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This blog is about---You! Each and every post is about you. Use it to challenge your usual patterns, as a tool for self-discovery, to stimulate your thinking, to learn about yourself and to answer your questions about others.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Reverse Charting

                       How to create your own 'self-help book'.

 Here is a different approach to charting your course. We've been talking about designing Dream Boards and Vision Boards:  These offer a way to make a visual image of what you would like to see manifested in your life.  They can include whatever aspects of life seem important---ambitions, relationships, self-development, career, problem resolutions, wishes---whatever the designer wants to include.  It is an excellent way to focus and clarify your concerns and goals.  In addition to offering a readily available reminder of your goals, holding the image of your vision, actively in your mind, is a way of energizing the possibilities.

Today I am going to share a method I have been using myself for many years.  It is, in a sense, the reverse of what I've described above.  It is a kind of caring for the future in reverse, by documenting and learning from the past.
"Let me listen to me and not to them."  Gertrude Stein
 As I move through my days, doing and being, I read something occasionally that is striking to me. Sometimes another person says something surprising , but meaningful to me.  I may have a dream that conveys a message, important to me.  Something difficult or distressing may happen and I have to think long and hard to come up with how I want to deal with that kind of situation in the future.  Questions come up that I want to ponder.  I come across a new idea that I want to remember.  Maybe I have a personal issue that I am struggling with.

 These and other things that are uniquely pertinent to me, I write down, usually on my calendar.  At the end of each year, I follow a ritual.  The ritual is to go through the entire year and put each note, each little scribble, each scrap of a notion, into my journal.  As a result of following this practice conscientiously for a number of years, I have several self-help books that are  specifically for me, they are Life Guides for Paula.  Sometimes I also put in pictures or my own drawings and I leave a little room between my entries because I really want them each to have a frame of space around them.  They have significance to me.  Mine aren't just a list.

The wonderful thing about such a project, or one of the wonderful things is that, of course, you can lay out your book any way you want.

What I end up with is a special, really deeper recording of my life than just the practice of writing down the events would be.  I have a record of the psychic flow of my inner self.  I also have an opportunity to pick out patterns and
repeated themes which helps me to see my blind spots and points me in my own particular growth direction.  I have a book of inspiration, just for me.  I have a book with guidance that couldn't be a better fit.

"I began to have an idea of my life, not as the slow shaping of achievement to fit my preconceived purposes, but as the gradual discovery and growth of a purpose which I did not know."  Joanna Field
 A Life of One's Own

Do you like the idea of reverse charting?  Did you try it?  Let me know---

Note:  With very few exceptions, the illustrative photographs on my blog are my own.  The one of the path through the trees at the top of this post is not mine and, unfortunately I don't know the photographer's name.

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