Posts tagged: experience

Taking Shortcuts

What does this doodle say to you?

 doodle od a dark cloud gradually lifting to reveal the sun and the possibility of a short cut

Doodling is a great way to explore ideas without too much conscious attention. 

What does this doodle say to you? My guess is that it will say different things to different people. It depends upon your current experience, your thoughts and your mood or ‘state’ as we might label it in NLP terms.

Here’s a closer look…

a closer look at the image reveals that there is more than one way to reach your goal

sometimes a closer look reveals something unexpected


Click on the image to open it fully and look even more closely. begin to notice details that you hadn’t previously noticed.

I have shown it to a few people and asked the question… “If this doodle had a message for you, what would it be?” and got a surprising number of different replies:

  • “It’s about how the sun is always in the sky, even when all you’re thinking of is the clouds.”
  • “Even when you think you’ve solved a problem, something can come up that seems to set you right back to the beginning again and yet it’s not quite the same this time and you can keep going.”
  • “The clouds are your problems. The sunshine is feeling better, sorting something out.”
  • “Is it about depression and the depression can lift and come back and then lift again?”
  • “The arrows are all the different paths if you want to escape from something.”
  • “It’s about shortcuts. Sometimes you have to go the long way round to get out from under the grey sky but sometimes you might spot a short cut, and sometimes there’s an even shorter one.”

There isn’t a ‘right answer’. I was concentrating on something else at the time (my most interesting doodles seem to come during online meet-ups, TED talks or Tony Robbins videos). I would love to hear from you about what you make of it.

Better still, have a go yourself and maybe ask a few people what they make of your unconscious doodling.

sweep over the past and focus on the present moment

3 – 2 – 1 Summary

An adult's hand cradles a child's hand holding seeds

Thinking about life…

  • Recall 3 positive things you have learned
  • Think of 2 ideas that you still find interesting
  • And take with you 1 value or principle as a guide right now

This brief 3 part strategy is a great way to end a day. You can apply it to a single day, a particular experience, or life in general.

I based it on a teaching strategy which asks students to summarise their learning as a ‘ticket to leave’ as described here by Laura Sagan.

The beauty of it lies in the fact that it serves as both a cumulative experience; each time you think it through you are building on all your similar past experiences; and a moment of focus; what one value or principle could you chose right now? It enables you to sweep over the past and focus on the present moment.

Hitting a Brick Wall

wall in doorway

In this house
there is a room
locked because it holds
like light in mist
to something labelled



We are meaning makers.

When you read this poem, you made it mean something.

If you look at the image, or consider the title above the poem, and then read it, the image will influence the meaning you give to the poem.

If you encounter it again on a different day, or in a different frame of mind, it may seem to mean something new.

Someone else will give it a different meaning.  Have you ever wondered why a poem can mean different things to different people?  It both amused and exasperated me at school, and college, that we were expected to ‘know what a poem, play or story, means’.  Even then it was clear to me that we all interpret life, experience and words differently.

This is why your story is so important to you.  It is your way of understanding your life.  The beauty of a Narrative approach to life is that it offers you opportunities to feel more in control; more like a poet or author than a character in story or unfathomable poem.



This is my 16th poem for National Poetry Writing Month and, following today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo, it was written in response to an Italian poem ‘Natura’ by Giampuro Neri.

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