginning here and now, to live into the life of your dreams!

I do invite you to check out this book if it may serve you. You could pre-order using the url address in the right panel, either through Amazon (as a book or ebook), Barnes & Noble, or Indies. I will be offering a preview webinar series on Life Path Mapping by December (I will post about that as it becomes available).

And so, wherever your life path leads you to:

Go For It!

A Te Sante!

Be Happy!

Live Your Dream, Now!

I always welcome YOUR Comments and Stories.

Create a Totem of Your Goal Achieved

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An elixir is a potion or aid you receive from achieving some degree of fulfillment along the path to attain your highest goal.  The elixir is like an alchemical agent in that it raises your energy levels, your awareness, to a higher plane that you have attained with your accomplishment. So you come away from the ordeal you have successfully met with a greater power of insight or a force of greater love that you can carry forward with you on the next leg of your Journey.

A Totem is an image or object you can literally plant in your ‘growing space’ or carry with you as a reminder of the qualities you have gained and of your higher Goal.  It could be something as simple as a talisman, like a necklace amulet, pin, or charm bracelet representing the qualities or goal you wish to focus upon.  It could also be a collage of images you compose and place in a highly visible personal space to serve as a Vision board. (I do these often and pin them on my office bulletin board).

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Totems are anchors that “ground” your vision and amplify your intentions like a magnifying glass that concentrates the rays of the Sun.

To create a personal Totem of your goal or aspiration, whether that be a concrete objective or a value you wish to strengthen day to day, find or create an object, or create a collage of images that will remind you to center your attention on your ideal.

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With online imagery such as at pixabay.com or with clipart, it is easy to find images to represent your goal or the values you aim to strengthen.  I recommend placing an image or photograph of the goal or value itself, or of yourself having achieved this goal, in the center of the page to form a mandala composition.  You can surround that central image with additional images that represent how you are to attain this level of fulfillment and what will be the outcomes when you do!

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Place your collage or object somewhere that you will see it often. It could be at your office or in your bedroom or kitchen, somewhere you spend a lot of time thinking about your goal and actively pursuing that.  Or you could wear your totem talisman close to your heart or on your person. It could be private, like a special stone that you carry in your pocket, or even a personal mantra or prayer or poem that you repeat inwardly as you move through the day or before sleeping at night.

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Your totem can be any means of focusing your intentions deeply. This plants your intention in the loam of your everyday life, infusing your activities with a greater sense of mission, of value and purpose, and of unconditional love.  For no one but you can fulfill your deepest Soul objectives, which enhance not only your own capacity to live but your determination to serve Life Itself.

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images are from pixabay.com

I value your Comments and stories!

The Urge to Merge: The Sacred Marriage

Preface:  Today (solar eclipse day, 8/21/17) I want to wish a Very Happy Birthday!!! to hom a:kuwaye (my special Zuni friends, twins) Arlene and Darlene. And thank you for your prayers and sage advice about my concerns in the blog that follows. They have let me know that one of the Rain Priests at Zuni, a relative of theirs, has been praying for Longevity. WE should all be very grateful to Zuni religious leaders who have the whole of humanity in their hearts and prayers!

Oh yes, and also Thank YOU to all Followers linked to this blog. Yesterday we reached the magic number of 5000 Followers, which has been a major goal for me from the beginning!

 

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I am contemplating life and “death” tonight.  The US may be at the verge of a conflict that may easily get out of balance; our human and animal lives are fragile and could be taken quickly.  So our topic this month of the Sacred Marriage is all that more vital to comprehend.  The phrase “the urge to merge” came to me in contemplation.  Soul merges with Spirit.  We are not these bodies but the consciousness of Soul within the Ocean of Love and Mercy we may call Divinity.

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As we realize this, that Soul and Spirit and Divinity are a Unity, a Oneness, then we understand that life can never be either given nor can It be taken away. It just Is, as Isness Itself, and that is a loving condition, the ultimate awareness of IAMTHATIAM, or, Alone with the All One.

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I remember a Star Trek original series episode where a species’ Sun was going nova so they needed to be transported away.  They had evolved to pure energy beings, so Kirk and his officers allowed the passengers to semi-possess their body states in order to be transported.  What I recall is how separated and alone they felt, wearing bodies.

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I don’t usually speak too directly of spirituality in this blog, but the times as well as the topic lead me to do so now.  I will share a vision I experienced a few years ago, as it transcends any specific religious dogma.

A Being visited me in that wonderful interstice zone between sleeping and waking.  I could not assign a gender or a race to this beautiful Being.  S/he was gentle and loving is all I can say, with a delicate beauty beyond any mere bodily state.

“How are things going out there?” The Visitor asked me.

I paused to reflect, then answered:

“Well, there are lots of  people believing in many different religions,” I heard myself respond.  “But most people are still afraid of death.”

The Visitor paused as on a breath and issued softly:

“Next time, we won’t do Religion.”

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images are from pixabay.com

The Urge to Merge with Spirit, with Divine Love that IS who we Are as Soul, is the most natural and graceful inspiration we can allow.  Sweet surrender, trust, and faith can lead us Home, which we have never really left anyway.

I wish peace and love to all.

Pass It On!

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Here is a quick activity: Think of one mentor who has taught you a valuable lesson. What was that lesson?

Second, how have you sought to impart that lesson to others? What has been the result?

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My quick response:  “Patience is a virtue.” (from Diane) I aim to teach this to my students, especially advanced students working on research projects or thesis papers. I have seen many of these students take some great strides. For myself, I use this principle daily, now in yet another book editing romp.

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images are from pixabay.com

I am amazed daily at the miraculous interweaving and orchestration of Life.

“Love is all, and do as thou wilt.”

(Stranger By the River, by Paul Twitchell)

Guard Your Own Threshold (My Creepy Crawly Road Trip, Part 3)

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For those of you who have been reading the blog this month, I am still on my road trip with my dog Sophie, and hopefully I am on track for overcoming the creepy crawly scourge we have encountered since day one, Feb 25, of bed bugs, hair and body lice, and tiny brown mites… oh yeah, and possibly dog mites too. My body as well as Sophie’s show the scars of the engagement. I am using lotions, meds and showers to try to regain a  balance, and today (yay) I am taking Sophie to a vet who will know what to do. (Previous vets have not found the root of the problem since her mites are burrowed, not actively moving about.)

The hopeful turning point phase began about six nights ago when I started taping rolls of sticky lint paper at the bottom of the bathroom door to sleep protected in there, keeping the mites in the bedroom. Then I realized turnabout is fair play, as I have now become the threshold guardian of my own and my dog companion Sophie’s bodies/ skins. Four nights ago while waiting for an Orkin treatment to be fully effective, I went out to Walmart, bought two tarps and a mummy sleeping bag and I  slept one night at least on the bed again, free of the tiny brown ones.

Yet even the next night a new patrol of tiny white specks  cropped up from apparently the fibers of the freshly laundered sleeping bag, nipping where they appeared. I almost succumbed to total surrender at this latest foray, but I got up, took a shower and used that magical wand of a lint roller to start picking these critters up as they surfaced. I continue that vigilance since moving to a hotel.

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Guarding your own threshold means stand up for yourself against all would be attackers who seek to feed off of your own good nature and integrity. You have a right to the sanctity of your own personhood and space. “One’s freedom ends where another’s begins” is a spiritual principle as stated by Harold Klemp, the spiritual leader of Eckankar. I get it now; that works in both directions.

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images are from pixabay.com

On a happier note, I had two wonderful days meeting with the team of publicists from Scribes Unlimited, Paula and Paul, this past two days, as we are preparing to  launch and make available to the general public my book, Your Life Path, with its related life mapping services. Pretty soon you will be able to link from this blog to an interactive site about Life Path Mapping, podcasts and all!

I welcome all of  your comments, help…,and stories.

Let Your LOVER Be Your Guide

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So yesterday once again I was walking the labyrinth path and received this impression:

“Let your Lover be your Guide.”

I recognize that since this is near the end of the month of October in which I have been focusing this blog around the Lover archetype, this message meant for me to let Her lead the way for me as I go forward with some wonderful new opportunities surrounding my book, Your Life Path.  I am about to step forward into a whirlwind of activity, it seems, to complete the final polishing edit and then, after it is published, to promote it so that it will reach all readers who can benefit from its life mapping Tools.

But I also realize this message is meant for you all.

LET YOUR LOVER BE YOUR GUIDE!

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images are from pixabay.com

Archetypal psychology is largely about INTEGRATING your inner archetypal personas, harmonizing them to work together as Allies as you go forward to manifest your goals and to live your greatest life.  While any one or another of your inner archetypal parts-of-Self might dominate for this or that situation, putting the Lover in you first can mean,

Let LOVE lead the Way!

What would Love do, right? I invite you to contemplate and then to put into practice the Path that Love shall forge.

What Really Is Love, Part Two: If I could live but only in the Moment

 

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From my Lover archetype persona:

You asked me the other day while driving back from helping a friend pack and move, “What Really Is Love?” I reminded you of that movie, “The Man Eating Tiger,” that we saw on late night TV decades ago. That film had the right idea. When we love we wish only the best for the beloved. “Love is not a matter of belief but demonstration,” as expressed in a book I love by Paul Twitchell called Stranger By The River.

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When we were a teenager you formed the impression (from Me) that “Love is Love.”  There is no true separation between one “form” of love and another. Family, Friends, Pet Companions, Colleagues, Students, Partners, God, Soul, Inner Master: the love we feel for each and all of these, as it is Love, is the same. Love is the essence and breath of divinity Itself. Love is the Life Force of creation, what you call as an ECKist the Audible and Visible Life Current.

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images are from pixabay.com

You thought of love then (still from Me) as a “place” rather than an emotion; as a state of consciousness superseding all others! Remember Dylan’s line: “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now”? We were wiser, then, about love. Now you may need to relearn all of this.

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Love=Love means you do not need any other to ‘bring’ love or to feel whole. Love is who you ARE; so be Love! Be a vehicle for love to flow out into your world everyday in every way, never asking for anything in return.

 

 

What Really Is Love? Part One

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I’m going to give voice to my inner Lover archetype for this and the next post. We had an internal, “active imagination” dialogue while I was driving from Denver to Colorado Springs last night around the topic of Love.

I mean, really, who am I to speak of love? Apart from spiritual, unconditional love, which I do have abundantly from many decades of spiritual practice and positive relations generally, this is a topic that most would see in the context of romance, marriage and family, and I consider myself “post” relational, except nowadays for deep Friendship with my dog and cats, family, and close friends. I “did relationships…” but I have relinquished that pursuit for over 13 years—as I mentioned in the last post I have a Shadow Lover facet of Self going on…

Anyway then, Part One (this week) as an expression from my Inner Lover to the page is a Better Endings story that She/I like a whole lot and have never forgotten. Part Two (stay tuned!) will be an open expression from my Lover persona archetype about ‘What Really Is Love?’ that we will subtitle: ‘If I could live but only in the Moment.’

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A Better Endings Story about ‘What Really Is Love?”:

One of the best love stories I have ever encountered was in a late night movie I happened to catch some 30 years ago on TV. It was titled “The Man Eating Tiger” (or something close to that). It was about a mercenary sharp shooter during WWII who was hired by an African village to track down and kill a Bengal tiger that was terrorizing the community and had already killed many residents. Now as the story goes, there was also a female nurse serving the village who just happened to be a woman the mercenary had been in love with before his best friend and war buddy had married her instead. She was the person who had recommended him for the job of taking down the man-eating tiger. As a plot twist, this nurse’s husband had gone Missing in Action from the WWII  front lines as an Army infantry soldier, and it had been months already since anyone had heard of his whereabouts so that he was considered to have likely been killed.

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Now then, the plot thickens as the Mercenary is once again stricken with feelings of love for the nurse, his missing best friend’s wife that he now sees daily but only for so long as he will stay at the African village to complete his mission and take down the Tiger.  He becomes deeply conflicted—as does she but less so—about whether to act on his feelings in his friend’s absence (and probable death). Should he proclaim his love?

The scene I like so much and that I will never forget from this story involves an evening walk that the Mercenary takes with an Indian woman he has befriended, also a nurse in the village. He is able to open up with this wise Indian woman about his deep feelings of love he has for the Nurse and how conflicted he feels about being in the village without being able to declare his true feelings. He WANTS her; he sees the condition of her missing husband as an opportunity to have what he most desperately wants in his life: Her.

But the Indian friend speaks to the Mercenary about the true meaning of Love.  She tells him she has observed Americans and other Europeans to have gotten the reality of love all mixed up and topsy-turvy. She points out that to Europeans, what they—including the Mercenary—think of or speak of as love is much too often little more than possessiveness. They pursue one another by wanting to possess the love “object.” That is wrong. Instead, if they truly were meant for one another, if they truly held genuine and authentic love for one another, they would want ONLY that which would be the very BEST for their beloved. They would be willing and happy in fact to LET GO, to detach from any relationship less than fully conducive to the total freedom and happiness of their beloved.

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images are from pixabay.com

Maybe I shouldn’t tell you the rest of the story as it was portrayed in the movie. I will tell you that the husband does come back and that in the jungle whilst the Mercenary is about to catch up with the Tiger, his MIA friend shows up (not yet having arrived at the village to present himself to his wife) and the Man Eating Tiger is about to pounce on him! What do you believe the Mercenary will do? Will he shoot the Tiger and save his rival friend? Has he yet learned what Really Is Love?

Can you relate to this story metaphorically?

I welcome your Comments and Stories!

Call for A Change of Heart!

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Well folks I did it again, making the same mistake I made last year in assigning the GOLDEN CHILD, a Leo Archetype (yes) to July, when actually it is the prototypical archetype for the August Leo persona. I guess that’s how strong the charismatic GOLDEN CHILD’s voice (in me, with alot of Leo in my astrological chart) can be!  I will return to the Golden Child posts in August.

JULY holds the primary archetypal energy of the Cancerian NOURISHER. And how apt this feels to me today after the horrendous (again), senseless attack on human life and decency in Nice, France. I feel that as a blogger, I have an obligation to take note of such enormous ripples in the fabric of what could be called righteous or civil behavior. If we begin to ignore such atrocities, if we begin to blur our feelings of outrage and sorrow about them, then we risk becoming numbed and ‘desensitized’ to the evil–if anything can be called that, this is it!–so rampant across the world today.

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THE NOURISHER (or, Nurturer) in me calls out for a CHANGE OF HEART! It makes no sense to me that those labelled ‘terrorists’ or ‘Jihadists’ perhaps in their own terminology would conduct such a murderous campaign against innocent peoples–and yes, they ARE that!–simply going about their business or celebrating their liberty and being alive. Are these perpetrators so conditioned by ancient ideas of ‘a life for a life,’ for instance, that they have forgotten to celebrate their OWN lives and to be thankful for the diversity and community available today? I feel that what is needed in the world, especially in those tormented, however wrongly in their own understanding, by feelings of religious suppression or their desire to be righteous against the grain of normal human values and decency, is A CHANGE OF HEART.

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Let’s call out for A CHANGE OF HEART from misery and feelings of disempowerment or a desire to control to an appreciation of all that Divinity has BLESSED us with in this brave world, here and now.  An Attitude of Gratitude and Forgiveness can go a long way towards effecting a Change of Heart, whether in the individual or in the world at large.

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images are from pixabay.com

 

Love, not Power, guys.  Life, not Death, is what ultimately matters for the sake of learning and loving and going forward to greater awareness even of our own divinity or inviolable existence. Bon Vivant a Tout!

I welcome your Comments and Insights!

What Would Love Do Now?

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Love is the moving force of Creation for all forms. We might say it is God Itself in motion in our lives. Love is that vital, positive energy that forges connections between any two or more beings who are open to and accepting of one another.

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This past weekend in Minneapolis I felt like I was at a love fest of sorts; a global spiritual conference (the 50th anniversary Eckankar Worldwide Seminar) with over 7,000 souls attending from 59 countries. Amazing to be in that high concentration of positive creative energy for a few days. While there, I came up with today’s topic: What Would Love Do Now?

Any way in which you might feel stymied or held back in your life, you can ask yourself this question. Using your capacity to LOVE, what can you do to go beyond these self-limitations and proceed forward to reach your goal with this or any situation?

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I have been asking inwardly why things move so slowly with creative projects.  I opened a spiritual book “anywhere” and found my answer directly: “Release your fear and speak to people about (your project). There will be plenty of opportunities!” Wow! That is indeed what love can help me to do; love is the opposite of fear and it is true I have been holding back in some quarters from speaking about my work, but it is indeed time to step forward.

What about you? What would Love do Now, for you? What action can you take of a loving nature that can overcome obstacles and remove unnecessary barriers or roadblocks?

Put your Lover Archetype Ally in the drivers seat this week, and let It steer your course.

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images from pixabay.com

I welcome your insights and stories!

 

The Beatles On LOVE

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I’ve been to the Cirque du Soleil Beatles LOVE show in Las Vegas. As a Beatles fan from the beginning here in the states–I was about 12 years old when they made their first visit to the US–, I loved this show!

The Cirque du Soleil Beatles LOVE show tells the story of the Fab Four’s journey in the context of world history and as a phenomenal energy that transformed the world, not just the world of music but their lyrics and BEAT expressed the values and ideals of a transformative generation.

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When I was a teenager, I was grounded once by my father for defending the Beatles’ music as being “all about love.” “So, what do YOU know about love?” asked my conservative minded father. Actually that question of his has stuck with me always. What DO I really know about love?

But love is not necessarily something one needs to know about, right? We FEEL our way through life via love. I now believe love to be the very essence and the progressive, healing substance of life Itself. When life goes forward (is not static or in decline) it is love that propels that advancement of purpose, awareness, or of love itself as its own blessing.

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So how can you use love, or your current version of archetypal LOVER energies, to “Live Your Dream, Now,” which is this month’s theme here at Better Endings? Let’s turn this over to the Fab Four for insights.

  • Love is all you need:

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game

It’s easy

There’s nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn to be you in time

It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Beatles – All You Need Is Love Lyrics | MetroLyrics http://www.metrolyrics.com/all-you-need-is-love-lyrics-beatles.html

  • Let It Be

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Read more: Beatles – Let It Be Lyrics | MetroLyrics

  • It’s a long and winding road that leads us HOME:

Many times I’ve been alone
And many times I’ve cried
Any way you’ll never know
The many ways I’ve tried

But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/b/beatles/the+long+and+winding+road_10026544.html

   And in the End…

The love you take

Is equal to the love

You make.

http://www.metrolyrics.com/the-end-lyrics-beatles.html

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All images from pixabay.com

Authenticity

   

Tired of lies

People tell themselves

Of each other, of themselves.

Like a child I cry out

When there is no one there

Who listens,  to reply.

As a child I cry out, “love me”

Yet there is no one who can

reply beyond their lie

To themselves, of each other.

So to the Inner Master I cry out,

He replies as always,

“I love you, too!”

A small boy playing

pictures from pixabay.com

To “live your dream, now” means practicing the core values you aim to manifest in your fulfilled life experience NOW, as a way of living INTO manifesting the totality of your Life Dream.  Authenticity is one of my core values. What are yours?

Make One Change, with Love

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Is your life absolutely perfect right now, or are there maybe one or more conditions in your life presently that you hope will be improved upon in your future?

Here’s a thought: Make One Change Now, with Love! This banks on the principle that “With love, all things are possible!”  Taken with a grain of salt, we could change that to, “All things can be improved upon through love.”  Not all things can be changed absolutely; some we must simply endure, but even these we can improve our relationship to, improving our growth factor, through a positive attitude and a loving heart.

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So take some situation that is problematic for you at the current time. A simple creative visualization technique you can use is to bring a loving focus to that situation inwardly. Turn it over in your mind’s eye gently, exploring the situation from many angles. Focus on the situation with a loving perspective. What one or more aspects of this situation CAN you improve upon? Maybe it involves honest communication, with yourself or someone else. Maybe you can make an improvement by changing the manner in which you have typically approached it. Decide to make a positive change in this one aspect of the troubling situation, then do that!

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If you are unsatisfied with any aspect of your life, you have the capacity to make changes—from small to large—that will improve that situation. With LOVE, all things are possible!

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A few days ago a friend, Kery, posted the passage below from Corinthians 13 in a Facebook post that she titled: “Love is Indispensable”. I repeat it for you here below:
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but I do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
 
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in parts disappears.”

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as on a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

(Corinthians 13) 

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(All pictures in this post are from Pixabay.com)

I welcome your insights and stories!

 

To Nurture Your Dreams, Be a Nourisher

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Sometimes we might not trust our inner vision to steer us in the right direction. We may feel afraid to Dream, wary of being disillusioned “yet again.” This cautious perspective might seem ‘practical,’ “realistic” or even wise.

But when we squelch our Visions, often another part of our Self grieves.

 

What happens to a Dream deferred? 

Does it dry up, like a raisin in the Sun?

Does it fester like a sore, and then run?

Perhaps it stinks, like rotten meat,

or crusts and sugars over, like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags, like a heavy load… 

Or does it explode?

–Langston Hughes

 

Our archetypal Ally for this month is the NOURISHER. I invite you to get in touch with your own nurturing, nourishing part of Self. When do you feel most nourishing and with whom? When do you feel best nourished and how or by whom?

Joyful time

I experienced a lot of Nourishing–from both sides of giving and receiving–during my road trip and visit Home  from June through July. Being with family and with my dog Sophie (my travelling companion and BFF) is a great gift of love for I have lived thousands of miles from my parents and sisters and brother for over 30 years.  We came together—all of us plus several cousins and nephews/nieces—around my elderly mother, Elizabeth—over the 4th of July holiday weekend. Mom was in the crux of a hospital emergency—not what we had hoped or planned for!—and we all came together to help her survive that visit and return to her familiar nursing home with its loving and competent, caring staff.

Mom is experiencing late stage Parkinson’s. At 88, for her this means she has very little independent mobility. She cannot walk on her own nor can she use her own hands to eat. She must consume pudding quality water and only pureed food which others must feed to her in such manner as not to cause her to aspirate or swallow food into her lungs.

While at the hospital, because staff there were inexperienced at preparing the pureed and pudding quality food and water and because most did not have experience (or time for the patience it takes) feeding in this way, it depended on us, her daughters mainly, to feed her morning, noon, and evening, as much and as best as we could.

And we did!  We bought Gerber’s pureed food to supplement or replace the hospital’s too thick or heavy portions. We developed a formula, with help from a speech therapist, to produce her pudding water, and we added fresh lemon juice and used ice cubes to give her more satisfaction.  She was depending on us for her very survival. Each of us stepped up as best we could. We shared our observations and listened to one anothers’ suggestions. We expressed our concerns with the nurses and aides until finally one doctor in particular became focal in helping Mom recover enough to be able to return to her nursing home.

Family of six

I know my Mom would do the same for any of us and often she did, whenever we were sick or ailing.  While at first honestly I was afraid of feeding Mom, afraid I might cause her to aspirate, over time I did the best I could along with my other sisters. And she improved! I believe the nurturing care we all gave helped her more than any medications. The love we all shared was a healing force in itself.  It is a healing energy that will never diminish, no matter what the future may hold.

So, I learn from my Nourisher that LOVE is the heart of it all and all that really matters. To NOURISH is to give and to reciprocally receive divine, unconditional Love.

I invite you to journal and/or to talk with a loved one (or send your insights, comments and stories to us, here!) about one or more of your own Nourisher moments.

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!

Two Poems, by Tatyana Ulrich

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My Journey to You

I am that woman who thinks about you

Who is very excited to come get you soon

I am that woman who would supply all the love

Who leaves reality just to watch you grow up

I am that woman whose mind only thinks positively

The kind of mind that waits patiently

The emotions I get is way too hard to hide

I am that woman who would never leave your side

One who would travel half way around the world

I am that woman who wanted a girl

I am that woman of which tears I create

Staring at my only keepsake

A precious gem in the palm of my hands

A mother, a daughter whose bond will never end

I am that mother who can’t wait to bring you home

I am that mother who will never be alone

A mother who loved you from the very start

You were the one that gave hope to my heart.

Baby

Baby I can’t wait, I want to hold you now

I am speechless, that you have been found

A home for you and a daughter for me

Baby I love you, I hope you can see

Baby I am on my way

Don’t you cry, don’t be afraid

Just wait patiently and we will meet

Baby I love you I hope you can see

From the day I meet you, till the day you die

Don’t you worry, I’ll stand by your side

I’ll be with you from start to end

You are my family, you are my friend

Baby you gave me a reason to love

God gave me you, my daughter from above

I am your mother and don’t you forget

I have loved you since the day we met

———–

The Author:

I’m Tatyana. I was adopted at 18 months from the Jiangxi Province. I live in Centennial, Colorado with a mother whom I l love dearly. When I grow up I want to major in Social Work, specifically working with international adoption. I have created a website for Chinese adoptees at http://familyisforever.wix.com/ctdfca-china#