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How to Create a Spiritual Map
By:Maya Austen

A map is a model that lays out an overview of a portion of space. It depicts the findings of a survey, highlighting the relationships between different points within a space. Maps can be valuable tools. You use maps to gain a sense of direction to help find your way. Using a map you're able to see where you currently are relative to where you would like to be. Rather than an overview of a physical space, spiritual maps lay out an overview of your mindset in relation to your life experiences. Use it to help find inner peace.

Find a quiet space and sit down with a pen and notebook.

Write a summary of your spiritual beliefs. Explain what your spiritual beliefs are and how you came to them. How has your thinking evolved with respect to your spiritual values?

Conduct a survey of your life's most moving moments--both painful and joyful--from your earliest childhood memory to the present day. These moments could be the successes that you've experienced in life (both big and small), regrets that you're still holding onto, losses you've suffered through, simple moments of peace, times when you triumphed over fear, times when you fell victim to fear, happy memories, distressing memories. Make a list. Jot down a word or phrase that encapsulates the event of each memory.

Go back over each of the moments you noted and describe your state of mind during each of those experiences. What were your thoughts at that time? How did you feel?

Look for recurring themes amidst your life experiences. Example themes could be success, failure, gain, loss and pleasant surprise.

Create symbols for the recurring life experience themes you discover.

Compare experiences that share the same theme. Read the descriptions that you wrote in step four. What was your state of mind leading up to and during these experiences? Do you notice any patterns in your way of thinking as it relates to each theme? Create "street names" for the recurring mindset patterns you discover. Example names could be Pity Street, Victim Road, Selfish Boulevard, Optimistic Lane, Giving Circle, Confidence Path or Faithful Avenue.

Draw a metaphorical map that represents the "space" your life has covered up until this moment. Use the symbols and street names you came up with in the previous steps. For example, maybe you discovered every time you lapse into a mindset where you see yourself as a victim, you experience perpetual losses. So as you draw "Victim Road" on your map to represent this way of thinking, draw your symbol for losses at the end of and throughout this particular street. This representational drawing provides a means of visually reminding yourself that thinking like a victim usually produces an outcome where you end up losing something.