Bev's Blog: Her Wisdom

Want to Make Sense of Your Life Stories?


Last week I wrote about the “power of our stories” and once again you responded favorably. Thank you. Today, I would like to share with you an exercise, which I created to utilize my stories. This exercise empowered and permitted me to obtain a clearer understanding of my life’s journey. The exercise made sense out of my experiences. I gained more insight from this exercise and an added benefit of visually seeing my learning curves and growth spurts from this perspective. I suggest this exercise as an annual ritual.

I call the exercise “Story Mapping.”
I empowered myself by ti­tling my major life stories and creating a time line, or map, with them. I chronologically arranged my major stories on a piece of green construction paper – I am an artist at heart, so color is important to me. I recommend not using a computer program; instead be more “right-brained” and find some crayons and con­struction paper and allow your inner child to play. You can keep this project simple or you can complicate it. Since this may be your first story mapping project, I suggest you write as many ex­periences as you can think of, do not pay attention to which ones came first. Let your mind wonder. Some examples to think about are your first car; first job; loss of a job, death, marriage, or your younger days in high school, etc.

I started out with my childhood stories to date. I coordinated my stories to the years, as this was much easier to recall. I used simple words to label each story or a symbol. Try using different symbols for each year or story and connect them with a squig­gly line… it’s like connecting the dots. If you have more than one significant story in the same year, be creative and connect them in some way. For this exercise, it is best not to use straight lines, if you can mute the left side of your brain. Make your map creative and not linear. Use your imagination and have fun.

Follow your intuition when choosing your symbols which best express the particular year or story. To save time you may use circles, hearts, triangles, or squares. If you need ideas for sym­bols, go online and search for them, you will find a myriad to choose from.

Once my story-map was completed, I studied each one and noted the year to better understand what I gained from that time. I could see my wisdom growing each year, but strangely enough, I had never given myself permission to recognize it or own it. I was shocked by what my intuition and my creative mapping had brought to me. I noticed with each year a nudging from Spirit, toward my purpose or destiny. I am sure you will gain a similar insight and agree this is a powerful process to engage.

I believe that each and every experience we have points us to­ward our souls’ dream of whom and what we are and can be­come. By creating my personal story map, I not only made sense out of my life, but it immensely encouraged me to understand that each event in my life is crucial for my personal, profes­sional, and spiritual growth. More importantly from this simple, yet powerful exercise, I began to notice the wisdom I had gained from each experience and why I needed to share them – to em­power others.

Use your creative imagination, create a map with your essential life experiences and see what you discover; there is a wise per­son within you able to share his or her wisdom to help create a better world. Go for it!

Please stay in touch and share the power of your stories and what your mapping process reveals to you. Sharing is good for the soul!

 If you would like to further read about the power of our stories I suggest you go to the following two sites:


Poet Murial Rukeyser tells us “the universe is made of stories, not atoms.”


Live Your Wisdom,

Wisdom Goddess Bev

© AW 2009, Revised © AW 2010

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