Your Twists and Turns…What’s Around the Bend?


Turning and turning in the widening gyre… so begins Yeats’ famous poem of “The Second Coming”. As historical epochs shift and turn (Yeats’s poem bespeaks our post-modern reality as an antichrist, chaotic sort of epoch), so do the cycles of our own lives twist and turn. Yeats once also said he could imagine “the universe as an egg, turning itself inside-out without breaking its shell” (in A Vision). He was referring to the idea of a DIALECTICAL view of life: one that observes a dynamic tension of opposite experiences or viewpoints.  We need the Darkness to appreciate Light; we appreciate love and all we have gained in life by contrast with what we have lost or Joy is contrasted with our times of loneliness or sorrow or despair.  When we experience whole “life chapters” that seem to illuminate or magnify particular states or conditions, these then might come to exist in our memory in relation to happier, or less happy, chapters.


Next week I will offer you a technique for identifying your life chapters. This week we are moving in that direction by considering your Turning Points. These are the pivots from one sort of life condition or experience to another; events that mark the boundaries between who you were before and after each one of these events occurred.

It can be helpful to review your own Turning Points to understand better how you have managed or dealt with the major transitions in your life up to Now. Especially, you may wish to pay attention to your most positive Turning Points. How have those come about? Was there a choice involved and, if so, how did you approach and make your decision?

Ultimately life mapping is not merely about reviewing the past, except in so much as this can help you to better prepare for or to create your own “better endings.” The general credo for the Life Maps Process which I will be sharing with the public in Life Paths, is: “Live Your Dream, Now!  Wherever you are Now is based on how you have come to be Here. Where you will arrive tomorrow will be based on how you DECIDE in the Present to aim toward and to model (or, re-model) your Life Dream.


I share this today because my recent travel experience has led me to approach a major set of future transitions or Turning Points in my own life. I like to practice what I teach about, and I have been using life mapping skills a lot this last two weeks to envision “alternate future-scapes”—what I like to call future-casting. I am envisioning the completion of Life Paths and its release, but I am also envisioning my upcoming retirement in 2 ½ years, as a graduation from Academia and as a meaningful shift into a new set of chapters of my own Life Story. I now have a fairly good idea of where I will retire and I have visited the location to begin planning in that direction.


So I invite you to review your past Turning Points with an eye to ENVISIONING your NEXT Turning Point as a very conscious shift into your own ‘better endings’, whatever that means for you, as of Now. Don’t worry about “setting things into stone”; that will not happen. You will remain open and flexible, but this process can help you to begin the process of Manifestation that can bring your Dream into Reality.

So, Where are you headed generally in the Present based on where you have been and how you got Here?  You are free to Envision—at any time—your next best Turning Point in advance of its occurrence. We are gifted with the faculties of active imagination and creative visualization. I invite you to simply practice and hone these faculties, for the highest good of all concerned!


Better Endings to YOU! And thanks for reading! I truly, deeply welcome your insights from applying this life mapping tool.

Envision a Future Transition



When I was a kid in junior high school (7th grade) in Pennsylvania, I felt, or was made to feel by some neighbor kids, awkward and nerdy. My best buddy had moved to Florida and I felt isolated and alone. My father received notice almost a year ahead of time that he was to transfer from where we were in Pennsylvania to near Niagara Falls in New York state. So we had almost a year to prepare for our next major family relocation.

I made a conscious decision then to change my social persona, to alter my presentation of self so I might fit in with a more popular crowd in New York. I would dress more fashionably and act more “cool”. I would interact more with a wider range of people at school and I would express self-confidence. I envisioned all of these changes very explicitly and planned very consciously to change my wardrobe, hairstyle, etcetera.

We moved, and I put my plan immediately into action as I entered eighth grade in a new state, New York. Some of my actions were not so healthy; I started smoking to ‘hang out’ with those who appeared to be most popular at the new school. I had lunch with the popular bunch (when I wasn’t hiding in a restroom stall to avoid having to go to lunch at all); I made up a fake boyfriend by displaying a ring that belonged to my mother, and—for a short while—I achieved a modicum of success with the “in” crowd.

Some of the changes I made to change my social persona were healthy and good, so I kept those. I did feel more self-confident, and from then on I was always active in extracurricular clubs and activities. Others I found were not so great. The “popular” girls were rather a narrow and mean bunch toward anyone outside their circles, and I found their interests and concerns to be not very interesting in the big picture, so by ninth grade I drifted to a more nerdy bunch again—of artistic/dramatic and more intellectual sorts. But this time it was by choice, and I was happier. Altogether the conscious choice to establish my own identity at that point led to major changes that have led to all sorts of exciting and self-defining activities and interests, ever since.

So, for this week of focusing on Travel in relation to the principle of manifesting Better Endings, I want  to offer you the simple but potentially breakthrough Life Mapping technique that I call “Envision a Future Transition”.

Paradise beach

Consider where you are heading as you approach a Life GOAL or as you aim to manifest your Life Dream. (With more extensive Life Mapping procedures I can help you to define what your current Life Dream is, so stay tuned! I will be shifting this blog to focus wholly on Life Mapping starting this May for the 2nd half of this year’s blog, in advance of my book on that subject, Life Paths.) For now, you can choose a goal like a job/career transition, or a relocation you are expecting to make, or even a vacation.

As you consider your goal, make a list of several TRANSITIONS you will need to undertake in order to manifest your goal. When I do this I am surprised to find there are a relatively large number of intermediate transitions that will be involved in fully manifesting a goal involving a future change. For example, if I focus on retiring in 3 years, my list of future transitions includes:

  • Pay down all debt (shift credit debt to personal loans to be balance free by three years).
  • Visit places I might like to retire to.
  • Research real estate, weather conditions, cost of living, etcetera at these various possible relocation spots.
  • Journal about what daily life will be like
  • Research possible part-time employment opportunities
  • See a banker about how to plan for and manage retirement income
  • Make a list of writing and related projects to be involved with
  • Talk with friends in depth about the possibility to go in on real estate together (a cottage in Ireland); research all of this deeply
  • Contemplate, contemplate, contemplate, envisioning deeply and in great depth

After making your list of future transitions pertaining to a future goal you aim to realize, circle one (at a time anyway) to explore in depth. ENVISION that future transition in great descriptive detail. You can write this out either in first person/ present tense FROM the future, or in future tense but describing your transition step by step. You could even choose to envision a FANTASY FUTURE transition; this is not one that fits precisely with your goal but would be a fun, “far-flung” sort of possible future adventure. Either approach allows you to ENVISION HOW you might transition INTO a goal state. PRACTICING envisioning in this manner can help you to eventually REALIZE a specific goal and to plan for achieving it.


I think you will find that in listing a set of future transitions that can help you envision a MAJOR shift related to a Big Picture life Goal, you will end up seeing how many steps will be needed to make your future goal a reality. ORDERING these future transitions will help you develop a plan of action. Envisioning the goal and its transition points in general will also help you to SEE your future goal as achievable and feasible, and it may lead to some great “synchronicity” as you plant the seed, nurture it with your ATTENTION, and then watch it grow and develop. It may take some unanticipated twists and turns, so you will want to remain open and flexible. But it can help you to FORGE A PATHWAY.


Better Endings to You! I welcome your insights and stories.




Realize Your Goals!


Connecting with this week’s Better Endings focus on joblessness or underemployment, our Life Mapping tool for this week can be used to envision a pathway to manifest a desired goal. As you engage with this GOAL-CLUSTER mind-mapping activity, I invite you to approach it with a childlike perspective, allowing “playful” ideas to emerge from your unconscious sandbox.


Using the template shown above, you can start by placing either a word, a phrase, or an image icon that represents a meaningful, desired goal (with perhaps a photo of yourself, smiling!) into the center of a page, with an X that segments the page into 4 quadrants around this GOAL-center.

Next, starting with the top/RESULTS quadrant, you can use free association to place words or phrases that represent what you will gain or how you will benefit  with your goal ACHIEVED. Where these benefits or positive outcomes are meaningfully interconnected for you, you can draw lines or off-shooting branches showing these connections.

Next you can start filling in any of the other three quadrant sections, again using playful free association to ‘draw connections’ between ideas either within a quadrant or migrating across them.

For example, let’s say your goal is to take a trip to visit Ireland. RESULTS might include: “touching base with my heritage”; “expanding my horizons”; or “slowing down for awhile/ getting away”. Then branching off from one of these you might add, “gold at the end of the rainbow”, and off from that: “retire there?” [okay, now I am getting my own ideas; I love Ireland!].  Now under OBSTACLES, maybe you would write: “Money?” That may lead you to the RESOURCES space, where you can brainstorm how you might afford the trip; if so, you can connect this resource to the obstacle statement. Envisioning Resources might lead you also to think of some very real Solutions, see?

After filling in this GOAL-cluster mind-map so that you feel you have fleshed out all four quadrants with meaningful and helpful ideas,   I invite you to go back and circle or use color to highlight those specific Resources and Solutions that can help you to actualize the RESULTS you desire to create in your life. You can also start a new page, placing any of the specific Results or Resources or Solutions (or Obstacles) you generated with the GOAL cluster into the center, and explore that aspect with its own, freestyle cluster mind-map.

Approaching this technique as a playful game will facilitate emergence of a mindful awareness that can stimulate “out of the box” solutions.  Remember from Denise’s Guest Blog two weeks ago: “There IS NO BOX!”