Most people search high and wide for the key to success. If they only knew the key to their dreams lies within.
–George Washington Carver, inventor and educator
Life Mapping is an inner journey and manifestation practice. The key to your ideal lifestyle lies within you. Your vision, your commitment, your ability to adapt to both internal and external challenges, all factor into your ability to live your ideal lifestyle and manifest the life you will love to live right now.
The goal of Life Mapping is to help you clarify your vision, strengthen your commitment and create and respond to the changes that will impact your life. It takes practice to manifest or create all that you want in life.
Life is a journey both literally and metaphorically. We are constantly moving from the thought process to the day-to-day doing. We are constantly changing, adapting, and growing — mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
And we’re traveling our personal highways of life whether we have a map or not. One day dissolves into the next, week after week, month after month. Our lives get lived. And we are making choices all along the way.
With every step, every thought, every action, we are making choices. Some people say they just follow the road wherever it takes them—but even that is a choice.
Life Mapping gives us a more considered direction and helps us make conscious choices about how we navigate our journey and the ability to chart a path to our desired destination.
The Beginning of My Journey
While I was a struggling graduate student in New York City, I saw an ad in the paper for a training manager and a part-time consultant position at an agency that provided management training to nonprofit organizations. I interviewed for the consulting job and became the training manager responsible for planning and coordinating two annual workshop series using volunteer trainers from the business community.
Supporting presenter(s) with their design and creating, copying and collating handouts – in the days before automatic sorters. I spent many evenings reading and hand collating materials for workshops over Chinese take-out and a cold beer.
It was through the Support Center that I met Marie, Executive Director for the New Jersey center, who became my mentor and friend. And through working with her, I consciously began my journey as a consultant.
One day after I’d been working with her for a couple years, Marie and I locked ourselves up in the conference room at the office on a Saturday morning. Our plan was to help each other develop a focus and direction for our personal and professional lives. We were both struggling with how to make our dreams come true.
The fear, discomfort and potential of our situation begged action. So, early that Saturday morning, we gathered ourselves together at the office. The sun brightened the room as we cleared last week’s flip chart paper off the wood-paneled walls in preparation for doing our personal work.
By that time, I had become a full-fledged management consultant freelancing with the agency. With the never-ending energy of youth, I was also working in theatre where I did various jobs from box office to sound and props to producing a late night cabaret.
In addition, I had started working as an artist manager for several emerging artists. So there I was a year after graduate school with lots of ideas, too many projects, no money, and my first long-term relationship, wondering what I wanted to be when I really grew up. I wanted it all. But I wasn’t sure how to get it.
We figured that we ought to be able to translate the approach we used with our clients into a form that would work for us personally. We asked our strategic planning clients to identify their values, envision an ideal future and explore their strengths and weaknesses, and we helped them create strategies to move their organizations towards their vision.
Marie and I asked each other the same questions, articulating our personal visions for the future and looking at the gap between that vision and our current reality.We asked ourselves what was keeping us from having our vision now and developed some beginning strategies to help us reach our goals.
When we left the room that evening, we each had a clear vision and strategies for getting there. This was my first experience with what I now refer to as Life Mapping.
The Process In Action
Life Mapping is a process for manifesting the life you want and figuring out how to live it. Life Mapping is about discovering and rediscovering the things that are most important to you, committing to them (and yourself) and then watching those things manifest as you move on life’s journey and fulfill your commitment to the One who made us all- The Universe, The Creator, The Great Spirit, Mother Earth, The One with Many Names or simply, God.
For the past thirty years, I have been living, modifying, forgetting about and manifesting my Life Map. This synchronicity has been amazing. Even when I thought I’d abandoned pieces of my dream, they later resurfaced—often to my amazement—inspiring renewed focus and commitment. Even when I was unsure, even when I forgot about my dreams, I had set in motion something very powerful that continued to come back to me.
Each year I revisit and update my Life Map as things around me changed and as I changed and evolved. The more I focused on the vision I set, the more things seemed to fall into place creating exactly what I had asked for.
And then I would change my mind or come to realize that I needed something a bit different. It was these detours that have created my real understanding of what gets in the way of my dreams and other people’s dreams.
In that conference room with Marie, we had just scratched the surface of what Life Mapping is and what is really needed for you to manifest your dreams in a way that you can enjoy them. There was a need to go much deeper into the meaning and motivation behind the dream and to clearly articulate and move through all the stuff that confuses our thinking and gets in our way. It has taken twenty years for me to bring Life Mapping to this point and be ready to share it with you.