Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My mind map

Now I'm not so sure I will show this to V next week. It made a lot of sense to me when I was drawing it. I had these captured images in my head, like snap shots which I needed to put on paper. And I drew it feverishly, as if possessed for over an hour. But my mind was in a different place, on a different plane. I had images and words, not sentences.

Looking at the image now, I can try to explain it, but I'm not sure it fits with what V is really looking for:

Signing the DBT contract is like having a map. It is like a map in an amusement park - where you can figure out where you want to go. Having a map helps us avoid getting lost in the "Lost forest" where we could go around and around certain issues and waste a lot of time. The "Trickster" tree in the middle of the Lost Forest is responsible for leading us astray.

Other key areas on the map and what they mean:

"Kingdom of Evil" (mid-right side): The three words in the horns are some of the worst fears I have, and the entire "kingdom" is a place for me to avoid. Knowing where it is is important because I want to be able to find my way back if I wander into it accidently.

"Practice Mindfulness" (center of illustration): This is the core DBT skill which I need to practice

"Rest Tent" (above Practice Mindfulness): Reminds me to rest my mind and body when things overwhelm me. DBT skills such as - taking a vacation, getting enough sleep and eating healthy.

Veering off to the right (arrows) - "Fortress of isolation": Try to avoid the Fortress as this can lead to dangerous places in the mind. Also, just because it is there doesn't mean that I want to get myself stuck in it. Again, it is important to know where it is so I can avoid it.

Veering to the left (arrows) - "Focus on goals" (top left of illustration): reminds me to focus on goals set in the DBT contract. To work hard on them.

Right next to "Focus on goals" is "Build positive events": another DBT skill which is essential. For building the "Castle of Hope".

All these will lead ultimately to a "Life worth living".


I don't know if V will see the sense it made for me when I drew this. Explaining it in words now seem to take a lot out of what I had intended the images to portray on the night I drew it.

Maybe it belongs in the rubbish bin, like my rubbish mind. I don't know.

Click on image for larger version.


Anonymous Drifter said...

This is fantastic!

ThePurpleOwl said...

Bear, please don't throw this out if you can stand not to. It's such an individual way of expressing both what you're going through and your own natural creativity - not rubbish at all. Definitely worth something.

Even if you don't show it to V, I think it's worth keeping somewhere so that you can look at it when things are hard or stumble across it sometime in the (I hope brighter) future.

When I write, I often feel the way you describe feeling about your map - like the result doesn't show all of what I intended, like an 'outsider' wouldn't 'get' what I mean (and, perhaps worst of all, would interpret it in ways I didn't mean). I also feel a lot of selfconsciousness and embarrassment about something once I've pushed it out of my mind through a pen or keyboard - my inner critic/censor tells me it's rubbish, self-indulgent, pretentious (... insert further derogatory adjectives here ...). I've lost a lot of my work/written down thoughts/scribbles/whatever they are that way - I give in and press delete or destroy the pages.

When I've stopped myself, though, and 'hidden' things from myself and my inner critic for a while, it's often not so bad to come back to or accidentally find these artefacts of mind; sometimes it's emotionally difficult, sometimes they don't mean much, but often I can tap into what I was thinking and feeling and either work through it, decide I don't need to and say goodbye to the thoughts and feelings and enjoy the artefacts for what they are, or (best of all, I think) get a new perspective, realise something about myself and maybe even rework or add to what I've written. In those best cases, I can use the fact that I could produce something, *anything*, creative or revealing while things were bad to convince myself I'm not total rubbish - my brain does work.

Your brain works, even if it does it 'differently', and it's obviously a creative, expressive brain. Hooray for that!

(By the way, I want to say thank you for writing so consistently and honestly about yourself here. I have been pretty quiet, but I have been around, and it's encouraging and reassuring to read your words while I ride my own ups and downs. Thank you.)

OK, super-comment over. Good luck with whatever you decide about your mind map.

x Owl

Aqua said...

Hi Polar Bear,
Your illustration is absolutely brilliant, both as a mapping of your mind, but also as a work of art.

My suggestion would be to post it prominently somewhere in your house and look at it again and again...until the picture is in your brain. I absolutely love this idea and may "borrow" it and make my own mindmap.

Anonymous said...

God, I think its awesome...makes my 'wellness plans' look like a scribbled shopping list...Im with Aqua... whack it out on the fridge (thats where all my important stuff youve inspired me to create a mind type map of my own

Raspberry said...

Wow - just WOW!

Peace and love

Rasp xXx

Tamara said...

Polar Bear,

That is a fabulous, creative way to do a mind map. I am very impressed. I can't imagine that your T won't be very impressed also!

I agree, keep it and display it - it is a work of art.


sansanity said...

Freaking Wow! PB That is fabulous. I love the Amusement park theme-a place that could be so much fun but also has some scary things. you are so talented with images and words...

Sid said...

Brilliant map Polar. I'd post several copies around your house and keep one in your car too, if you have one. You never know where you'll be when you need that map to help find your way.

Hopeful Happiness said...

Hi polar bear!!!

I'm loving your illustration, it's great. I wish I had artistic talent haha! I also agree, keep it and display it ♥
Hugs xox

Polar Bear said...

Thank you, everyone, for your incredible support and words of encouragement.

I see V tomorrow. I still haven't made a decision as to whether to show it to her or not.

I'll keep you all posted.

camilyn said...


You've got an incredibly wonderful blog. A lot of people usually do not realize what mind power can do to one's good results.

Mano said...


You've got a really nice blog. To turn out to be a productive individual the basic issue is usually to have positive thinking.