mind mapping

assorted map pieces

“My mind rebels at stagnation.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I’m always a bit leary when it comes to trying new ways to make your mind think. Some small voice is always saying, “I know my brain, I know what’s best for it.”

No surprise, that small voice is the ego.

Of course, the ego doesn’t want me to figure out new ways to use my mind. The ego knows that there is some forgotten corner of my mind that knows the ego is nothing more than an insane little idea, an illusion it thinks is real.

The ego likes its order, its systems of labeling. And in some areas having such systems are good – can you imagine getting to a new place if you didn’t have your GPS rerouting you each time it lost service?

It’s important not to mistake a map for the entire world, though.

Speaking of maps (and awesome segues), today’s prompt from Five Minutes in the Morning encourages us to use a mind map to work things out. Mind maps mirror our brain’s way of making connections, and using one can help with creative problem-solving.

To start, write a topic in the center of your page. You can also use an image if you’re more visual. Then draw related ideas branching out from this central topic. Keep adding more related branches, using colors or images – anything that stimulates your brain is good.

For my mind map, I decided to work on an issue I’ve mentioned before about the idea of God, or as I labeled it here “the Higher Power of Our Understanding.”

I’m not sure how much this exercise helped, but I feel like I’m in a much more accepting place with the idea of God, the Universe – whatever. It really is all just different names for the same thing. As someone whose main expression is the written word, I’ve long struggled with this. But I don’t need to. I’m trying to define something that predates language. Or rather, my ego is the one trying to define something.

I know that even the most beautiful map will never look as beautiful as the real world.

Anyway, here’s what my mind map looks like. I used dotted lines to make indirect comparisons:

Happy March, and happy Monday, dear reader! May it be a month of rebirth for you!

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