A Musical Tonic


We are focussing on Elixirs this month as bringing  welcome encouragement and strength  that allows one to move forward from a personal achievement to ever new cycles of continuing  growth and development. The other day, I was feeling overwhelmed from a very busy schedule and at the same time feeling grateful for my book going forward (March 6 is the publication date for Your Life Path and I will post pre-ordering info soon!). One of my favorite of all time W.B. Yeats poems in the form of a song by Loreena Mckennitt, called “The Stolen Child,” played on my Pandora station. I replayed it several times and it was just the Elixir I needed then to reconcile my movement from where I am currently to where I am going as I will retire from Academe and relocate in under 9 months. The coda verse of this poem conveys where my heart is these days:

Come away, O human child!

To the waters and the wild

With a faery, hand in hand,

For the world’s more full of weeping

than you can understand.


Beautiful music and poetry can be a balm unto the Soul.  They lift us to a realm of Spirit and to an eternal Presence of divine love and companionship that the outer, day-to-day reality can appear to remove us from, if we let it.


images are from pixabay.com

So for your enjoyment, here is a Youtube version of Loreena McKennit’s “The Stolen Child,” composed from W. B. Yeats’ deep-hearted poem:

What music lifts your Soul? I welcome your comments and stories!


The Double Vision…

Yeats, Statue, Sculptures, Art

image from pixabay.com

Today I will share my favorite lines from one of my favorite poems, by W. B. Yeats.  These lines have stayed with me since high school years and they return this month with our monthly theme of Apotheosis or the merging of opposites associated with initiatory fulfillment. The poem is The Double Vision of Michael Robartes, and the lines that still line my heart are:

On the grey rock of Cashel I suddenly saw
A Sphinx with woman breast and lion paw.
A Buddha, hand at rest,
Hand lifted up that blest;
And right between these two a girl at play
That, it may be, had danced her life away,
For now being dead it seemed
That she of dancing dreamed.
Although I saw it all in the mind’s eye
There can be nothing solider till I die;
I saw by the moon’s light
Now at its fifteenth night.
One lashed her tail; her eyes lit by the moon
Gazed upon all things known, all things unknown,
In triumph of intellect
With motionless head erect.
That other’s moonlit eyeballs never moved,
Being fixed on all things loved, all things unloved.
Yet little peace he had,
For those that love are sad.
Little did they care who danced between,
And little she by whom her dance was seen
So she had outdanced thought.
Body perfection brought,
For what but eye and ear silence the mind
With the minute particulars of mankind?
Mind moved yet seemed to stop
As ’twere a spinning-top.
In contemplation had those three so wrought
Upon a moment, and so stretched it out
That they, time overthrown,
Were dead yet flesh and bone.
I knew that I had seen, had seen at last
That girl my unremembering nights hold fast
Or else my dreams that fly
If I should rub an eye,
And yet in flying fling into my meat
A crazy juice that makes the pulses beat
As though I had been undone
By Homer’s Paragon
Who never gave the burning town a thought;
To such a pitch of folly I am brought,
Being caught between the pull
Of the dark moon and the full,
The commonness of thought and images
That have the frenzy of our western seas.

The full recited poem follows for you to enjoy:

I welcome your comments, insights and stories!


WAY Will Out


Philosophically, I value dialectical reasoning that allows for  a “tension of opposites” to resolve what may seem paradoxical at first blush, so thought arrives at a new, higher order of Synthesis. I have embraced this way of thinking and feeling ever since encountering it from reading W.B. Yeats’ theosophical book, A VISION, when I was 19.

Dialectical reasoning can be helpful in the most practical of situations as well as when contemplating some of the more horrific aspects of life.  Just as Day follows Night and Sun and Moon intercourse daily, in these material worlds Duality is a basic underlying reality, even though from a higher perspective, unity supercedes duality as an ordering principle. We always come back to the Center.


Here are some common idioms that reveal the dialectical nature of our lives:

The darkest day is always before the dawn.

S/he loves me ;  S/he loves me not.

The best of times ; the worst of times.

No pain, no gain.

When faced with a difficult decision, we may call it a conundrum; that is, a dialectical choice.  Do we go or do we stay?  Give up, or press on?

The best solution to a dialectical conflict, I have found, is to:


Ah, sweet surrender! You need not give up anything but your conflicted reasoning process.  Surrender to your Higher Consciousness.  Return to YOUR Center and act from there.


I once had a Quaker friend who liked to say:

“Way will Out.”

That Way is the essence of Surrender, as also expressed through the Tao Te Ching, the Book of the Way.

“If you try to change it, you will ruin it. Try to hold it, and you will lose it.”
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

So remember, if you choose:

Water seeks its own level; Way will out.

Die daily to be reborn anew.

Effortless Action issues from Stillness.

Find harbor in the eye of the storm.


images are from pixabay.com

I welcome your comments and stories!

The DESCENDER Rising, Part II: Protest Marchers of the Night (Waxing Poetic)


Why is it that protesters such as now occupy the streets of many American cities for anti-Trump rallies often choose the Night to stage their marches? I propose this may not simply be due to their daytime work schedules, especially on weekends. These protests are an outcry from the collective archetypal DESCENDER, whose domain of expression and action is a Deep, often submerged realm, in what James Hillman called the “underworld” of the dynamic Unconscious.


A “call in the Night” embodies a passionate, ardent outcry for all concerned. Protesters in America are often not even well organized; the nighttime rallies are organic, spontaneous. Much is being brought to the surface at this time in America and in much of the world in this and recent times of economic and political uncertainty. Black Lives Matter marches over the past summer; anti-Trump rallies that began during the terribly bitter campaign in protest of bigoted statements and threats by the candidate; raucous campaign rallies themselves: all of these demonstrate the frustrations and divisive polarization occurring in the world perhaps since the 2008 Great Recession and subsequent Occupy Wallstreet movement in America.  Many have not yet recovered lost jobs or feel disenfranchised either from the experience of enormous economic disparities or from becoming the target of racial, religious, or gender and sexuality coded attacks.


Things fall apart,

The Center cannot hold”

… echoes W. B. Yeats from his grave (warning of an impending Anti-Christ).  Yeats also penned in “The Nineteenth Century and After”:

“Though the Great Song return no more,

There’s keen delight in what we have;

The rattle of pebbles on the shore

Under the receding Wave.”


I like Yeats (can you tell?)–as I once memorized virtually an entire Collected Works of Yeats volume late in high school thanks to a dear mentor (D/M)–, and I find myself returning to Yeats’s sage, deeply reflective poetry often this past week.  Yeats’s poetry and the theosophical philosophy underlying his poetic vision (read his book, A Vision) reminds me of the cyclical nature of life and politics in this world of appearances, this phantasm:

“Once, while on the old grey stone I sat,

Under the old windbroken tree,

I knew that One is animate.

Mankind inanimate phantasy.”

But here’s one I am reminded of this week as I struggle to come to terms, to find a balance of acceptance while yet feeling protective of my liberal values of appreciating diversity and freedom of religion (implying due separation of Church and State):

Outworn heart, in a time outworn,

Come clear the nets of wrong or right;

Laugh, heart, again, in the grey twilight;

Sigh heart, again, in the dew of the morn.”

Paired with (in Those Images) one of my favorite of all Yeats phrases through the years:

“What if I bade you leave

The cavern of your mind;

There’s better exercise

in the sunlight and wind.”


images are from pixabay.com

It is time for a change to rattle the pebbles on the shore; a time for poets and mystics to descend to their Core and to reemerge in the Light.  

May we all be Torchbearers for one another when that is needed.

May you and I everywhere find ways to exercise our God given, inherent freedom and delight to go forth, again, to play in the Sun!

Remember to Daydream, Part 2 (The Lake Isle of Innisfree)

Here is an excellent demonstration of creative future casting by William Butler Yeats. Like my story of how daydreaming can relate to manifesting future realities (below), Yeats reminds us in his evocative poem to hold a vision in our minds of our desired state or condition; smell it, feel it, and it IS!

The Lake Isle of Innisfree


I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet’s wing.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

******   ******


Consider: the future consists of an unlimited number of possibilities only habitually constrained by conditions and circumstances of your past and present choices. If you can break the habit of perpetuating self-limiting thoughts, anything is possible. How can you do that?

The power of imagination is our greatest birthright for creating life conditions that realize our goals. Whether by contemplation, active imagination, meditation, yoga, positive affirmations, or prayer, we always do have the freedom to cast our dreams outward and forward into manifestation.


In Your Life Path I’ll provide Life Mapping personal development tools for “future casting.” Like casting a net widely into the realm of fertile future possibilities, you can cast a diverse spectrum of desirable future “lifescapes” to help you shake off feelings of inevitability regarding future  conditions or the sense  of futility regarding significant change.

Here’s an example: remember to Day Dream! When was the last time you indulged in a great day dream? Have you ever thought about the possible relationship between daydreams and your actual future conditions?

When I was in high school I remember that I did engage in active day dreaming, especially when in classes that bored me. I developed one particular daydream that I kept going back to, time and again. It became clearer and more real to me every time I went back to it.

I am on a rowboat, alone on a lake, with a great book I have brought.  I row out to near the middle of the lake, then I put the oars up to rest and I lay back between the two seats on a recliner mattress with a large outdoor pillow gently lifting my head; I open the book and read! I hear the water lapping up against the wooden sides of the boat. This is the most peaceful moment I can ever experience. Then WHOMP! My boat has hit a soft landing. I look up and see that I have drifted onto the banks of a small Island. I get out to explore.


So looking back at this daydream now, many decades later, I smile. First, I can still feel the vivid lucidity of this boat, the island, and the peace and freedom I experience from exploring this ‘alternate reality.’ More importantly, I realize with some surprise now that my ‘retirement’ Life Dream that I do expect to fully realize in three years actually does include a lake, a boat, and close focus on books (including my own!).

Today while working out at a YMCA, I sat in a rowing machine, always my favorite exercise vehicle. I closed my eyes and rowed. I was on that boat again, rowing peacefully along near the shores of Lake Chautauqua, which I expect to be free to explore in a few years.


By future casting, you can PULL your unfolding Present into harmony with your most deeply desired future. You are NOT bound irrevocably to repeat your present conditions; you can CHOOSE your own course. All it takes is that you exercise your freedom to IMAGINE; that is your Divine Gift!

I welcome YOUR Comments and Stories!


Writer Warriors

 Preface: I would like to add some explanation about my motivation for this post. Over a month ago a site that I was following, a beautifully designed, highly artistic and expressive site written mainly in Arabic (so, untranslatable to me; I have not been able to find a Translate button for that site), posted a photograph that absolutely appalled me. It showed (again, without my being able to translate, so these are only my visual perceptions) a line of prisoners standing in a row with their backs to the camera, wearing prisoner coverings and with hoods over their heads. Enough said. I cancelled my following of that site. LKW


On being asked for a War Poem


I think it better that in times like these

A poet’s mouth be silent, for in truth

We have no gift to set a statesman right;

He has had enough of meddling who can please

A young girl in the indolence of her youth,

Or an old man upon a winter’s night.

The more I think about it, the more I favor supporting peaceful warriors in these times of too much violence. Committing violence in itself, let’s be clear, does not make of anyone a true Warrior; violence manifests but its own Shadows, low consciousness, dark energy. A true Warrior stands up for or defends that which is positive and LIFE AFFIRMING. How can anyone believe that murder, in any form, can ever be either godly or good?


I would urge anyone prone to expressing or who is attracted to violent, Shadow-warrior tendencies to expand instead their own greater, more positive, light-bearing traits. Life does matter; all lives tend toward transcendence, growth and awareness, or can. Integrating your Self-identity by developing your connections, both outwardly—with people of varied backgrounds—and inwardly, blending your your own multiple perspectives from the various roles in your life, can help to soften and expand your point of view regarding the meaning and value of life.



What is your purpose here? Then, what is the next person’s purpose? Everyone deserves to pursue their purposes without interference from anyone else.

Live and let live. Love and let Be.


I apologize if this sounds like I am on a “jag” here.  The world is just so full of senseless violence these days. A Warrior stands up for the value of life; a TRUE Warrior does not destroy life as an exercise of brute power or domination. Love is what we all ARE–so long as we retain our purity of nature–in our deepest essence. Love is never a matter of mere belief but requires acceptance, allowing, and compassion.

male writer journalist pen paper shield

So, Yeats’s poetic call to pacifism being noted, I do believe the pen—by forging words and images—can be mightier than any sword. Let’s stand up as Writer Warriors. Who would like to join me?

What can we do as writers or artists to deter the tide of violence appearing in the news or other media and to protest or prevent the maelstorm of brutal, atrocious violations assaulting the dignity of life in our world today?

I invite YOUR reply.

Setting Sail


Once you have established a Life Dream, a meaningful personal Goal that will fulfill your Purpose or Mission of this lifetime, What Then? (see Yeats poem, linked).  How are you to bridge the seeming gulf between where you are Now and where (and how) you wish to Be? What holds you back from pursuing or from realizing your Dream?


Before you can set sail to the destination of manifesting your fulfillment, your Bliss, you need clarity about the process you can take to bring your goal within the grasp of realization. That means you need to have a clear view of your destination and a good awareness about how you will manifest your goal. When a Dream or Goal seems too remote or unrealistic from where we are Now, we are less likely to take practical steps in the direction of ever realizing this goal.


I have found in working with life mappers over the past decade that it can help to conceptualize where we are at in relation to a Goal by viewing the situation from a broad overview perspective. One basic technique for ‘zooming out’ far enough to see the whole is a basic form of mind-mapping called a CLUSTERING technique.  I will present a very tailored version of this technique in Life Paths; for now, though, I invite you to use a very general approach to help you to frame parameters of your Life Dream that are relevant to developing your motivation around your Dream. For an example of his method, I recommend Mary Carroll Moore’s excellent book, How to Master Change in Your Life, as she presents a similar clustering approach there in relation to bringing about a desired change.

You may start this clustering practice simply by placing a word or phrase representing your Life Dream in the center of a blank, unlined page. Then start reflecting on this Dream. What benefit will you gain from realizing this goal in your life? Write something describing this benefit somewhere on the page (above the center to express a positive aspect) and draw a line from your Dream to this benefit. Are there outcomes or consequences from this benefit to also consider? Draw a line from the benefit to this other consideration. Are there negative sorts of challenges (e.g. cost or time limitations) that you associate with your Dream? Draw a line to a space below the center and write these considerations. For every branch extending out from the center that you connect with the considerations that arise as you reflect more deeply on this Dream, you may draw sub-branch limbs to clouds of related considerations around these. You can also connect considerations over the whole page to one another.

Teacher Businesswoman Writing Mindmap Complex Diagram

For every negative challenge or fear, etcetera, that you expose with this mind-mapping technique, do aim to also place a positive ‘antidote’ or solution to this challenge, as well. After you complete the clustering session, you may wish to envision and to journal or write about the insights you have gained. Has a plan of sorts revealed itself? What steps can you begin to take now in your life that can help you to overcome obstacles to your manifestation of this valuable Life Dream?


I welcome your Comments and Stories!

Flexibility for Mastery of Better Endings

rubber strips yin yang pattern

Life Metaphors  are a variety of “core metaphors” that reflect “idealized cognitive models” (ICM’s), according to anthropological linguists George Lakoff and Paul Johnson in their groundbreaking book, Metaphors We Live By. Such core metaphors govern our conceptions about whole domains of experience by having multiple metaphoric entailments. My example yesterday of Life as a Carousel or Merry-Go-Round shows this well. Life has Its Ups and Downs; It goes Round and Round; we may find ourselves reaching for “the Brass Ring”. Yet, of course, all of this is imaginary, or…well, embedded in our cognitive mindset. Because of the all-encompassing nature of the conceptual model that a key metaphor creates, reality itself is mapped onto our ICM of It, and we become somewhat bound to our model, or, schematic cognitive mindset.

This week’s general topic is about transforming self-limiting beliefs and personal myths into Bettter Endings scenarios. Merry-Go-Round horses leaping from their platforms overnight changes the Life Metaphor of Life as a Carousel by adding a new dimension of FLEXIBILITY into the model. As another first principle for creating Better Endings,then, flexibility is on the top shelf of our toolbox!

Flexibility incorporates lots of Better Endings principles in itself, doesn’t it? Creativity, Acceptance, Adaptability, Mindfulness; all of these are activated in a genuinely flexible thought or action. Flexibility involves a willingness to bend and to adjust, so it is helpful and often necessary for transforming self-limiting attitudes, beliefs or behavior.

I am reminded of two poetic images, both penned by Robert Frost.

The first, on “Acceptance“:

Ah, when to the heart of man,

Was it ever less than a treason

To go with the drift of things,

To bend with a grace to reason

and bow and accept the end of a love or a season?


             The second, from Frost’s “Birches”:

When I see birches bend to left and right

Across the lines of straighter darker trees,

I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.

But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay

As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them

Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning

After a rain. They click upon themselves

As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored

As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.

Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells

Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—

Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away

You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.

They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,

And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed

So low for long, they never right themselves:

You may see their trunks arching in the woods

Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground

Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair

Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.

Mandi’s Guest (Re-)Blog on Thursday shares her “life secret” of Letting Go. This is part and parcel of flexibility, to RELEASE. Robert Frost’s image of birch boughs laden with ice and snow in winter and then winging back to the sky and freedom–though forever arched by the experience–evokes the suppleness and fresh vitality needed for, or perhaps resulting from, a shift of attitude: from holding on, to letting go and ALLOWING a new way come into Being.

Sometimes I think this is much of what the effects of physical aging are about: what we hold onto and then, eventually, what we are able to release. My mother who is 86 with Parkinson’s has had to release so much already (her mobility, most household possessions, solid food) and, over time, she will release the rest of her burdens from this life–and her loves–so she can move on to the next cycle of death and rebirth; however your belief system frames that. (By the way, I highly recommend reading Eben Alexander’s Proof of Heaven if you are struggling with a loved one’s or your own physical mortality.)

A spiritual author I regard highly, Harold Klemp, in How to Survive Spiritually in Our Timessays that one’s “degree of acceptance” determines one’s level or state of consciousness. What are you willing to Accept means, how flexible are you; how far are you willing to bend and what can you let go of to allow a Better Ending? I agree with Mandi that  this is what it takes to transform our lives or habits, from rigid to supple, from stubborn to wiser; bringing well-being and a fresh, vital, childlike perspective into our daily actions and choices. Flexibility allows us to transform self-limiting beliefs or fixed models so we can follow through on our most conscious, mindful decisions.

Flexibility is the essence of our willingness to grow, to learn, to unfold in greater freedom rather than being pinned down by the accretion of rigid thoughts or withered attitudes. And so, flexibility empowers us to transform self-limiting mindsets into life affirming gestures of allowing ourselves and others to grow, to explore, and to achieve the life of our and their dreams.

What is it that you would love to be doing, if you could release self-limiting concepts? Allow yourself to be all that you care to be, to do all that you mindfully dare to do, to become all that you ARE!


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