"A Journey Through Pictures" - Reflections On My Paths and Maps Experience

It was at my brother’s Path and Maps gathering that I realized—my learning’s from the past week were only the beginning.  It was going through his Path and Map that I recognized how unique and individual this process is. I knew immediately I could share this resource with my families and friends. 


Jack and Lynda hosted a Path and Maps session for my brother Dan.  We had family; friends and dedicated workers pile into the living room. On Dan’s journey it was great to see how many people believe in him.  Seeing stories drawn out in pictures using colorful markers and pastels was very engaging. They created a comfortable environment which helped open up conversation, connect and remember stories together.  We were continuously reminded of how valuable building and nurturing relationships are in each of our lives.  The pieces of map began to flow naturally.  It was wonderful to see the relationships Dan has in his life.  I see how Dan’s personality has kept these relationships strong.  He teaches each of us as he continues to grow with the support and dedication of his friends. 


Path and Maps are processes to help people recognize where their gifts lie and how they can share these with the community.  Further, this approach allows individuals to open their minds to recognizing and connecting with their own support systems.  We each have a rich network of people around ourselves.  Each member present in a Path and Map is opened up to dreaming of the countless possibilities they can offer to support the achievement of the individual’s shared goals.  We are reminded that communities benefit from every contribution.  This inspires new relationships and exploration. 


Another key learning happened while I attended a Path and Map training.  It was interesting to be involved in the creation of Path and Maps for others. I also had the opportunity to have my own Path created.   Because I have this experience I now can take this learning and use it in my own relationships, with my families and with others.


You don’t need to have a solid vision of your future to dream up possibilities. When my own Path was created I walked in with scattered thoughts and ideas and walked out with more clarity.  It is really cool to see my stories drawn out in pictures because they really connected me to memories, and it was powerful to visually see my goals and dreams.  This was very visible in my brother’s path as well, when he connected to pictures of his favorite memories—especially leprechauns! 


Experiencing this process has helped me listen.  Deep listening opens up the space for people to really think and answer their own questions.  Rather than giving people answers, this process has allowed me to explore conversations by asking meaningful questions.  Path and Maps empower individuals to set goals and establish self vision.  I find that I am thinking with an open mind about how I can connect my community with this approach. 


Everybody’s Path and Map looks different.  I saw how this session was flexible and unique for each person.  Each person is empowered by having their own voice. 

It is so beautiful to tell your story and truly be heard. 

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Comment by Becki Pauls on January 7, 2011 at 10:57pm
Thank you for sharing this story, Jessica.  Great to read and very inspiring!

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