The Map: Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be!
Updated: December 30, 2010
Close your eyes for a moment and ask yourself, “Where am I now?” Let go of the literal, left brained part of you that wants say that you’re sitting at your computer reading this blog. Instead, quiet your mind and let your intuition speak to you. Picture a landscape. What’s it like? What’s going on around you?
I don’t know about you, but I’m standing with my nose against a bookstore window and brimming with excitement for my latest book, The Map: Finding the Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life, to hit the shelves on January 15! Just kidding, though I am beyond excited for the release of The Map and to hear what you think of it. I’ve decided to start blogging about the concepts in the book weeks in advance! In my last blog, The Map: Find the Magic and Meaning in Your Life, I introduced you to the power of working with your “life map” to co-create a life of more magic and meaning. Today, we’re going to touch on some of the amazing tools in the book and look at the power of the landscapes you inhabit on your path.
So, back to the question—where are you? While you may indeed be sitting at your computer in your office or bedroom, you’re also somewhere else. Inside all of us are psychological landscapes created by our feelings and thoughts—the Storm Fields we inhabit when we feel like we’re under attack, the Immovable Mountain we get stuck at when we aren’t sure what to do next, or the Sticky Swamp we become wedged in when we’re overwhelmed by our obligations. Beyond our local physical reality, our minds are the key player in telling us where we are, when we are, and who we’re listening to. It’s our inner landscapes—our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs—that ultimately shape our external reality. And, when we know where we are and have been, we have the incredible power to direct where we want to go next.
As soon as you discover where you are in a given moment or situation, you tap into your powers of detachment and observation. You see that where you are isn’t the sum of who you are—you aren’t your experiences or frustrating situations. You are simply where you perceive yourself to be. Your mind is wired to look through a filter and to apply your experiences from the past to the present and future. We all look for evidence of what we unconsciously perceive to be true, and as a result, get stuck in hidden patterns that are hard to break. So many of us end up sleepwalking through life, wondering why we end up “attracting” the same unavailable partners or dead end jobs. Our egos are actually trying to protect us with conclusions based on past experiences, but those patterns of the past no longer serve us today. We can wake up when we become familiar with the inner landscapes on our Map!
The only way to see yourself clearly is to step back from your experience and notice what you’re doing to yourself. It’s not anything outside of you, but your mind that is transporting you to Codependent Land or the Storm Fields. When you become familiar with the inner landscapes you’ve traversed, you can detach from what is happening on the outside and create real change from the inside. Yes, sometimes it is hard to face what we might discover within, for we all have “stuff” which is at times ugly. But, Spirit is always by your side, reminding you that you are to love yourself no matter what, just as you’re already loved unconditionally by Spirit. With compassion and detachment, you see that wherever you are is only temporary; you awaken to the power of your soul, which then reveals the hidden treasures of your experiences and points the way to whatever land you wish to visit next.
We all have a reliable compass that we can consult at any point on our journey of life. And, it’s not weighing our options over and over or asking others for advice, as most of us have done for direction time and again! Our analytical ego minds can be helpful but we limit ourselves if it’s our only guidance tool. After all, we don’t have the logical capacity to understand everything that happens in our lives. (Many of us have tried to get through a situation using logic and only ended up frustrated and more confused!) Yet, by surrendering and looking to our most dependable compass—Spirit—we have the extraordinary power to shape our ultimate destiny. When we use archetypes of places to metaphorically describe our inner experiences, we reclaim our scared relationship to the natural world that surrounds us and that we’re part of. We strengthen our connection with the All that Is, the omnipresent energy that illumines our path and through which we experience ourselves. At any moment and in any landscape, we can turn to Spirit to guide us and orient us on our Map. All we need to do is be still and go within, and we can connect with the All That Is to light the way. It’s our personal GPS!
Remember, your adventure is always taking place behind the lens you’re looking through. Step back and trust that Spirit is there to fill you with compassion for yourself and give you courage to see what you need to see as you move along your path.
Where are you now? Take out your journal and write down a brief factual narrative of whatever is going on in your life right now. Feel free to focus on one area, such as your career, health, or a relationship, or look at your life as a whole. Explain what’s happening, the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing, and your emotional responses to what’s happening.
After looking over what you’ve written, close your eyes and imagine the emotions you’re feeling about your experience as a landscape. What’s this land like? What’s happening? Interact with your landscape and see yourself walking around.
Next, imagine a way out to a sanctuary. Remember, you always have Spirit to guide you. Where are you being nudged to go? What’s your special sanctuary like?
Open your eyes. This sanctuary is now firmly marked on your map, and you can return to it any time to re-orient yourself!
Finally, take a few minutes to connect with your intuition—does Spirit have any messages for you about what you need to do from within to better navigate whatever is going on in your life? Write down whatever comes to mind in your journal.
Here’s a short example of the exercise to help you along:
Beth has been unemployed for a year and wasn’t sure what to do next. Here’s what she wrote:
I’ve been unemployed for a year and keep applying for jobs and networking, but I’m not having any luck. No one is hiring. I’m frustrated, hopeless, stuck, and don’t think it’s worth even applying for more jobs. I’m wandering in a dry desert with no where to hide, without water or shelter, and unsure where to go to find what I need.
I wander around, and with a flash, I’m swallowed by the earth. At first, I fight it and try to get back to the barren desert, but then I grow tired and decided to surrender. In that moment of surrender, I fly over a cliff and suddenly plummet into a deep valley full of vegetation and new life. The sun is shinning, the grass is growing tall, and the trees are dancing in the wind.
I’d love to hear what you think about the power of where and the exercise! Please share your thoughts!
In service and love,
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