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!

Relationships as a Life Theme

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As we are exploring monthly topics around LIFE THEMES, threads of experience that carry a pattern of content, February seems a good time of year to focus on Romance or, more generally, Relationships. Certainly RELATIONSHIPS is a primary Life Theme for most people in one form or another (e.g. Family, Romance, Friends). Like all Life Themes, RELATIONSHIP threads that weave through one’s Life Chapters and Life Story can be uplifting, inhibiting, or even like a Roller Coaster ride when it comes to their pattern of influence and impact on our lives overall.

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Since Relationships are so ubiquitous in most of our lives, let’s take some time this month to focus on various sorts of relations. For myself at 63 and single some 15 years after a long string of romantic adventures, romance is honestly no longer an interest after too many strains of Ups and Downs in that arena. I would rather focus my own Relationships Theme around the wonderful connections I now enjoy with family, friends, and my dearly beloved pet companions, just two days ago reduced by one as I had to send on his Soul journey after 16 years with me my dear companion cat Loki, due to kidney disease.

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images above from pixabay.com

If I were to map my Relationship Theme (which I will invite you to do in the next post), just in recent weeks of my current Life Chapter it would reveal quite a ‘wild ride,’ mostly very positive despite dips or deep troughs of sadness and loss. My mother’s passing just two weeks ago tomorrow brought our whole family together for a blessedly very positive time of sharing and remembrances. We are strengthened by our unconditional love for one another, which brings great joy and gratitude.

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photo by Jeff Watts

My relationship with my mother herself I feel is actually strengthened as I have been recalling to memory all of the wonderful ways she skillfully and lovingly parented me and imparted positive values in all five of her children and grandchildren.

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Elizabeth Anne Rugh Watts

May 25, 1927 – January 23, 2018

We gain so much from our close relations. We learn so much in a family of diverse Souls as in a community of friends and cross-species families, too!

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!

Fruition!

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Ideation–Goal-Setting—Planning—Development/Learning—Trials/Practice—Implementation—Fulfillment–Fruition!  Such is the process of Creative Manifestation, and I must admit, I love it. There is no feeling more satisfying to me (right up there with sharing timespace with my pets and family and friends) than arriving at Fruition for some worthwhile, service-oriented project.

I say service, and that is important to me.  It is not only a PRODUCT that is generated through a manifestation process that lights me up, but to be worthwhile there must also be a SERVICE brought to fruition. The product must serve the whole in a positive, growth-enhancing manner; that lights my fire!

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My father (bless his Soul, I dreamed of him this morning) used to tell me: “If you’re going to be a ditch digger, then be the best darned ditch digger you can be!” Dad worked his way through college at Ohio State University just after serving as a bomber pilot in the Pacific in WWII by digging ditches for a telephone cable service.

I recall myself similarly working for college tuition over two summers as the sole farmhand for a farmer’s peach orchard and grape vineyards in New York state. Coming home at the end of a grueling, hot day in the orchard or dragging the vineyards on a tractor brought the same feeling of Fruition that I later associate with planning and implementing a seminar or public outreach service for my spiritual organization, and seeing my book, Your Life Path –with deep thanks to my agent, editor and publicist team!!–, going to production this week!

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images are gratefully from pixabay.com

I will be graduating (er, retiring) from full-time academic service as a professor this summer after teaching for nearly forty years altogether, and that will of course bring a major project to fruition.  I have accomplished what I set out to do over the past 25 years at my present post in many respects, and I will go forth still teaching but focusing full-time on writing and related services for a wider field of sharing. I intend for my final blog when I leave this post in Academe this June to be titled:

Mischief Managed!

What brings YOU to a feeling of Fruition or of successful Completion? What service project are you working on Now that will light YOU up again for the good of the Whole?

To me, this image of LIGHTING YOUR FIRE through bringing a worthy project to Fruition is apt: for Fruition lets us tap into that Holy Fire which empowers us to light the world through our service.

I welcome YOUR Comments and Story!

True Partnership

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The Sacred Marriage is our topic this month. For myself, where I have found this is with my pets and family and with my spiritual Guides, but a stable romantic partnership has eluded me so that I now consider myself ‘post-relational’.  Yet I find a great deal of freedom and personal responsibility in living without a romantic partner, and I am happier this way.

Still, what is true partnership when that is not defined primarily or necessarily in romantic terms?

It is when two Souls team up, with love and trust in each other, to weather storms and support one another’s individual and collective missions. It is a guarantee of unconditional love and a willingness to communicate about whatever arises, knowing the other is open and giving in return.

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My dog Sophie and I are true partners. She has been through hell and back again with me when we endured a scourge of parasite bugs last March.  I don’t know how I could have gotten through that without her, and I am so glad she made it through too.  (Yet  I must also acknowledge a Good Samaritan who helped us both greatly at a B&B;  she took us in and helped nurse us back to health despite the risk to her own business.)  Once when I was finally determined to drive back cross-country to deliver Sophie to safety and then finalize my own cleansing of remaining bug threats, my wounds were searing and I thought they might be infected. (A doctor had me using an ointment that was wrong for these kinds of wounds.) Still over 1800 miles from home, I was at a low. Should I just drive through it, or seek help?  At that moment Sophie started barking emphatically at me and I knew she was telling me to get help.  So, in the midst of a torrential downpour somewhere in Iowa late at night, I found an Urgent Care and got the best treatment I had yet received, enough to let me and Sophie push onward.

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My dear Sophia

But I will be honest with you. I always did hope to establish true partnership with a human, yet that never materialized longterm for this lifetime except in some absolutely deep and wonderful friendships.  As a writer this has worked out fine, as it gives me the solitude and space to immerse myself in creative activity and the freedom to follow my dreams. I am reminded of a poem by W. B. Yeats, on “Words”:

I had this thought a while ago,

My darling cannot understand what I have done,

Or what would do in this blind, bitter land.

And I grew weary of the Sun

Until my thoughts cleared up again,

Remembering that the best that I have done

Was done to make it plain;

That at length I could cry,

At last,

My darling understands it all

Because I have come into my strength

And words obey my call.

That had she done so, who can say

What might have shaken from the sieve?

I might have thrown poor words away,

And been content to live.

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images are from pixabay.com

True partnership is  Soul with Spirit and with Divinity Itself, including Spirit as It expresses through other Souls.  Human companionship may be lasting or ephemeral;      in either case it is a great gift to be treasured for all that can be shared.

I welcome your comments and stories!

Healing Paws

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My heart has been aching this past few weeks as I feel caught between a rock and a hard place in one situation. Fortunately I have my pet companions: my golden Shorkie, Sophie and my two cat friends Emily and Loki . They are together and each one of them a refuge of the heart who engulf me in their own Healer ways as I do them. So today I will post about my animal Soul companions because it lifts my heart to do so.

Emily, Sweetheart

Tomorrow my Emily has to go to the vet to have her teeth cleaned and possibly to have a tooth extracted. Last year she lost her brother Arthur, who apparently had heart failure or a blood clot when he had dental extractions. These current vets I am taking Emily to specialize in cats and give me many reassurances, but until she is well recovered after tomorrow I will worry. She seems to sense this and is staying closer than usual, as if to reassure me herself that all will be well. {PS Tuesday: All is well!}

I always tell my pet companions that I love them for always: “24/7 times eternity!” I know they feel the same about me. They are for me a well in the Desert, sometimes.

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Loki, my Lifesaver

(But that’s another story!)

The Healer nature of animal companions reminds me that humans are not the only Soul-embodied beings with archetypal consciousness formations.  Some animals are trained as Warriors or as Nourishers, others are naturally inclined to develop as Healers or even Elder Leaders, and they express their Lover qualities unconditionally–so often better than humans –so long as they are treated with love in turn.

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Sophia

(Her name so fits her Wisdom and boundless Joy!)

So lap it up! Enjoy the special healing purrs and comforting paw taps of your sacred animal Friends. They will be there for you Always, no matter your relations with much more (too!) complicated humans.

The Mythic GOLDEN CHILD

The GOLDEN CHILD persona archetype occurs in classic mythology with figures such as Theseus, Hercules and Achilles—each of whom also show WARRIOR archetypal qualities—and it shows up in many fictional stories and popular films as well. “Little Buddha” is a great film about the search for the reincarnated Buddha to become the next Dalai Lama in Tibetan Buddhism. This is an explicit Golden Child construct which demonstrates the value of this key archetypal figure as a persona that potentially benefits all of humanity and indeed all life. Yesterday I watched part of “Roman Holiday” with my family, starring Audrey Hepburn in 1953 as a young princess who tires of her royal duties and longs to have a normal life experience. Here is shown the burden that a Golden Child might have to bear in being a central figure for her or his community, as if they are always on stage or serving their public.

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My own dog Sophie (full name: Sophia Grace Wattsida {the last name being the word for ‘dog’ in Zuni!}) is a Golden Child to me. Her breed and style is even called a ‘Golden’ Shorkie because of her hair color as a Shitzu-Yorkie mix. Currently she is with me on her fifth cross-country trip at 5 yrs old; every summer I pack the car and Sophie and I traverse America together from Colorado to New York state and back to visit my mother and siblings.

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Just yesterday I was realizing how I can learn a lot from my little Golden Shorkie Sophie. She has the social skills I sometimes lack, ready to greet (and lick/kiss) just about anyone, and tromping gleefully into the largest of crowds with aplomb, eager for the new experience and smells. I myself have a touch of social anxiety that often keeps me away from crowds of more than a few even well known persons; parties, as my close friends and coworkers know, are my most daunting challenge; I usually feel compelled to just stay away. But last night, with my sister Lee and with Sophie on her leash beside me, I actually attended part of a concert on the lawn of a ski area, with Blood, Sweat and Tears! Sophie showed no fear and just wanted to get off the leash to dart about freely in the large crowd there gathered (I held onto her instead, of course, to her frustration). As a Golden Child I think she feels it is her obligation to greet everyone with a proper licking!

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Anyway, after dinner outdoors with my siblings and the concert, I had a scare overnight as my Golden Sophie was hyperventilating most of the night. She must have gotten too much sun or “too much of a good thing” in dinner handouts from me perhaps. We are many miles away from any animal emergency clinic here, so I tended her as best I knew to do with extra water and care, hoping she was going to be okay through the night. She is! Whew! She truly is a golden companion to me.

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Do you have a Golden Child in your life? Often if we do not express an archetype as a primary aspect of our own Self’s archetypal assemblage, it may be present in people (pets are also people!) important in our lives.

I invite your Comments and Stories!

 

 

Your Pets Lifemap

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For our Better Endings Life Maps Activity this week, you can start by listing all of the pet friends who have shared their life with you. Using your own intuitive guidance, list your pets’ names, the years they have been in your life, and something unique or characteristic about each pet and about the time frames they shared with you. You might use an adjective or a phrase describing each one. Then create a Mapping that shows in a way that is meaningful to you an arrangement of how these pets have ‘patterned’ in your life journey. The Bubbles chart shown here is my own mapping of individual or groups of my pet friends who have been in my life in different time frames. As an example for your own creative mapping–which might take another form for you–let me describe my mapping:

The first time frame shown in the orange bubble to the right represents Special Animal Friends from my Childhood, from about 8 years old til 18. Reviewing the list of some of my favorite animal friends from that time, I see some patterns. I befriended a wide variety of animals, both wild and domestic. I was always bringing animals home: frogs, white mice, a pigeon who flew into my garage and stayed for a year. I rode wild colts with my neighbor friends at local horse farms. I had a parakeet, Petesy, who was a close friend to talk to for many years. There were many cats…most of which I also brought home and only a few of which my father let me keep; and Queenie, a great companion beagle-poodle, who was ubiquitous as my special friend until and even after I left home at 18 for college.  These childhood friends exposed me to my own wildness and unconditional love. Animals were my special family, my Friends.

Reading my Pets Lifemap from East to South to West to North (yes, like a Medicine Wheel!), next came my heart throb of 11 years, my first solo pet away from home in college: Chela. I described her in my pet ‘reincarnation’ story Wednesday. What a great friend and constant companion Chela was. She accompanied me on my Big Move, from East to West; from Buffalo to Phoenix, Arizona. I would say she was a lifeline for me. CONTINUITY has always been one of my most valued and important values in relationships, and Chela was there for me–and I for her–as a thread of continuity linking my Childhood to my later life Journey in graduate school, dissertation research at Zuni,and beyond.

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After Chela left, Ariel, shown here, moved into my Heart.  She was a dear Soul companion (absolutely I believe that Animals are Soul, Too), for 20 years!  Reflecting on her qualities that were a big part of my journey with her and other pets we also had while she was with me, I see attributes of their special characters that mirror archetypal character aspects  of myself: Intelligent/ Artistic Ariel; Freedom loving Skyway (a brindle dog who was an escape artist and loved to run!); Quiet/ Timid Ellie (an orange boxer/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix who was Skyway’s life companion and mine but who was very timid; a one person dog); and Expressive Loki (still in my life; a beautiful, all-white cat who is very communicative; he was quite the mischievous kitty and is such a SOLID friend!).

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All but Loki passed–by their own life stories–before the next Ensemble Set arrived. I now live with Loki-Emily-Arthur (3 cats) and Sophia (Sophie, my Shorkie buddie; shown above with my mother, Elizabeth).  All of them are always there and I am there for them. They are my refuge, the Family I return to daily and spend the nights with between having to be out in the world. As a most naturally quiet and introspective sort of person myself, my pets are my touchstones. I am entirely humbled by their magnificent unconditional love and companionship. They are constant and true, whatever hardships or complexities have come into and gone out of my life among other Humans.

So try mapping your animal friends in relation to your life history. When did which of them enter and exit? What QUALITIES did they exhibit for you; what relationships did you learn about through them? People say we tend to resemble our pets. I would say there are no accidents and each of our special friends has had a special affinity with us; an archetypal synchronicity. Take some time if you would then to pause and APPRECIATE the wonderful LIFE GIFTS each of your animal–and human too, of course!–friends have shared!

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I invite you to compose your own Pet Life Mapping. And do feel free to share your insights–or pictures!–with us!

The Olympics, or Synchronized Peeing (Reblogged from February 9, 2014, by rachelmankowitz)

The first Olympics I really remember was in 1988, with the Battle of the Brians, and the Battle of the Carmens, and Liz Manley coming out of nowhere with her cowboy hat. I’m a figure skating fan, obviously.

I used to think about taking Cricket skating, on a lake, if a rink wouldn’t accept her. I think she would prefer hockey skates to figure skates, so she could do fast stops and flick snow on me. Butterfly would look adorable in a figure skating dress and four little white skates.

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“Can I have skates?”

This is the first Olympics where I don’t wish I could go in person; most of the time it sounds so exciting, to visit another country, to be there in the stands for the opening ceremonies, and to cheer on my favorite athletes. I love the ideal of nations coming together in peace and sportsmanship. I can feel my heart expanding as I watch the march of the athletes into the stadium. I learn a lot about the cultures of other countries, I learn the names of other countries, and enjoy their fashion choices. But I don’t want to go to Russia.

Maybe it’s because I grew up with stories about Refuseniks, Jews who were not allowed to leave Russia or to practice Judaism freely in Russia. But also, Putin scares me. And Siberia scares me. The extreme cap on free speech, and the ease with which they throw people into prison, scare me.

But I still love watching the Olympics on TV, whether it’s on time or delayed or taped on my DVR. Somehow they get me to watch ski jumping, and snow boarding, and rhythmic gymnastics, and beach volley ball, for hours. I think I even watched a few minutes of curling last time around.

I wish my girls could participate in an Olympics. They could have all kinds of events specifically for dogs:

  • The great poopy run – judged like a rhythmic gymnastics routine.

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Cricket is in the lead!

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Look at her go!

  • The long distance pee trip – a dual test, both of how long can you walk, and how many times can you pee in one walk without refueling.
  • Synchronized peeing, a pairs’ event – two dogs trying to match their stance and the length of the pee at the same time. Butterfly and Cricket have been practicing for this event for months.

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Consecutive peeing, it’s a start.

  • The escape from your harness event – how fast, and with what level of ingenuity can you get out of your harness? Cricket is the odds on favorite!
  • The barkathon – endurance, volume, artistry. And then, the group barkathon!

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Prepping for the barkathon.

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Butterfly’s looking to Cricket for lessons.

            Wouldn’t a group barkathon be the ultimate way to end the closing ceremonies?

ABOUTpic7 RACHELMANKOWITZ

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs’ lives.

Better Endings Pet Stories: A Writer’s or Artist’s Prompts List

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Better Endings is all about reflecting on our lives from the point of view of what has helped–and not–in advancing our goals and dreams or those of others.  Animal ‘pet’ companions are certainly a great Better Endings resource to draw on when reflecting on positive influences in our lives.

The following Prompts List offers topics you might use to reflect upon “Pets and Better Endings”:

  • finding a pet (or, being found)
  • travel with your pet(s)
  • learning life lessons from your pets
  • losing a pet
  • helping your pet pass on
  • pets’ health
  • healing companion pets/ therapy pets
  • pets and dreams
  • angel animals
  • children and pets
  • bringing pets home
  • special characters of pets
  • pets and love
  • your life savers
  • pet reincarnation stories
  • communicating with pets
  • gratitude for pets

Kitten looking around the new world

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Feel free to share your photos, poems, insights, and stories this week about Pets and Better Endings. Also please notice the Life Maps activity of the week (right panel) that allows you to compose an assemblage of memories of the pets you have shared your life with across your own Life Chapters.

Better Endings to you and to your Animal Companions. – Linda

Pets ARE Better Endings

Little Girl Cuddling Soft Toys

Animal companions are, to me, Better Endings incarnate. How can they not be, with their amazing capacity for unconditional love and acceptance? A pet is for Life, with the only hard part being that, as humans, we tend to outlive them.

My pets certainly bring Better Endings to work days or basically to any time away from and then returning to our house. They make of our household a Home, just by being there. Coming home to my beloved pet companions lightens my load and helps me more than just about anything else to keep an open Heart.

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Sophie en route to New York to see her Grandmom

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Loki (with Arthur above)

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Arthur and sister Emily

Currently I live with four animal friends, three cats and a dog.  Cats include Loki (8y), all white with golden eyes, and Emily (4y) and Arthur (4y), orange tabby siblings. Emily is petite and short-haired while her brother Arthur looks like a Lion. Sophie (3.5y)–or, Sophia Grace Jade Wattsida [that’s Zuni for ‘dog’, and a pun on my name]–is my Shorkie (Shitzu-Yorkie) buddy. She is small of height but huge in her energy and a totally loving character. I have driven cross-country 3 times already with Sophie. She is a magnificent, all-round companion who loves to vacation at “La Quinta!” hotels. I am humbled to think of how these Souls (Animals are Soul, Too) have sacrificed other possibilities to live with me; especially my “indoor cats” whose whole ‘outer’ life anyways is in our house with one another, me, and our sometimes housemate Gianmichele.

Kitten on Samos

Okay, so there you have a narrative slideshow of my family (the  3 photos together above are They). Pet stories abound in my life. I invite you to send some of your own along, too, so we can swap some Better Endings pet tales this week!

Gifts from Childhood

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Our Life Mapping Activity this week involves remembering “a few of your favorite things” from Childhood.  Make your list. What are 10 or so people, places, activities or things you loved as a child? Then ask yourself, why? What qualities did these favorite things bring into your life; what were their gifts to you, both Then and even Now as you reflect upon them?

For example, here are some of my Favorite Things from childhood, listed below, along with some of their gifts that have enhanced my consciousness and continue to be a part of my awareness or interest ever since:

Gifts Gained from “A Few of My Favorite Things” of Childhood:

Friendships/ BF Karin     pure engagement, companionship, sharing, freedom, humor

Pets    unconditional love and joy, playfulness, comfort

Trips   exploration, beauty, freedom, sharing

Family   togetherness, mutual support, caring

Creative play   imagination, fun, sharing, freedom

Places: woods, horse farms, trees, secret forts   excitement, love of nature

Bicycling    adventure, freedom, creativity, openness, self-reliance

Reading    discovery, other worlds, voices, insights, expansion of ideas

Plays    creativity, expression, discovery, exploring archetypes (roles)

School   education, teachers, development of ideas, learning

Violin   beauty, form, love of music, orchestra, practice

There is a law of spiritual economy that says, “Nothing is ever wasted.” Nothing, not even a smile or a hug, is ever really forgotten, so it is there for us long after it was shared, when we really need it!

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THANK YOU ALL FOR READING AND FOLLOWING!! I am not so adept at navigating WordPress and Twitter to be able to thank you each sufficiently and individually, but it warms my heart to know that you are visiting and reading when you wish to!

I invite you especially to read to tomorrow’s post, “Trust in Your Own Childlike Nature”, which I hope might be helpful for you as you aim to include your own Inner Child archetype more in your conscious world! To prepare, I invite you to contemplate this phrase: the “Alchemy of Childhood”.

Together, We Are Love…Early Childhood Memories

Happy little girl

Thursdays are Guest Blog days at Better Endings. On our weekly topic of Childhood Memories, I found a Daily Prompt set of posts from December 2012 all about peoples’ “Earliest Childhood Memories”. Reading through them I realized that the vast majority of early childhood memories, like the one I posted from my own life on Tuesday here, are about Best Friends or Best Pet Companions. Mandi’s comment Tuesday reinforces that (reposted as #1 below). And so I re-blog three “Early Childhood” memories.

(1) Comment from Mandi of Caged No More (on betterendingsnow.com, Jan. 27,2014):

I love your story of true friendship! It sparks many memories from days long ago, when Renee, my bff, and I met in 5th grade homeroom. I will never forget the first thing she said to me! “Do you want to arm wrestle?” I could not have found anyone more different than me to connect with, but we absolutely clicked! My best friend and I are still going strong, 18 years later! Wow…that seems like forever to me. There is no one else in my life outside my blood relatives that I have known for such a long time! I think its wonderful that we have these precious childhood memories of our dearest friends to reminisce upon in our lives today.

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(2) Re-blogged from Vandysnape (Daily Prompt on “Earliest Childhood Memory”, Dec. 9, 2012)

Thanks to The Daily Prompt‘s new blog post idea, I get to write about my earliest childhood memory.

Before I begin with my earliest memory, there is a bit of a family history that you should probably know. When I pose the same question to my sister about her earliest memory she’d tell me some stories about things that happened when she was just 6 months old. I think that’s an elaborate cock and bull story that she always pulls off on me. My father’s told me that his Uncle could remember things that happened when he was in his Mother’s womb. Well,…Let’s just say that I’m reserving my judgment on that. So, in a family with such ‘history’ of good memory I seem to lack that skill very much. See that little baby in the left side of blog’s banner [picture not uploaded-LW]? That’s me but I have no memory of that phase of my life.

My earliest childhood memory is in my kindergarten classroom. In the first few months of school I felt very homesick but was fortunate enough to have a sweet classteacher Mrs Ramathilakam who put with a whole class of cry babies. I was also quite lucky to have a kind girl for a classmate. I remember her face vividly. She was a very fair and chubby girl with a coconut tree hairstyle much like mine and she brought the coolest set of goggles to school everyday.

Every time I cried, she would put on the goggles and give me a big smile. Then, I would stop crying. If she put down the goggles, I would cry. This went on for sometime but never once did she stop being cheerful. I don’t remember how we both talked to each other. She spoke Malayalam and I spoke Tamil and neither of us knew much English to have a lively conversation. Yet, we both laughed and smiled at each other. She was also the first person to teach me a Malayalam word “Vellam”(Water). I don’t remember much of my kindergarten though. I think she left the school in UKG. It is all very vague right now. I try hard to recollect her name but I guess it has just left the realms of my memory.

Yeah.. Vague it may be but thinking about all those good memories brings some warmth to the heart and I hope the girl grew up to be a kind person as she was the day I met her. So, what’s your earliest childhood memory ?

About vandysnape Hi ! Welcome to my blog… I’m Vandhana. what about me? I’m a huge Beatles and Ilayaraja fan. As my friends say I’m always 15 – 30 years behind in music .. I love reading books ..Well,actually Harry Potter introduced me into reading ..So , I’m trying to catch up with as many novels as I can.. But non-fiction is a strict no-no for me 🙂 🙂 My blog is a reflection of a few strands of my thoughts.. Very random.. I don’t stick to a particular genre. But Hope you find it interesting 🙂

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(3) Re-blogged from keiththegreen on Daily Prompt (“Earliest Childhood Memory”, Dec. 9, 2012)

Childhood Revisited:

My first memory was my mom catching me sharing cookies with our dog. Truth betold it happened often enough, that it probably imprinted itself on my mind. Saturday mornings my parents would take me along, and do the rounds of Woodwards Department store, the buthcher and bakery. Upon getting home, Sargent our German Shepard would happily greet us with tail a wagging. While lunch was made, and dad did some of the outside chores, I would play with Sargent, who was my best buddy back then. Wherever I went, he was beside me, the faithful sidekick. After lunch I would take my Thimbul coookies, homemade by mom, and either eat them in the back yard, or some quiet spot in the house. Sargent of course was beside me, and what little super hero would deny his partner in keeping his world safe, a just share in the rewards. So it was a regular occurence, of my getting caught with my hands on the cookies, in the act of handing one to Sargent.

keiththegreen