A Changed Attitude Can Work Miracles

Don’t quit, COMMIT!
“I’m going to love until love comes back. I’m going to live until life comes back and I’m going to fight until the fight comes back! Because I’m in it, to win it!” -T.D. Jakes

In today’s world, where everyone wants instant results – it is easier than ever to quit. It is easy to think that if it doesn’t come easy to you, it is not for you. It is easy to try something, and then if it doesn’t work out immediately, we can talk our selves out of the importance or the significance of it.  With that said, if you were to ask any person you admire based on what they have given, gained or done, they will all have a very similar formula for success – they never quit.

Re-blogged from Jeff Moore, My Everyday Power (http://everydaypowerblog.com/2014/02/04/3-reasons-to-dream-bigger/#comments)

 Positive Attitude Note Shows Optimism Or Belief

Better Endings Story, by Linda Watts :

A Changed Attitude Can Work Miracles

A changed attitude can change ‘everything’ about a situation or a relationship. I wish it were never necessary, but sometimes it is. I’m thinking back to a time some fifteen years ago when I was certainly not at my best. I allowed a philosophical/ theoretical disagreement with a valued colleague to develop into a schism between us. It reached the point where we could hardly interact and avoided one another at the workplace. I felt terrible about my part in sustaining such a divide, but there it was.

One night in contemplation I sought inner guidance to help heal this situation.  I asked for clarity and  direction, then slept. That next morning I dreamt that this estranged colleague and I were face to face. I allowed my inner Self rather than my upset personality of that time to express Itself.  I smiled and simply beamed, “Hello!” And you know what? He smiled back and said “Hello!” in turn.

That very morning, while I was in the mail room at work, this colleague walked in. We had avoided being in the same space for months. Our eyes met, and I smiled and beamed, “Good morning!” He did likewise. Nothing was ever said between us about the distance we had allowed to develop. But from that moment on, the relationship shifted and it was never again as strained as it had become. Some short months later he received a job elsewhere. I helped to host a farewell gathering for a colleague who had given many years of valued service to our institution.

How did this attitude shift come about? By asking inwardly, then listening to and applying inner guidance. Better Endings often require change of a sort that allows you to break up ‘stuck’ positions. I am not proud of having reached this negative stasis in a relationship of any kind, so it is uncomfortable for me to share it in a blog!  I write about it anyway, in case it resonates with someone else.  People won’t always agree with one another, perhaps especially in academia, where I work. But everyone deserves to give and to receive unconditional love and respect. This helps us realize we are so much more than our limited personalities, ideas and opinions.

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This next week we get to shift to one of my favorite topics: pets!  I welcome any of your animal companion stories, photos, poetry and gushing insights.

Archetype Dialogue

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“For every typical situation in life,

There is an archetype corresponding to that situation.”

– Carl G. Jung (Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious)

Can you think of an issue about which you are conflicted or undecided, for which you can express “two sides” of the situation? E.G. whether to move or to stay with a job or to change a relationship? Or do you have a “personal conflict” over some area of your life that persists through the years without clear resolution?

When you have opposing viewpoints within yourself around an issue that is important to you, it’s as though you are two or more people about that. Here, we are talking about what Carl Jung and many others since have called Archetypes. These are submerged viewpoints, your ‘inner voices’ that might feel at odds with each other about how you should approach something.  James Hillman would say these various archetypal aspects of your Self are in your “Personal Unconscious”, and Jung would say we have even deeper sorts of archetypes in our “Collective Unconscious” that are universal.

As an anthropologist I take a practical approach as well as a “depth psychology” approach to archetypal character guises and traits. We all take on various ROLES in our lives that are associated with various STATUSES. These can include kinship statuses and roles (like Mother or Child, husband and wife) as well as occupational and recreational roles, like Doctor and Golfer. Each of these personal ROLES is associated with specific kinds of SITUATIONS we engage in regularly. And each of these brings out deep archetypal—not just formal ‘status’—aspects. Considering various Themes, or KINDS of situations in our lives, each Life Theme may be associated with archetypal character dispositions.  For example, ROMANCE might bring out the Lover in You, whereas EDUCATION may bring forth your Teacher and/or Student “parts of Self”, and SPORTS or MILITARY SERVICE might bring forth the Warrior. Each of these “situational archetype” parts-of-self has their own ‘character’ presence in your unique assemblage of archetypal outlooks. Some are deeply buried or suppressed (e.g. some may be in “Shadow” mode), while others may be more actively integrated within your conscious personality.

The Life Mapping activity for this week’s topic about Attitudes asks you to write or to imagine a DIALOGUE with two opposing viewpoints—both your own—around a topic you may feel conflicted or “dual” about. It can help to get these divergent sides talking to one another about a situation you are trying to better understand or resolve, especially if leaving it unresolved keeps you “stuck” about that issue.

Let me share an example from my Life Mapping cases. Mindy was a woman who had been experiencing a persistent dilemma for many years. In the course of life mapping she identified two Archetypal outlooks that she associated with a spiritual aspect—she called this her inner Warrior—and a Physical-life side of self, which she called her Descender. Around some of the same issues in her life, her Warrior-mystic and her Descender modes were at odds. Her Warrior wanted to follow inner spiritual nudges: make a move, take or end a job, accept a relationship. Her Descender, though, hated to be pinned to any decision.  Mindy journaled a dialogue between these two archetypal parts of self.  She found that one value was important to both of them: Freedom. But they each defined freedom in diametrically opposite ways! The Mystic thought freedom was about following inner nudges of spirit; it was “Spiritual Freedom”. The Descender wanted Freedom from commitments! So, for many years, Mystic-Mindy would boldly step forth and change locations, jobs or relationships. But almost immediately thereafter, Descender-Mindy would want to bolt; to leave that location, job or relationship. When Mindy put the two to talking with each other over a couple of weeks in her journal, they/she came to recognize how these opposing, archetype-driven points of view were interfering with her ever establishing a STABLE set of conditions. So she started asking them about their goals and she found some they shared. She needed a job, for instance, with built in variety and flexibility. Now Mindy has become a successful public speaker for a health supplements company she believes in. She gives workshops on various products and travels around the country. Both her Mystic and her Descender selves are happy, for once! Mindy has embraced and ‘integrated’ more of her total Self.

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Writing an archetype dialogue allows you to tap into aspects of yourself you might otherwise suppress. Offer a “safe space” to these feelings and viewpoints, knowing that your core Self will remain strong and centered throughout the exchange. Just as an example to get you started, let me illustrate briefly. I call this approach: “Open Mike”. Just set a topic about which you have dual or multiple ‘attitudes’, and invite your various situational selves to speak. If you’re not sure what topic to introduce, ask ‘them’ to suggest one for you!

Open MikeTopic: My currently overburdened schedule

This is crazy! How can we keep this up? You are going to collapse at this rate.

(Self in italics) Who are you?

Someone who wishes you would lighten up a bit…

A Nurturer, I believe.

Yes. You do need to give yourself some time to relax, dear. Breathe. Go to the gym. Read a Maeve Binchy novel; I want to!

I know but there is just so much to do. I have bitten off so much this semester…

This Life, don’t you mean? I am with you and want to see you reach your goals, too, Lindy, but she is right; you need to add some balance. Trust that you will get what you need to get done even better when you accept your time limitations.

Are you an Elder Leader?

No, a Communicator.

Thanks for all you contribute; all of you, too.

Nurturer: So what are you going to do to ease up a bit?

I will do what I can…feel free to nudge me when you see an opportunity for me to open a novel or take Sophie for a walk.

[This is just an example of how to begin an Archetypal “Open Mike” dialogue. It is helpful to have a journal dedicated to this exchange. Explore many topics; get to know these ‘parts’ of yourself that are always within you and can help you reach your Dreams! Use whatever names you want for these; in Life Paths I will be introducing a specific ‘pantheon’ of 12 universal archetype figures based on Jung and on the works of a lesser known archetypal psychologist, Dr. Charles Bebeau-LW]

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I invite your comments and stories of your own.

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Thanks for reading and for those who are “Liking,” Thank You!

Happy Valentines Day

No Endings with Better Relationships, by Corinne M. Harmon

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Better Endings in relationships doesn’t necessarily mean, “happily ever after.”  Relationships seem to have an ebb and flow that defines their course toward some elusive shore.  The shore can hold this ebb and flow in one’s heart whether the relationship thrives or ceases to exist.  The law of impermanence in Buddhism suggests there is nothing to hold onto in this reality because we will all change form, eventually.  Yet, love is eternal – a never ending flame, no matter what changes come within the ebb and flow.

Relationships have a life of their own within a pre-determined agreement to find ways to grow through the countless lessons of karmic patterns playing off of each other, providing potential opportunities to become the best we have to offer.  We approach and we retreat, let go and hold on, acting in fear or in love.  It’s a moment to moment toss of the coin.

Precious relationships and loved ones who have passed on remain in our heart, forever.  Time cannot erase or extinguish love’s flame and in fact, there is really no ending at all.  Love is better, always, in every way, now and forever.  There is no end.

Dr. Corinne Harmon is a professor of Leadership in Education with a background in Educational Administration and Special Education. She is also a practicing Life Coach in the Colorado Springs/ Denver, Colorado area. She hosts spiritual retreats and wellness programs.

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Thank You, Corinne, for sharing your heartfelt story. It is obvious you are speaking from deep experience.

To all:

To submit a Guest Blog, simply answer “What Do Better Endings Mean in Your Life” (or comment on the weekly topic). You may submit a Better Endings story for Story of the Week. For any guest post or story you will receive an author’s by-line, brief bio, and you may mention your websites.

This next week’s topic (starting tomorrow) is: Better Endings for TRansforming Limiting Beliefs and Personal Myths.

 

Better Endings to ALL! – Linda