Wending Your Way

airplane_train_boat

My own primary Life Themes (as an example) are Education, Spirituality, Family, Friends, Pets, Writing, Travel, and Romance.  All of my significant “shaping” events represent one or more of these Themes.  These Themes have had rather distinctive trends and they have had quite different sorts of impacts on my life.  Education has had a progressive,’ ramp-like pattern, creating a very gradual incline.  I have experienced spirituality by a sequence of plateaus, step by step and with wider and longer plateaus along the way. Friendship has generally been more like a rising slope to a steady table for each relationship, though there have been a couple of major dips or blockages. Romance…well, let’s say that went through a rather Up and Down, roller coaster sort of pattern until it flatlined several years ago, though on a positive note. Pets are almost always a strong and positive influence, with dips when their shorter life span takes them, ever too soon.  Travel is always a lifting factor, no matter what else is going on. It brings forth my Idealism and my ambition to forge new pathways; to reach for distant horizons and to realize my dreams.

sivuch2625-120813-timo5

How about you? If you were to draw the trend or pattern of each of your primary Life Themes, what tendencies and impacts does each one weave? Do some Life Themes tend to lift you higher while others hold you back or keep you ‘down’ in some respect? Do you tend to shift to one or another of these thematic threads unconsciously to negotiate the ups and downs of your life? I invite you to sketch these patterns out; you can use different colored pencils or  crayons for each Life Theme trend or pattern. If you show each one chronologically from birth til now, you can see how their different patterns overlap or relate to each other. I encourage you also to write about these trends and about how you are impacted by your particular combination of recurring kinds of situations in your life.

sivuch2984-2-120813-timo5

One life mapper I have interviewed—I’ll call him Scott—went through a rocky period of trying to establish himself in a sales clerk career, only to gain and then lose several jobs. Every time he would lose one position, he would look for work further away from home and then he would move to take the new job; only to lose that job too.  Then he would move back to his home town in defeat.  Travel was Scott’s attempt to jump-start his work life, but he described his losses as arriving at “no pot of gold”.

marathon_runner_low_angle

For everyone, Life Themes form dramatic arcs in our life. They set the stage for our most dramatic moments; our successes or losses, our sorrows and our joys. They bring variety to our lives, the “spice of life”.

I encourage you to take some time to explore and reflect on how your own Life Themes have impacted you or how they help you to express your sense of identity and your feelings, motivations and attitudes. How do they affect your Life Goals?

******   ******

I always welcome YOUR insights and stories!

Stay tuned Sunday for next week’s topic: Your Turning Points!

Your Origin Story

[Welcome to Better Endings for Life Paths. I invite you to visit the Weekly Topics page to see the series of Life Mapping topics and tools we will be engaging here. I will introduce a topic on Sunday, then present the weekly activity tool on Tuesday, then entertain further discussion and share responses to the life mapping practices on Fridays. You are welcome to share your Comments, insights and stories at any time. Feel free to review earlier weekly topics and tools in order to practice the sequence of Life Mapping activities you can sample with this site. Better Endings to You!- Linda Watts]

Cave on the Hiking Trail Eifelsteig

As a cultural anthropologist, I am quite familiar with Origin Tales. Every cultural group has an Origin Story in the form of a cultural legend or “Creation Story” that serves to define where they “came from” as a People and what their Core Beliefs and Values are all about. The Navajo (Dine) Peoples, for example, tell of emerging from underground worlds and that their Holy Ones (Yei Bichaii) built their Creation Hogan within the protection of four sacred mountains. This sacred geography is their Dinetah, their sacred Place.

 

Individuals also have Origin Stories. Where do you begin to tell the dramatic story of your own Life History?  Our lives are MYTHIC; they are the very stuff that Myths are made of (and vice versa). Therefore, as you embark on a Life Mapping adventure, a Quest of self-discovery that can help you to define or to reclaim and manifest your Life Dream, it is important to begin by expressing your Origin Tale. You may use the weekly Life Mapping Tool shown in the right panel.  I encourage you to journal or to actively think about or contemplate, or discuss with a loved one about your OWN Origin Story. You may do this by simply completing the following prompt:

I AM WHO I AM TODAY BECAUSE: …

 cartoonish_character_2008013292-1113int.eps

When I looked up “origin stories” online yesterday, I found an interesting, quite different twist on this universal idea.  Many of the online accounts I found refer to Origin Stories of popular Superhero figures, like Superman, Spiderman, the Green Lantern or Captain Marvel (see the Weekly Quote in the bottom panel, below).  This has a lot of relevance for Life Path Mapping, because this approach will equip you to regard and to celebrate yourself as a heroic protagonist in your own Life Story!

cartoonish_character_2008013293-1113int.eps

What special powers did you attain because of your Origin Tale? Are you ready to release and nurture your unique insights and talents for the betterment of yourself and the world at large? Your unique Life Story has brought you to your vantage point in this Present Moment. From here you can go forward to Realize Your Dream. But first, you must reflect on the journey you have travelled to Here, in order to recover your Strengths.

Stone Age Artifact

The Life Maps Process, which I am inviting you to sample over the next six months with this blog, is a Rites of Passage journey. Rites of passage universally include three stages: Separation, Transition, and Reintegration.  Telling Your own Origin Tale is a rite of Separation; it helps to lift you from your daily routine so you can look back upon your life. It is the beginning of a “time out” of sorts, an opportunity for self-reflection.

3243-1013-B0674

So start a Life Mapping Journal, as you please, which may be in the form of a record of your contemplation, dreaming, and/or active imagination experiences as you engage with some Life Mapping tools. And please, you may begin by taking time out to reflect:

I AM WHO I AM TODAY BECAUSE …

What insights open to you about who you are as an Epic Adventurer based on YOUR Origin Story?

******   ******

inkwell-with-feather-pen-md

I welcome your insights, Comments and stories. I will share your insights if you wish for me to (use Comments or see Share Your Story tab), or you can send your insights privately (see Contact tab).