Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mind mapping-Get your Head around it

I was recently reminded of the process called Mind Mapping. I had done one or two mind maps in the past, specifically related to my business, but not since. It was pointed out that the mind map can be used for all sorts of problems, situations and dilemmas, not just business.
The mind map is an alternative to the list, and allows a greater free flow of ideas without classifying them in any good or bad groups.

How it works is: take a piece of paper, and in the middle of the page you put your situation (eg. Wedding, divorce, kids education, hate my job, holiday, writing a book), with a little cloud drawn around it. From there you put down all the thoughts that come to you about your topic. Some will be about the practical implications, and some may be about the emotional, people effected, possible problems. You will find that they take on a certain order, as your thoughts run in a line, which link ideas together, or in a different area.

The mind map allows you to release a jumble of ideas, and see them before you. You should be able to see a trend, what areas of the situation are most pressing, or help you to set a plan of action. It is very cathartic, and totally helpful.
Having just been reminded about the mind map, my ex husband had an accident. The implications were a bit scary. Also my son quickly accused me of not caring, as he looked to me to discover how to respond to the news, how to feel. I really wasn't sure how I felt. So I did a mind map of the situation. Wow. I had nearly fifty entries of possible outcomes, effects, fears, worries and sympathy. It really helped to see how much there was to be concerned over, and I felt justified in feeling a bit frightened. I also could tell my son exactly what I felt, having got my head around it, and was able to help him with his feelings, too, since he didn't have the benefit of the mind map!

There wasn't anything too positive I had written on the
page, which is unusual for me. But after 45 entries I suddenly realised something reassuring. We would be alright, whatever happened, or how things changed, we would work it out. And that is what I told my son.

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