A few weeks ago, I received a copy of Kate and David Marshall’s highly engaging and interactive workbook, My Life Map: A Journal to Help You Shape Your Future. I’ve had some time to read and review it and I have to say, as the days grow darker much earlier, with this strange precipice of wife transitioning to mother: it’s a welcome addition to my bookshelf.
I have always been a fan of self-discovery activities, something I picked up in my early days of college. My Life Map is one of dozens upon dozens of self-discovery books out there. What sets the Marshalls’ journal out from the crowd is its use of left brain/right brain strategies. There are plenty of writing prompts to help you reflect on your past and present while envisioning your future life plans and goals. At the same time, there are many clever icons, symbols and charts to visually lay out the important plot points of your life.
It’s this combination of written and visual narrative in My Life Map that manages to infuse a standard self-discovery activity such as life mapping with a fresh take.
My Life Map opens with these words:
Our job in life is not so much to find ourselves as it is to create ourselves. What will you create? How do you want to be remembered? What will your legacy be?
That is some seriously loaded language, especially if you’re trying to figure out what your life will look like in the context of infertility. (I’ve said before: “what I can’t create in biology, I create in words instead.”) But the great thing about really taking apart your past and analyzing the present moment, when all you can think about for your future is “will I have the family I’ve always desired?” is that you give that future context. Have your life experiences in the past always been colored by having children, as they might be now? The journal further explores your life’s ever-evolving development through specific 10-year subject maps such as family, friends, learning, work, service and playing.
This is one of those books I would have appreciated as a college sophomore or even in the months leading up to my wedding. As I mentioned before, as our family is about to transition from just Larry and I to Larry, the Knish and I – it’s well-timed. I’m looking forward to taking a deeper dive into its exploration activities and charts in the coming months.
My Life Map is a necessary prompting to stop and take stock of everything right now, in this moment and contextualize your future around the life you’ve lived thus far.
(And, if I do say so myself, it’s a great companion to my own eBook, THE YOU PROJECT.)
Join me over at this month’s BlogHer Book Club as we discuss and explore the issues and concepts raised in My Life Map.
What do you think about life mapping exercises? Do you love them, hate them, or just meh? And how do you think life mapping has changed or evolved in the era of blogs?
This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.