Do you believe there could be more to life than what you’ve come to expect?
By asking yourself the question, “Where am I right now?” you are really asking, “What state of mind am I in and how could I describe that using the metaphor of a physical place to represent it?”
The method I teach (first introduced in my bestselling book The Map: Finding the Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life) is to describe your state of mind using landscape archetypes.
For example, a building can be a landscape archetype, so you might imagine that when you feel overwhelmed with work and stress you could see yourself in an abandoned warehouse or a factory. If you are feeling obsessed or overwhelmed by circumstances in your life you could imagine that you are in a swamp. If you are peaceful you might say you are sitting beside a calm glassy lake or a placid lake. By describing our emotional state in environmental terms, we have a completely different and interesting metaphoric landscape through which to see ourselves.
One of the advantages of this technique is it reminds us that our landscape is temporary. When we think of where we are only as a state of mind, or emotional state, we think it’s forever, but once you become an observer of a place, you are no longer tied to that place. Because you can leave a place, it’s so much easier to see yourself as a traveler through many destinations and places. There’s always an escape and there’s always another place to visit, and you can realize you have been to other places before.
Let’s explore a new way of looking at our circumstances using the universal symbol of a bird. The earliest peoples drew images on cave walls depicting the bird as representing the transition between the mortal human and the spiritual world because the bird can fly between you and the heavens. Summon a bird, imagine yourself and how you feel as you get on its back and when it takes flight you can see the landscape as much smaller and it gives you immediate relief, and then you can decide. “Would I choose to be here?” No, I would not. Why would I go there? Let’s go somewhere else. You give yourself an opportunity to play a little bit within your own mind-scape.
A big question to ask yourself when you are in any landscape is, “Do I see a home here?” Are you at home in this landscape? For instance, people who tend to become fearful, find themselves at home in a landscape that perpetuates fear. The epiphany for them is they don’t want to be at home there and they don’t realize that they have felt at home there in the past. No one wants to be at home in fear unless they have a neurotic agenda. There are some people who love to feel fear because it takes them out of a numb state of boredom, and those that are unaware that fear is familiar so it somehow makes them feel “normal.”
So ask yourself: Why are you at home here? What does this remind you of? Where else could you go?
When you recognize that you’ve been in that landscape before, you can ask yourself this: “The last time I was here, where did I go next and how did I get myself out of there?” When you realize you were successful in the past, it builds confidence to continue to learn the lessons you need in that landscape and move on to another wonderful place you want to call Home.
There IS more to life than your present landscape. And you never have to be stuck in a place forever. There is always a new place to visit.
Have you been in a landscape that once brought you comfort and now you know it should no longer be Home to you? Love to hear your thoughts or insights in the Comments section below.
In service and love,
Join Panache Desai each weekday morning for support in reconnecting to the wellspring of calm and peace that lives within you and that has the power to counterbalance all of the fear, panic, and uncertainty that currently engulfs the world.
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