What’s Around the Bend?

fog in the forest

Here’s a fun game you can use to contemplate your own Better Endings. Think of a situation in your life that could have multiple outcomes. Draw a circle that fits just within an 8 ½ x 11” page.  List several possible outcomes (without judging them) and then create as many pie slices—PLUS ONE—as you have listed possible outcomes. Write an outcome onto each pie slice, saving the extra slice for OTHER.

Next, get a piece of any-colored, medium thick construction paper.  Cut out the circle on the pie slices page and then use that circle as a guide to cut out the same sized circle from the construction paper. Also draw and then cut out a hole on the construction paper radiating from the center and exactly the same size as ONE pie slice. Please leave yourself some space between the very center and where this cut-out on the construction paper occurs.

 pieslices

Now then, punch one hole to insert a brass push-clasp through the very center, the kind where you can open the two brass wings to secure your two pages together at the middle, so that your pie slice alternate outcome descriptions face toward the back of your construction page circle. If you like you can write the situation whose multiple endings you are contemplating outside on the top construction page circle.

View on Maldives Islands from airplane

Now you are free to swerve the construction paper circle on its axis, exposing one pie slice option at a time. Which option feels most desirable to you? You can journal, write about or talk with a friend about the option you like most and how you might best be able to bring about that outcome.

What is ONE THING you can do now or in the foreseeable future to move you definitely in the direction of realizing your favorite outcome? This action is a SEED for your Better Ending.

Write out a PLAN for realizing this Better Ending, and in your life start taking all of the ACTIONS you have envisioned according to your design.

When you focus your pie slice on a less desirable option, you can also think or write or talk about how to prevent that outcome from occurring.

Crystals

Have Fun! I welcome your insights and stories.

GO AHEAD THEN…Do What You LOVE!

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On one of Sachemspeak’s blogs this week he mentioned “Julie and Julia” and an associated blog site, Salon.com .  Julie Powell did exactly what I have been suggesting all this week; she did ONE THING that would propel her to achieve a larger goal. Julie was a writer but she was having trouble getting published. One thing she loved was cooking, so she decided to build her public visibility platform by writing a blog about cooking. Since she had long regarded Julia Child as a role model, she wrote about preparing one Julia Child recipe from her landmark book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, every day for one full year. The blog was a huge success, drawing much attention to Julie Powell as a writer, and she ultimately published Julie & Julia, her book adapted as the popular film about Child and about Powell’s own writing of her blog, and she has never stopped writing and publishing since.

As I also can attest to, writing a blog is an excellent writing tool, not just for platform building but also because it is addressed to a general, public audience. It is certainly ONE THING any writer can do to help launch their dedication and progression toward publishing their works.

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Most important to finding and acting upon the ONE THING you can do to launch you toward fully manifesting your Life Dream, or to revitalize your motivation to accomplish that, is to DO WHAT YOU LOVE. Clearly your Life Dream is a goal based on realizing your deepest love in life; it fulfills your Life Mission, what drives you and fuels your creative imagination and your desire to serve. Your ONE THING then will also be something you love, something that will light you up as it orients you and sets your course deliberately and clearly toward your bigger picture goal.

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So, stop for a moment, close your eyes and DREAM! Where would you LOVE to be three years from now, five years from now, and in the fullest expression of your Life Vision, your Dream Life? Center in that Goal, develop it, nurture your ambition to achieve that Goal for the highest, better interest of everyone concerned. Now then, what is ONE THING you can do in the plannable future that will be an intermediate, definite BIG STEP in the direction of mobilizing and actualizing your Dream?

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So now then, go ahead and PLAN IT! Set it up. Follow your intuition, carry it out! Your Inner ARTIST will be there right beside you all along, helping you to REALIZE your VISION.

What Is Your One Thing?

Flowering Meadow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I welcome your Comments and Stories!

One Thing

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Remember Curly (Jack Palance) from City Slickers I? With sage advice, Curly shares with Mitch (Billy Crystal) that the “secret of life” (holding up one forefinger) is “one thing.” But Curly shared this on his last breath and died before he could answer, what is that one thing? Mitch–and the film audience–had to wait for the sequel to learn from Curly’s twin brother Duke what that ‘one thing’ is.

It turns out that the ‘one thing’ is different for everybody. It is “whatever it is for you,” that ONE THING that makes you happy or allows for you to thrive.

Joseph Campbell might call that ‘one thing’ your Bliss. “Follow Your Bliss,” says Campbell in The Power of Myth, meaning for you to pursue that which truly fulfills you and empowers you to achieve your life purpose and manifest your Life Dream.

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Establishing one new, good habit or an activity that can propel you toward a goal you might otherwise not pursue would be a positive, “one thing” to do.  Some eight years ago, for example, when I was just beginning to write in earnest about the life mapping process I was already developing then, at a therapy session one day, I reached a breakthrough. I could do one thing to help this project really get rolling; I could find a house sitter for one full month and go for a writing retreat. So, I did. I rented a ski chalet in Steamboat Springs, CO, where every day of the month I started to work on my book and a proposal package at 8 AM and I usually worked far into the evening. I brought with me my elderly, beloved Harlequin calico cat, Ariel.

It was wonderful. I set up the computer at a wooden kitchen table facing an alcove window looking out above an ocean of Ponderosa pine treetops. I had plenty of peace and quiet. I drafted the basis of several chapters that would, over time, develop into Life Paths, a book I aim to begin marketing with an agent this summer.  It was that “one thing”–something I needed to commit to and invest some money in, a writing retreat–that firmly established my feet and heart on a path I have continued to follow ever since.

So, what is your “one thing”? What can you do that is outside your normal “box” (remember though, “There is no box”); something that could move you in the direction of your Bliss?

Joseph Campbell spoke of Bliss on one hand and also Dragons, on the other. Your Dragons might be “threshold guardians”. Your Dragons might prevent you from taking an action that could help you manifest your goals, either from fear or a lack of self-confidence.

“It will cost too much to rent a chalet for a whole month;

 Who will take care of my other pets while I am away?”

A Dream that is close to your heart is worth risking your complacency. Go for it! I encourage you to DO YOUR ONE THING! You can plan for it now, and then, Follow Through!

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Better Endings to You!

(Thanks already for former Likers of this original post.)

One Thing

Candle 090304 01

Remember Curly (Jack Palance) from City Slickers I? With sage advice, Curly shares with Mitch (Billy Crystal) that the “secret of life” (holding up one forefinger) is “one thing.” But Curly shared this on his last breath and died before he could answer, what is that one thing? Mitch–and the film audience–had to wait for the sequel to learn from Curly’s twin brother Duke what that ‘one thing’ is.

It turns out that the ‘one thing’ is different for everybody. It is “whatever it is for you,” that ONE THING that makes you happy or allows for you to thrive.

Joseph Campbell might call that ‘one thing’ your Bliss. “Follow Your Bliss,” says Campbell in The Power of Myth, meaning for you to pursue that which truly fulfills you and empowers you to achieve your life purpose and manifest your Life Dream.

photo-of-rose-flower-background-1013tm-bkg-913

Establishing one new, good habit or an activity that can propel you toward a goal you might otherwise not pursue would be a positive, “one thing” to do.  Some eight years ago, for example, when I was just beginning to write in earnest about the life mapping process I was already developing then, at a therapy session one day, I reached a breakthrough. I could do one thing to help this project really get rolling; I could find a house sitter for one full month and go for a writing retreat. So, I did. I rented a ski chalet in Steamboat Springs, CO, where every day of the month I started to work on my book and a proposal package at 8 AM and I usually worked far into the evening. I brought with me my elderly, beloved Harlequin calico cat, Ariel.

It was wonderful. I set up the computer at a wooden kitchen table facing an alcove window looking out above an ocean of Ponderosa pine treetops. I had plenty of peace and quiet. I drafted the basis of several chapters that would, over time, develop into Life Paths, a book I aim to begin marketing with an agent this summer.  It was that “one thing”–something I needed to commit to and invest some money in, a writing retreat–that firmly established my feet and heart on a path I have continued to follow ever since.

So, what is your “one thing”? What can you do that is outside your normal “box” (remember though, “There is no box”); something that could move you in the direction of your Bliss?

Joseph Campbell spoke of Bliss on one hand and also Dragons, on the other. Your Dragons might be “threshold guardians”. Your Dragons might prevent you from taking an action that could help you manifest your goals, either from fear or a lack of self-confidence.

“It will cost too much to rent a chalet for a whole month;

 Who will take care of my other pets while I am away?”

A Dream that is close to your heart is worth risking your complacency. Go for it! I encourage you to DO YOUR ONE THING! You can plan for it now, and then, Follow Through!

sports_1100012173-1013int

Better Endings to You!

Your Wellness LifeMap

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I invite you to look back over your life focussing on when you have felt higher or lower on a “wellness scale” of 1-10, with +10 being extreme wellness and +1 being extremely low. (Use your own definition of wellness. To me it is more than just physical health.) You can draw a horizontal line across a page, treating this as an Age line from left (your birth) to right (now). Place 10-year or 5-year marks across the Age line, then you can simply chart your subjective sense of wellness factors, up or down (highest = +10; age line  = +5/neutral; +1 = lowest). After a basic mapping of your sense of relative wellness values in this manner, you can write words or phrases or insert clip art images (as below) to represent what was going on at high or low points, or in between, that contributed to the wellness levels you have charted.

Mapping my own relative wellness values, I found I could first place high and low events along the Age line, then I could connect these to show general trends. Here’s my map using clipart icons as  an example:

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Now then, what factors turn up in your wellness mapping as “lifting” factors or as more ‘descending’ factors instead? For me, the sport of fencing that I practiced through undergraduate college years, and returning to fencing once during graduate school right before graduating, were very positive factors. Discovering my lifelong approach to spirituality was also a major positive factor. Illnesses (shown by the needle icon) were ‘descent’ factors. Relationships were a lifting factor for several years, then briefly a negative factor with divorce. Career has been a slightly higher than neutral factor for much of the ‘building’ process, and it has become a lifting factor  recently as writing and teaching have both been more productive.

What can you learn from your wellness mapping that can help you to maintain or improve your own wellness ‘quotient’ now? For me I see the value of physical exercise in my life, as a major means for enhancing wellness. I’m thinking of returning in some measure to fencing (as faculty advisor to a fencing club I could participate). Or at least I commit to work out once or twice a week in addition to walking my dog.

So, try it if you like. Use whatever design format you like. What shows up for you? Is there ONE THING you can do in your life to enhance or maintain your level of wellness?

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I welcome your comments, insights, and stories.

Better Endings to You!

“To me, good health is more than just exercise and diet.

It’s really a point of view and a mental attitude you have about yourself.”

-Albert Schweitzer