|To view back issues of this newsletter, or to learn more about my work as a Counselor and Astrologer, visit my web site, DanKeusal.com, by clicking here.
Where have you been underestimating yourself? Most of us have at least some self-doubt to begin with, and those doubts can grow stronger when times get tough. As I pulled together material for this edition of my newsletter, a theme emerged--that of restoring faith and hope in ourselves and in our journeys, even in the worst of times.
As is so often the case for me, it all started with a movie--a few lines of dialogue from a film I'd seen in the theater months ago popped into my mind, and gave me the starting point for my essay. Gradually, the other pieces presented themselves: a new feature called "3 Good Poems," a CD I'd bought a few months ago, a quote about creativity I found in an old journal, reconnecting with friends from a retreat I went on two years ago, rediscovering a book that helped shape my attitude toward work....
I trust that somewhere in this newsletter is a poem, a song, a movie, a book, a quote...something
...that is exactly what you need at this point in your own journey.
Have fun finding it!
Quotes for Inspiration and Action
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.
Art is knowing which ones to keep."
(Scott Adams, creator of the comic strip "Dilbert")
"I believe in rules. Sure I do.
If there weren't any rules, how could you break them?"
(Leo Durocher, baseball manager)
"Before you tell your life
what you intend to do with it,
listen for what it intends
to do with you."
(Parker Palmer, author/educator/activist)
"If I got rid of my demons, I'd lose my angels."
(Tennessee Williams, playwright)
Essay: Where are you underestimating yourself?
"I think I'm more comfortable being disappointed. And I think I'm angry at you for trying to take that away." So says Kate Walker (Emma Thompson), a middle-aged woman fresh off yet another dreadful blind date, to Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman), the man who is now courting her in the film "Last Chance Harvey."
There's something of Kate in each of us, some part of us that is attached to staying disappointed, even when opportunity is standing right in front of us with its hand outstretched. It's as if Santa Claus has arrived on our roof...and we've bricked up the entrance to our chimney!
In an astrology chart, that part of us is represented by the planet Jupiter. Jupiter asks "Where have you been thinking too small? Where have you been underestimating yourself? Where are old beliefs keeping you from seizing new opportunities?"
Is Jupiter in a part of your chart that has to do with relationships? Then ask how you have been underestimating yourself as a partner, lover, or spouse. To make this more concrete: pick someone who is your idea of the perfect mate, then repeat the following mantra until you can say it without giggling, until you could say it and really MEAN it: "How lucky would THEY be...to have ME...choose THEM?"
Is Jupiter in the part of your chart that has to do with creativity? Instead of doubting that anyone would be interested in your work, try a mantra like "How lucky would that gallery have to be for me to choose them to show my paintings?"
I imagine Jupiter was sitting on Marianne Williamson's shoulder, smiling, when she wrote these words a few years ago: "Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure...As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."
Jupiter at its best
represents healthy grandiosity, faith, optimism. The opposite, in other
words, of Kate's "I'm more comfortable with disappointment." Jupiter at its worst (every planet has its shadow side!) is folly--as my mentor & friend Steve Forrest says, "Like Santa Claus, Jupiter may give us whatever we ask for, but we have to supply the brains! " Buying five lottery tickets as a symbolic act of faith is one thing...spending your entire life savings on lottery tickets is something else entirely!
To learn more about how Jupiter (and the rest of the planets) can support YOUR journey, call or email
me to schedule an astrology session.
3 Good Poems (new!)
Start each day by reading a good poem. Then notice how it follows you throughout the day, seeping into your consciousness in ways that offer you both support and challenge. Read it again during your lunch break--it's a great way to "re-set" and prepare for the second half of your day. Here are three poems to get you started--just click on the titles (if the links don't take you to the poems, just Google them yourself--you'll be glad you did).
- "Anagrammer" (Peter Pereira)
- "Gate C22" (Ellen Bass)
- "Invisible Work" (Alison Luterman)
Resources for a Richer Life
(Music): "The Calling" (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
. Chapin Carpenter's thoughtful lyrics and lyrical alto voice make this collection of songs feel like a friend who has come to visit when you most need comfort, insight, and hope. The title cut speaks to the passionate pursuit of meaningful work ("Whatever the calling/the stumbling and falling/you follow it knowing/there's no other way"). "On And On It Goes" reminds us that even the smallest pieces of life are connected to the grander scheme of things:
"River starts with a drop of rain
Somewhere in this world
Light years shape this arc of sky
And sand a precious pearl
And you will light a stranger's life
By letting yours unfurl
And on and on it goes..."
You can purchase "The Calling" and listen to sound clips from each song by visiting either iTunes or Amazon.com.
(Retreats): Washington Courage & Renewal
offers a variety of day-long, weekend, and seasonal retreats aimed at "reconnecting who you are with what you do." Based on the work of author, educator, and activist Parker Palmer (A Hidden Wholeness, Let Your Life Speak, The Courage To Teach
), these retreats offer you the chance to step back from the many distractions of your daily life, to reflect, and to re-engage your personal and professional life with renewed passion, commitment, and integrity. I attended four WC&R retreats back in 2006-2007, and can honestly say they were life-changing for me. To take the first step in renewing your life, call Sue Paro at Washington Courage & Renewal at 206-633-2888, or view WC&R's web site
. By the way--those outside of WA State are welcome--one person who attended the retreats with me during 2006-2007...came all the way from Houston!
(Book): Crossing The Unknown Sea--Work As A Pilgrimage of Identity (David Whyte).
Clients frequently seek out my services as a Counselor and/or Astrologer because they're having issues with work: finding a job, keeping a job, getting along in the workplace. As the economy has faltered over the last year or two, I've often reminded them of the old joke about the person who scratches and claws their way to the top rung of the ladder at work...only to find...it's the wrong ladder. David Whyte's Crossing The Unknown Sea
, which is both inspiring and practical, holds out a different vision: "To feel that what we do is right for ourselves and good for the world at the same time is one of the great triumphs of human existence."
(Movie): "Last Chance Harvey"
(see essay, above). Starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. Written and directed by Joel Hopkins.
Upcoming Workshops by Dan Keusal
, Oregon Dental Hygienist Society Annual Meeting, Nov 6-7. Click here
Counseling & Astrology Services
I offer professional counseling and astrology services for individuals and couples. Whether you come to me with a problem (like depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues) or simply the sense that it's time for a change, I help you look at how that starting point is calling you to grow, and how you can respond with creativity, vitality, and hope.
To learn more, visit my web site by clicking here
To schedule an appointment,
or if you have questions,
call me at (206) 523-1340.
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|That's it for this issue of "Living With Purpose and Passion." As always, I welcome your comments & suggestions. You can send me an email or you can call me at (206) 523-1340.To share this newsletter with friends, click on the "Forward Email" link, below.
Dan Keusal, M.S., LMFT
Web site: www.DanKeusal.com