"If you make a circle with your thumb and forefinger and hold that circle in front of you and look through it what do you see? Someone sitting beside you doing the same thing will see something different. If you move your hand closer to your eye you will get a different view, the object that filled the circle before is now less significant, just a detail in a bigger picture. Neither is more ‘correct’ than the other, just different."
Using metaphors can be a valuable way of looking beyond the surface and seeing the hidden structure. We can use the patterns from other activities to explore a problem and search for solutions. For example when I am thinking about my poly income (my income from several different sources) I was initially focused on the metaphor of juggling. Not being able to juggle I realised that the metaphor I was using was not helping me to view the benefits of what I was doing and all I was thinking about was dropping balls. So I switched metaphors to something I enjoyed. Firstly I tried a cooking metaphor. I saw how different activities took varying times to prepare and then to ‘cook’. How some things can be prepared in advance, some left on the back burner, and some things need to be taken off the heat occasionally.
This helped me recognise the need for preparation and maximising the use of time in between activities, and not letting things burn by having too much going on. It reminded me that part of abundance thinking is giving thanks, and enjoying the meal is a vital part of the process. I also tried a gardening metaphor to gain insights. Here I saw the benefit of having a healthy soil for any plant to grow in, this led me to prioritising self-care to build my energy for everything I did. I saw that here too there are different timings and growth rates. Linked with abundance thinking I recognised the importance of harvesting yields from my efforts and celebrating them. In the garden, nutrients from one plant can feed another, in my work life, my teaching contributes to my writing and vice versa, increasing the productivity and effectiveness of both. There are many connections between the different things I do and instead of seeing them as isolated parts they came together in a vision of one garden as I explored this metaphor.
While bees have different roles and functions within the hive they all have the same goal in mind of contributing to a healthy colony, while still maintaining freedom of individuals.
Moving to doing is essential on our personal and collective journeys to improving our lives. All the thinking in the world won’t resolve the problems – action is crucial. Our actions can inspire others and demonstrate to the world what is possible.
By not asking for help, the opportunity for someone to give help and feel connected and valued is also lost.
Looby Macnamara wrote:hi Burra,
thanks for the amazing review - please do post it on Amazon (although hoping you brought it from me or from the publishers).
I'm glad it left you grateful not angry!
The second ever 7 Ways To Think Differently course is happening in a few weeks in the UK. Thriving ways webpage
hope to meet you sometime - perhaps there or the IPC