Grist for the Mill 

Because I derive a great deal of happiness through service, this month I am contemplating how best to proceed with the potential of service in my early semiretirement life. So far, about a year and a half in, I am quite active day to day. Teaching online and prepping a new course for the Spring, assuming an outreach role with my spiritual organization regionally, contributing as a member at large to my neighborhood housing association board, caring for my beautiful dog Sophie and cat Emily, writing, blogging, being active with family and friends, providing for the household and my home family; in short, I am very happy!

My brother at one time expressed the view that there are “producers” and then there are “servants” and that the former are inherently ‘better’ than the latter. I disagreed then, since teaching is my primary profession and teaching is most definitely a service role, and I love it! Now I see that service is a product in its own right. Service is a productive activity, not only supportive, and being supportive is a good thing too. It is not only about helping others, though I am happy to be of service in whatever capacity I can for another. It is about sharing from the foundation of accumulated knowledge and acquiring some measure of wisdom in the process; it is about giving, and giving back, to Life Itself, with love and gratitude.

Learning to be of greater service day by day provides grist for the mill, fuel for the dynamic expression of energetic outflow. That sounds rather lofty, yet simply expresses a dedicated sense of purpose. We breathe in and breathe out, every breath a divine energy of life. To receive and to give forth at least in equal proportion maintains balance, connection, and provides a grateful contribution to the Whole.

images are from pixabay.com

Building Bridges through Service: Introducing A New Year of Better Endings for Your Life Path

 

Every year in December or January since 2016 I have introduced a new, yearly Theme for this blog about how I or you might develop Better Endings in our lives. This new year, bridging over to it this month, I would like to focus this next year’s monthly topics around the theme of “Building Bridges.”

When I look at the society I live in today and our global experience as well, it appears that to achieve both our individual and collective Better Endings we could all benefit from exploring and putting into practice ways to address or build bridges between highly polarized viewpoints. Some say we are living in a “tribal” sort of culture in America today, and in many other countries as well. Whether this is a result of polarization in our access to social media and news perspectives or primarily through the increasing gulf between political party outlooks, allegiances and goals, we are exposed to conflicting viewpoints daily. I feel that this extrinsic polarity and factionalism can reflect and/or could threaten our internal psychological and spiritual sense of integration or harmony.  Our very selves, let alone our families and communities too, may be subject to a greater sense of inner conflict or fragmentation to the extent we allow this, because of the challenging times we inhabit.

So every month this year I will set forth to explore a topic relevant to the overall theme and goal of “building bridges,” aiming to develop some positive outlooks and practices that might help me or any of us to heal or to improve upon tensions that might arise because of a polarization of viewpoints.

Let’s get started. This month I would like to both close this last year’s quest for manifesting happiness and to open this new year’s probe of “building bridges,” via exploring the topic of “service.”

I find that service is one of the best ways for me to be immersed in being happy in the moment. The expression “In service is my reward” feels exactly true for me. Whether through teaching or writing or listening to a friend or even walking my dog, the aspect of giving love through any form of service lifts my spirits.

Isn’t it interesting how service builds bridges? In providing a service, all are served equally (or should be, of course).  Political divides nearly dissolve when I interact with students, even when we know each other to hold different positions outside of that connection.  Why?  I feel it’ s my responsibility to be respectful of all points of view with students, so I may be better able to listen to points of view I might otherwise react strongly to when it is a student voicing the viewpoint. Of course, if there is a radical or extreme viewpoint I am likely going to say something to make it clear I cannot agree, with a clear focus on facts from the topic I am teaching about, but even so I do aim to be respectful and to encourage the student to explain their position clearly.

In giving service it is perhaps more natural to assume an equality-based connection, what I like to call “Soul Equals Soul.” So the question becomes, how can I be of greater service to the whole even while I am a consumer by choice of biased news or charged information? This shall be my December focus in preparation for a year of Building Bridges as a Better Endings theme.

Centering

Lemur, Wildlife, Madagascar

My question of the month is about maintaining balance as a byway for sustaining happiness. Centering is a golden mean for establishing balance. This is widely recognized in athletics as well as in health and in the arts. “Holding your center” allows you to respond appropriately, even artfully, to any condition or situation. Meditation or active-imagination contemplation along with a regular practice of honing mastery skills can create a core condition of centeredness from which to act with deep awareness and with well-grounded intention.

My fencing friends—hi Ro and Michael!—know well where I am headed with this. As in most sports yet very explicitly for fencing, you must be centered in a balanced form to have the fluidity to advance or retreat, to defend as well as to establish and launch an attack, at will. As well, pulling an opponent “off center” is a paramount tactic for defeating their ‘game’ so you will control the pacing of the action yourself.

Agility, Ballet, Dancing, Athlete

Here is a contemplation seed that I have been reflecting on this month while considering the value of balance:

“Is it kind?

Is it necessary?

Is it true?”

(from Harold Klemp)

For those on the (and my) spiritual path of Eckankar, this is a standard practice, to consider these questions before expressing any thought, words, or action. If the answer to any of these questions is negative, it may be helpful to reconsider. I have succeeded and failed often enough depending on whether I have utilized these brakes, or not, in the moment. I find it brings patience and a higher viewpoint or greater wisdom, when I can pause enough to consider my actions with care.

I will add this week a record of a dream I had yesterday morning, as I see a balance theme hidden in it. I was being chased by a negative force, one main negative agent pursuing me and a friend along with several of the negative agent’s minions. This dream went through several scenarios, and I and my friend successfully evaded all attacks (including an attempted break-in, a violation of my personal space), until finally it had us cornered at a high cliff’s edge. As I looked back I could see several pairs of the negative force’s agents guarding any possible escape and closing in, with the central villain approaching to capture us once and for all!  I looked over the edge at the high drop, seeing that a leap into the void would likely mean instant death. But in the dreamscape this was preferable to me than being captured and killed by this vile force, so I leapt over the edge! The villain did not want me to escape his control that easily, so he lept after me with a ley-line to anchor him to the ground so he could pull us both back from the descent. As he came toward me and tried to hold onto me assuming I would want to be saved, I pushed him off from the ley-line and watched him cascade to hit the bottom, killing him. Somehow then I was poised against the cliff top, grasping a small knob perilously. I did not think I could climb back to the surface so I contemplated just letting go, thinking I might be able to aim to the wall of the cliff and roll down, possibly still dying but trying anyway to save myself. At this point instead of dropping, I realized I had another choice, which was to wake up. That’s what I did, grateful to realize this had been a dream yet also wondering if I might have died physically in my sleep from the night terror of falling.

So where does balance enter into the dream equation here? First, I was in a situation of needing to protect my boundaries from negative forces aiming to invade my consciousness and draw me off center. Second, at the cliff-hanger edge (literally!), I had choices to make while perched perilously at the edge. I chose to act, to be a cause rather than an effect of the negative agent, which allowed me to retain my own agency rather than relinquishing that to the negative force. When I released the hold on the villain allowing him to fall to his death, I felt no emotion—neither for nor against—as I watched him fall. I knew it was his own actions which had caused his demise so that I had no responsibility for his death. And I had a further choice either to take the descent myself and possibly perish of my own accord or to, ultimately, find an alternate path and “wake up,” which of course I am glad I chose! (Where that awareness of the choice to wake up came from I would have to attribute to my protective inner guidance, so I am grateful for that, always!)

Fantasy, Clouds, Woman, Castle, Sun, Sky

images are from pixabay.com

Being centered in the moment allows choice. It slows the action from a higher level of awareness, so your action or expression can flow from your Center rather than your being merely reactive to or the passive effect of external situations or forces.

Neither For Nor Against

We live in a dualistic universe and, these days, I would say we in America and in several other societies have created a binary society.  I like to think in terms of the outer reality being a reflection of internal states of consciousness, so if my outer world is polarized, politically or otherwise, and if I align with one ‘side’ to the point of feeling negative about or toward people or points of view from an ‘other/opposite’ side, I may question my own internal state as being itself conflicted or in a state of emotional or attitudinal imbalance.

How to resolve this? It would be false of me to claim or to defend neutrality in terms of values or beliefs. I do accept some values that–necessarily in this dualistic world–are opposed in principle to other, opposite points of view. I am a citizeb and vote according to my best understanding of positive values and policies that are, I assume, for the good of the Who;le.

However, I am old enough to not want to create or perpetuate conflict. Like Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce who chose to migrate his tribe into Canada rather than face another bloody battle or to have them be herded onto a restrictive reservation:

“I Will Fight No More Forever.”

images are from pixabay.com

My goal, spiritually, is to be “neither for nor against,” while at the same time not sacrificing what I hold to be true and good. With this I recognize how my values come largely from what I have been exposed to and/or conditioned by, as do everyone else’s.

To be neither for nor against while maintaining integrity means, to me, not to be attached to outcomes and to be willing to listen and to allow viewpoints other than my own. There are ideas and facts I will stand up for, even march for or represent in open forums, But having expressed my sense of truth, I must allow that others have too theire own truths and the right to express those as well in a peaceful assembly.

Let justice and the laws and moral fiber of a just society handle the rest.

Inwardly, I aim to resolve internal conflicts as they may arise. Listening, not closing off or closing out competing ideas or interests, can help bring my archetypal sub-selves to the Roundtable in search of a dynamic, harmonious solution to any apparent quandary.

If only we could agree to do this outwardly: to listen with deep care to one another and to aim to incorporate each other’s best founded ideas and viewpoints to serve the higher interests of the Whole.

In the Balance: Building Bridges

In this eleventh month of my yearly quest to comprehend and achieve happiness, I realize how in many ways now, I am happy. Despite losses and coming to terms with leaving my friends to relocate/ semi-retire, and with two good friends having recently departed this earthly sphere, both from complications due to breast cancers, nevertheless I am happy to be where I am and to be living the “life of my dreams,” to date.

My November sub-quest is about Balance, another major necessity for achieving a lasting happiness, in my own life and I would say in the world at large too. There is so much polarization of values and beliefs today. It is easy to take a side and hold to a one-sided perspective even to the point of reviling other persons, opposite political parties or policies. Certainly we are not in a condition of societal or widely shared happiness these days, at least not in the U.S.. Avoiding communication with those with whom we expect to disagree becomes disengagement and expands the rifts between us that further divide the whole.

images are from pixabay.com

Where is the balance, how is it to be achieved? This week I am personally contemplating how to build bridges rather than perpetuating the Divide. I believe that approaching communications by looking for ways to bridge conflicting viewpoints or attitudes externally will bring healthful benefits internally as well.  Impersonal, unconditional love can be the foundation of such bridges.

Love unites, it does not seek to divide; it heals wounds and gives ground, even when it may be necessary for people or groups to separate or to agree to disagree for the sake of serving the higher interests of all concerned.

I am reminded of the well known passage from Corinthians (13:4-8), so let me start my own probe this month by putting forth this contemplation seed (from Gatescorer.com):

 

Agency

For a final week of probing the topic of Acceptance as a pathway to genuine happiness, I am left with the awareness that what I cannot or should not accept is important too. To clear space and time for creative or productive activities, sometimes it is helpful to remove clutter and to improve existing conditions. This calls for right discrimination or practicing discernment and then acting to correct or sometimes to detach from situations or conditions which are creating clutter or ‘noise’.

Agency is the capacity to act in accordance with one’s awareness and understanding of life conditions. Agency is a causal property of the individual, a matter of being Cause rather than effect, a matter of accepting responsibility for one’s choices and acting accordingly.

It is not always easy or even graceful, for me at least, to know when to bend or when to release so that growth can occur. This seems an appropriate topic for the autumn season. Trees in the area I live in now are at their peak of fall colors, releasing their beautiful leaves to prepare for enduring the winds and storms of winter.

I am reminded of St. Francis’s famous poem:

 

Serenity

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change those things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

 

images are from pixabay.com

What Are You Ready to Accept?

“Before you can do what you want,

You must know what you do.”

A therapist shared this quote with me many years ago, from a psychologist I am unable to find online today to attribute the statement to. Such wisdom here. As I contemplate the principle of Acceptance this month in pursuit of a larger quest for understanding how to manifest and sustain true happiness, I have realized so far that one of the things I do that limits happiness is to accept things as they are, for the most part, but without clearly expressing what I am READY to accept; that is, how much more abundance I am ready to allow in order to open my heart and consciousness with a greater capacity. At the same time, I am also realizing this month how we may also need to be clear about what we are NOT willing or able to accept, either in ourselves or our outer world of relations and life conditions.

What am I / are you READY to accept? I invite you to compose a list of positive affirmations (one or more actually) of the form:

I am READY TO ACCEPT ____________.

For example, I will share a small portion from my own list.

I am READY TO ACCEPT:

  • Full responsibility for my own choices.
  • A greater appreciation of Beauty, daily.
  • The freedom to establish and define boundaries.
  • The ability to communicate honestly.
  • The capacity to realize my creative and spiritual goals.
  • The time needed for stepping up.
  • Abundance from all endeavors.
  • Greater joy and gratitude in the Moment.
  • Daily progress toward Fulfillment: health, wealth, wisdom, happiness
  • humility, purity, vision

images are from pixabay.com

So, what are YOU ready to accept or receive?

Acceptance

 

This year I am probing an annual quest. For me this is about manifesting true happiness; I encourage you to choose your own Quest. Each month we are probing a subquestion of the larger quest. This month I am contemplating “acceptance” as an aspect of achieving or manifesting happiness.

Already I am realizing that Acceptance is two-pronged:

What am I willing to accept?

What am I ready to accept?

This is a personal breakthrough to recognize this second level of acceptance. I have long held to a princiople well expressed in the statement:

“Your state of consciousness

is your level of acceptance.”

–Harold Klemp

To me I have understood this to mean to be able to accept whatever happens, to accept what IS, in order to grow through direct experience. Acceptance in this sense is not a passive state but rather it allows you to confront or accept present conditions in order to respond actively in the process of creating your own positive conditions and learning lessons along the way.

But today I am seeing how my state of consciousness also means to be open to receive and accept bounty, blessings, abundance. What am I ready to accept means what  degree of magnificence am I open to receive! How much beauty, truth, love am I ready to accept? The more I can accept, the higher my consciousness may rise from the sheer abundance of spirit.

images are from pixabay.com

So this week I will be focusing on this question of what am I ready to accept? I invite you to do similarly or to pursue your own Quest segment.

I welcome your comments and story.

Life After Life…

I share a poem this week, in loving honor of two excellent friends, one of whom has recently passed on, and the other now facing her physical mortality and her spiritual freedom:

 

The Tide Rolls Out

On the incoming wave

comes the bounty:

times spent with friends

laughing, loving,

serving Life together

day by month by year

by decades shared in the fellowship of Soul.

 

Then the wave breaks

against the rocky shoals,

sends shimmering mist

that dissolves

any rigid formations.

 

Now as I watch

the tide rolls out

carrying the tiniest gems

of eternal blessings, holographic

universes of light and sound

memories

rolling back to the Source

 

never to be washed away

nor forgotten.

images are from pixabay.com

Gratitude for All Good Memories and Lessons

As I have been contemplating the goal of Release this month, I have wanted to call this post “Releasing the Past.” This led me to consider all the good memories from my past that I would first honor and then release. Thus includes lessons from the past that I wish to acknowledge and ground in consciousness in order to have grown from their occurrence.

So I wish to take stock this week of all I am most grateful for, both in the present and from past events or experiences that have ultimately brought me to where I am today.

Yet this is a private exercise, to make a list of what I am grateful for in order to embrace those gifts and lessons in order to move forward with greater awareness. So I invite you to compse your own Gratitude List. What gifts and lessons would you wish to acknowledge, ground mindfully, and then release?

images are from pixabay.com

I will share but one. I acknowledge with gratitude how my closest family and friends have accepted me and made room for me in their hearts despite my many human frailties and limitations. Aspiring to excel or to do well in some arenas has meant not developing so well in other facets of life, specifically in terms of the full spectrum of social relations. I tend to be introspective to the point of preferred introversion, often avoiding or leaving early from social gatherings. I appreciate my family and friends who have usually been more outgoing than I am, though they are also deep and thoughtful Souls. To the extent I do reach out more to others than I once did, it is because of these family and friends who have demonstrated what unconditional love and trust can be.

Release

 

My question this month is about releasing: how best to release my hold or grip to allow life/Spirit to take Its own course. After relocating, I find this is a necessary phase for moving forward with new life conditions.

The image I have is of a formerly wounded or captive eagle being released to the wilds after being tended to by a caring healer. After protecting the bird in a safe space to allow it time to heal, now the Healer first prepares the eagle for eventual flight and then the day comes for the eagle to regain its liberty.

Releasing an eagle or other animal acknowledges the Call of the Wild. The call of the open air and unbounded energy of the natural environment certainly appeals to a denizen of the wilds more than being held within a caged or domesticated life.

Currently three good friends of the past 26 (and more) years have been facing “terminal” illness conditions. One has passed two weeks ago, another is in hospice as I write this, and the third is prepared for moving on, sooner or later. Release is important, both for my friends and for their closest friends and family. Release from the confining limitations of an ailing body certainly is a Call of Spirit to transcend the earthly and bodily limitations to ascend to the freedom of pure Love (so I believe).

With summertime easing into Fall where I live in the Finger Lakes now, trees that have had rich green foliage begin to shade into yellows, reds and oranges as they prepare to release their leaves to the fertile ground and transition for yet another Winter.

images are from pixabay.com

Life energy flows through their roots and the veins of the leaves and so I ask, where does all that leaf energy go when it is liberated and converted into pure energy again?  The smell of Fall in the air carries their energies of transformation, pervading the atmosphere and reminding me, all of us, that All is Well.

I Am Still Here

image is from pixabay.com

Hi Everyone,

I deleted my blog site, but now I am renewing.

This was because my computers had been “hacked” so that I was afraid to even click on anyone else’s blog post, or Like it, for fear I might load more stuff (unintended) onto my computer, or yours!

I am still very wary so will not click on links for some time to come, especially on any monetized sites. But I missed the blog and you all too much to cancel altogether

So I am inquiring further and working on security matters and will post again soon!

Linda

Love Will Find Its Way, May the Blessings Be!

night-photograph-2183637__480

This month the phrase “Keep Your Heart Open” has been a mantra and a lesson for me. Now I can connect this with its lyrical counterpart:

Love Will Find a Way!

Let’s make that, “Love Will Find Its Way” and we find a Better Endings mantra of positive resolve and acceptance.

Folks, I want to express my deep gratitude to each and every one of you who has been or is currently reading this post. I have so enjoyed the Blogverse this past several years, and some of you have become friends as I have liked reading and viewing your brilliant pieces and I have enjoyed sharing here.

Because my life has suddenly burst open with several new responsibilities and opportunities with which I am happy to engage, after long consideration I am signing off. This is my final post.

May I leave you, in deepest respect for all of your unique and beautiful Soul paths, with a universal mantra, the word HU (sung Hu-u-u-u-u-u on a long drawn-out breath, either aloud or inwardly). This is a breath mantra of divine, unconditional love that I have learned through my spiritual practice of Eckankar.

heart-2462312__480

images are from pixabay.com

Keep Your Heart Open;

Love Will Find Its Way.

May the Blessings Be to All!

Linda

Due Vigilance

My waking dream this month involves bees, both literally and metaphorically. First sign: my dear dog Sophie was stung by a ground bee, which was very painful to her and I had to get her to the vet for a shot of Benadryl for she broke out in hives. She is fine now, gratefully.

Second, a handyman fixing a leak above my sliding door found there had been carpenter bee damage which a previous owner had merely covered over with plywood. The handyman reconstructed the area and that too is fine, now.

Also next day had a pest control person come to spray against existing carpenter bees and ants.

So what is this waking dream message? I believe it is about practicing due vigilance rather than ignoring potential threats to happiness and wellbeing. From a human standpoint these bees are pests that threaten my family, person, and household. Metaphorically they also threaten my state of consciousness, for if I allow myself to sink into worry or fear about such conditions, that can diminish my capacity for being productive and advancing with my sense of purpose and service, and my and my loved ones’ happiness.

Due vigilance means practicing right discrimination or proper discernment, being mindful or aware of situations and addressing challenges with active measures while staying “in stride” with daily activities and life pursuits.

images are from pixabay.com

“Don’t let it get you down” is a great reminder to “stay on top of things” as they occur.

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments.

Patience is a Virtue: How the Caterpillar Becomes a Butterfly

About a year ago while driving, I listened to an NPR science program about the newest scientific understanding of how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. I was also reminded at a spiritual event last weekend about a well-known parable of ‘the Emperor Moth’ which focuses on how important it is to not force a butterfly or moth to emerge too early from its cocoon.

Scientists have found that when a caterpillar enters into its pupae stage inside a chrysalis, it appears to completely dissolve! If you open the cocoon at that point there is no structure there, no organs, just a gooey substance. Then out of this primordial ooze a butterfly takes form, an entirely distinct, new creature altogether! This staggers my understanding as a waking dream story, a metaphor for my own or others’ deepest life transformations.

What this metaphor of the chrysalis says to me is that I have to be patient with myself, and with others, to allow a complete transformation process to reshape the conditions allowing positive growth and birth or rebirth to transpire naturally. You cannot rush change without impinging upon the fullest realization of the change potentials.

I have had ample opportunities lately to find or practice patience. As a new homeowner, it seems like every time I turn around another emergency pops up! The nice new washing machine I was grateful to have stopped mid cycle during a power outage and now does not spin or drain. The marvelous sliding door to my pretty little deck has been letting the rain in onto the beautiful wood flooring in  the living room! I have slathered on sealer but still yesterday more water splattered in with the rain. And my dear Sophie had a bee sting during a walk that she was terribly allergic to, developing dangerous hive blisters all over her body during the 24-minute trip to the vet for a shot of antihistamines.

But, you know? The washing machine snafu has led me to purchase a good home warranty policy. Even though that takes a month to kick in so I am going to a laundromat for awhile, there is a laundromat not too far away and the dryer still works, and the warranty could save me a bundle and get me through plenty more glitches down the road. I have a professional handyman fixing the door as I write, and that should be a good job for not too much expense. And Sophie is okay after her emergency, so now I am more vigilant on her walks and keep her away from tall grasses.

images are from pixabay.com

There is a deeper lesson I am gaining from all of these events (and some others not mentioned here), about detachment and the importance of maintaining a higher perspective. I choose not to be stuck in my head or let daily annoyances or needs hold me down in a negative state of worry.

I have been watching alot of NOVA programs about Space this month, plus contemplating daily, and I find that focusing on Mars or Jupiter or the Cosmos helps to lift my attention out of the immediacy of practical concerns. My favorite film, Contact, has been showing this month too and I have watched it again twice. Talk about patience! In Contact, Eleanor Arroway (played brilliantly by Jodie Foster) is a SETI scientist who spends hours and days and months and years sorting through one distant region of the galaxy after another in a seemingly futile search for intelligent extraterrestrial life.  After Eleanor does actually make contact, this launches her on the journey of many lifetimes where she is shown a depth of reality no other earthling has physically encountered. Even so, like in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, very few believe her when she tries to communicate about what she has seen. So, she returns to her life of patient observations.

“Small steps” is the message of Carl Sagan’s Contact. I am finding that principle applies to my life, daily!

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

 

 

 

Onward Ho! How to Apply Lessons from the Past

Each month this year at Better Endings for Your Life Path I am inviting you to pose a monthly question as a step toward resolving a larger, yearly Quest. My own Quest is about achieving happiness in my new life conditions since retiring and relocating last summer. This month, my question is about “How to Apply Lessons from the Past.”  I aim to not have to unnecessarily repeat earlier hardships but rather to move forward, having turned over a leaf or with a new lease on life, as ‘they’ say.

images are from pixabay.com

So rather than repeating decisions and choices that led down pathways I do not choose to revisit, my quest this month is to contemplate how to practice discernment as I approach situations with a fresh viewpoint.  Every step forward needs to be tempered, like walking through a labyrinth slowly, step by step, taking care at each pregnant pause to consider my options well and choose accordingly.

I do believe that if we do not learn from our lessons we are very likely to repeat the conditions that require us to learn the same lesson again.  Moving is a great opportunity for growth and development, but true progress has to come from within.

I invite you to choose your own monthly question this week in relation to a larger QUEST you are aiming to fulfill.

Do Your One Thing, Daily

My Sophie

Recently my dog Sophie had to undergo surgery to remove a benign growth. She was going in for a dental cleaning anyway, so the vet and I agreed it would be good to remove the mass on her right thigh that had been growing for a long time. I expected a small snip but it turned out little 13 lb Sophie had a nearly two inch suture to recover from! She had to wear a cloth cone, or at least when I could bear to have her wear it. The first few days were dicy with some bloody oozing that had me worried. But she made it through the worst, finished her antibiotics, and now she is fully recovered, having had sutures removed two weeks ago. I say to her daily now:

Better and better, every day!

I know that is my own affirmation as well as for Sophie. I have been dealing with some health matters, too, trying to get to a balanced condition going forward. After my own double round of antibiotics and changing my diet yet again (this time eliminating carbonated drinks and most coffee to prevent uti’s that I am prone to), I appear to be on the mend, too. So again,

Better and better, every day!

Now then this brings me to a golden technique I would share with you which I have also been practicing. Let’s call it the “One Thing, Daily” technique, or practice.

In the movie City Slickers, remember the tough cowboy Duke, played by Jack Palance. He tell sMitch that there is “one thing” that anyone needs to know in order to live their best life. Mitch asks Duke to share the “one thing,” but before he can respond, Duke expires!  In the sequel, Duke’s twin explains how the ‘one thing’ is different for everyone; you need to find what is the ‘one thing’ for you that will let you fulfill your own life.

In my book Your Life Path (see side panel for ordering info or through Amazon, B&N or elsewhere), I present a creative Tool called Accentuate the Positive that guides you to discover your own ‘one thing’ you can do, “now or in the near foreseeable future,” that can launch and propel you irreversibly in the direction of manifesting your Life Dream. Live Your Dream, Now! is the credo of the complete self-discovery, personal growth toolkit provided with this book.

This week I want to modify a prompt for the technique just a bit for you, to:

Do Your One Thing, Daily

Every day has somewhat the character of the Groundhog Day movie plot phenomenon: you wake up and go through your routines at home and at work or play, at home or in public. You do the best you can being you and applying your knowledge and heart to your activities. But what if, every day, you put in some focussed attention on doing ‘one thing’ that can propel you in an irreversible direction forward to fully living, and giving from, your Dream? See?

What I have been doing daily this week which is of the ‘one thing’ potential is two fold. I am engaging with new and old friends and family; that is nice. But newly, I am editing the science fiction novel, book one of a trilogy story, that has been sitting in my computer files for several years while I took the personal development book forward. I am six chapters through the edit of 26 chapters already written, and it is going pretty well. My plan is to publish this one online with Amazon Kindle, as I am not feeling the need to put my scifi project through a mainstream publishing process.

More on the new book later. But my point is to do ‘one thing’ every day that moves you in the direction of realizing your deepest sense of purpose, and/or for fun!

So what is ONE THING that you can do or are doing, today?

images are from pixabay.com

I do welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

If Life is Love, What Have I to Give?

 I want to share a waking dream this week. I came upon a documentary called “God’s Super Collider,” and I found it so fascinating I watched it three of four times. It is mainly about the Higgs field and Higgs particle (known as the God Particle), which give mass to everything in the known universe. Also it explains ‘dark energy’ and ‘dark matter’ better than I have seen before. But what I liked most is that the narrator/ filmmaker takes a gnostic turn with this scientific discussion into a treatise on God as Everything (and, No-Thing).  God is not outside but within every cell, every atom and particle of Its creation, the very air we breathe both metaphorically and literally. Since the Universe is One = ‘God’ = Love and love only, as THE cohesive and integrative weft and warp of reality or life itself, then It Just Is and that is All.

I Am… That… I Am.

I came away from this program with a mantra phrase that I practiced for several days:

“In Love I live and breathe and have my Being.”

This leads me back around to my monthly question about ‘How May I Serve?’ Since all life is One and we are each and all part of this Whole, then service to one is service to all, including care for oneself and one’s dear loved ones.

So I offer two techniques we can use to “take stock” of our capacity to be of greater service to the Whole:

First, make a list of your five (to ten) greatest strengths. I once attended a creativity conference where a workshop presenter had us write our five greatest weaknesses, then strengths; then he asked us to crumple the list of weaknesses and throw it away. Focus on your strengths to improve those and over time former weaknesses will also strengthen.

Second, write or talk about or make a list about: “What I Have to Give.”

List as many traits or qualities or abilities and talents you have developed that come to mind as ways you have been or could be of service in your life.

Review both lists or journal notes. When I did this I found myself noting beside each ‘what I have to give’ item in what domain or kind of relationship or activity I can or could express that trait. For instance, “caring” I can and do give to my pets, friends and family; while teaching I (can) give in more structured activities.

Try circling 3-5 of the qualities and/or strengths you have noted that seem to stand out to you as potentially linked; so, you can connect the dots between your greatest strengths and what you have to give. Looking then solely at these circled and linked elements, ask yourself if they suggest some specific sort of activity or a fresh approach to your developing and offering a new form of service?

images are from pixabay.com

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

In Service Is My Reward

For 45 years I have participated in service activities with my spiritual group, and I have taught university courses first as a grad student then  as a professor and author for forty years altogether. Service is baked into my sense of identity and purpose. I would feel bereft without the opportunity to serve, wherever and however I can be of use. A credo I have adopted is:

In service is my reward.

I put this out there because this month’s question is about how to be of service in a new location after semi-retirement, which I feel is a fundamental necessity for continuing growth and development. Living your Dream, Now!, which is the through line of my book, Your Life Path (see right panel), does not mean “settling” into an inert, less than active life. Quite the contrary; Living Your Dream means to be following (in Joseph Campbell’s terms), yet I would say, manifesting your Bliss! For as you achieve one facet of your fulfillment, this opens doors to pathways leading forth to many more.

In Indian traditions (both continental Indian Hinduism and some Native American cultures) conceptually a lifetime can be understood to be comprised of four stages or cycles. Elder-hood can be a period of reflection that bears the fruits of Wisdom, not just head or fact knowledge. Wisdom is expressed as service to one’s community based on the wealth of experience an elder has attained. Giving back, offering insights from a life well lived, is a vital stage by which the generations turn in the gyre of transformation and continuation of growth and enlightenment.

images are from pixabay.com

So I am ready to step forward, to volunteer in my new community and to forge continuing pathways forward with writing and other creative activities. I find that having made this commitment, already avenues are opening. I dreamed of an advertisement for my life mapping services. I will add some info in the blog tabs shortly. Plus I have been welcomed to help in a political context, and ideas are flowing for writing.

Service and love are one and the same, as forms of reciprocity in community.

I welcome YOUR story, and comments.

How May I Serve Thee?

My July Quest theme is “How May I Serve Thee?” By Thee I address the Universal Oneness by which we are all interconnected: all beings; all states of consciousness including all humans, other animals, all of Nature and Spirit. I could say, how might I serve All that Is, but I prefer to include You, dear readers, family and friends.

Service is in so many ways what I identify with as my ‘mission’ and goal in this lifetime. As my overall Quest this year is to manifest true happiness in my new post/semi-retirement location, and since service is the means by which I might fulfill my purpose, then service is the basis of my happiness. Hence ‘How May I Serve Thee?’, day by day, moment by moment is my means as well as my measure of happiness.

images are from pixabay.com

A practice I have been using this week, based on a morning contemplation insight, is to ask myself several times every day:

What More Can I Do, Today?

This has been a fine motivator this week. It has helped me revitalize my writing goals and to refine my writing activities, for writing is one primary outlet for service to me. In addition, this prompt helps me daily to clarify and focus on priorities and opportunities, including tasks but also expanding to creative action.

What I CAN– not should or would or might — DO opens unlimited possibilities of the Moment. I CAN, for example:

walk with my dog, read, write, explore new horizons locally, meet new neighbors, exercise at the Y, write a blog post, outline chapters, edit, respond to and send emails, read poetry, contemplate, watch documentaries, like other peoples’ blogs, interact over social networks, grade papers online,  kayak with a new friend; you see? Endless vistas of possibility unfold to reveal the multidimensional potentials of Now! And all of these actions can be engaged with as modes of service to Life.

So, I give to Thee:

What More Can You Do, Today?

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments