Exploring your life’s work from a collective perspective
This lifemap scenario is for people who are adapting their lives to be more sustainable and modest and who would like to engage in an inquiry into new areas of awareness. From what each of us sees happening, we will jointly reflect about the impact of the current social behaviours in multi-stakeholder collaboration in the Western culture. Using a visual overview of each person’s life on the poster, we will gather ideas on how to cope in our own environment. Following this we will evaluate principles and practices, originated in recent works about economy, sustainability, ecology and community-oriented business models for the same purpose. As it is one of the key themes underlying all of this we will endeavour to re-think the concept of collective interest from the perspective of the individual.
The image shows the lifemap building blocks
A lifemap scenario and workshop for a self-chosen group of four. Each group member works with the lifemap building blocks shown in the image: the compass poster or life’s path poster, life’s work, organising and pattern stickers. The sticker sheet with the symbols is not depicted, but it is included in the lifemap package.
The overarching goal for this lifemap scenario
The aim of this scenario is for us, people in wealthy countries, especially those in the West, to open up to the concept of collective interest by engaging in a process of self-reflection and joint inquiry.
For people who want to find new steps on the journey to live Humanity’s Code of Care
Seeing your life’s work as a whole. Re-experiencing what made meaning and gave you fulfilment. Consider your life’s work to encompass your whole life: your jobs and voluntary work, your relations, your attitude and behaviour, your deeds, thoughts and longings. You’ll map your course of life in the past and the now. Which areas gave meaning to your life? Which areas represent situations in which you felt fulfilled and happy? You’ll add symbols to the map next to life themes which made you experience this. Re-living these situations is a choice for acknowledgement. Expressing gratitude is an essential reinforcer for the future.
Bringing experiences together and embracing the fulness. After the individual mapping their is a round of storytelling. Just as it makes sense in a cooperation to bring in all talents instead of just make a selection, it makes sense to collect the whole richness of experiences. This fills the center in the group circle with authentic pieces of reality and it leads to a fruitful conversation.
Creating the right conditions for a formative exchange. Each participant in the workshop shares their high- and lowlights, the others listen deeply. No comments, no judgement, just attention. This creates an atmosphere of connection and involvement and sets the right conditions for a constructive exchange about social and societal patterns. People are asked to voice what they wish to talk about from their story, so the converation will be reality-based and grounded.
Developing future orientation is a key capacity. The organising stickers are a collection which was created for the purpose of expanding our scope to include statements that give substance to aspects of Humanity’s Code of Care that are not considered much or overlooked. It is an eclectic collection, which will be constantly updated to be of service to inspire renewal of our views. Individually, people add their choice of statements of relevance and meaning and add those to the themes for the future on the poster. This creates a view of what is important for you in the future. A short round of storytelling follows in which the participants share what and how they would like their future to be. Imagination and visualisation are powerful tools for creation. This counts not only for a work of art but also for your life. It will prove really worth your while to practice to look around and forward, now and then, especially in our time in which every day seems to be loaded to the brim with whatever is asking for our attention.
Consciously creating your personal compass helps to make decisions. A compass shows you directions. When creating your next step is concerned, knowing both where you are and who you are is crucial to make an informed decision. The filled-in poster is in fact a map, a compass complements it. What are the paths you are envisioning for yourself? What is your job? A round of exchange follows in which participants give words to what is shown on their map for the future. After each story the others will give feedback and ask questions, not with the aim to discuss these, but just as information for the storyteller.
Some time after the workshop the group convenes again. The leading question for this meeting will be: What have we learned about that which is of collective interest?
A workshop programme with an alternation of individual mapping and group exchange works well for this lifemap scenario, possibly with time in between to let things sink in. This makes it suitable to be hosted online, through Zoom. A quiet and harmonious environment, such as at home, is ideal while filling in the poster. After the mapping people come together as a group to exchange what they have experienced. Without discussion, only listening profoundly and giving feedback in the form of positive reinforcement and open questions. Another round of individual work follows, after which the group convenes again to explore how they relate to the societal behaviour patterns. A third round of individual mapping invites people to reflect about the statements on the organising stickers. A group exchange of experiences is followed by an open dialogue about adopting one of more new ideas and how to make those a part of everyday life. An indication for the duration of the programme could be six hours of self-motivation, spread over several days and three rounds of exchange of 2 – 3 hours each.
Personal safety and privacy
How the built-in lifemap process facilitates a safe environment for sharing and how personal information is protected during the workshop will be discussed in advance.