Your Life in Metaphor
The way you describe yourself, your life and your circumstances can have a great impact on how quickly or easily you will attain your life’s dreams or goals – if at all! If the way you describe yourself, consciously or unconsciously, is out of step with your dreams, then you can be setting yourself up for some challenges! This is why the exercise I talk about this week is so important and powerful.
You may be looking at the title of this week’s vlog and wondering what a metaphor is. For the purpose of this discussion, it means to carry over.
For example, if I said to you, “See that black cat over there?” and you just saw a cat, there’s not much carry over. You see the cat and it’s black. It stops right there.
However, if I said to you, “Do you see that cat over there? It moves like a dragon…” then a metaphor is involved. Whatever the human mind does to fill the space or the concept of what that means will certainly vary depending on the person. That’s metaphor.
Now, that you’ve seen a black cat, there’s a carry over because you’re intrigued by this exercise of imagining how it moves like a dragon.
Aristotle once said metaphor is like using a word to describe one thing to define something else. For example, when we’re looking at a beautiful person and think, “That person is hot!” we’re not using that adjective in a way that normally defines warm temperatures or a burning sensation.
We’re using it to describe sizzling beauty which is even more metaphor…
When we view our life in metaphor, we’re looking at how our life carries beyond the activities we do every day and the relationships we have. In essence, we want to see what’s behind it all.
If you read poetry literally, it probably doesn’t make sense. But, if you read it with your mind open to metaphor, suggestion and imagination, it can fill volumes of books that aren’t written but ones that are all within you.
What is your dream?
Today, I want to take you on a little exercise with this concept of metaphor along with some steps that I use and show you how to have fun with this. My hope is you’ll feel something deeply meaningful out of this that sticks with you.
During the course of my vlog, I’d like for you to pause it and take some time to write down your dream for your life right now. It may be to achieve a certain amount of athletic, financial or relationship success. Look at it from a legacy standpoint to describe what the overarching legacy for your life really is.
For example, my legacy revolves around the C.H.E.K Institute and sharing as much of my life experience and knowledge with as many of you as I can to support you in living a full, well-rounded life and understanding how all of it works.
As you do this, take time to study your metaphors closely to be sure you know the difference between ones that are dream-affirmative and ones that don’t support your dream.
How do you describe yourself?
The next question you’ll want to ask yourself: What are the key positive or negative qualities or tendencies you express and how do they manifest in your life from an elemental point of view?
On the positive side, you may be very timely and honest. On the negative side, you may be critical of people who aren’t timely and you may be way too honest in hurtful ways, especially when you could deliver that same message in a more effective and appropriate manner that’s less righteous and judgmental.
Try looking at metaphor from an elemental view. For example, if you’re rigid or brittle, maybe a stone applies. Thinking about water, are you “soaking wet” or “dry” with love? Has some ever called you an “airhead,” because your head is always in the clouds? Or, like a bird, you soar above and beyond what’s expected of you?
My tendency is to be like a dragon’s breath. Some people say I have magical powers, but look out if I’m breathing fire. In other words, I’m a fire-breathing dragon with magical tendencies.
For this exercise to work, it’s important to be honest with yourself. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time.
Perhaps, an animal or an insect may best describe you. When my Mom asked me what I would be if I were an animal, I always thought of myself as a lion. That makes sense because I’m a Leo in the Eastern system (a Virgo in the Western system).
When I look at the lion and how I like to work, I like to move quickly and with intensity, then hand off what I’m doing to someone else and rest. I don’t like long, drawn out projects where I have to do the same thing over and over. In my mind, these are lion-like tendencies.
That’s using metaphor, which is far different than describing myself merely as a holistic health practitioner.
If you look at yourself in a metaphoric way like a machine or a system, maybe you see yourself like a finely tuned Swiss watch, beautiful and elegant like a Rolex, sexy like a Ferrari or efficient like an Audi.
As you start writing these things down, both positive and negative, now you’re filling in the spaces and painting quite an interesting and colorful picture of yourself.
What qualities do you express?
You can make direct correlations with positive and negative aspects such as strength, patience, intelligence, reliability and others with metaphor, especially those linked to the animal kingdom.
Are you a businessman who is perceived to be a shark? You may appear to be nice, but people may be on the lookout to protect themselves just in case you try to take a pound of flesh out of them.
The number of traits you can think of run the gamut from being sarcastic and cold to patient and loving. All of these things help you figure out what your life is in metaphor so you can better understand yourself.
Write a statement
After you’ve had some time to collect all of this information and consider everything that’s going on in your life, it’s time to capture what you’ve learned about yourself in a simple statement.
It’s important to embrace a state of open receptivity and ask the universe for support to know what your life in metaphor really is and see what comes out of you. Use your creativity. Ask others for help if you need it.
If you’re having trouble with this process of metaphor, don’t worry… I’ll take you through these steps one-by-one in this vlog, using my life as a template.
Look at your metaphor and compare it to your dream, then ask yourself if living this way moves you in the positive direction of your North Star.
Unfortunately, it’s possible you could be moving sideways or backward. If you are, then you’ll need to ask yourself if this really is the right dream for who you are or did you just make it up to please someone else or to fit in.
Are you experiencing a deeper, stronger sense of connection because your heart is really into it? If your dream is aligned with your metaphor, you’ll manifest much more efficiently and effectively and be far more committed to growing in relationships because you really know what you’re living for.
Your heart tells you when your actions, thoughts and words to your self and others are pulling you away from the dream line.
Imagine you’re a migrating bird with magnetite in its brain. It feels the electromagnetic fields and knows when it’s flying home. But, distract that “bird” with alcohol, drugs or other diversions, and the part of you that knows you’re moving in the wrong direction realizes something is wrong and questions why.
Once you learn how to master the process, after a while, you can just imagine yourself going down that not-so-great direction and know it doesn’t really fit your metaphor.
I hope you enjoy these deeper meditations that delve into the inner workings of your dreams so you can learn how to manifest them in positive, life-affirming ways.
Love and chi,