Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Bring it in out of the cold

Someone mentioned bringing an idea they'd had in out of the cold. I wondered how the language they were using might be used to facilitate the process, and shed more light on when we use this phrase in our lives.

Let's first start with considering how we relate to the saying - ie what potential meanings are there:
  • We personally feel left out in the cold
  • We're being brought in from the cold by someone or a group 
  • We have an aspect of our life that we've sent out in the cold
  • We'd like to bring an aspect in out of the cold
I'm sure there are many others. If however you're feeling more like you're treading on thin ice you may want to read that post first.

As ever, when exploring a metaphor we're using to describe a situation, the aim is to explore the metaphor fully and completely, before trying to make analogies between the metaphor and real life situation. The first thing to do therefore is put a situation you're feeling 'out in the cold' about to the back of your mind.

Before reading my suggestions consider what does the metaphor or words mean to you?

For me questions arise along the lines of
  • What's the aim - to be happy in the cold, come into the warm or something else?
  • Is this an aim you have, or other people have for you? 
  • Will any warm place be ok, or is it a specific warm place you want to come into?
  • Are you happy with the current situation? (remember we're still exploring this using the metaphor so the question relates to your levels of happiness of being in the cold)  
  • How cold is the cold?
  • What would make the cold feel better - warm clothes, warm drinks?
  • What would have to happen for you to happily stay out in the cold? 
  • Are there other people with you in the cold? 
  • Can you collaborate with them? 
  • What's stopping you coming in from the cold
  • What would Elsa from Frozen do? Or any other person (fictitious or otherwise) do - for example the guys off to the North Pole of Inaccessibility might see the cold differently?) 

The challenge, if you still want to come in out of the cold, is how do you do it? 
  • Do you have to move anywhere? After-all if you wait long enough spring will come, and then summer and in many places that will no longer be cold. Is it therefore just a case of being patient? 
  • Is "in" a specific place or simply a feeling?
  • What's the journey from where you are to where you want to be look like ? and don't be surprised if you start talking about walking over ice, or snow - the mind has a capacity to embrace the metaphor in a way that may not logically make sense. Just have some fun, and give yourself permission to go where the metaphor takes you. 
  • Do you have to thaw out first before entering the warm? 
  • Or take your layers off? Certainly sitting somewhere warm with your ski jacket, fleece and snow shoes on will soon have you rushing back out into the cold.
  • What do you need to do once you're in the warm - have a hot drink? a hot bath? snuggle under a duvet for a while? 
Just keep exploring the options within the metaphor for as long as possible. 

Once the exploration is complete bring to mind the original situation, and notice what you notice? 

Do any actions come to mind for you to take now in the current situation? and when will you take them? 

Next time you notice you're using nature in the language you're using, you may just want to explore the landscape to see if the answers lie there.

Do let me know how you get on. 

Alison Smith
Landscaping Your Life
Using nature to inspire change inside and out

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