On Wednesday, we launched Cohort 3 of our Flourishing for Veterans program (sponsored by Capitol Post and formally known as RESET). This program for veterans and spouses in transition awakens participants to their unique values and purpose in the world.
Instead of regular introductions, I ask the cohort to share a metaphor describing where they feel they are in their life journeys. Through metaphor, people share intimate emotions with a group of strangers.
In one of our cohorts, a veteran shared that he feels like he is at the bottom of a well, and every time he tries to climb out, the well gets deeper and deeper. Another shared that he feels like he is in an airplane, circling around trying to find a good place to land before the fuel runs out. These powerful metaphors help connect the group with each other and set the tone for a vulnerable and courageous conversation.
If I were to ask you to share a metaphor of where you are in your life journey, what would you say?
- Are you in a race and hitting your stride?
- Are you stuck in quicksand?
- Are you a puppy dog chasing butterflies?
Take a few moments to consider your metaphor. Once you land on one, sit with that for a bit.
- How does it feel?
- What do you like about it?
- What do you wish were different?
- What would need to change in the image for you to feel more at peace?
When thinking through your answers, try to keep your conversation in images. Image is the root of imagination. When we think in imagery, our creative minds take the helm. Especially when we feel stuck, we've likely exhausted our left brain gifts of reasoning, logic and analytic thought to find a way forward. If we let our right brain play for a while, we tap into intuition and creativity to think differently.
You can use metaphor for opening your team at work: "Let's start today's meeting with a metaphor that describes how you think we're doing in the marketplace." You can use it with your partner at dinner: "What's a metaphor that describes how you want to grow our relationship this year." You can use it with yourself in reflection: "What's a metaphor that describes my ideal self?"
Are You Ready to Unfold?
Our Flourishing Workshop Series helps you tap into that creative piece of yourself to construct a fulfilling and meaningful life. The program helps you uncover your values and increases your understanding of your unique offering to the world. If you're ready to examine who you are, what you stand for, and how you want to show up in the world, it's time to take action.
"The program was life changing." - Amy Rutherford