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Top Down, Bottom Up Connections

As we evolve, we connect more consciously with values, ideas, ideals, intuition, energies, archetypes and higher guidance. We are challenged to ground these higher abstract, conceptual and symbolic energies into our daily activities and interactions.

We do this different ways. Some minds work best with a top down approach (working with and grounding concepts) while some work better from the bottom up (creativity and synthesis of details).

This tool facilitates both top down and bottom up thinking. It can help you see how concepts and activities interrelate. You may also see gaps in your thinking and processing that needs attention.

There are no hard, fixed rules to this tool. Indeed, there can’t be any when we are dealing with higher, more universal and impersonal realms.

Top down exploration of any situation or issue in your life:

At the top of a blank page in your journal, write horizontally across the page your top 3 or 4 values – the qualities that are most important to you.

About a quarter of the way down the page write horizontally across the page 4 to 6 words that reflect your ideals, goals, dreams or targets relative to this situation.

About half way down the page, write 5 to 7 specific activities, projects, events, challenges, tensions or tasks that you are working on.

About three quarters down the page, write 6 to 9 words that reflect any details relative to your focus.

Look over the page and draw lines to link the words from the different levels that are interconnected. See any gaps that need filling? See what can be added to enhance and strengthen the whole picture? Jot down any insights or ideas that come to mind when you ponder the interrelationships between these words.

Again there are no hard and fast rules here. The key is to create distinctions and connections of higher level motives, meanings and values with mid level goals, projects and activities with more finite steps and actions.

Good luck as your merge the bigger picture of your life with your daily activities.

Bottom up exploration of any situation or issue in your life:

If you prefer to start with the details, then work through the above process in the reverse order.

EXERCISES:

Getting started: Gain an overview of your life

Top row: Write the top 3 or 4 qualities you most want in your life.
Second row: Write 4 to 6 words that reflect the aspects of your life that are of top priority, e.g. relationships, health, career, service, recreation, etc.
Third row: Write 5 to 7 specific activities, projects or tasks that you are working on.
Bottom row: Write 6 to 9 words that reflect where you typically spend your time.

Go deeper: Assess an important relationship

Top row: Write the top 3 or 4 qualities you most want expressed in this relationship.
Second row: Write 4 to 6 words that reflect your ideals, goals, dreams or targets relative to this relationship.
Third row: Write 5 to 7 specific activities, encounters, challenges, tensions, gifts, etc. that characterize this relationship now.
Bottom row: Write 6 to 9 words that give details or examples of your present interactions.

Reach higher: Bring a dream to life

Top row: Write the top 3 or 4 qualities that represent the essence of your dream or goal.
Second row: Write 4 to 6 words that reflect the ideal characteristics of this dream.
Third row: Write 5 to 7 specific plans, activities, hurdles, needs, etc. that need to be addressed.
Bottom row: Write 6 to 9 words that detail what you can do right now to get the process going.


Check out our other many Personal Growth Resources.



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