Map Your Life Theme of HEALTH

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This  year as we focus on Life Themes for our main topic, each month I will give you the opportunity to “Map” the monthly Theme as it has patterned in your own Life Story.  Let’s begin with HEALTH as a Life Theme.

Mapping a Life Theme is a very simple self-discovery process.  First, list a series of significant health related events in your life. Make a note about each event so you will be able to read through these sequentially. Order these Health events chronologically just by numbering them from earlier to later, and it can help to place a relative date after each one on your list.

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Now then, rate the relative positive and/or negative impact of each event as it has influenced you in your life. Use a scale from -5 to +5, with a zero score representing a neutral impact score.

Use the chart shown below to PLOT the positive and/or negative impacts of each event along the five grid lines above or the five grid lines below the central line. This chart represents a time or Age line from left (earlier) to right (Later). You can mark your age or the relative date of each event along (just below) the timeline. If you rated an event with both a positive AND a negative impact (which is common and fine, e.g. +3/-2 or +5/-5), then plot both the positive and negative values for that single event vertically at the same date along the time line and connect the positive and negative values with a vertical line.

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After you have plotted the relative impacts of your Health events using the Life Mapping grid above, you can also CONNECT the dots (events) to reveal the overall PATTERN of this Life Theme in your life.  Especially when some of the events that are adjacent to each other on your chart reflect a CHANGE or a STABILITY of some health factors, connecting the plotted points can reveal TRENDS in your Health Theme over time.

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images are from pixabay.com

After you have plotted the Ups and Downs of your own Health related Life Theme, I invite you to contemplate and journal about what you discover from reviewing how this Theme has operated in your life over time. Has it primarily been positive/ uplifting? Or a deterring factor, or very steady? How has Health been an influential factor in your life? Would you wish to change anything about it? How might you do that?

I invite your Comments and Story!

How I Beat Diabetes II (You Can, Too!)

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After a blood test around 18 months ago, my doctor told me my A1C score: 164, which indicated I was in the diabetic range. I asked my good doctor, “What can I do?”

“Stop eating anything white,” she responded.

I followed her directions. I cut out all bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, flour, and most processed sugar. (I could still have low carb yogurt every few days at 8 carbs). I started eating lots of cheese, meats, more vegetables/ salads, and exercising at the YMCA 2-3 times per week.

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The weight fell off almost magically as soon as I established a low carb diet. I studied carb content at the grocery stores but I did not have to count calories. The rule of thumb I used is anything I eat should be under 5 carbs (now maybe 8-10 after I have achieved the weight loss I was after). I started at 163 lbs and now I weigh in at 118, after 18 months. I lost the first 30 lbs in 3 months on this new diet.

My last A1C reading was 153.  My new doctor has reported to me:

“You had diabetes, and now you do not have diabetes.”

I am not even in the pre-diabetic range! I am still, however, quite careful to maintain my low carb diet and exercise regime.  Sure, now I will have a 7 carb piece of chocolate every 2-3 days. But still I am not eating bread, pasta, rice, flour, most sugar, or potatoes. This is a lifestyle change for me, not a temporary diet.

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It is ironic that around two months ago my dog Sophie was diagnosed to be diabetic. I am hoping my own newfound awareness about the importance of changing to a healthier diet will help Sophie, too.  I now cook for her based on researching a diabetic dog’s dietary needs.  I believe we are doing pretty well so far in stabilizing Sophie’s glucose. Insulin, two meals 12 hrs apart with a small, low carb treat mid-day, and walks after every meal and treat.

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images are from pixabay.com

 

The Art of Healthful Cooking (for Sophie)

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The Life Theme of HEALTH is very appropriate for a January focus. So many of us make our New Years resolutions around our health issues, whether it is about improving our diets for weight and related issues or about eliminating unhealthy habits in our lives.

I’d like to share with regard to the HEALTH Theme about what I have been learning recently as I am now cooking 100% of my dog Sophie’s ‘diabetic diet.’

Dog diabetes is a daunting condition, as any of you know who have dealt with this.  Apparently almost all dogs who are beset by diabetes develop Type 1 such that the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. Many also develop cataracts that leads to blindness. And the first six months are the most dangerous for getting the condition under control and developing a good management program to maintain glucose level stability.

So Sophie and I are dealing with this big time. She is just 6 1/2 years old.  I have shifted her diet almost 100% to home cooked food and we are exercising 3-4 times per day plus I give her insulin–I call it “bacon boosts” because it is developed in pigs–twice a day.  Our excellent vet is a very caring person and we are trying to get the glucose down to a good level, though we have yet to achieve that in a stable way so far as I can tell after about 6 weeks.  We are down to an allowable range but are still working on all the right doses, etc.

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Cooking for Sophie truly is an art as well as a science.  With a good friend helping me at first to develop the right portions and ingredients, we now use about 1/3 three complex carbs per cup that I rotate with more that 1/3 pureed, low glycemic but high protein and/or high fiber veggies, and a little more than 1/4 cup of either chicken with liver, turkey with liver and beef with liver. The carbs are either low carb oatmeal or quinoa in the morning and, so far, pearled barley for dinner. I also give her one mid-afternoon treat usually without the complex carbs in that. We have the insulin after the morning and dinner meals and go for a walk after all three meals, at least.  In addition I give her a multi vitamin the vet gave us, plus taurine, bromelaine, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, turmeric, and Glipizide (to add a bit to the insulin force).

The veggies I use most are broccoli, zucchini, parsley, asparagus, pumpkin, celery, clover sprouts, some garbanzo beans, and green beans, occasionally adding some spinach or kale. I puree the veggies with some meat/ veggie broth and add the apple cider vinegar to the puree, the after warming everything I blend  it all together in the food processor, then add the vitamins.

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images are from pixabay.com

We see the vet next this coming Saturday: wish us good health! We are also going to an ophthalmologist the next Thursday to get a baseline on her eyes’ condition.

If anyone has advice or suggestions from your own experience, please share your Comments!

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One more note about this photo of Sophie from my previous post. Notice the stuffed animal hedgehog at her front paws. I hadn’t even realized that was there. Hedgehog is a very positive animal symbol that betokens persistence and overcoming obstacles. Go Sophie!

A Te Sante: Running with Sophie

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Happy New Year to all!  This post begins a new year of Better Endings. This year we will be focussing on Life Themes: those recurring kinds of situations in our lives that form the core substance and weave the patterned fiber of our/your Life Stories. Each month we will focus on one of twelve Life Theme topics that are commonly identified in Life Path Mapping (also see menu tab: Monthly Topics):

January –   Health

February – Romance/ Relationships

March –     Vocation

April –        Work

May –         Family

June –         Adventure/ Travel

July –          Friends

August –     Relocation/ Moves   

September–  Education

October –     Spirituality

November – Pets

December – Life Lessons

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To begin this New Year of Better Endings, for this month of January we will focus on the Life Theme of HEALTH. This is particularly appropriate for me at this time, as I am in a process of adjusting to and learning about my dog Sophie’s condition of diabetes. What a daunting diagnosis this is, knowing all the possible complications and wanting to improve her condition in every way possible. (BTW, your helpful suggestions are quite welcome! Please Comment if you have positive suggestions!)

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My Dear Companion, Sophie

Sophie is more than a Friend; she is my Soul companion. We have adventured on six cross-country trips from Colorado to New York already, and she is six and a half years old. We have another BIG move to look forward to this August, after I retire and we and our two beloved cats Loki and Emily relocate to New York state for good.  I discovered around a month ago that my girl Sophie has a diabetic condition. I now am cooking for her and providing supplements, exercise, insulin, and lots of gratitude and love.

Today I will just post about a typical morning walk’s meandering thoughts, from this morning:

I love you so dearly, my Friend. I worry as much about my own attitudes or worries as I do about the therapeutic measures themselves. I do not want to overreact or do things that may harm more than help. Let’s do our best and keep things simple. If cataracts develop, we can remove those. For the liver, kidneys and pancreas, we must be observant and do our preventative best. Most information affirms that as long as we change the diet properly and have the right amounts of protein, fiber, low glycemic veggies and complex carbs and the proper amount of exercise, this can be managed and complications improved.

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This dog looks so much like Sophie in her new coat!

Running With Sophie has become itself a Theme in my current life activity. We have been exercising three times a day, after meals and the mid-afternoon dried liver or small veggie and meat snack. She runs a good 1/4 or so of her walk time, which I am grateful for. It helps her lower the sugar content in her system and gives us both a healthful Time Out.

This theme of Running with Sophie also pertains to an earlier theme seven years ago of “the Running Dog.” This was about my previous dog Ellie, whom I lost and tried to find in greenways of Denver for six or seven months unsuccessfully. People would notify me on Craigs List that they thought they had seen her, often running. So I would go up there to where she was “spotted,” rain or shine, looking for and calling for her, but to no avail. I can only hope someone did take her in, as she did not get picked up at any of the pound or lost dog facilities as far as I could tell. Anyway, that is seven years ago. I wanted then to write a story about “The Running Dog;” now I would add to that story, “Running with Sophie.”

As Soul Companions, Sophie and I (and our additional, feline family members Loki And Emily) mean more to me and each other than can possibly be expressed in words. Love is Love. This morning the thought came to me (while on our morning walk) that :

Since God is (in) Everything

And God is All Good

Then Everything is God;

Life is Good.

I do believe this (above).  Everything is God, so Everything is Good.  Live or die, succeed or not so much, EVERY condition, every thought, word and deed, every life experience is an experience in Living, and everything is Divine. We can learn from any experience; experiences do not DEFINE us but they can help us grow spiritually and in wisdom, courage and compassion. Another thought from Running with Sophie this morning:

Gratitude and Love

Go Hand in Glove;

And:

True Love is Reciprocal,

All Ways.

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images (except mine of Sophie above) are from pixabay.com

So “A Te Sante!” To your great Wellness and Good Health in 2018 and forever on YOUR Soul Journey.

Better Endings to You Always!,

Linda

 

 

The Light in Your Eyes

 

Forest road. Landscape.

 

The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the Door where It began,

Now evermore the Road doth lead

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with weary feet

Until it joins some larger Way

Where many paths and errands meet,

And whither then?

I cannot say.

– J. R. Tolkien

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Light is a good measure, and an apt metaphor, for Awareness, which brings “all good things” to those who express a positive attitude from maintaining an uplifting spiritual and/or a healthful mindfulness practice. Light radiates through the eyes and actions of those who are ‘lit,’ regardless of whatever health conditions they may be dealing with. This can be anybody.

From my life maps coaching practice, I find as a general principle that attitude matters greatly in how we go through life, and that attitudes derive often in large part from a person’s mindset and focus. Two people experiencing similar life circumstances might have polar-opposite interpretations and responses because of their outlooks on life.  This sometimes depends on whether they hold an optimistic or a pessimistic view of life, based on their beliefs as well as experience.

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John (pseudonyms used), for example, who maintained a “practical,” non-spiritually oriented belief system, regarded a series of downturns from being laid off, deaths of his father and grandmother, and a car accident as increasingly debilitating, meaningless events. His Life Metaphor of “Life is like a tree with its roots stuck in the dirt next to a flowing stream” encapsulates John’s own ‘stuck awareness,’ as does the fact that he had felt paralyzed in his right shoulder after his car accident, although doctors could not find anything physically wrong with his shoulder.

Contrast John with Ambrosia, whose chronic intestinal condition found her, one night, “touch and go” in the hospital. Doctors told her it was not certain she would survive the night. When I asked Ambrosia to rate the impact of that perilous night at the hospital, without hesitation she beamed, “+5!” (the highest possible positive rating).

“But, why?” I asked.

“Because I had a vision that night that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. My spiritual Guide appeared. He told me I could leave, if I wanted to, but there was much more for me to do here of I stayed. I told him, “All that glitters is not gold.” He answered, “but anything can be.” Then I told him I would stay only if I could get back the passion for living I once had. He said I could.”

Ambrosia survived the night and she gradually healed. She has indeed regained her passion for living, and her health condition has led her to find many healthful dietary aids and supplements. She practices spiritual contemplation and yoga, daily. She mostly walks wherever she needs to go, not owning a car. She is active as a leader in her spiritual community and serves as a compassionate role model for many. I see the light in her eyes that I did not see so much in John’s.

So, Lighten up, in whatever way works for you to experience Life, and Love, to its fullest.

And then, go take a look in the Mirror.

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Wellness Tips, by findingmyinnercourage, and The Positive Flavor of Words, by DancingDolphins (Re-Blogs)

Stress Is The Enemy Of My Health

Posted by findingmyinnercourage 01SaturdayMar 2014

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It has become imperative that I avoid stress in my life and make a conscious effort to maintain and achieve a healthy mind. Eliminating stress will leave me calm yet energized, focused yet relaxed. This I know after just one instance of eliminating stress in my life.

Here’s how it’s going to work! I’m going to push the boundaries of science and belief; digging deep into my spirituality and learn ways to improve my life, eliminate stress and find the happiness I crave.

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  08SaturdayMar 2014

Posted by findingmyinnercourage i

To My #1 Grandson –

It’s important for me, as your Grammy, to pass on to you the pearls of wisdom I have learned throughout my life from the kindness of others.

As you grow and learn my wish is that some of the following thoughts will guide you as you begin your life’s journey to be the best you can be while experiencing a rich and happy life filled with family, friends and those you interact with in the years to come.

Never leave the house without your sense of humor.

You can grow up and become anything you want.

Respect and learn from your teachers. They are heroes.

Work on developing an appreciation for music, art, literature and other forms of expression. It will nurture your soul.

Work to help those less fortunate and also work to ease the burden of others by treating them with respect, praise, kindness and good manners.

Embrace the differences in others and learn from them. And always love and respect your parents. You are the greatest gift they will ever receive.

Each day, show people you love how much you care. They won’t be around forever.

Practice forgiveness. Not for the person you believe harmed you, but for yourself. Anger, pain and resentment are a heavy burden to carry throughout your life.

If someone treats you with kindness, a warm smile and a quiet thank you speak volumes.

Please learn to accept people for who they are, not who you think they should be.

Learn from the past, live in the present and plan for the future.

Limit your use of sarcasm. It is often used as a disguise to hurt others.

Believe in yourself. Others may question your integrity, honesty, optimism and faith. Always remember that you are special, unique and the only you that will ever exist. Make friends with that as soon as possible.

Don’t put yourself down. There will be enough people in the world who will want to do that for you.

Embrace changes that enrich your life. Learn to tolerate and make the best of those that don’t.

Your Dad is a brainiac. Absorb every fiber of his being.

Know your Creator. By knowing your Creator, and following His guidance, you will fulfill achievement in the pursuit of your dreams. Always, always say your prayers!

At the age of 3 you have already learned how to create happiness by receiving and giving unconditional love to everyone you come in contact with. My heartfelt wish for you is that it continues every day of your life.

Love, Grammy Dawn (a/k/a Meechie)

 

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The Positive Flavor of Words (by DancingDolphins)

Words such as “rise,” “flourish,” “grow,” “shoot up,” “spring forth” have such a positive ring around them that anyone can imagine the action rather than the mere inflexion of the word. Some of the words in the English lexicon are such positively-flavored words that using them really helps one feel the positive vibe or positive feel of such words.

Some other words are “pristine,” “clear,” – these reek of such pure vibes that one feels their pull and can have a visual picture before their eyes when these words are uttered.

Do you agree?

http://dancingdollfins.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/the-positive-flavor-of-words/

To Your Total Health!

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encourage your stories and insights about Health and Healing Better Endings this week. What are some of your best health & healing tips? I have already spotted a couple of blogs to share some re-posts from this week, as several of you have blogs or websites in this area and have greater knowledge and experience than I do in this domain.

We can define Health as whatever your current Body-Emotion-Mind-Spirit condition just IS; from this perspective we all “have” our Health, so what matters in terms of Better Endings is what we do with or about our current state of Total Health, which we can define as our degree of Body-Emotion-Mind-Spirit “wellness”. Wellness is a subjective matter, and someone might have a physical illness requiring medical care, yet they might practice mental, emotional or spiritual activities which raise their level of general wellness to a high degree.

You might start reflecting  on your Total Health by filling in percentages or maybe adjectives (or pictures) for each of the quadrants in the Medicine Wheel image below. For example, you might rate your sense of wellness for each quadrant.

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When I do this reflection, I see what areas could use a boost. “Body” comes out weakest in my personal wellness scale right now, because I have not been getting enough physical exercise. Of course, all of these aspects of our Total Health system are interdependent. That means a less than well condition in any one of these quadrants of the Medicine Wheel might affect the others. However, this also means you can ‘borrow’ or apply strengths from a “more well” aspect to help you to improve the other aspects of your Total Health. So, for instance, last week I started feeling like I might be losing a battle with my immunity to cold germs I am often exposed to where I work. So I did a spiritual contemplation which resulted in my choosing to go to the gym (after 2 months without going) and I added more fresh veggies and certain vitamins. So far, I have withstood breaking out with a cold, but more than that, I have been contemplating more deeply, too.

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All components of your Body-Emotion-Mind-Spirit Total Health are interconnected. Each aspect is an important source of Life Energy, experience, and expression.

Salute a te!

Your Significant Life Events

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You are the key protagonist of your Life Story. Contemporary cognitive scientists say there is an adaptive psychological need for a human being to mentally and emotionally construct a “coherent self,” one that undergoes a series of holistically interwoven experiences which we can call your Significant Life Events, or SLE’s. We recall these significant events situationally. That means we each recognize specific KINDS of events in our lives that have played important roles in our Life Story. This varies from person to person. While Family events might be paramount for one person,Work or Spirituality, or Relationships, or Health might be more central for somebody else. We all recognize several of these categories or kinds of significant events in our lives. They overlap. Some situations tend to lift us Up, others might hold us Down, and still other kinds of situations that recur in our lives may help us to maintain a welcome balance from day to day.

Next week, we will call these KINDS of Significant Life Events your Life Themes. You will discover which Life Themes are present in your life and what sort of patterning or influence they have. This week, let’s set you on your personal adventure with the Life Mapping Activity of the Week (see right sidebar to participate).  In this week’s posts let’s talk about how Significant Life Events can relate to Better Endings.

An SLE is an event or a time frame in your life which has “influenced or shaped the person you have become”. There is no fixed, “correct” or complete number of these events in your life, but any time you reflect back you are likely to recall a sampling of those kinds of events that have been most relevant to you from your current or present perspective. The Life Mapping activity I offer to you this week asks you to make list of at least 12 of these SLE’s. List them in whatever order they come to mind, then you can arrange them chronologically if you like. In my upcoming book and self-help handbook, Life Paths, I will include a set of forms you can use to plot these SLE’s visually, but it is enough this week for you just to list 12 representative events.

Here are some basic questions to get you started in recalling your significant events:

  • What was the earliest life event that you remember? Why or how was it significant in shaping the “person you have become”?
  • What have been some of your “best times” and some of the “worst times” you have known? How have they influenced your choices along the way and who you are today?

In my own life, Significant Life Events have been like punctuation points, where my memory lands when I reflect upon past, present and possible futures. I think of the first lucid dream I had at about 4 years old; it was about a gorilla that follows me into my house and upstairs to where I pretend to be sleeping in my bed while it puts a kitchen knife to my throat and I wake up screaming! Or for a much happier SLE, I recall being Student Director for two plays in high school and how the Director–my favorite English teacher, Mr. Scelsa–inspired me to go to college to become a teacher myself and to study literature, language, drama and philosophy.

All good literature arranges the key characters’ SLE’s to create dramatic, interweaving plot lines. Much of poetry and art figuratively or sometimes even literally freezes or “frames” an SLE sort of experience as a multi-dimensional Moment.

I invite you to list at least 12 SLE’s this week as an entry to reconstructing your own personal dramatic narrative. Yet, I encourage you to approach this rather lightly–as a fun, creative process rather than as a challenging task. Please, do go lightly. You only need to scratch the surface at this stage in order to “round up” a basic sampling of your significant, life shaping memories. Later I will help you to discover how each of these memories, no matter how happy or sad, has allowed you to develop the repertoire of Strengths you now possess. These are Strengths you can use to forge ahead in creating, yes, your own Better Endings.

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Please, if you enjoy this, SHARE it with your Friends and Follow this site to receive daily Better Endings posts by simply registering your email address in the Follow box. You can participate by sharing your Comments below, and by submitting a Guest Blog (‘What Do Better Endings Mean in Your Life?’) or a Story of the Week about our weekly (any weekly) topic.

What Do Better Endings Mean to Me? by Catherine Williams

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“Better Endings” means that in the past, I would have had some control over the outcomes of events in my life. Many things turned out to be unhappier than I had hoped.  If I were to rewrite some of my personal history, with better endings, I certainly would NOT be where I am now.  Since this is an imaginary rewrite, however, it might be fun to win all the lotteries, get all the Knights in Shining Armor, eat everything I want and wind up with a drop dead gorgeous figure, sin and still get to heaven, grow wise but not old, have lots of money without painful labor, and achieve enlightenment without any personal effort!

If I were to write a better ending for America, I would first state a caveat…I don’t want America to end! But a better ending to our present drama would include that our leaders were actually inspired to LEAD in a way that enhances the quality of life for all citizens.  It would mean developing a culture that has value for personal responsibility, bodily health, pursuit of spiritual evolution and pride for the strength, intelligence and productivity of all Americans.  If we were competing in a global market with people who were healthy, strong, fit, well educated, had high moral values, who loved each other and treated all with dignity and respect, then I think we would truly be worthy of competition amongst other nations.  That might be a better ending…or beginning!

Catherine Williams is a Certified Natural Vision Coach, a Doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy and a Cosmetologist and Salon Owner.  She operates her various businesses­­ from her home in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and can be reached at The Wave Salon at 719-380-0735. 

To contact Catherine for natural vision therapy, go to www.ReverseTheBlur.com

 

Weekly List: Relationship Changes (Better Endings practice prompts)

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The following is a list of situations you might write, talk, or contemplate about with respect to our Weekly Topic of Relationship Changes. How might you envision, or re-vision, a Better Ending scenario for one or more of these types of situations? Enjoy!

  • a wedding
  • a divorce
  • a planned separation
  • a shared vacation
  • working together
  • employment shifts within the family
  • new parenthood
  • adoption
  • elder care / caring for an aging parent
  • caring for an ill or disabled family member
  • retirement
  • coping with death and dying

Feel free to Comment or add topics to our list. You may share your practice journaling or stories here by submitting a story of the week. You may also receive a Guest Blog post by answering: “What is an example of a Better ending from my life?”

You may FOLLOW this site to receive daily Better Endings posts by email. Simply type in your email address in the FOLLOW box.

Also if you enjoy this site activity, please Like this site and Share it with your Friends! The more the merrier for comments and stories!