Between the months of May and August of 2002
my life completely changed (read: crashed):
I lost my grandmother at the end of May;
3 weeks later I got a call from the Chicago police
that my college boyfriend was found dead
(and oh, did I mention they asked me to notify
2 weeks after was my sister’s big out-of-town
wedding (which was lovely, but you know…
weddings, family, being up when you’re in
2 weeks after that I left the job I had for over a
… and all the while
I was recovering from a breakup.
Talk about a sucky summer!
To say the least I was reeling.
After the immediate crises
were handled, I didn’t know
where to begin to put my life
back together since it all
seemed so very…
Then one day it occurred to me
that whenever I needed some
clarity on a work project
I would simply sketch out a
mindmap of the issues to truly get
a look at what I had in front of me.
So why not do that with my life?
And voilà ME Mapping was born . . .
Sketch out everything that
makes up your life:
the people, responsibilities,
actual things, etc.
There are no set categories, it’s
the map of your life- this is just
an idea of what one looks like.
(For me, I use a big artist
sketchpad to map on and it is
freeform and handwritten with
Phew, good start…
I had a map, the big picture,
of what was making up my
Now it was time to ask the key question:
Turns out things fell into 3 Categories:
Negative aspects that weren’t working which I wanted to
declutter, subtract, or edit out of my life.
Things that might be working if I engaged with them more
and added some: time, space, money, and energy to them.
Things that were working OK and that called for 0; I just
needed to appreciate and actively show gratitude for them*.
* Once I actively appreciated something and found the JOY
in it I switched the O to a ☺. The goal of my life, and for my
map, is to get as much JOY (☺) going as possible!
This is how it looks when you CATEGORIZE your map.
Pick any aspect of your life that you’d like
to transform and
DECLUTTER something first—
this will free up a little:
for you to spend on something
Ending a toxic friendship makes an
opening for a new quality one.
Clearing stuff, people, appointments,
actually anything from our lives allows us
to focus more on what’s really important.
Now that you have a bit more freedom
and space in your life it’s time to choose
an area you’d like to ENGAGE:
take a class, rekindle your marriage,
up your fitness, start a job search,
Heck- simply just get in a nap.
What will make your life more joyful?
And here’s the key:
Don’t just think about it-- schedule it…
add it to your calendar. Now!
And last, but hardly least… pick someone
or something to actively APPREICATE.
Gratitude is for giving not hoarding–
In the CofJ simply being silently
appreciative will not cut it.
We need to say it or show it and be
authentic, as specific as possible, and
deliver our appreciation so the other
person can feel how thankful we are.
Get to spreading some JOY…
I promise you’ll be thanking me!
+ O /
by: ____/____/____ ____/____ ____/____
Pick one ACTION STEP in the Circle of JOY to do a week
and you’ll build momentum in creating the life you want.
If you’d like to find out more
come attend a ME Workshop…