Saturday, 22 September 2018

Getting back on track

I thought it was time to apply the Landscaping Your Life (LYL) process to the saying "getting back on track."

If getting back on track is something you're grappling with at this time you may find that this post takes you on a journey from off to on track.

If getting back on track is not something that resonates I'd suggest reading another post. It's a little like reading a fabulous new recipe - more helpful when you're just about to bake it than ahead of time when it just whets the appetite but leaves you feeling a little unsatisfied. Or even worse, leaves you critical of the process because you have no idea why they put the eggs in before the butter, even though if you were making the cake it would be very obvious and make complete sense.

Best to read it when you need it, and it will make much more sense.

Background to the process
The title of my recently published first book is Can't see the wood for the trees, landscaping your life to get back on track.

The basic assumption of the book is that the words we're using also contain the answer. Which means if we can't see the wood for the trees the trees - real green living trees - would have the answer. Which might require you to consider grounding yourself like the roots in this picture, or noticing the cut wood and realise you need to cut some of the noise out of the situation.

You'll find more about an example when you can't see the wood for the trees here.

Before you read any further, think about the situation you're wanting more clarity about - how satisfied do you feel on a scale of 0-10 (Where 0 is stuck and dissatisfied, and 10 is in the flow, on track, moving forward and satisfied).

As with all LYL explorations the aim is to now put the real life situation to the back of your mind, and explore the landscape to find a range of options. Once we've got a list of options from the landscape then we can consider what it means in reality.

Getting back on Track

The first thing to consider when getting back on track is how we relate to the saying. 

Where are we currently, and where do we want to get to.

I don't mean the content of the situation. 

I'll say that again, NOT the content of the situation. 

I mean, what's the saying that best describes the current situation.

As in, explore every word to see if it accurately describes the current situation: 

If you're not 'on' track what are you? 
  • Off track
  • Off your track
  • Off someone else's track
  • On someone else's track
  • Off the track
  • Off a track 
  • Way off any track
  • Just off track
  • Across the track 
  • Not on track 
  • Up the wrong track 
  • Down the wrong track
  • Off the right track
  • Off the left track 
  • Going round in circles on any track
  • Unable to see the track 
Play with the words - because understanding how you currently relate to the situation will determine where you'll find a solution - one may already have popped up?  
Perhaps 'track' isn't the right word
  • Off the rut
  • In a rut
  • Off the road
  • Off the footpath
  • Off the limb 
Keep going - be playful - you never know just playing with the words may loosen your current inability to find a solution. The aim is to keep using the process until you've connected to the part of you that does know what to do, because, there is one, and it does know.

What's your outcome? I've assumed it's 'getting back on track' but that may also need to change. 

Your answer will depend on how you described the current situation ie what changes you made in the above exploration. Your outcome might be:
  • To get on track 
  • To get on your track
  • To get on a track
  • To get on the track
  • To have no track
  • To find a track
  • To find a beautiful track 
  • To intuit a track 
  • To flow on track (That's given me goosebumps - wow I do love this process - did you find one that did that for you?) 
  • To leave any and all tracks behind  
Do you get a sense that the words you're using impact how you feel about the situation?

And we haven't even touched on some of the juicier processes outlined in the book.  

Once you've got words that accurately describe the current and desired situation then it's about asking how, in nature, would you get from one to the other.

Don't start to try to understand how it relates to the real life situation yet - stick with the metaphor - stick with the landscape - its only by doing this we allow our inner knowing to nudge us in the right direction. 

Let's assume I'm currently 'off my track', and want to 'flow in my track'. I now need to identify the steps I could take to make that a reality. 
  • I need to find my track - which leads me to wonder is it lost? misty? not yet found? hidden? overgrown? mistaken with other people's paths? strangled by other's tracks?
  • I might therefore need to make it less difficult to find - blow the mist away perhaps, blow up other's tracks.
  • Get from where I am to that track - walk? run? roll? swim? fly? 
  • Then start flowing

This does not need to make any sense to anyone but me - it's now very much become my metaphor and landscape. As your own exploration will have.  

It may be that at this point we notice we're moved along the satisfaction scale and options of what we need to do have appeared. 

If not we simply need to translate the action plan in nature into reality. Which might look like:
  • Re-identify my vision (no musts, oughts and shoulds from others)
  • Not to call them steps along the way but strokes (as someone with arthritis in both my knees, and being an enthusiastic open water swimmer, this feels much easier and less stressful which would certainly make it easier to hear the part of me that does know what to do)  
  • Develop a 2018/19 plan for how I will make that vision a reality - I did start to type a 'daily reality' and now wonder whether it's more a 'tidal reality'. Hmm ... will need to let you know if that's me trying to be too clever with the metaphor or if it makes sense.    
Notice if you've been doing this for yourself what level is your satisfaction now? What actions have you committed to take - when will you take them?

Words have power.

Alison Smith
Landscaping Your Life
Using the patterns in nature to solve unhelpful patterns in life

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