Resolutely for the new year

Here goes 2009…

I don’t exactly know what makes me cringe at the passage of time these days! It seems we just counted the 12 strokes to the new Millenium but here we are January 2009! I am no longer 20, or 30 or even 40, and therefore it is considered normal to feel that time moves quicker. After all they say it is downhill from here and we all know that objects gather speed when they travel in such a direction. PS I’m not waxing pessimistic even if it sounds that way!

To pause the clock and freeze frame life’s fleeting impressions I like to jog my memory at this time of year by first taking stock of what the previous year was about and then think ahead for the months to come. To do so I need quiet time alone to reflect and go over what was,  remember the themes and events and weigh the pros and cons of the last 12 months. I usually write these down using a very interesting tool and process I discovered many years ago. It is called mind-mapping.

What is mind mapping?

It is a way of organizing information visually. It provides a way of expanding on ideas, of documenting a process and the ramification of decisions; of deconstructing complex issues, events or organizing the pieces of a puzzle into a comprehensive whole. I use it to review my year, map my decisions, projects and events before testing new ideas and directions. It also provides a means of seeing the omissions or lack of engagement with various  aspects of one’s life. Taking care of health for example or time for the fun things, travel, friends and time of the dreams that are too often forgotten in the course of living . These can be purposefully added as items to not forget.

I also use mind-maps as tools in therapy with higher functioning teens to help them make sense of complex issues, explore possible avenues of change, or simply document aspects of their life. I use mind-maps with my interns to help them map complex patient histories and also to plan and revise treatment decisions. Mind-maps provide concrete documents useful to help stay on track, revise or review a course of action or map out a new one. If done yearly, reviewing the previous year’s version is usually quite enlightening.

What did I see when doing mine?

  • that my year was mainly about two things 1) work and work related projects and 2) art making (a decision made the preceding year)…good for me!!
  • What was missing: taking more time for …yes you’ve guest it: friends and outings
  • Decisions for this year:  balancing my time away from work, planning monthly pauses and outings, moving to a house with a dedicated studio AND taking my art seriously (meaning exhibitions and public presence).

Mind-map tools

Don’t need to be complicated. A simple pencil and paper will do the trick. However adding color and even drawing to delineate the different categories can enliven the visual map and make connections more visible. If you prefer there are a number of software companies that offer interesting solutions (such as Inspiration, MindJetSmartDraw or IMindMap) but also a number of online versions (MindMeister or Mindomo for example) or downloadable solutions such as c-maps that are also free. Mind-maps are also known as concept-maps, heuristic maps, or cognitive maps.

Vision boards and other tools

Do you have your own ritual?  Do you make what is now well-known as vision boards (thanks to John Assarf, Jack Canfield and the Secret) ? A vision board is focused on the future. In reality it’s a collage; one that is not concerned with the aesthetics of the visuals but instead is used as a visual document meant to focus and trigger goal directed thinking and action.  The images are chosen to represent what is wished for during the coming year or years.  Click on vision board above for a How-to.

What is your own personal way of making sense of events and fleeting time in your life? Tell us what you do to end the year and prepare for the next. Or perhaps you don’t… then why not?

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Catégorisé dans Thérapie.

Publié le 04 jan 2009

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2 commentaires à Resolutely for the new year

  1. Marie-Gabrielle
    Le 5 jan 2009 à 11:21

    Très inspirant!! L’une de mes résolutions pour 2009 serait d’aller voir tes expos Francine! Je reste pluguée sur ton blogue pour en savoir plus! Bonne année!

  2. Francine
    Le 24 fév 2009 à 13:28

    Je ne pourrai plus faire autrement que tenir ma promesse. Comme les présentations en gallerie tardent et prennent plus de temps à organiser, j’ai pensé exposer (m’exposer artistiquement) sur ce blogue. Je pense à une gallerie web éventuellement qui parlera de mon propre processus de création et des oeuvres qui en découlent.