Saturday’s Better Endings: Let’s Keep the Conversation Going!


Since last week, Denise shared her concept of “rewind” (Guest Blog, November 21), an approach that anyone can use to achieve a better ending.  When a couple or any people speak or act unthinkingly  in a way that fosters conflict or a misunderstanding, they can agree to a rewind–start the conversation over–like waliking out of a room then knocking to come back in and start over. This way they can re-vision their interaction more in keeping with a better ending. Lovely!

Brystalite commented on Denise’s idea (she had applied the idea of rewind to road rage), adding a similar approach she calls “pause”.  Brystalite uses Pause to encourage herself to think before she might otherwise react negatively to a provocation, such as another driver behaving badly.

Corinne’s Guest Blog on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28) regards better endings as a spiritual principle: better endings are those that are in harmony with “Divine Order”. Corinne says we can recognize a Better Ending pathway as one that offers ‘least resistance’ to such harmonic behavior (my apology to a pun on your last name, Corinne Harmon!)

This is rich material, all of you. Thanks for sharing your insights!

Let’s keep the conversation going…. I invite all of you following or reading this blog to Comment, to send in your own perspective on Better Endings, and to submit your Better Endings stories on our weekly topic themes. By the way,  tonight is the deadline for your Better Endings story on re-visioning a Movie Better Ending. (You can create a gravatar image to share your photo or graphic id with us by going to

You can FOLLOW this blog to receive our daily Better Endings posts for free by email.  I invite you to invite your friends to join our conversation. I hope you will remember to practice daily Better Endings–let us know how that works for you in your life! – Linda

Live Your Dream, Now! With Better Movie Endings


So have you made your list of movies which endings you would change?  If not, please take a few minutes to participate. Write a list of films you love, except for their endings. Make a note of what you don’t like about the ending and how you would re-vision the ending so it would be more satisfying to you.

Now then, look over your list.  What do these choices of films that  don’t end well by your standards reveal about YOU and specifically about how you view ‘better endings’?

When I review my own list (see the Daily Post for Wednesday, Nov. 27), I see a very clear pattern. I don’t like it when a main character “settles for less”.  I want the protagonist to reach for and achieve their highest human and spiritual potential.  Which is true, of course, for myself as well; I’m always striving to reach the next vista, take the next step in the direction of fulfilling my sense of purpose and adventure.

So ask yourself, what does your list reveal about the sort of Better Endings you seek in your own life? You are welcome to Comment on your insights. And there is still time (deadline Saturday night) to submit your Better Movie Ending story for Story of the Week.

Also simply press the FOLLOW button to receive your daily Better Endings by email!

To Better Understand Our Place and Meaning in the World, by Corinne M. Harmon


“What does ‘better endings’ mean to me?” Better endings is a perception, the mystery of our consciousness to design our reality into imagined, creative conclusions to better understand our place and meaning in the world. In the space of choice, we pick our path of the greatest or least resistance to what is presented to us. Better endings is a deep knowing that everything is in Divine Order; that what is, is what is for our Highest good even in the darkest of times, the despair of perceived bitter endings. The phrase, bitter/ sweet reflects the understanding of the duality of our experiences and better endings is just the other side of the coin of bitter endings.

In the expression of karmic energy patterns, all endings are better endings in the sense that they fulfill the commitments of the infinite journeys of All souls, all for the the forward progression of creation, ever expanding, ever fulfilled in Its expression.

Dr. Corinne Harmon is a professor of Leadership in Education with a background in Educational Administration and Special Education. She is also a practicing Life Coach in the Colorado Springs/ Denver area. She hosts spiritual retreats and wellness programs.

Movies I Love, Except for Their Endings!

The list below includes a few of the movies whose endings I would re-vision.  A few of these films I would not even want to watch again because of the way they end.

  • Mr. Holland’s Opus — Mr. Holland gives up on his dream, settles for less.
  • What Women Want (the Mel Gibson film) — A strong-minded career woman gives up her career to marry.
  • Romeo and Juliet — Do they really have to die?
  • Brokeback Mountain — Does it really have to end with a hate crime?
  • Groundhog Day — Wouldn’t Phil arrive at higher aspirations than to marry Rita and settle down after such a deep transformation of his character?

And here are some films that seem to me to be calling out for Better Ending sequels:

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind II (or, Mr. Neary’s Return) — What has Roy been exposed to on the aliens’ planet or space voyage; what will he bring back to enlighten humanity?
  • Lost Horizon II — After Hugh “Glory” Conway returns to Shangri-La and his soul mate Sondra to assume the spiritual position of High Lama, what happens in the outside world and how does Hugh respond from Shangri-La to bring a New Dawn to humanity after a major catastrophe?
  • Contact II —  Once the President’s Secretary goes public to reveal that Eleanor Arroway’s trip through a wormhole was indeed real, what are the next ‘small steps’ in store for humanity as it joins with the larger intergalactic community? Certainly the technology will need to be protected from those who would use it for harm or personal profit.  Will science and religion be finally reunited in Eleanor and Palmer Joss’s marriage and co-authored books?
  • Harry Potter 9 (-?): The ‘New’ Generation — Now that Voldemort (yes, we can name him now), and all he represented has been cleansed from the world, might Harry / Ginny’s and Hermione / Ron’s progeny lead the way to helping Muggles themselves to become aware of and begin to learn from the Wizarding world? (or, not…)

    Now then, of course these lists are only my own, and as such they raise an interesting question: Why these? Are there certain kinds of endings to certain kinds of films or stories that I or you simply “cannot abide”?  Let’s look at this on Friday. For now, exercise your imagination, write your own list.What movie endings would you like to re-vision, why, and how? Please share your Comments or your own list in the Comments box below. You can submit your Better Movie Ending Story (by Saturday, if you would wish to be considered for Story of the Week) by Submitting your story.

Kong Lives!


I first came to the idea of “Better Endings” after watching the 2005 Peter Jackson movie version of King Kong. Knowing in advance, of course, that the tragic fate of the great ape that was imminent, I left the theater while Kong was still alive, holding his beloved Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) atop the needle of the Empire State building.  The military loomed large on the scene already and I knew all too well what was coming.  I just didn’t have it in me this time around to stay and watch–or to agree to–the fateful fall of Kong, or of the magnificent, gigantic forces of Nature being crushed by the cold machinations of an insensitive, urbane modern world.  So instead, I went home, put pen to paper, and re-scripted the ending of the King Kong story more to my own liking.  In my own “better ending” version of the tale, of course, Kong lives!

Kong’s fateful Fall from the Empire State Building still occurs in my re-visioning, but with the heroine still in one hand, Kong breaks his fall twice on the way down out of sheer willpower, grasping desperately at the side of the building and slowing the descent out of his superhuman love for Ann Darrow and an unwillingness to let her die. So, at the base of the building where Kong has landed with his beloved, he is injured by the impact but he has survived.  Out of still a superhuman primate drive to protect his beloved Ann from the dark forces of urban inhumanity, Kong drags himself away from the building as the military stalls from closing in, expecting Kong could not have survived such a fall so rallying around the opposite side of the building to organize how they will haul away his carcass. Kong limps with the now unconscious Ann still in his hand, instinctively navigating through mostly empty alleyways back to the frozen lake in Central Park where she and he had communed in the film version just before their climb up the Empire State building.

Ann wakes as they reach Central Park and quickly surveys the situation.  She leads Kong deep into a little known, trail-less, woodsy region she knows of in the Park.  They lay low there while Ann uses a powerful, backstage theater-prop style walkie-talkie that for protective reasons Jack Driscoll had slipped into her pocket (remember, it’s 1933).  Ann calls Jack, the screenwriter (still in my version played by Adrien Brody), who is also smitten with her.  Given this new chance to finally win Ann’s heart, Jack arranges to rent a rather large truck with a canvas cover. He waits for the dirigible searchlights to depart from over the Park then he drives to where Ann directs him to in the woods. Kong is nearly spent by his exertions.  He has enough life left in him, though, to drag himself, following Ann, into the cover of the truck bed.

Jack drives while Ann stays in the back of the truck with Kong. They transport Kong off to–you might have guessed it!–a recently constructed Primate Center in New Jersey that hasn’t opened yet to the public.  The sympathetic director of the Center, Jane (of course) takes immediately to Kong and gives him sanctuary.  Vets arrive to minister to his wounds under signed oaths of secrecy.

To make an even longer story short:  The Primate Center receives a large grant and builds an entire Great Apes wing all for Kong, bringing in native flora and some of the least harmful native fauna from Kong’s island to the primate center for Kong’s comfort.  Ann’s acting career soars; she marries Jack and eventually they have two kids that grow up to be ecologically sensitive and primate-friendly; their son Sam becomes a climatologist and their daughter Diane eventually becomes an apprentice to Jane. Ann visits Kong every weekend at the Primate Center.

Jane teaches Kong sign language, for which he has an amazing aptitude due to his special evolutionary adaptation as a Giant Pongid (plus his determination to be able to communicate with Ann)! Kong is able to communicate–with an IQ of around 90–with Ann and with Jane and an enthusiastic team of linguists.  Kong contributes to greater human awareness about his own insights and feelings and he provides humans with a greater understanding of the natural world he grew up in and about the loving, spiritual capacity of our primate cousins.


So, what film would you like to write a Better Ending for? Feel free to Comment below and to Submit your own version of any movie this week! Our Weekly Topic is Better Movie Endings.

Also, if you enjoy Better Endings, please Follow to receive our daily posts and you can SHARE this post with your Facebook or other friends with the links below. Also, to receive a Guest Blog post (with your Author’s byline and bio), you can simply send in your answer (of any length) to: “What Do Better Endings Mean to YOU?”

Better Movie Endings


The Great Gatsby is an example of a storyline with a grim conclusion.  In the most recent film installment, again Jay dies, scapegoat to his gold-digging romantic obsession’s deceit.  Well yes, I know, it is F. Scott Fitzgerald and a wonderfully twisted plot, and we should fully honor and respect good writing.  Still, no ‘ends’ are sacrosanct here.  How might you have liked to see the story end differently, just once?  What lesson might the Great Gatsby have learned that could cause a transformational  turning point in our flawed hero’s trajectory?  Let’s just think on that one; journal about it or write out an alternative ending and, if you do, please submit it!  It would be fun to compare a range of different scenarios.

This week’s topic is Better Movie Endings.  Here’s your chance to finally experience satisfaction with that film you have always loved, except for the ending.  The whole idea of Better Endings came to me when I walked out of the most recent King Kong movie.  I simply could not bear to watch the Great Kong plummet one more time from the Empire State building to his demise as the result of human ignorance.  Tomorrow I will share my own better ending for that story.

So make a list.  What movies would you love to write Better Endings for?

And so, just write!  I would love for you to send in your results, but what matters most is that you do the practice, even just by journaling or on a restaurant napkin.  This blog is not about how “well” you write. It is about putting the principle of Better Endings into practice in your life.

P.S. Feel free to Comment below, and you may use your Gravatar image, if you like.

Story of the Week #1–Historical Rewrites : Where Were You When?


Why is it those of us who were alive back then do still remember where we were when JFK was shot and when the Twin Towers came down, but not for many other major events or catastrophes?  A CNN program Friday night (Nov. 21, 2013), called “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” found that most people interviewed felt not just Kennedy’s life but their own, the country’s, and the world at large were significantly altered by the split second action of Oswald’s bullet striking down a US President.

What might have happened had Kennedy somehow avoided that fateful shot?  Perhaps–notables on the CNN program averred–the Vietnam war might have been shortened or forestalled, or Castro’s regime dismantled, or the Civil Rights movement might have been accelerated, perhaps (my conjecture) all or any of this changing the political atmosphere enough so that MLK or JFK’s own brother Bobby might have evaded their own untimely deaths.  Pure conjecture, surely.  Still, there is some evidence suggesting that major catastrophic events do have a contextual ripple effect.  Like a heavy planet that bends spacetime more so than a lighter one does, perhaps history has a force like gravity, all its own.

A Through the Wormhole TV episode called “Is There a Sixth Sense?” explores implications of a well known yet mysterious phenomenon whereby random number generating computers (RNG’s)–which have been around for decades–exhibit a non-random “spike” just before major cataclysmic events have occurred, famously including 4 hours BEFORE the Twin Towers were hit, and the recent Indian Ocean tsunami.  An organization called Global Consciousness Effect (GCE) based at Princeton has been studying this effect over the last seven years. So far they have concluded the effect is real, though they have not determined a cause.

The future can be thought of as a probability wave, where anything is possible but past and present conditions constrain the likelihoods of which future states will become activated in the reality stream of a given timeline. If we are all so interconnected by ripples in the fabric of time, or ‘heavy’ events, so that major shifts or glitches in the normal tendencies can affect the very fabric of all of our lives, the implications are staggering.

What if when we collectively support positive or constructive trends instead of feeding into negative ideological frenzies or collective fear or hatred, history itself–mirroring our own momentum or tendencies–to some degree conforms? For example, what happens when a possible catastrophe, like a looming terrorist threat or a potentially devastating hurricane, abates or is averted? Now whether any  of this conjecture has validity on the largest scale, perhaps at very least in our own lives, positive, constructive thinking such as Norman Vincent Peale and many others have advocated affects our own ‘local’ time ripples, anyway, which may have a wider effect from there?  Perhaps this lays the groundwork for more than just our own Better Endings!

Free Yourself! Write a Better Ending

“So we beat on,
boats against the current,
borne back ceaselessly
into the Past.”
F.Scott Fitzgerald

This final line from The Great Gatsby, so recently reprised for us, was my tagline for many years of this life.  I felt so much more alive in some specific memories from my late teenage years that nothing in the Present could ever measure up. This has changed for me, I realize, over the past few years, but why?  As I have developed the approach to personal life reflection and future prospection which I call the Life Maps Process, I have piloted every step before applying it with others.  One of these techniques is called Re-Vision a Past Transition.  (One of our weekly topics will allow you to practice this in your own way, if you like.)  I revisited a traumatic moment with my father when I was 17. I journaled in first person, present tense, writing  a dialogue between me and my Dad as if it had occurred the day after he had unleashed his raging temper against me when I simply had tried to defend my brother about something at the dinner table.

The words don’t matter here. But the exchange between my memory of my father at that time and my today-self that could engage with him without fear or the hurt and anger I felt then was transformative. We got to say to each other things we really might have said, apart from the heat of the moment. He got to hear my pain; I got to hear his frustration about a teen-aged daughter in the late 1960’s who was headstrong and, in his belief, needing to be tamed to prevent hard knocks in “the real world” (his view) down the road.

This conversation that I journaled with my father is as real–perhaps more because I directly engaged instead of shrinking from the immediate moment–as the actual scene that had occurred so many years ago.  It has deeply revised my “memory” construction of the event.  This sort of re-visioning, I feel deeply, freed me forever from that interaction with my Dad that had scarred me for years.  I cannot remember back to that event without remembering the coming to terms we experienced in our ‘later’ dialogue.

From freeing myself of this “stuck” memory, I seem to have released myself in general from “living in the past” altogther, even freeing myself from being ‘bound’ to those positive experiences I was so holding onto.  Now that I see that memories are not necessarily fixed or frozen ‘in time’, I am free to be more flexible in the Present. Again then, past-present-future are entangled; you can’t change one without affecting them all.

And so, another form of Better Endings.

I know some of you are writing your historical rewrite and I hope to see your stories in my email!  Feel free to send Comments too!

Our First Guest Blog: Road Rage or Better Endings?

by Denise Naughton

When I think of better endings it brings to mind human conflict. Not human conflict on a world scale, but on a personal scale—my scale. When a conversation, or e-mail goes into the toilet, I always go back and wonder how I could have changed the negative outcome. Because life is cyclical I know all opportunity will come my way again, and if I’m paying attention I’ll be able to make a better ending.

Road rage is a perfect example of getting new chances. I’m not sure what infuriates me when someone cuts me off. Is it ego, adrenaline rush which equals fear, which turns to anger? Or is it interruption to my private time or a wake up call showing me I’m not paying attention? Is it someone invading a space that isn’t mine to begin with? It could be all the above and all at the same time. Curses begin, and then I get angry with myself for getting angry with a stranger. Maybe the anonymity of being in a car and being able to yell to someone who is long gone gives me some sense of power, but ultimately it does not give me self-satisfaction with me, and it’s me I always have to answer to.

I know, though, that I will get another opportunity, and even in the same road trip, to have a better ending. If someone cuts in front of me then it must be for a reason.  The driver feels safe to do this. They weren’t paying attention, they didn’t see me, and the need to be in another lane is important, and realized too late. We’ve all done it. I can give that driver a break.  If I can be courteous in any other situation, then why not on the road, and have a better ending over and over again.

Of course, there are even smaller and more personal moments that need to be addressed. When an intimate friend says something that pushes a button, I react without thought—insulting, nasty, or go for an even bigger or tenderer button for that person. It’s all done in the moment but the impact is tremendous. This unhappy ending needs to be repaired immediately. How can it be done?

I once listened to a couple talk about their button moments that would come up in their relationship, and the trick that they had put together. And we all know how quickly the fire can spread when it comes to living with a person. It isn’t that they don’t have those fast and furious times, but they have now learned to take a breath and ask, literally, for a rewind. “This is what I really meant to say”. “This is why I reacted in the cruel or curt way that I did, and I’d like a rewind”.  I’d like to change the words, the intent behind them, and bring in love and kindness”. I’ve been practicing that theory, and I’ve discovered that a rewind can change everything, and even prevent the negative flow from ever happening.

I’ve now applied the rewind technique to so many aspects of my life, so that no matter what I can always create a better ending.


Denise Naughton is an Author and an A.B.D., Ph.D. Candidate at Union Institute and University in Cincinnati.  Her Ph.D. dissertation is on representation of penal colonists in Australian Cinema as Shadow archetype figures.

Why Revisit the Past for Better Endings?

Examples of rewriting history are common in films and literature, especially about historical  events or situations that have had a deep impact on our collective sense of who we are and what we have been through as a people, or as a nation or a culture.  What really happened behind the scenes of JFK’s assassination is in the news on this 50th Anniversary week from that fateful date of November 22, 1963.   Who was really responsible or what might have happened with the slightest twist of circumstance are common re-write themes, although the latter is less frequent or acceptable than the former.  “What happened, happened!,” seems to many to be the practical response to remembering and commemorating history.

We can’t go back and change the facts.  But still, re-memberment (reassembling how the facts fit together) and re-“visioning” what might have happened IFF has value beyond either escapism or denial. Might the Holocaust have been avoided or averted if its precursory social and political-economic conditions were recognized and somehow dealt with before they could coalesce into the horrific institution of the Third Reich?  Several organizations and research projects exist today aimed precisely at changing the future by studying past and present trends and anticipating dangerous patterns. The TV program Futurescape which previewed last night on the Science Channel included a presentation about one of these organizations which tracks potentially volatile conditions in countries around the world.

Aristotle stated famously: “If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development.” Socrates is attributed with the similar one-liner: “The unexamined life is not worth living for humans.”  So, what are the connections between the history of a people and the life history of one person, e.g. me or you?  Re-visioning history is a practice that can help us to apply wisdom in our own lives. As this one year blog proceeds through twenty six weekly topics, many of those will apply to revisiting our own past (and future!) events, situations, and choices.

But for now, for this week’s adventure in Better Endings imaginings, write on! No rewrite of history is too small or too large for our canvas here.  Please just go ahead and Submit your stories (and your and Comments or Insights below each Post), even if it is just a brief idea.  I will be sure to pass  along every viewpoint (within reason) that you send.

“RMS Titanic, Truly Unsinkable!”

What might have happened differently if the Titanic had not succumbed; if it had escaped its terrible encounter with destiny?  Whether in some parallel world or from a slight tweak of human behavior, the Titanic could have evaded the tragedy and global despair that blots our collective memory of that disaster with an iconic, archetypal meme. We may now speak of the potentially “Titanic” failure of any hopeful maiden voyage: of a relationship, for instance, or of a creative venture with high stakes involved.


     So, let’s re-vision a meme.

     News Flash, ‘The Old Post’,  April 16, 1912 : The maiden Titanic truly proved herself unsinkable on an otherwise fateful night.  Last night in the North Atlantic Ocean, Captain Edward Smith, reportedly responding to an inner nudge inspired by an eerie dream that woke him from a fitful sleep yesterday morning, chose to change the Titanic ship’s course in the midst of a storm, just enough to slide past an ominous appearing iceberg! Passengers count their blessings; many are bound to America to emigrate or to enjoy the beauty and bounty of our precious shores.

     And what could have been a noteworthy result of such a slight twist of fate?  Perhaps there was a young immigrant, Jack Dawson, who might very likely have drowned–had the Titanic not averted the iceberg–in a noble attempt to save the life of the upper crust girlfriend he had romantically entwined on the voyage, Rose Dewitt Bukater.  Jack arrived in New York and enrolled at Columbia University on an immigrant scholarship that Rose’s family influence helped him obtain.  He became a distinguished climatologist, the same man who several decades later, in 1948, alerted the world about the perils of global warming by presenting an historic speech at the newly formed United Nations.  At that time, the UN, seeking to strengthen its position for furthering peace and unity after WWII through addressing such an urgent global cause, immediately forged a commission and set to work to effect changes in our commercial use of natural resources in every free nation of the world. It fostered solar and well managed atomic energy as primary modes, so that these clean and renewable resources replaced fossil fuels in the world altogether by 1970. Were it not for the energy pacts and accords instituted so effectively by the UN in those momentous times, today we might be reeling from wars and perilous health dangers resulting from our reliance on fossil fuels!

So Please, “Just Write” !


Hi Everyone who is following Better Endings,

First, Thank You!

I want to encourage each of you to make this your own site as a place for writing and for sharing your comments, insights and stories. You can Submit a Better Endings story on our Weekly Topic (or any weekly topic), or you can share your answer to “What Do Better Endings Mean to ME?” as a Guest Blog submission, and you can always COMMENT in the Comment box included below any post.  I am very interested in hearing YOUR unique insights and examples or questions for discussion.   My goal is that this site will become a highly interactive, shared, dynamic site. So please, if you feel inspired … “Just Write!”

Through the Wormhole of Memories and Anticipation


Last week on the Science Channel’s “Through the Wormhole” with Morgan Freeman, I watched an episode called, “Is Time Travel Possible?” The program explored various attempts by physicists to break the time barrier, mainly concluding that the laws of physics or of nature so far as we yet understand have built-in barriers to time travel, especially into “the Past”. One argument says that even if time travelers were to travel back to the Titanic on that fateful evening to warn the captain of the impending collision with an iceberg, the captain must not have accepted the time traveler’s warning, because the ship still sank.

Explorations into quantum mechanics such as the discovery of nonlocality effects between entangled particles as well as quantum gravity properties, the program stated, might have implications for time travel once these are better understood. But, for now anyway, time travel seems but a distant fantasy.

As the program ended, I found myself unconvinced. There IS already a time machine that you and I use every day; in fact, every moment. Memory is a time machine embedded within the matrix of cognition and consciousness. Past, present and future memories or ‘schemas’  are “entangled”. That is the very basis of–and purpose of–this Better Endings blog adventure.With Better Endings  I invite you to become, along with me, a “Memory-naut”. Explore the realms of your own conscious memories and internalized mindsets or schemas. Now then, what might happen were you to willingly alter or ‘re-construct’ the very fabric of a memory or of an anticipation? Past–Present–Future are entangled. When you alter a mental/emotional construction about of the Past, you affect the Present and Future at the same time.

I will eventually introduce you in this Better Endings blog to a personal growth/ self-help tool which I use in my Life Maps coaching process ( see, called “Re-Vision the Past”. I’ll invite you to travel back in your memory to an event you may have felt you had little power to control and which has had a negative impact on “the person you have become”. You can go back to that event and constructively re-vision it; right the ‘wrong’. Re-live it, but this time from the perspective of your more mature present understanding and empowerment today.

Past and Present–and ultimately Future constructs, too–are “entangled.” Change any one of them, and you will have changed them all.

One Small Step at a Time

Today’s installment will be brief. I just realized that in order to have our Better Endings Story of the Week publish on a Sunday, I mighta should have launched the blog on a Monday! So I will slow down a bit from now til Tuesday to let you and newcomers get up to speed with the layout presented in yesterday’s “launch” post: Welcome to a Year of Better Endings! All I will do for today and tomorrow is to offer a list of some possible topics for our Rewrite History week. Here are some possibilities:

So, here are some writing prompts, or of course choose your own! We have a couple of extra days this week, so please let me know you are out there! You can post your COMMENTS below, perhaps with some of your own historical rewrite suggestions, or with your welcome insights, or go ahead and submit your stories and guest blog entries.  So, set a date on your Time Machine and we’ll see you when/where you land!


Welcome to a Year of BETTER ENDINGS


Change a story, change a life, and a world … YOURS! Welcome to a year of Better Endings.  This is an inspirational, personal growth & development blog as well as a writer’s blog, about Better Endings. I am Linda Watts, an anthropologist who has developed a personal development approach called Life Mapping which has as its main aim to help anybody to Live Your Dream, Now! This daily, interactive Better Endings site is a free, one year adventure in creative re-visioning or flexibility stretching.  The idea similar in principle to the Lumosity program that trains the brain to higher functioning, yet here we will retool and train up your faculty of Imagination through creative story-telling. The basic inspirational idea is really quite simple: as you practice imagining and constructing ‘better ending’ scenarios across a wide range of topics, you will be developing your natural ability to create and actualize Better Ending scenarios in your own life!

I invite you to join in the fun, day to day and week by week. Every week there will be a Weekly Topic. I will introduce the topic on Monday and on Tuesday I will post a sample story on the weekly topic. Please send in your COMMENTS below any Post at any time, and please send in your own stories about the weekly topic. Multiple entries are welcome! See the menu tabs to Submit your story to my email address given there. We can discuss the stories and comments coming in throughout the week, exploring the possible implications and insights related to our weekly topic. Then, every Sunday, I will publish a selected Story of the Week.  As the author of the Story of the Week you will receive a byline and a short bio published with your story. You can send in stories on any of the weekly themes at any time, so please don’t feel constrained by the calendar. I will sort your story into an appropriate week and consider it as an entry for the Story of the Week during its appropriate week.  There are 26 weekly topics which we will cycle through twice over the course of this one year adventure in blogging.

You may also submit essays (approximately 300-600 words) for a weekly Guest Blog. I invite all of you to do this. Please just answer the question,”What Do Better Endings Mean to ME?” Please answer from the depth of your own unique life experience, career background, and interests. I’ll publish at least one Guest Blog entry every week on Thursdays. If a lot of entries come in I may publish two days of Guest Blogs per week.  Authors for our Guest Blog posts will also receive a byline and a published bio.

So, let’s get started with WEEK ONE!

Our first Weekly Topic is Historical Events.

Where would America or indeed where would the world be today if the Supreme Court had awarded the US Presidency in the year 2000 to Al Gore ? That was a very strong possibility that did not come to pass, and it has undoubtedly affected the course of history in radical ways.  Or what if Lincoln had leaned over to whisper an endearment in his wife’s ear just as Booth’s near-fatal bullet whizzed past his head (or, JFK or MLK, similarly)? Historical events become collective, cultural memories, or “memes”, and they can mark deep impacts on those who tell their stories later. Especially tragic events tend to be held as collective scars in the popular mindset over many generations. Books are written, movies made and remade, exploring every angle, every nook and cranny of these legendary crises and pivotal events.

So here is YOUR opportunity to alter that collective mindset and in so doing to subtly re-map–at least in your own and in your readers’ minds–the very landscape of a long-established cultural memory. Consider the possibilities! How might things have gone differently If? When? Because? …and how might history itself and the world we live in be potentially impacted or even radically changed because of the ‘better ending’ you envision?

The only guideline  that I would like to establish for your Better Endings stories that you submit is that “better endings” will have life-affirming, wellness oriented and personally fulfilling outcomes. I maintain the right to filter out strongly negative or destructively oriented stories and comments. But at the same time, a “better” ending need not necessarily be a “happy” one. Maybe a tragedy still occurs but somehow what someone learns from their hard experience affects later decisions or other people in a positive or constructively meaningful way.


So let us embark and have a free tilt at History!  I heartily invite each one of you to COMMENT below any Post with your ideas, questions and insights. I will Reply to your Comments and the rest of you can chime in with follow up Comments too, so we can engage in a conversation about our themes and about the overall experience and principle of Better Endings. Of course also, if you enjoy this experience, join in! And please LIKE and SHARE this site with others.

Why ‘Better Endings’?

Change a story, change a life…Yours!

Better Endings is a principle, an ideal that reveals the highest capacities of the human heart and Spirit.  It is inherent in our Soul’s journey, I believe, to strive to overcome adversity, to approach and slay (or, tame) our inner Dragons, to triumph despite apparent setbacks or restrictions.

“I can do it!,” says the Littlle Blue Engine in a childhood story of encouragement.  “Reach for the unreachable Star!,” says a beleaguered Man of La Mancha. There are no impossible dreams, for our dreams lead us inexorably forward, so long as we allow ourselves to follow.

Thirteen years ago, during a time of self-questioning about my own life purpose and goals, I literally woke from sleep one morning to the clear vision of a bold, black lettered sign or placard pasted right between my eyes, that read:




This message has become a credo for me ever since. It has led me to develop, over twelve years of research and development, the Life Maps Process, which is a personal growth and development toolkit that allows you to reconstruct and reflect upon patterns, themes and chapters in your life to Now so you may better equip yourself with your own archetypal Strengths and Cross the Threshold to a more consciously envisioned future. Live Your Dream, Now! is the better endings mantra you can realize through the art of Life Path Mapping.

Better Endings says to all of us to “Never Give Up!”.  As long as we can exercise and stretch our human faculty of Imagination we CAN Realize our Life Dream instead of Just Getting By. This is true regardless of your circumstances; while yes, some paths may be blocked to you due to irreversible circumstances, yet there is always a better endings scenario you CAN fulfill, or at least a ‘best possible’ one.

I invite you to a year of Better Endings!  It is yours for the price of sharing–inwardly and outwardly, if you so choose–so ultimately you can reclaim and Live YOUR Dream!

BEShare YOUR stories about Better Endings. Our first weekly theme beginning Friday, Nov. 15 will be historical events. Here is your opportunity to rewrite History. Imagine the implications and consequences if a well known historical event were even slightly altered. Send in your story and yours will be discussed online and may become the Story of the Week on Sunday, Nov.24, with your published author’s byline and brief bio. Or answer: “What Do Better Endings Mean to Me?” based on your own unique outlook and experience to receive a Guest Blog spot on Thursdays, here at

Good News! A Happier Better Ending


Following up from the experience last Thursday (11-8) of trying to help a dog who was hit by a car, yesterday I went to the Humane Society. After talking with a friend over lunch about my experience, she said she had heard on TV a news story about a service dog being lost by a woman in the area where the accident occurred. So, I went to the Humane Society thinking that even though the dog probably had died from his injuries, maybe the information about a possible owner might at least allow the owner to learn of what had happened.

After quite a bit of searching through the online records at the Humane Society, a woman was able to trace what had happened after the dog was removed from the accident scene. He was taken immediately to an emergency clinic, and the report stated, “The dog was reunited with his owner.”  He SURVIVED then, at least so far as the report indicated. He was “REUNITED WITH HIS OWNER!” These are surely some of the best words I’ve ever heard.

As I was leaving the Humane Society with a smile on my face, the woman who had helped me beamed, “Happy endings!”   I told her I was writing a blog about Better Endings, and that made her smile, too.

“This works!” I thought to myself. I am beginning to see “better endings” as a spiritual principle that helps me live my life in a more conscious way. I mean, I’m sure I would have still tried to help the dog at the scene of the accident . But would I have gone back two days later to the Humane Society to follow up? So interesting that my friend at lunch Saturday had heard of a similar-appearing dog being sought at the same location as the accident occurred.   It was as if Spirit or the Universe (call It what you will) orchestrated this whole experience like a miracle.  The timing of putting someone (me) right at the scene where without intervention the dog probably would have been hit a second time and killed; the people who gathered around to keep the dog calm while waiting for help to arrive;  the TV story on the same day that would lead me to follow up on the dog’s condition: all of these miraculous events conjoined and the injured dog “was reunited with his owner.”

I believe in Better Endings  … I do! I do! I do!!

BETTER ENDINGS are often Bittersweet


Better Endings are so often bittersweet. Yesterday, early evening after a long day at work, I put Sophie (my dog/see post 11-6) into the car and we headed to a community group meeting I was conducting. We were a good hour early, and I wasn’t sure what we would do for that extra hour, but I figured I would walk Sophie for some quality time together before my meeting.

Approaching a busy intersection, I noticed a man crouching down in the opposite lane, apparently in distress. While my car was stopped for the intersection, I watched as the man alternately stood and then kneeled again, several times. Then he stood up, seeing traffic approaching as the light had changed, and he crossed back to the opposite sidewalk. Then I saw why the man had been kneeling. There was a fairly large dog, lying in the middle of the opposite left lane! Immediately, I flashed my headlights and blared my horn several times at the now fast approaching traffic. I got out of my car to signal traffic and kneeled down to examine the dog. The dog was orange and white, a middle-aged Australian Shepherd mix with deep brown eyes. No collar. I urged him to move across the street and he scuttled as best he could with his front legs dragging his rear. Traffic remained stalled.  Drivers honked impatiently, but most saw the dog and held their ground to help.

The injured dog was scared; once he reached the sidewalk, he scuttled a bit further to reach a gravelly dirt clearing, as far away as he could get from the brutal lights of cars and fast food chain stores . Four or five other concerned people came over to huddle around the dog. This was in a depressed part of town, and three apparently homeless men were among the first to come to the dog’s aid, crouching by him and talking softly, in hushed tones. Two young women, one with her husband, also joined our huddle, stroking the dog gently.

I parked my car and called 911.    One of the other women called the Humane Society, which sent a truck immediately, except that the Humane Society was at least  20 minutes away.  The dog by now was bleeding from his nose.  Someone covered his torso with a blanket because he was shivering.

“Not a good sign,” a young man said about the bleeding. We all silently agreed.  Two of the women were holding back tears. The dog was more sedate now, eyes still open, receiving our loving attention, but obviously in a state of shock.

FINALLY the Humane Society truck arrived. The driver, a young woman with dark hair and eyes, came over to attend to the dog.   She scanned his neck to see if he had an ID chip, then she used an orange, rope-like belt to muzzle the dog’s nose while she and one of the young men at the scene lifted him and carried him across to the truck, placing him into one of the larger cage compartments.

I felt it was most likely that this injured dog would not survive; perhaps he would pass away en route to the Humane Society, or perhaps they would euthanize him once there because of the extent of his obvious internal bleeding.   Possibly they could save him, but that didn’t feel likely.

So, back to Better Endings. This beautiful Soul in a dog’s body would probably have had a much more sudden-impact death experience if someone had not been able to stop traffic so he could get off from the busy street. His death would have been sudden and tragic. Instead, at least several other Souls, in our human bodies, were able to surround him with love and concern, companions to comfort him in this suffering.

He probably died, anyway. Having tragically lost a beloved dog friend myself in recent years (a later story, surely), it was all I could do not to follow the truck back to the Humane Society to check on the dog’s condition.  I had a meeting to attend. I needed to let go, as all those present at the scene understood. We all simply got back into our cars and drove off separately into the evening.

Better Endings are so often bittersweet.

(I encourage you to post your own stories and comments in REPLY to any post. We will begin our weekly themes and guest blogs on November 15.)