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Metaphors - Journaling Tool

Life is all about relationships. As we relate to one person or thing, we relate in similar ways to others.

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” – Wayne Dyer

Our thinking tends to get stuck in familiar patterns. When a topic comes up, we usually go through the same thinking process. That’s why it is so hard to identify the deeply ingrained beliefs in our subconscious mind. Like lateral thinking, metaphors help us find new perspectives and solutions. How? Metaphors can take us to safe territory where we feel free to express ourselves without risk.

For example, when you want to explore an issue of importance to you, if you approach it directly, the same old reactive stuff will come up. Instead, use an indirect or metaphoric route. Pick the metaphor intuitively. If you are working on a relationship with a person, write about your relationship with your car or about the interaction between sunlight and a breeze. If conflict is an issue, you might write about insects in battle. Make up the scenario – use your imagination – and write in detail about all its aspects. When the interaction is complete, review what you have written to find meaning for your own situation.

As we write metaphorically about anger, love or relationship, we are writing from our own inner and deeper thoughts about these topics. It doesn’t matter who is playing them out. But by working through an emotion with a new character or metaphor, we tend to be more open in the words we use. The distance and safety of the metaphor helps us let go, become more creative, and trust the thoughts that come up. Our own reactions, attachments and addictions take a back seat. As a result we can fathom more of the beliefs and illusions of our subconscious mind.

EXERCISES

Getting started:

  • Use a car as a metaphor to get new perspectives on your body. They are both vehicles. First, just focus on your car. Write about its power, condition, efficiency, colour, functionality, options, reliability, age, vitality, etc. Then relate each of the descriptive terms to your physical body. What insights or conclusions can you draw?

Go deeper:

  • Pick a topic or situation about which you want more resolution or healing. Then intuitively pick the metaphor. Trust that the first thing that comes to your mind will be the best metaphor to work with. It can be anything. Write for 5 to10 minutes about your metaphor and then do your summary.

Reach higher:

  • Intuitively pick an animal (not a pet) or plant. Now write a page about the life of that animal or plant. When you’re finished, read it over and make notes on the similarities and insights about your life and purpose.

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