The Principle of BETTER ENDINGS

Spider sitting in his web in the morning

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

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


This photo of Pikes Peak is courtesy of TripAdvisor

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

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

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

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

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

Sunflower close-up with bee sitting on it

I welcome your comments and stories!

Life’s Glitches

Waldocanyon

June 26, 2012 was a birthday I will never forget.  It was in the midst of Colorado Springs residents’ encounter with a major firestorm, the Waldo Canyon fire. I had seen the bare wisp of smoke curling up from behind beautiful Pikes Peak the day before; but within two days the fire had spread to become a raging monster. Federal crack fire teams were on the scene, while we all watched the news with a mixture of awe at the massive smoke plumes shooting up into the high atmosphere and hope that the fire crews would soon gain control.  But on June 26, my birthday, I went to see a movie with a friend. We had checked the radio and TV news before leaving, and the fire seemed to be held at bay. We watched the movie; I don’t even remember what it was. When we came out of the theater and turned on the radio out of vigilant curiosity, all Hell had broken loose! The dragon fire had swept up and over a ridge, right into a major residential neighborhood!

My friend and I left for our homes. The day before, I had been driving toward Pikes Peak and imagined the fire coming down into the city. On my way home on the 26th I was at the exact same location and saw, yes, the flames racing down the mountain into the Mountain Shadows neighborhood. The déjà vu sort of vision brought deep foreboding. I felt the whole town was in danger. Although my house was far enough away that I was in no immediate danger, I gathered my pets and fled to Denver, where I stayed with a friend that night, and the next. I couldn’t take my eyes away from the news reports.

The crack fire crews took a new tactic after 360 homes were destroyed on the June 26 rampage. They managed controlled burns to remove fuel from the possible directions the fire might take. Within another 3-4 days they had the fire under much better control. Thousands of people who were evacuated from their homes gradually were allowed to return.

Incidents like this or similar disasters reveal the unpredictability of natural forces or human aberrations: mass shootings, drunk drivers, terminal illnesses, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods. These are among the imponderabilities of life; things we cannot directly control but somehow must deal with anyway. They bring forth our fears, our survival instinct, and our desire to help others in our community.

I was a lucky one during the Waldo Canyon fire. My home was not threatened. Many people lost their homes or were evacuated for weeks. For many of these, this event was a life changer, a chapter turner. Much of daily life—its materiality and entertainment routines, even its workaday responsibilities—pale in significance when such an event transpires. These critical events cut to the depths of our human and spiritual existence. Like people who have Near Death experiences, many who survive—or endure–a disaster of this magnitude often alter their life course to accommodate new layers of meaning, purpose, or urgency.