Monday, December 15, 2008

Create a Life Map

3 Simple Steps to Map Out Your Dream Life
by Paige Stapleton and Brian Stark

A Life Map™ is often referred to as a treasure map, vision board, or mind map. However, a Life Map™ takes these traditional tools one-step further by invoking your inner emotions and your feelings to guide you. It is a collage, not of just "things" that you desire, but of your wildest dreams, your deepest desires and your most cherished inner passions.

The purpose of doing your Life Map™ is to explore your heart to find out what is trying to emerge from inside of you and become visible in your life. You can focus on certain areas of your life such as your home, romance, career, wealth or health. Or you can do an overall lifestyle map that encompasses all areas of your life and have a picture of the "feel" you desire for your life.
When you really let your imagination wander, you can make surprising discoveries. And once you get it all out of your imagination and on to your "Map", you have a wonderful visual that you can focus on. When you mix that visual representation of what's in your heart with your emotions and feelings, you begin to move massive amounts of energy behind your Heart's desire, and attracting those desires to you.

Here are 3 simple steps to creating your own Life Map™.

1 - Get ReadyPull together plenty of magazines, newspapers, glue and scissors (and if you like - markers, crayons, glitter, paint, stickers, etc.) and a piece of blank paper - poster board is best. Now, just sit quietly and take a deep cleansing breath. Close your eyes, let go of any tension or stress, and just allow your imagination to open up to the possibilities of your greater life - without any limitations. Allow yourself to let go of expectations you or anyone else has of you.

2 - ExploreNext, put on some fun music that makes you feel good! Begin going through your magazines and newspapers, cutting out anything that moves you - phrases and words that seem to resonant and images that make you say, "Ahhh . . . that's it! That's what I want my life to look like!" You then paste them onto your piece of paper in a way that appeals to you and feels complete. You can add drawings of your own, glitter, stickers - whatever inspires you and makes it more your own. Remember - have FUN!

3 - See it! Feel it! Live it!When you are finished, display your Life Map™ where it can continue to inspire and motivate you. Look at it often and take a few minutes to "feel" what it feels like to have this life you have created.

As you begin to live with these images on a daily basis and experience them with your emotions, you will begin to attract the opportunities for your dream life to become a reality.

We have been teaching Life Map™ workshops for several years, and it is still surprising to see the opportunities that come to people "out of the blue" after making their Life Map™ - like finding the perfect apartment or home they've been looking for, the relationship they had been longing for or new and perfect career opportunities.

When you allow our imagination to run wild without any limits, get that vision down into a concrete form and put your emotions behind it, you open yourself to new possibilities that are even beyond your wildest dreams!
Now go out there and map out your dream life!

We invite you to create your own Life Map™. Set aside a little time this week and really let your imagination run wild. Map out your dream life, put it on your wall, and spend time everyday really feeling the life you have created on your Life Map™ coming to life.

Your Personal Vision, Purpose, and Mission Statement

Identifying Your Strengths

Your vision needs to reflect your strengths and talents. Your strengths and talents are about who you are. What is special about you? What makes you happy? What do you love about yourself? What are you best at?

Complete the following statements about yourself:

My strengths and talents are:__________________________________________________________________



What I believe is special or distinct about me:____________________________________________________



What I love most about myself:________________________________________________________________



Orienting Around Your Integrity

You should place those points of integrity, those principles and values you hold most dear, at the core of your personal vision. Points of integrity are not the principles you think you should hold, instead, they are the principles you already stand for, that give your life and work meaning. Here is a list of words that signify points of integrity:
inner strength

Look at the points of integrity listed above. Pick your top three. If you have one that is not listed, write it in:

1.____________________________ 2.____________________________ 3.____________________________

Using Your Imagination
The next resource that you need in order to create your vision is your creative imagination. The following exercise is designed to stimulate your creativity and expand your awareness of what may be possible for you in your life. Follow the exercise exactly as it is written. You may ask someone to read it to you, while you close your eyes, or tape record your own voice reading the instructions. Give yourself enough time to relax before you begin the exercise. Breathe easily. Then close your eyes and allow the vision to form in your mind. Once you have finished the exercise, take some time and write your impressions below.

Let yourself begin to imagine a picture of your ideal life. If you don’t see a picture, allow a felt sense of your life to come to mind. Start by imaging your life in the future, a year or two from today. As this vision evolves, let it take its own shape and form. What you see may surprise you. It is fine if this happens. Let your imagination work for you here.

See or sense your life as an observer, looking at it from the outside. You may see specifics or just have an overall impression. Either one is fine. Take the time to allow a clear awareness of your future life to occur to you.

In this vision of your life, see that your life flourishes because your true strengths and talents are evident, to yourself and others. Your life allows your strengths and passions to shine through your work. As a result, your life attracts those people you most want to have in your life.

See that your life is based on the most important points of your personal integrity. Allow those points of integrity to be at the core of your visions.

Your life fits within your best understanding of the future, reflects your unique strengths and talents, and is orientated around your points of integrity. As you imagine this vision, let it be big and compelling enough so that you feel very drawn to it. Let your vision encompass all of this, imagining a life that is fulfilling and extremely energizing for you.

Now I want you to experiment seeing or sensing this vision with your eyes open. Open your eyes and still retain a strong awareness of this vision. Now close your eyes and take a better look. This time I want you to walk into the vision and notice how it feels to be inside it. Adapt and adjust anything necessary so that you resonate with the look, feel, and sound of being inside your life.

Notice where you have located this vision in your imagination. Is it out in space, far away from you? To the right or to the left? Is it in your mind’s eye? Imagine relocating it and placing it close to your heart. Notice how it feels to have it at the center of your chest. Hold the vision in your heart. Now open your eyes, still holding it in your heart. This is how it feels to have a vision aligned with your own heart.

Once you complete the visualization, answer the following questions:

What did you see or sense?____________________________________________________________________


What pleases you about this vision?_____________________________________________________________


What disturbs you about this vision?____________________________________________________________


What surprises you about this vision?_______________________________________________

Your Vision Statement
Having a written vision, purpose, and mission statement can keep your life focused. The first part of the statement, the vision statement, is a brief sentence or two at most that sums up what you see as being possible.

Complete the following vision statement:

The vision I see for my future life is:____________________________________________________________



Your Purpose Statement
The purpose statement is a few sentences that speak to who you will need to become to fulfill your vision. You may need to learn some new skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. The purpose statement is a personal-growth component inherent in the vision process. A powerful vision will call you to become more than you are right now.

Complete the following purpose statement:

The changes I will make within myself to fulfill this vision are:_______________________________________



Your Mission Statement
The mission statement is a list of the practical, strategic steps that will take your vision from dream to reality. Those strategic steps should include the ways you wish to have your counselor help you in this process.

Complete the following mission statement:

The specific steps I will take to make this vision a reality are:________________________________________




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