The earth’s boundaries have become tangible and the journey to a natural world is in fact a transformation which affects everyone and everything. Continuing as we are is not an option. The ball is in our court, in my court. Change starts with self-reflection. Who am I and how do I live as a person, a consumer, a worker, a citizen, a nature-lover? What could I change in my choices and behaviour to live a more environment-friendly life? What changes would suit me well? It is a process, not a one-time thing. Asking yourself those questions provides insight to find the context and the roles which come naturally to you and let you keep your energy high. Lifemaps help to visualise what’s going on, make connections and find new perspective. To choose direction for collaboration, to create a personal compass based on overview and insight, and gather realistic ideas for action.
Lifemaps are an instrument of intuitive self-discovery. The title of a lifemap refers to a scenario about a personal or societal theme or a global issue. Following it people each fill in their own map on a table poster to create an overview of the current reality and the envisioned future. The text and symbol stickers for this contain knowledge on the topic and the poster facilitates the self-searching process. In a lifemap workshop they tell each other the story on their maps and elaborate on it together, in a group dialogue about the here and now and a brainstorm about the future. The Master Code of Care: Taking care of self, others, place and planet is introduced as a guiding principle. The whole experience offers a learning journey, individually and collectively.
Shortly after I ended my career in business and government, I had a burnout. Exhaustion, hypersensitivity. My entire inner system of ideals, willpower, control, amplified by my far-reaching efforts to fit in, was exposed for fundamental reconsideration. Creating the lifemaps helped me to reinvent myself from within my heart and soul. Later, after intensive shadow work and when there was more tranquility, the question arose: how do I view the world now? Where is my place in it? How can I remain positive when conditions of life on earth are deteriorating? What will I do? I created new lifemap scenarios to help chart all this, to reassess my principles and find direction. The 7 keys I discovered on my journey have been embedded in all lifemap building blocks – posters, text stickers and symbol stickers: being yourself, leading a creative life, following your life purpose, responsible business practices, harmonious community, seeing the whole reality and taking care of place and planet.
Throughout the period after my burnout I remained a member of the Integral City core team, even though I couldn’t do very much. In 2020, Marilyn Hamilton, founder of Integral City, and Anne-Marie Voorhoeve, like me a member of the core team, invited me to create lifemaps for the city and the stakeholders. It was perfect timing for me. I had just reached the stage when I had realised the importance for a human being of the physical place to connect with nature. I also had a clear idea of how to translate the Doughnut Economics model to the level of the citizen. Just as it had become clear to me that the city forms an ideal context for societal programmes centring on greening and sustainability. The city taking its example from the beehive – giving and taking in harmony with the natural environment. I decided to make it my mission to elaborate on and to work with the Master Code of Care: Taking care of self, others, place and planet in which all of this comes together.