Thursday, February 21, 2013

A New Tool - 2...{Finding Sanctuary}

Because we are talking about "maps" today!  Photo credit

 Today we will be exploring a tool that will help us define “where we are” and “where this journey might take us”.

To start any quest, we must determine where we are…and that becomes the starting point.  To even take one step, we need to have an idea about where it is that we will be going to.  That place will be determined by the topic you chose from the previous post.  These destinations are already inside of you – your longings, your dreams, your thinking, your emotions, and the gentle leadings of the Holy Spirit have been whispering to you.  This is how it begins in me as well.

Since it is sometimes hard to grasp hold of these whispers, to hear them clearly, and to discover how some of the seemingly unrelated ones connect to others, I will walk you through a wonderful technique names {appropriately!} “mind-mapping”.  It is a tool that is useful in counseling and in business strategy as it helps individuals (or corporations) to discover connections to old patterns and creative innovations simultaneously.  Think of this as a brainstorming exercise; the capturing  of a myriad of ideas without filtering or censorship or even without worrying about correct spelling and grammar.  There will be time later to consider what has been revealed.  The only limits in this exercise is the size of your paper and how quickly you can write.  An added benefit is once you have learned this tool, you will be able to apply the technique to any heart issue, subject or endeavor you might want to explore in depth.

You will need a comfortable chair, a sheet of notebook paper (or several), a favorite pen or pencil and about 20 minutes of uninterrupted time.  You can also use a page or two of an art journal if you love using that type of expression.  (This exercise will result in a very visual piece of journaling no matter whether you enjoy journaling with words or pictures more.)  It will be helpful to read through the next section on how to build your mind-map in its entirety before you start.

Ready to begin?   

1.  Draw a circle in the center of the paper and write the topic that you decided upon Tuesday in the circle.  The circle marks your starting point – the mind-map builds from the center out. 

2.  Now, what words come to mind when you consider this topic?  Draw a line from the center circle and write your word on it.  Do this as many times as you need – until you run out of words or you have the idea that you have enough to work with.  It is very common for our brains, normally teeming with words, to go blank as we look at that page with the circle on it.  To get everything rolling again, and using your topic, use the following prompts:
a.       Think about what word/phrase might express the opposite of your topic (antonyms)
b.      What word/phrase might be different, but express the same idea (synonyms)
c.       Is there a person who embodies this topic – write their name
d.      List the ways you personally express the word/phrase.
e.      What do you wish were different from what is currently true about your topic.
f.        What do you believe God says about the topic?
g.       What have you been doing to change that hasn’t worked.
h.      What have you been doing to change that has worked
i.         Are there any new words ideas that you haven’t thought of before?  Write them.
j.        Are there any random thoughts or ideas coming?  Write them as well…
                 you can mark them with a little “r” for random for later consideration.

My first "ring" for my mind-map of the original "Finding Sanctuary" course...notice I didn't write on top of most lines, just made them arrows, and when you see the final view, you can tell that I didn't even make arrows of all the lines...and I'm pretty messy, but that is the beauty of the precise thought, just capturing the mind's threads...also notice I had 12 original threads from the word 'sanctuary'.
3. You may find that you need to expand on some of the first ring of words – or if writing a word results in a new string of ideas, you want to connect those ideas to the word that triggered them.  Simply draw another line from the one you are expanding on and write the new idea/word there.  Do this as many times as you need to follow a thought trail.  Soon you will see a branching pattern emerge.  

Here is a good view of most of my can see all the branching.  You can also see how some branches were running into the branch beside it - no problem, just make another line going in another direction.
Just a close up of how I did the branching - remember there is no "right" or "wrong" - the goal is to get the information out of your mind and onto paper, making note of the connections in this simple way.

We will do more to develop these branches in the next post, but for now we just want to capture what is tumbling about in your brain about the topic you have been lead to…

I'll share my "fear at the root of anger" mind-map, but it turns out that I have two center circles, fear and anger, and I didn't want that to cause confusion for anyone!



Heather Hennick, B.A., RGD, D.T.A.T.I. Artist/Art Psychotherapist said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This is very interesting. At first when I look at it , it really scares me. It looks so complicated and confusing. I understand this is the process. It makes sense but it feels so endless and there is no peace. I suppose from a distance with a squinted eye I can see what is evolving. I like looking at the map from far so that it looks like a fine art mandala creation. I really like the title" finding sanctuary". Thanks for sharing.