Yes I say, Say YES with Relocation

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So I have relocated, to a Dream Life sort of scenario in Ithaca, NY.  And it really is spectacular, a lovely community nestled in an idyllic environment of lakes and forests, birds and abundant cultural opportunities. And as Relocation always offers new possibilities to create the life of your Dream, I am practicing a basic principle of Relocation as I begin this new adventure:

Say YES!

Of course you will sometimes want to practice right discrimination to also say No (to repeating pathways to bad habits from the past, e.g.), but all in all I am saying YES to opportunities as they arise. The Universe/ Spirit, I find, is meeting me at the precipice of this new adventure, presenting opportunities.  I have met a small community of Eckists (my spiritual group) at a class last week, which led to lunch with two of these new friends yesterday and my agreement to transport a new friend to a weekly meetup group, and to travelling with new friends to a spiritual service in Syracuse tomorrow. I responded to discovery that a local college (one of my favorites: Ithaca College!) might have adjunct teaching positions available, so I applied a couple of months ago and–long story short–I will be teaching there as well as in Colorado via online teaching, come this Fall semester! Another online lead has led to the chance to meet a potential new friend who has welcomed me to the area.  And people here are NICE, so far everywhere.

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Say YES is I believe an important principle when working in tandem with Spirit/ the Universe (however you wish to construe this), always. It can lead you forward so long as you trust (and exercise) your ‘instinct’ and WELCOME new directions, new connections, a new life.

Of course old friends will always be on my mind as I move forward here. It does seem impossible that my friends and colleagues of the past 25 years are now as remote from here as my family was while I was living in Colorado. I aim to continue to nurture these connections. But I am ready and willing to step forth with this new Life Chapter, too. As much or more lies ahead as in the rear view mirror.

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images are from pixabay.com

Life is ephemeral, as a remembered W.B. Yeats poem (click here) states. Friends, family and this life as a whole is on loan to us from Divine Love/ the Universe. It is what we do with our associations that matters. Separation is only a temporary illusion, one might also say. New friends may be Souls we meet again.

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!

“So She had Outdanced Thought”…Go with the Flow

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I was listening on National Public Radio this past week to a discussion about Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s TED talk theme of “Flow” (http://www.npr.org/2015/04/17/399806632/what-makes-a-life-worth-living).  The neuropsychologist explains that the brain can process no more than something like 120 bits of information at a time. The more closely we focus on some activity, the less we are aware of many surrounding conditions or facts that might otherwise vie for our attention. When we are working with great concentration on something we dearly love—like a work of art, giving a performance onstage, writing, or competing at a sports event, we enter “the Flow,” effectively transcending space and time altogether while absorbed in this all-consuming activity in the Now.

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The NPR journalist associated this transcendent experience of “flow” with Abraham Maslow’s notion of a “peak experience.”  I know this concept quite well both as a writer and from when I was a competitive Fencer. I recall quite well one fencing tournament in Tucson, Arizona. I was so focused on being centered and fencing from that Center at that particular tournament that when I fenced, I won every bout 4-0 (and the tournament) and yet I hardly even knew what had just occurred when I stepped off from the fencing strip. The actions themselves had become almost “automatic”: advance/ retreat, attack / parry-riposte, etcetera were not consciously engaged but happened spontaneously from that Center. …”What a rush!” one might say, when this happens!

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Poetry is a medium that brings out my own artistic nature or my ARTIST Archetype Ally, that part of Self that I gratefully share consciousness with to better appreciate form, color, balance, and Nature.  One of my favorite poems from my favorite poet, W. B.Yeats, expresses poignantly the transcendent Flow of the Artist; in this case, in his dream of three Figures: “A Buddha, hands at rest / Hand lifted up that blessed; A Sphinx, head erect, in triumph of intellect… ; and “right between these two a girl that danced”.  Here are the relevant verses from part II of “The Double Vision of Michael Robartes” (from http://www.yeatsvision.com/Doublevision.html ) :

II
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 it 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 all that love are sad.

O 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.

III

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

So what about you? When are you most in the Flow? How can you use this experience to channel your inner Artist and to accomplish your deepest ambitions?

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images from pixabay.com

Enter the Month of the Warrior

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April is associated with the Archetype of the WARRIOR. Like all archetypes, the Warrior has many sides, many facets, Strengths, and Shadow forms, masculine and feminine.
For myself, today, my Warrior is in hiding with my Descender due to some trust issues. So the most I can evoke to at least begin the Month of the Warrior is this cryptic poem from Yeats. Given the current state of political pundits and wannabe presidential candidates pontificating in sometimes demogogical fury, I find these are not true Warriors, not authentic leaders (at least on the Republican side right now in America). So, back to Yeats for today:
On Being Asked For a War Poem
(William Butler Yeats)


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.

Picture IT Now!

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What is Your Life Dream?

IMAGINE yourself Living your Dream, Now!

Creative visualization and Re-visioning past events to help you compose your Future in keeping with all of the Strengths and Lessons you have already developed over your Life Course is your privileged prerogative as a human Being.  The gifts of intuitive imagination and foresight are talents you can exercise in creating the life of your highest values and ideals.

So never sell yourself short or settle for less than all that you are capable of Being! For while the future is certainly always in motion relative to the past and present coditions and attitudes you hold, it is within our capacity to imprint the future, to form a mold of what is desirable for us to attain to in keeping with our core values and ideals.

Picture IT!

So picture IT, Now! I invite you to close your eyes and BE in the future AS IF you have already achieved your Life Dream. Use 1st person, present tense to place yourself into this future NOW. (A similar exercise can be found in Mary Carroll Moore’s wonderful book, How to Master Change in Your Life.)

  • Where are you in the futurescape Life Dream of your imagining?

 

  • Who is there with or around you?

 

  • What is your daily life like?

 

  • How are you putting into practice your highest ideal values?

 

  • What are your Goals from this futurescape perspective?

 

Hold your Life Dream always in your “Heart of hearts.”  Picture it in any way you choose. You could make a collage of images representing your Dream, create or find a talisman like a stuffed animal or a photo to represent your Dream.

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When I was living in Buffalo, New York before launching myself off to Arizona to pursue my life dream at the time of becoming a cultural anthropologist Out West (which I am now and have been for 39 years), I placed photos of Sedona, Arizona from an art magazine called Sedona Life on my office walls where I was teaching at a university in Buffalo while finishing my Masters degree there. I looked at these pictures every day and often dreamt of Arizona at night. One morning I woke with a jingle in the forefront of my awareness, which lyrics were:

“I’m leaving,

But there are a few doors left to close

Before I get over there.”

That little ditty jingle was pervasive in my consciousness the entire next year as I prepared to head out for my Big Trip West. I did have relationship matters to resolve, lessons yet to learn right where I was, and family to embrace before I could leave. But the images in my heart and mind held true, and by the next year and a half I was indeed living the life of my dreams. These were not candy coated dreams; they involved hardship and sacrifice as a student in graduate school for the next 14 years!  I cried when I first felt the impact of having left all I had known and loved behind. But I met new friends and now I cannot imagine not having taken this Great Adventure.

I prepare similarly now for retirement in just over two years ‘time’ with another great Departure then in store to fulfill my current Life Dream that will take me back to the region I actually left nearly 40 years ago. But that is not necessary to share with you here; it remains vital in my Heart of Hearts.

What is your current Life Dream?

PICTURE IT, NOW!

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“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.”

W.B. Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”

 

 

One for All, All for One

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We are in each others’ lives for very good reasons; there are no accidents for Spirit interweaves the Whole with a natural delicacy that is exacting, being formed by laws of physics as Laws of Life.

Today I read in Facebook a story about callous humor toward Native Americans in an upcoming Westerner spoof movie with Adam Sandler. Several Native American actors walked off the set in response to raw stereotypes and immature, ugly humor.

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Let us stand up for one another. The code word is RESPECT. What goes around comes around, and it must come FULL CIRCLE in order for respect to be genuine, reciprocal and True.

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At 60 I have reached a point in this lifetime where I am less interested in dramatics and attachments of any form. Petty squabbles between persons fall like pebbles on the shore, as Yeats once wrote, “under the receding wave.” Who needs them, really?

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I begin to see so much of what goes on in this life as being like billiard balls aimed to knock against one another.  I would myself rather be a Watcher, and stay apart from the Arena.

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So how does this relate to the topic, One for All, All for One? By expressing an article of wisdom: Let Go and Let God.  My puny thought or opinion, or that of any other, hardly matters in the bigger scheme of Life Itself unfolding from day to day, Moment by Moment. All that really matters is Love: genuine, unattached, unopinionated. Love rolls on, or as a saying goes (by Paul Twitchell in Stranger by the River):

LOVE IS ALL,

AND DO AS THOU WILT.

What Then?

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What are better choices? If we can assume that a choice is meant to bring us to a desired state of being rather than to a less desirable condition, then first we need to consider what the destination is that we hope to arrive at through our choice, and then the ‘right’ direction should be more clear. No one else, though, can tell us what is the ‘right’ course to take. A better choice is one that ‘rings true’ with your own deepest self.

I remember when I had a choice to make of what college to attend after high school. I had applied to and been accepted by three universities in the State University of New York system. I visited all three but that only made my choice more difficult, as each had special qualities I liked. Someone gave me a good idea which helped a lot. I wrote positive and negative considerations in two columns for all 3 choices and then I looked to see objectively which choice had the most positive aspects listed. But then, I asked myself how I felt about that choice, and I knew instinctively that the one with the most ‘positives’ was not the one my heart was interested in.  I chose the college closest to home because I wanted to maintain some cherished friendships. That proved to be obviously the right choice for me, down the road.

Here is a poem by William Butler Yeats about ‘better choices’:

What Then?

His chosen comrades thought at school
He must grow a famous man;
He thought the same and lived by rule,
All his twenties crammed with toil;
‘What then?’ sang Plato’s ghost. ‘What then?’

Everything he wrote was read,
After certain years he won

Sufficient money for his need, Friends that have been friends indeed;

‘What then?’ sang Plato’s ghost. ‘ What then?’

All his happier dreams came true —
A small old house, wife, daughter, son,
Grounds where plum and cabbage grew,
poets and wits about him drew;
‘What then.?’ sang Plato’s ghost. ‘What then?’

The work is done,’ grown old he thought,
‘According to my boyish plan;
Let the fools rage, I swerved in naught,
Something to perfection brought’;
But louder sang that ghost, ‘What then?’

Yeats’ poem has an almost eerie quality to it in relation to the matter of discerning ‘better choices’. How can we choose proactively rather than having to look back in retrospect to see whether our choice has led to personal fulfilment, or not? Some of you might be familiar with the book The Journey of Souls by Dr. Michael Newton. This book puts the topic of better choices into a much larger scope. It deals –(whatever your personal approach, this book brings in  reincarnation as described under hypnosis by people being regressed)–with the question of whether in a given lifetime we have fulfilled our goal or learned our lessons of that lifetime! A more popular example of this idea is in the fun movie “Defending Your Life”, one of my favorites. Here, Albert Brooks plays a man who never takes risks, and in death he is put on trial, literally, to defend whether he made enough progress to “move on” or not. Meanwhile he has fallen in love in this afterlife realm with a character played by  Meryl Streep who has been a real hero in her life so she will obviously graduate to a higher plane! I like the general question being posed by both of these, and Yeats’ poem too. What is your life purpose? Why are YOU Here, in the largest sense, not just day to day?

My notion is that we should not wait until we are elderly, or until we pass on, to ask ourselves what we would really like to be fulfilling NOW, with THIS life, whatever the afterlife might have in store. (And BTW, what might be fulfilling to one might be as simple as an act of kindness  or learning to give love unconditionally.)  Here and Now we do have some control over our conscious choices. For myself I intend to ‘accomplish’ all I can spiritually, and take that forward.

Do you have a Life Dream? That may be all the North Star you need to arrive at your own better choices.