Our Animal Soul Companions

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The Life Theme we will be exploring this month is Pets.  I regard my pets as Animal Soul Companions and always have. I was the child in my family who would bring home a box filled with a mother cat and her six kittens and put them in our garage. I cannot remember a time when I did not have at least one dear animal friend.

Once I closed the garage door after a pigeon flew in. Pidgey remained my confidante in the garage for many months, flying outside in the morning when I left for school and then returning to the garage when he saw my school bus arrive home.

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Pets are such wonderful companions!  My current home family includes my dog Sophie and my cat Emily. Without them I do not know how I could have left all my friends in Colorado to relocate to where we now live in New York state.

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Emily (in Colorado)

Sophie, my Shorkie (Shitzu/ Yorkie girl) is my co-pilot in life; she has traveled with me seven times across country, bless her Soul. We walk 2-3 times a day. She and Emily are my constant companions and I am thankful every moment!

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Sophie (on a road trip)

I do believe that all animals, including humans, are Soul using our carbon bodies to get around in this Physical world. What we all share is love or the capacity to give and receive Love in the form of unconditional acceptance and companionship.

What about you? Have pets provided a Life Theme of companionship for you?

I welcome YOUR story and comments!

Daily Miracles

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For this final post about our monthly theme of Spirituality as a Life Theme, I’d like to express gratitude for those daily miracles that happened just two days ago and indicated to me the ever-present protection and guidance of Spirit.

I drove to New Jersey then took a subway train to Manhattan for lunch with my wonderful, excellent literary agent (pinch!), then back again in time to give my dog Sophie her dinner and insulin. All day I noticed the miraculous workings of this tandem relationship with Spirit.

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Once while driving I was nearly in what would have been a terrible accident. I pulled into the left lane but a car was already there, in my blind spot! For a dangerous, long moment we shared the same lane. I was able to fold back unto the right lane just a fragment of time before the worst would have occurred. It felt like there was a force field separating our two vehicles just to the perfect degree to allow us to adjust and correct the situation.

At the subway station in Journal Square, Jersey City, I had only a short time left to reach Manhattan in time for my meeting, and all of the spaces in the parking structure were taken. I drove around three times and came to the realization I would need to exit the parking garage and try my luck outside in the mayhem of the over-crowded street parking, which would make it nearly impossible to stay on schedule. Instead, as I was ruefully leaving the parking structure, just one parking space, just wide enough for my car to fit into, miraculously appeared. I had been driving around hoping for someone to leave, and no one had left, I was sure!

Once in New York, hailing a cab was no ordeal at all; both going to and returning from the restaurant across from Central Park a taxi pulled over immediately.

Lunch went splendidly as always with this amazing, brilliant soul who sees and inspires the value of my writing. She gave good advice and guidance about promoting my new book, Your Life Path (see right panel or click here to order), telling me I need to promote the book in every blog post (😊). We also talked about my next book which is in progress.

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images are from pixabay.com

Then the return trip was smooth, bringing me home—thanks to the excellent voice guidance of Siri on my phone—just in time for my Sophie to receive her meal and insulin in a timely manner. Once while I was booking it homeward a squirrel found itself in my lane and s/he literally high-tailed it—now I understand that phrase. Its tail fluffed high as it scooted quickly out of danger, so quickly that it looked like a gentle hand of Spirit must have cupped it from behind and given a needed push! Usually squirrels tend to slow down when confused in such a situation, so again I was grateful for the intervention.

So, home safely, I was reminded of the quote I was going to be posting as the full post today. It is about the subtle nature of Spirit or the Universe, the Force; whatever you choose to know It as. Paul Twitchell wrote that Spirit is:

“…that thread, so fine as to be invisible yet so strong as to be unbreakable, that binds together all beings in all planes, and beyond time into eternity.”

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

Always Keep Moving!

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I walk with my dog Sophie three times a day since she was diagnosed as diabetic last December. Her condition is now “well managed.”  Our walking has been a major factor benefiting her health as well as my own.

This morning on our walk through a light rain in Ithaca—our new home—I was thinking about Dick Van Dyke. He wrote a book out recently called Keep Moving (2015). Here is a Youtube clip of Dick Van Dyke in motion:

    

At over 90, Dick Van Dyke lives his credo to always keep moving; that is, not to slow down or become sedentary; not to settle.

What a great credo for our “better endings” theme with this blog:

Always Keep Moving.

While reflecting on this theme I also have opened to a quote from the Dalai Lama:

“Once a year,

Go somewhere you’ve never

been before.”

So I have relocated across country with my cat and  dog and within a month life here is already in a state of perpetual motion.  People to visit with, some new friends, a new job and continuing work from an earlier teaching post; a new and very rich, expansive locale with endless opportunities for adventure…certainly by no means slowing down after my so-called retirement!

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Nor would I wish to slow down.  I love this life and am eternally grateful for the richness of every phase, of every Life Chapter. Living Your Dream, Now! (which is the focus I offer to YOU with my new book, Your Life Path/ see sidebar) does not mean reaching a static goal. Rather, it propels you ever further to Always Keep Moving!

Set Your Travel Goals (or, Happiness is a Choice)

When I prepare for a major travel excursion, I set a spiritual goal for the trip. That means I contemplate what I am ready or aiming to learn, about life or about my own potentials for self improvement. This is especially true with relocation; such an amazing opportunity to push the reset button involving any life conditions upon which you might wish to improve.

As I approach relocating Back East at the end of July, I find myself contemplating Happiness. At an Asian buffet the other night my fortune cookie stated:

“Happiness is a choice.”

That is precisely the message I needed to receive. As I contemplate the next Life Chapter of my own Dream Come True (for all of life is that, when you think about it), I realize it will be what I choose it to be with regard to the attitudes and viewpoints I exercise. Partly this means acting in ways that serve the greatest good and that may facilitate happiness and well-being for those in my immediate family and social circles. Smiling while engaging with people in public contexts can help me develop the habit of carrying happiness in my heart, coupled with acceptance and contentment.

Of course it is understood that any less than ideal conditions one experiences in one location are very likely to manifest again in a new location, so long as one carries those conditions forward within them. So contemplating current conditions is imperative for considering how to tweak the attitudes you choose to carry forward.

To me, this Travel Goal Setting for relocation goes way back in this lifetime (at least!). As my father was transferred several times to different states while I was young, I learned that in looking ahead to the next Big Move, I could use it as an opportunity to transform or tweak the life I had been living. When I was around 12, for instance, Dad told us the family would be moving around one year later from our home in Pennsylvania to New York state, near Niagara Falls.

Since at 12 I had become somewhat of an awkward, nerdy girl, I looked ahead to transforming my outer persona image in New York. I consciously changed up my wardrobe that next year, aiming to become a more “popular,” mainstream sort of teenager. When I got to my new school in New York then, I purposely sought to “get in” with what I conceived of as a more popular circle of friends. Well, it worked; however, very quickly that year I came to realize that the popular crowd I was courting really wasn’t who I am in the sense that my interests were far different from theirs. So after pretending for a short while to have a long distance boyfriend (wearing a ring from my mother’s jewelry case), pretty soon I figured out I wanted to be more authentic. I stopped sitting with this group of new friends at lunch time, even hiding in a lavatory the entire lunch period to do that. Then I joined a drama club and orchestra and started hanging out with new friends, more nerdy or artistic; people I really enjoyed being with!

The process I had undertaken to transform my life in the future from Pennsylvania to New York had succeeded, more than I could have anticipated.  I have been more mindful from that point forward of who I am (or am becoming) internally, and more appreciative of authenticity itself. I enjoyed my high school years immensely. The choices I made then were formative of the person I am today in very positive ways; no wonder then that at 64 as I have just retired, my immediate plan is to return to New York, to my family and even to be nearer to some of the deep friendships I shared there.

So, this time, I choose Happiness! 

images are from pixabay.com

I welcome YOUR Comments and Story.

Your Archetype Allies

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The Wheel above depicts twelve primordial, universal persona Archetypes developed by Dr. Charles and Nin Beabeau and Debra Breazzano MA, LPT, as they have taught about at the erst Avalon Archetype Institute, Boulder, CO. I am honored to be able to represent and utilize this pantheon of archetypes in my new book, Your Life Path (YLP; also see right panel).

In YLP, I invite the reader/ life mapper to associate several of these universal archetype characters with the reader’s own Life Themes, which are those recurring situations or types of events in their lives in which they have developed distinctive ROLE IDENTITIES.

As this month here we are exploring your Life Theme of Work or Career, I invite you, first, to consider which one or more of the archetypes in the wheel above you might associate with your Work related role identity. Circle those in the wheel, and you might wish to journal about how these archetypes are active in your work persona.

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Next, in the center of the circle state a situation you have been ‘mulling over’ lately. Perhaps it is a decision you are needing to make, a choice of some sort, or just a general topic you have been wanting to take some action on but have been feeling ‘divided’ or ‘torn’ about.

Look through the rest of the Archetype character modes on the Wheel to consider if some of these other facets of your Total Self System might also be appropriate to include in considering this central situation or decision. Circle or underline those as well on the Wheel.

In the blank spaces of the spokes (feel free to print out this blog and enlarge the wheel on a copy machine), ASK each of these archetype sub-identities that you have marked on the Wheel what is their individual viewpoint pertaining to the situation you are contemplating.  You can write in bullet points or actual dialogue statements about the situation from the distinct, differing POINTS OF VIEW of each of these role-Archetype perspectives. Also, ask each of them (and note their responses on the Wheel) what they recommend as a solution to the decision you face.

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Does this help to throw some light on your issues pertaining to the situation you are considering? What solutions or compromises might this suggest? Remember, your Archetypal sub-identities are your Allies. Combining them rather than acting on the basis of only one of these role personas or guises at a time can be an integrative process that allows you to go forth with greater holism and internal harmony.

I welcome YOUR Comments and Story.

Your History of Work

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Life Mapping allows us to retrace our meaningful life events and glean lessons from key moments and trends from our life experience. Life Path Mapping (see my new book, Your Life Path; info on right panel or click to order) asks you to identify significant kinds of recurring events or situations in your life as Life Themes. Certainly one of the most common Life Themes life mappers identify is WORK (or CAREER, or some particular work-related activity).

Every distinctive Life Theme may be mapped, and in that sense every Life Theme can be “mined” to discover its importance over time in your cumulative life history that comprises—when you reflect upon its meaningful qualities—your Life Story. So this week let’s explore your History of Work, your Work Story.

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Life Mapping of itself is quite easy and natural. The chart below is a plotting flowchart. Make a list for yourself of a representative sample of Work and/or Career related meaningful events from your life. Next to each event, you can record the age or age span you associate with the event and write a brief narrative record of what happened with that event (so you can easily recall it when you read back through the list later).

Next to each event record, take a moment to reflect about the relative positive and/or negative IMPACT of that event on “shaping the person you have become.” That means, from a retrospective perspective, reflecting back on the influence of that event or situation, was it mainly positive, mainly negative, or both?

(You may print out this post and enlarge the Life Map Chart, below, to use as a worksheet, or create your own.):

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On the life map chart, first list your events chronologically along the central/ neutral Age Line. You can place the ages when your events occurred below the Age Line to create a timeline. Then use a pencil at first anyway to place a dot or an X above and/or below the age marker for each event, charting by how positive and/or negative that event was to you. If an event feels to have been simultaneously positive and negative, you can rate it as such; for example: +5/-5, or +2/-4. If you rate an event as having been both positive and negative at the same time, also write in a vertical dotted line connecting the positive and negative polar points on your chart to represent this as what we can call a “binary” event. If you are representing a series or phase of events, you can mark the rating for the beginning point and the ending point relative to the timeline and put the ages for these below the Age line, then below the age markers you can draw horizontal vertical braces to show the span of that situation or phase in your life.

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images are from pixabay.com

Now then, looking at your chart of Work/Career related events and their relative positive and/or negative impacts as Shaping Events in your life, you can also connect the dots: draw lines on your Map connecting event points IF they feel to be related in a patterned way to one another.  For instance, if you had a negative early Work activity or event followed shortly after that by a more positive event, then if that feels like it was a meaningful transition in your History of Work, go ahead and draw an upward trending line connecting those two points on your Map. You can also color code your event points to group them in a meaningful way; such as using a different color for each different job or to show a career shift.

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Have at! Once you have completed your History of Work life map, reflect on your Work Story: what story does this Map tell? What meaningful periods (or chapters or stages, so to speak) have you engaged with in your Work Story? What meaningful Life Lessons have you gleaned from the phases of your Work/Career process over time? What TRENDS do you observe? I invite you to contemplate, journal about, and share about your Work Story with a loved one.

I welcome YOUR Comments and Story!

BOOK LAUNCH! (My Vocation: Live Your Dream, Now!)

Just Released March 6 by Skyhorse Publishing:

Your Life Path

Naturally I am thrilled and excited about the release of my book, Your Life Path: Life Mapping Tools to Help You Follow Your Heart and Live Your Dream, Now! It is available from Amazon (including hardback, Kindle and ebook), Barnes & Noble, and Indies; and I see there are now several other suppliers online as well (ISBN-10:1-63144-078-0). This book has been my life passion-in-process for the last 15 plus years, folks. It is the culmination of my entire career as a cognitive/ linguistic and cultural anthropologist yet it is a mainstream self-discovery, personal growth and development book that provides a comprehensive Life Path Mapping process and Toolkit.

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I have developed and taught from the fun, creative techniques provided with the book with large scale classes, individual coaching programs, and workshops (which I will continue to offer).  This is a potentially life changing, “rites of process” approach that lets the reader/ life mapper review your Life Story to Now; reflect on where you are at currently in relation to your values, life interests and goals; and then (re)claim, envision, and plan a practical yet energizing pathway to set a course and go (Live Your Dream, Now!).

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I really do highly recommend this approach to anyone facing any sort of life decision or transition or who simply wants to discover and reflect upon the amazing potentials of your own Life Story.  I have witnessed many individuals who have achieved transformational insights from life mapping. The very process of reviewing your Life Story AS A STORY to now, with meaningful Shaping Events, Life Themes, Life Chapters bounded by key Turning Points as chapter turners, and an awareness of the parallels of YOUR story with classic myths and popular epics brings the life mapper to an overview Joseph Campbell called being a Dweller at the Threshold, able to look back and also forward.  Then the Life Path Mapping Process guides you to effectively CROSS THE THRESHOLD to truly manifest the vitalizing yet flexible life of your dreams.

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As well, with this book’s Tools you will be able to Meet & Greet (truly) your very own “ensemble cast of mythic/archetype characters.” Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, you too have an inner unconscious cast of often submerged but always influential “inner” parts of Self that each needs your help to strengthen and to integrate/ come together with your greater Self to help you manifest your highest potentials for this lifetime.

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Envisioning and realizing this book as a Personal Growth and Development book and life mapping handbook has been my VOCATION over the past fifteen years. I published a scholarly book (The Life Map as an Implicit Cognitive Structure Underlying Behavior, Mellen Press, 2010) with articles about my research studies that led to the development then of the self-discovery Tools presented for the first time to the general public with Your Life Path. So of course this is very exciting for me but more than that I really do recommend this book highly to any reader!

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Your Life Path will be in indy consignment stores around the country and I will be doing signings in several local stores (yay) to try to get the word out. If you know of friends (and yourself of course) who might benefit from a fun and innovative approach to learning more about your Self and how to go forward to live your best life… please check this book out and share this post or the ISBN number with others in your blog or Facebook or email groups. I honestly don’t mean to sound boasting or overly “selling” of anything…that really is not who I am (an introvert in general, and not prone to self promotion). But I do want this book that I have nurtured and developed for so long find Its own deserving audience so others can benefit from the approach I myself have been blessed to pilot every step of the way. It is in fact my own Life Dream coming into full fruition, Now!

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images are from pixabay.com

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve Life and thank YOU for reading!

VOCATION!

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I have always loved the word “vocation,” as to me there is a big difference between VOCATION and WORK. As Life Themes these often show up distinctively in people’s Life Maps, too. While Work or Career might be one Theme a person charts in terms of “types of events or situations” recurring over the course of their life up to Retirement at least, people usually identify VOCATION distinctively; for example as a specific “calling,” or a beloved activity such as Writing, Art, Music, Outdoors, Hiking, a competitive sport such as Swimming or Basketball, etcetera. So this month let our focus be on exploring the role and influence of VOCATION or Callings in our lives.

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Writing has always been a vocation for me. From a young age, my personal Journal has been a close friend and companion. Literally, I would address my journal as I wrote, and somehow I knew It (or, someone on a spiritual or an internal dimension) was always there, listening! By college years I was maintaining several different journals at a time: one for poetry, one for  dreams and spiritual experiences. another for philosophical musings, and one as a basic diary, at least.

It was through my journal writing that my writing vocation grew and blossomed over time.  I would write short stories, dramatic dialogue pieces, and evocative descriptive essays that I called ‘Photos.’ I started a science fiction trilogy in graduate school which I developed to the degree that I have a complete first book manuscript, the second book is started, and the rest is outlined (now including a quatrain or fourth installment). I intend during my upcoming retirement to publish this series, called The Dawnbreakers.

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Through my years as a professor I have continued journaling, and alongside academic publications (two books, several journal articles, a book chapter and several invited book reviews), my VOCATION has only intensified, so that in 2002 after receiving tenure, I realized I wanted to find a way to do something more creative and public service- oriented with my career, so I began the LIFE MAPPING project that has culminated in my new book, YOUR LIFE PATH (click or see right panel for ordering information). This is a mainstream, personal growth and development book and Toolkit. It lets you become a Life Mapper of your own Life Story, truly!  Based on my understanding of mythology, archetypal psychotherapy, and life history studies including Joseph Campbell’s The Hero Cycle, rites of passage, and Jung’s methods for discovering your own internalized, archetypal “parts of Self”, I have developed this approach of life mapping over many years of research, teaching, and individual coaching so that anyone can discover and reflect upon their own Life Story. This lets you realize the Strengths (and obstacles) you have developed through your own life experience to Now so that you can envision your Life Dream and begin, Now, to manifest and fulfill your sense of Life Purpose and Life Mission. So, please check it out, it really is very good!

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images are from pixabay.com

So my vocation has brought me to this point, and now I have three sequels to Your Life Path in process already. I so look forward to my retirement years (beginning as of this June 8, yay!) so I can shift all of my focus to this more spiritual dimension of my own sense of a personal Calling in this lifetime.

I welcome YOUR story!

The Sea Turtle: Coming Full Circle

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The other day en route to work I listened to an NPR interview with a Chinese man about his experience as a “Sea Turtle.”  In China this metaphor refers to someone who leaves their country and family to travel overseas and then eventually returns. Compatriots who never left will test the returned ‘sea turtle’ to see how s/he has been changed by their exposure to foreign ways ‘across the waters’.  Will they still be loyal and faithful to their own kith and kin?

I like this metaphor, which can have other layers as well as the Chinese associations. The initial journey of the infant sea turtle is fraught with danger and hazards, as only one percent of a group of up to 600 or so hatchlings will even survive the crossing of the beach to reach the Ocean. When the mother sea turtle does return to build her nest and deposit her eggs, it is after from 20-50 years living alone, depending on the species, before reaching sexual maturity and mating.

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The mother sea turtle’s voyage brings her full circle, back to her exact beach of origin. One internet author remarks that the home beach of the sea turtle is “where the magnetic heart is.” Does she return to where she was a rare survivor in evolutionary hopes that her hatchlings might fare as well as she did?

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The Sea Turtle is a  metaphor that applies to my own coming ordeals and adventure as I am set to retire in seven months and I will be returning ‘Back East’ to the conditions I was born to, after nearly forty years ‘Out West.’  I return to bring back lessons and insights from all that I have learned, and will spawn services connected to my book about Life Path Mapping that comes out in March (Your Life Path, see right panel), and to complete additional books in the Life Paths series.

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Are you a SEA TURTLE?  What do you aim to spawn on your Return from your Oceanic journey of experience and maturation? Where is your home beach where you may build your new nest? How can you best provide for your own hatchlings?

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images are from pixabay.com

I welcome YOUR comments and stories!

Happily Ever After

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Certainly one of the greatest elixirs is Happiness. After attaining our worthy goal, we achieve a degree of happiness which we can carry forward with us into the next ordeal and adventure. Probably most people would claim greater happiness—for themselves and for others—as a measure of success, whatever their endeavor.

What makes you happy in the deepest sense? I mean, not only in the moment but long-term? A child (or a pet’s) smiling face (or their playfully wagging tail or purr), a beautiful mountainscape or an Oceanside sunset: these bring a valuable though transitory happiness. They warm the heart and bring a smile. They reveal, I would say, a deeper state of intrinsic happiness. They reveal a harmony of Nature, an innocence of Spirit; breaths of fresh air, a tonic to the Soul!

Still, how can you expand your condition of happiness beyond the fleeting moment?

So I ask again, what could make you Happy in the grandest sense? Is it your job? (Stay then! Take it as far as you can!) Or your relationship(s)? Then Bravo/a to you! Or maybe it is your chosen environment, where you experience At Oneness with the All One? (More cosmic, loving power to you!!!)

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For many people, enduring happiness is yet an elusive goal. Achieving their ultimate happiness shall be a result of fulfilling their most ardent endeavors (or, it may be found in the very practice of those endeavors themselves). Many will gain their enduring happiness by serving others and/or producing good works; by fulfilling, that is, their sense of Purpose and their Mission for this life.

So now, what is your Purpose; what can you claim as your Life Mission?

As a personal example, my life mission inflects on several levels. I have a spiritual Mission, which I do not feel the need to share. On a practical level, I have always sought, in one form or another, to serve the Whole…that is, to embrace and express my own inherent wholeness as well as to serve however I can the greater Whole of the community, family, fencing team (e.g.), and the world in which I live. Like many, I have always strived to make a positive contribution—whether through teaching, sharing in general, through responsible service, or through writing/publishing.

“What difference does it make?”

“It doesn’t matter!”

These were my calls in the wilderness to God, my deep laments through at least the first five decades of this life. So then, I would try harder, work more.

Until, gradually, as on cats’ feet, the Process itself—e.g. of communicating, teaching, contemplating, writing, living—has become fruitful in itself, in the moment of Doing, Being, or Knowing.  I find that I am still very goal-oriented, yet now my goal and the process I engage with to fulfill the goal have merged as one focus; see?

With this transformational shift from a ‘product/goal’ to a ‘process’-oriented mindset, now that I check in with my Self, Happiness has set in!

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images are from pixabay.com

This is not to presume that I am always “happy” in the glib/ surface sense. That has never been my goal. Actually I can sometimes let things bother me now just as much if not more than ever before. This comes from my passion for advancing what is in process. Disruptions or interruptions of this forward arching flow can set me back, but only long enough overall now until I can accept and absorb the lesson (for there is always a lesson!), and move on.

What Is Your Life Mission?

My upcoming book that is announced in the right panel of this blog, Your Life Path, is my best contribution so far to serve the Whole. This book provides a complete/ original Life Path Mapping process with its chapter-ending self-discovery Tools. I have developed and practiced this approach over the last fifteen years, through interview research, analysis of results, producing a previous academic book on the subject, and—more importantly—through developing the embedded self-help Toolkit from applying the mapping and reflection process with large classes of students and with many individuals, as a “life path mapping” coaching approach.  It has been helpful for many and even deeply transformative for some.

The Your Life Path Tools can guide you gradually yet gently to review your past, to reconsider your present with regard to how you have reached where you are in life now; then to explore your values, your inner conflicts and challenges (from an archetypal psychological  perspective), and to reveal your deepest, most integrative goals. It leads you to express and embrace your Life Mission; then to claim your Life Dream and plan a fulfilling future course, beginning here and now, to live into the life of your dreams!

I do invite you to check out this book if it may serve you. You could pre-order using the url address in the right panel, either through Amazon (as a book or ebook), Barnes & Noble, or Indies. I will be offering a preview webinar series on Life Path Mapping by December (I will post about that as it becomes available).

And so, wherever your life path leads you to:

Go For It!

A Te Sante!

Be Happy!

Live Your Dream, Now!

I always welcome YOUR Comments and Stories.

Marry Your Future, with a Vision Board!

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Maybe this is a bit of a stretch for our topic this month of The Sacred Marriage, but I find myself sitting at my office desk and looking at my bulletin board that I realize I have turned into a Vision Board.  I have embarked upon my final year of teaching before publishing my book, Your Life Path, and then retiring and relocating to focus full-time on writing and life mapping services.

I pilot every life mapping tool that I will be introducing with this book, and the art of “future casting” is a big part of this approach.  Any form of creative envisioning of what I like to call your future Lifescapes can be helpful to you in manifesting the life conditions you desire to express.

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On my Vision Board bulletin board I have the poem Ithaca by Cavafy (You can click on the Youtube video embedded below, narrated by Sean Connery!):

I also have a collage of images that represent my journey ahead to realize my Life Dream.  It shows my future ambitions and goals:

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To create your own Vision Board, simply imagine!  What CORE VALUES do you intend (not simply wish for or hope to do, but INTEND) to establish in your future Dream Come True?  Even if your most desirable future is the life you are living Now, what core values are you manifesting that you intend to extend and embellish further on the road ahead?

Goal setting is not about–or need not involve, anyway–LINEAR THINKING.  By focussing on VALUES rather than specific, material objectives, you remain open and flexible to however the Universe or Spirit fills your mold.

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You can write your future values or conditions you intend to live into onto a poster board or in Publisher on a blank page on your computer. Then find (or draw or paint in) pictures online or in magazines that represent these values and conditions, and place them on your Vision Board in a manner that feels right to you. You can also cut out or cut and paste words and phrases onto your collage.

I like to create my Future Casting Collages (BTW, do several! The future is not cast in stone!) to represent my pathway from where I am Now to the future Now I aim to create around me.

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images (other than my own) are from pixabay.com

I invite and welcome your Comments and Stories!

I would invite your collages to share, but actually I recommend you hold these close and share them mainly with your loved ones. Your VISION is your own; nurture it well and it will be!

Time Travel?  You ARE a Time Machine!

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Following up from my previous post on “How to Burst Your Bubble,” we are all of us time travelers!  We have the capacity to transport ourselves to any NOW of our imagining via our divine gift of creative visualization.

All the theoretical debate over whether time travel is possible or whether we could ever develop a Time Machine is interesting yet unnecessary. We HAVE a Time Machine built into our very Beingness, though only a few of us humans (anyways) have learned how to willingly tap into our timespace travel capacity.

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Am I speaking of Memory? Only as a repository for dead image storage, though we may utilize a stored memory as a launching off pad for our “inner” time travel adventures. Some speak of the Reactive Mind; that houses memory images that, if reactivated by encountering a similar experience to one that affected us earlier in a traumatic or dramatic way, could trigger or reactivate past synoptic associations. Memories can be pleasant or painful, beautiful or horrendous. But if we are only talking about ‘dead’ mental images, this is not the sort of time travel I am referring to .

Lift yourself above the Time Track via your fertile IMAGINATION and go to visit one of the experiences you hold in your memory banks, but this time deposit yourself back into the event actively and re-vision it. This can be a form of time travel.  “Daydream” or creatively envision a desirable future state of consciousness and deposit yourself into that specific possible future to look around or make changes Here; this can also be a time travel excursion.

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What I mean by “get above the time track” and “deposit” yourself in the Now of your aware choice so you can explore and bring back your fresh memory of perceptions from there, is just that.  I like to think of Timespace more as an OCEAN than as a linear arrow; your consciousness then is like an OCEAN LINER—or better yet, a SEA GULL!

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Mystics and self-development gurus say emphatically that you CAN create your own future. Time Travel via consciousness-surfing, as you will, is a timeless (hah!) method. Establish a thought mold of a desirable future state so you can steer your consciousness to eventually sail mindfully into this future-state harbor.  IMAGINATION is your Divine capacity of Consciousness Itself.

How do I “know” this to speak so confidently of your essentially BEing your own Time Machine? It would take more than this full month of posts on our theme of Departure to explain.

Some evidences from my own life experience include (with brief annotations):

Prophetic dreams (lots of them, very clear and later realized precisely):

Example:   When I moved from Buffalo, NY to Phoenix, AZ in 1979 I asked questions of my Inner Guide in active contemplation every night for the previous year. Every night I then dreamed about what I would be experiencing as I traveled to Phoenix and what I would encounter there. I met three people very clearly in my dreams whom I later recognized from those dreams and who became close relations in Phoenix.  I was shown that I needed to make this trip partly to meet these people.

Revised memories from direct re-visioning:

Example:

In my upcoming book Your Life Path I include a life mapping Tool that I call “Re-Vision a Past Event.” I practiced this myself by re-visioning a traumatic encounter with my father when I was 17.   By depositing myself back into a memory of a time when he physically beat and demeaned me over a trivial matter, I was able to journal a dialogue with him (1st person, ‘present-Then’ tense) just following the encounter. We both got to communicate with each other about what had “just” transpired, so we both came to a clearer understanding of both of our points of view and motivations and we forgave each other in that re-visioned dialogue. I can say that since re-visioning that experience, its memory is forever altered in my consciousness!

‘Future Casting’ now coming to fruition

When I was a teenager I would often daydream. I would usually find myself on a small rowboat, drifting under a blue sky while reading a book. Guess what? In around 18 months I am relocating after retirement to a lakeside community!

Future casting is a concept I use in Your Life Path to recommend journaling “Alternate Future Scape” scenarios.

Other Examples:

Other timespace ‘travel’ modalities I have experienced directly include:

Parallel life awareness, past life awareness, lucid dreaming, and Soul Travel (Out of Body Experiences including  a Near-Death experience).

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images are from pixabay.com

Remember please, you are NOT your Body but your Consciousness has a freedom to explore beyond your Body’s sense-limitations.

I welcome YOUR Stories and Comments!

A Better Endings Love Story: An Affair to Remember

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Why do so many people, myself included and maybe especially women, find Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant’s An Affair to Remember (1957) to be such a “classic” and satisfying love story? Apart from the dated elements from 50’s movies depicting men and women being almost different species (!), nevertheless the story still works for many of us today, as evidenced by the annual Christmastime reprisals and several attempted remakes which, however, never quite get the fabric or tonality of this story quite as well as Kerr and Grant did.

Terry McKay/ D. Kerr: “I was looking up; it was the nearest thing to heaven. You were there!”

Nickie Ferrante/ C. Grant: Why didn’t you tell me? If it had to happen to one of us, why did it have to be you?

Terry McKay/ D. Kerr: If you can paint, I can walk… Anything can happen, don’t you think?

(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050105/quotes)

I believe the reason this story speaks so deeply to all of us admirers is simple: this is a classic version of a Better Endings love story. The star-crossed lovers are each otherwise engaged to be married in relationships in which they would be ‘”settling,” but kismet brings them together so they can realize true love; a love which supports and strengthens each of their deepest life ambitions.

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 Sleepless in Seattle is the best contemporary version of the same underlying Better Endings love story theme as An Affair to Remember. Of course it is a parable with many allusions that refer directly back to the original throughout. It culminates with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks meeting on top of the Empire State Building, so bringing to fruition a better-ending retelling of An Affair to Remember wherein McKay and Ferrante do meet up there as promised. And Sleepless in Seattle (along with You’ve Got Mail, which clearly is in the same genre of Better-Endings love tales) has the same classic longevity as An Affair to Remember, showing the universality of this theme; the archetypal character of this story.

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images are from pixabay.com

Click below for your enjoyment: 

Better Endings News!

For regular or occasional readers of this blog: I’m happy to report that a Better Ending story appears to be brewing for my self-discovery/ personal development book, Your Life Path. My Super Agent (called as such in a recent article about her ), Linda Langton of Langtons International Agency, has received an offer from a publisher, and we are approaching a contract! This has been a labor of love for over 15 years in the making, with plenty of final polishing still in process but Whew! Thanks all for reading the blog and I will keep you posted. I’ll put up a widget to announce the book when that is appropriate.  My blessings to all of you and Better Endings to your Life Dreams, too!

The Elder Leader Archetype

 

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Archetypes are both in the world around you and within the structure of your own Psyche. On one level you recognize archetypal images in the forms of roles and “typical” experiences and relationships. At the same time, you have unconsciously internalized these same archetypal formations in the process of being socialized and becoming who you are; developing your complex identity. While this may sound like a different understanding of archetypes than you are familiar with from Jung or Hillman or from more recent, popular authors, as a cultural and psychological anthropologist I see the connection between our role based social identities and the unconscious makeup of human consciousness that embodies at least The Twelve primordial Persona Archetype forms which Dr. Charles Bebeau associated with Sumerian astrological gods and goddesses and that pertain very directly with Jung and Hillman’s archetypal theories and practical therapeutic methods.

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The Elder Leader is an excellent example of how an archetypal form is both externally constructed or projected onto others as well as existing internally as a ‘Persona,’ a facet of a person’s character or–as I see it–a member of a person’s internal ensemble cast of archetype character modes. They may be experienced as ‘inner voices’–like the angel on one shoulder versus the Devil on the other–, and they often appear in our dreams as well as in our basic expression of Self in various distinctive situations.

When our various situational persona archetypes, from deeply unconscious to more consciously felt and expressed, combine with one another to contribute in our life pursuits, we draw upon and hopefully learn to integrate these facets of our Self identity as Strengths. In Shadow mode, however, persona archetype traits can also complicate or harm our sense of who we are and they might inhibit our actions and restrict our dreams.

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Strengths of an Elder Leader persona can help you to achieve your goals and function effectively in any situation, but internal or external Shadow Elder Leader traits and attitudes can also block your progress or limit your enthusiasm and self-confidence. If you grew up with a punitive father figure, for instance, you may have internalized “Shadow Elder Leader” statements that your father  conditioned you to which dog your footsteps, e.g.: “You are not college material!” or “Do something productive with your life, not art (or music, etc.).”  To this day when I am writing, if I start to become didactic in what I am saying, I hear “Heil Hitler!” in my head; then I know to stop writing, loosen up, and be less rigid with what I am trying to say, because my Shadow Elder Leader has been dominating the work.

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The opening paragraph above is more analytical than I usually aim to be with these posts, but if you are reading BETTER ENDINGS FOR YOUR LIFE PATH (this blog), then I do want you to have a clear understanding of how I see Archetypal Psychology uniquely as a cultural anthropologist and how this approach can help you to manifest and Live Your Dream, Now! Basically what I am sharing is that as we  go through life from our earliest conditioning or socialization, we take on roles that help us develop our identity through repeating kinds of situations in our lives (our own recurring Life Themes). Each of these Themes, like Family, Romance, Education, and Work allow us to develop the relevant role aspects of our Self expression as, e.g. a Parent (Elder Leader and/or Nourisher), Lover, Teacher or Learner, and other archetypal persona character modes. Since each of our Life Stories emphasizes a unique blend of Life Themes, Life Mapping can help you uncover which archetypal modes and traits have been most helpful (and, hindering) as you have developed through your life experiences across your distinctive Life Chapters. All this will be in part the substance of the Life Maps Process  tools I will introduce you to with my upcoming book, YOUR LIFE PATH. (My agent will finally begin circulating the book to prospective editors this next month.)street-artists-117290__340

images are gratefully from pixabay.com

 

For Your Journaling or Contemplation Practice:

What are some of your own Elder Leader traits in both Strength and Shadow modes?

 

How do you construct the very notion of an Elder Leader based on your own life experience?

 

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I welcome your Comments and Stories!

Renew Your Contract with Life

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This will be the final blog post for this current annual cycle here at Better Endings for Your Life Path, because I officially started this blog on November 15, 2013 and I will be changing the format and topics every year. I will introduce the new round of topics with the next blog post, this next Sunday.

To close out this year of monthly pairings of universal Archetype figures–“the Twelve”—with Life Metaphors that I will be also presenting as chapter titles in my upcoming book, Your Life Path (Life Mapping Tools to help you follow your heart and Live Your Dream, Now!), I invite you to RENEW YOUR CONTRACT with your own Life Path. Life Is… A Golden Opportunity is this month’s metaphor, so renewing your contract with your Life Path is a means of claiming or reclaiming your Life Dream.

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What are you dedicated to in your life? What is your MISSION STATEMENT, which your contract will reaffirm?

CONTRACT (Sample)

Name                   lkw

Birthdate            6/26/1954

Current Age        61

Mission Statement:  My primary mission in this lifetime from this time forward is twofold. The first is my (private) spiritual mission based on my goals to unfold my own awareness and to be of service to all Life. The second is my vocational creative Mission as a writer, to publish and provide inspirational and educational services related to Life Mapping.  In overview, my Mission is to be and to become all that I can be, and in all dimensions of life and in all my relations to be open to give and to receive unconditional love.

Contractual commitment:

               Time frame         semi-retirement in June 2018, to begin FT writing related activity

               Anticipated transition points               Summer teaching  at Chautauqua 2016; sabbatical Spring 2017

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What is YOUR Mission Statement and Contractual commitment to your Self and to All Life?

I invite you to write your own Renewed Contract!

The Principle of BETTER ENDINGS

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I am extremely grateful for this blog, the book it is prefacing, the agent who recommended it, and for all you readers whether checking in or visiting regularly.  Now Your Life Path will soon be circulated to publishers and I have a sequel book already in progress. The two main features of the approach I am sharing here and in these books are Life Mapping and the Principle of BETTER ENDINGS; these personal growth & development tools are closely interconnected.

Life Mapping is a process anyone can use  that I will be presenting as a complete rites of passage program in Your Life Path—Life Mapping to Live Your Dream, Now!  This tool allows you to  visually map  the significant, shaping events of your life and then to see how these have formed into Life Themes, Life Chapters, and a coherent Life Story that has mythic significance with you as the key dramatic protagonist! From the point of dwelling “at the Threshold” of awareness—indeed like standing at the top of a mountain, able to view vistas of past, present and possible futures—life mapping can help you to mine the potentials you have already  developed so as to “re-model” your future based on claiming or reclaiming and refining your own Life Dream.


This photo of Pikes Peak is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 Life Mapping can help you to discover pathways to your own Better Endings. But for today I would like to remind regular readers and introduce more recent and new readers of this blog to what I mean by the Principle of BETTER ENDINGS itself and how you can apply that, not only through life mapping but in your everyday life.

The first year of this blog (November 2013- November 2014; see calendar below) was called Better Endings, and it is here that I first explored and developed this concept and came to realize that it is indeed a principle that anyone can apply. It started to become apparent for me when I left a movie showing of the newest King Kong just before Kong was about to cascade off from the top of the Empire State Building to his imminent death; a death of primal significance metaphorically: a death of all that is primal and wild within all of us, within me. So I left the theatre and went to a coffeeshop where I took out my writing journal and rewrote the ending of this classic plot. In my version, Kong Lives! This was to me a Better Ending.   So I started practicing this approach with several other stories with endings I had always wished had resolved otherwise. I felt a giddy, almost guilty sense of satisfaction and empowerment, like I was discovering a freedom I never knew I had!

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Try it sometime. Just think of a story whose ending you have never liked, and revise it! Maybe Juliet wakes up before Romeo swallows the poison, and they marry and live happily ever after.  Or maybe Lincoln never died from his bullet wound; it just grazed his forehead. Yes, history itself is an open field for re-visioning with this process.

Your own life is also a ripe, open terrain for replanting, re-visioning, re-modeling! The decisions you have made, moves, choices, risks taken or not, desires expressed fully or repressed; with every step we take in life we are re-routing our Life Path according to parallel realities!

So this is the principle of Better Endings that I am inviting you to explore and to practice. For me it has grown over time to become a principle I apply every day. Even writing this blog, for me, is an act of applying Better Endings. The principle is useful regardless of your spiritual path or philosophical bent.  It is something more than simply “positive thinking,” because better endings are not always necessarily “positive” in the maintsream sense, though they are positive for the person seeking valuable, meaningful change, adventure, or greater awareness.

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I welcome your comments and stories!

Live Your Dream, Now!

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This week is the final week of a six month process at Better Endings. Over the past six months this site has presented a series of topics to help you to establish a Vision for your future Life Path; a Life Dream that you CAN manifest fully. This Life Dream is not intended as “just a dream” nor as a product of “magical thinking.” Your Life Dream is to be LIVED, not merely imagined. It represents not the Impossible, but the POSSIBLE and even the PROBABLE, so long as you nurture and cultivate this Reality that is Parallel to the life you are currently enacting.

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Between the present life you are living and the Now you are living so far imaginatively with your Life Dream, there are connections that should not be overlooked.  What are they? In other words, I believe you would not even be able to conceive of a Life Dream except that there are key elements of your present life that will give rise to the Reality of your Life Dream Achieved, so long as you nurture and develop these.

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Over the past few weeks my own Life Dream has become clearer for me; now I desire to create a Life Dreams Institute (whereas before, I envisioned a Life Paths Institute; now I see a much greater potential emerging.) Elements present in my life now that can allow me to manifest this Dream include this blog and the book manuscript and Life Mapping Handbook it represents, along with retirement savings which I have been talking with professionals about, and the realization of where I want to relocate to in order to establish such a ‘retreat’ locale. Of course there is MUCH yet to transpire, much to nurture and to accommodate as I proceed step by step in the pursuit of my life goals. Much can change in the process, too; it is always wisest to be FLEXIBLE in relation to your Life Dream. The Universe/ Spirit will show you more over time and will lead you to the highest expression of your Dream, if you let It.

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What is required of you and of me is faith and persistence; trust and a willingness to stay true to your Dream.

Today then, I invite you to contemplate your current life IN RELATION TO your fully realized Life Dream. What are you doing now or what could you be doing, now or in the near future, that can help to pave the way to the gradual realization of your Life Dream Achieved? Perhaps there is ONE THING you can set into motion which will orient your Life Path toward fulfilling your goals. What IS IT? Engage in an Active Imagination/meditation/contemplation so you can visualize your Next Step, your One Thing you can do to keep you moving in the right direction.

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PLease don’t interpret me to ever be saying that I would see your or my own life Now as being deficient in any way! Where we are Now is the fulfillment of where we have oriented ourselves up TO now, isn’t it? To me that is an empowering perspective.  We are the Creators of the life we are living (hopefully in tandem with our divine given talents and potentials).

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Live your Dream, NOW! Means that your Life Dream will never magically pop into existence. It requires your creative envisioning and your active participation and contemplation to gradually apply the Law of Manifestation so to bring it INTO existence, in the ever-expanding and transformative NOW. (I am linking to some earlier blog ideas if you’d like to retrace some of the steps we have taken through this process.)

I invite your Comments and Stories.

What is your Next Step, Now?