The Map

Last Sunday I posted an excerpt from the book The Map, by Colette Baron Reid. As I was replying to comments on the post all the while thinking…*what* am I going to post for Wednesday…my mind seeming really quite determined to take some time off from 30 days of November madness…I was struck by inspiration!

Finding the Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life…that’s the sub title for Colette Baron-Reid’s book, The Map. I wouldn’t have bought it if I hadn’t been invited to join a class of lovely ladies going through this journey. In fact, I would not have made the friends I have today without being invited to join that class!

As Linda from litebeingchronicles so aptly said in her comment to the post, it brings together the psycho-spiritual together. And that’s about sums up what the book helps you do. However, the interesting thing is the way suggested. There isn’t much psycho babble in it, no words that needed me to roll my eyes and look up it’s meaning. Simple language, a plus from me for that. Add in the opportunity of reliving your childhood fairy tales and imagination and it makes this a pretty awesome type of read!

Close your eyes for a few minutes and focus on a point at the centre of your chest. FEEL what you are feeling. Don’t think about what you should be feeling. Just feel. Then translate that into a vision of a place…a landscape. That is where you are at this very moment.

We’ve all done this at some time or another. We say or come across someone who says, “I feel so lost”, “I feel like I’m stuck in a rut”, “I feel like I’m walking in a fog bumping into things”, ” I feel like a raging river / volcano waiting to explode”….those are the landscapes that we find ourselves in at different moments in our lives.field-of-dreams

Colette expands on this idea. She introduces you to look at yourself and your life journey as a literal journey. You have a map and it’s a magical map. It takes you from one landscape to another, all reflecting your thoughts and emotions at different times. Even within a day you may travel from a dry dessert wandering lost, looking for something to being in a small boat being buoyed by the waves of the ocean, to coming across the Field of Poppies which lull you to sleep…as you close your eyes and enter oblivion, that blissful state of not being conscious of where you are or what you are doing…a deep sleep that can be a place of rest but dangerous because you may not want to wake up and leave it. There Map-Ghostlands-17-3are also the Ghostlands where we are lost either in regret or wishful thinking…lost between the past and the future.

You are introduced to the different beings of these landscapes. The beings who become your allies and challengers, each representing a different aspect of your psyche. There is the Goblin, sometimes large and scary, sometimes small and ugly, sometimes a raging creature…all representing your wounded ego. There is the Bone Collector, who helps you find the parts of you which you have lost – your voice, your passions, your confidence, self worth…and helps you to claim it, the Gentle Gardener who helps you plant your seeds in the Margie3-11beautiful garden, your Field of Dreams. She teaches you patience, how to nurture your dreams, take care of them and see them grow. There is the Spirit of the Place who will show you the secrets and treasures that any landscape holds for you. It doesn’t matter how beautiful, ugly, scary or wonderful the landscape you are in is to you, each and every one of them has something to offer.

Unless we learn by exploring these landscape, communing with the Spirit of the Place and the other beings we will keep getting snapped back into it again and again. The idea is not to escape these places but to take the time to gain insights and assimilate what each place needs to show us at various points in our lives. It is to learn the dynamics of experiences within our lives so that we may recognise them the next time it plays out…with different actors and scenes; and therefore know what to do to travel away to different landscapes, calmly.

enchantmap_49As she introduces the idea of viewing your life journey as a literal one and the multiple beings, she tells you about your compass. Each of us has one. It is that part of us which aligns to Spirit / God / Universe / Source or however you may want to call it. It is the compass that points to the True North…the truth of us, our higher selves, the divine within. She asks you to first enter a landscape and look for it and when you find it, it’s yours. There will be times when you misplace that compass, but never fear. All it takes is for you to go back into yourself, into that intuitive part of you, the part which talks in symbols…go looking for it, sometimes needing to ask for help from the Spirit of the Place to find it again, to find that feeling of rightness within you, that alignment to your true north.

This is a book filled with symbols, but it is not a complex thing…symbols, I don’t think. This is your journey, and as you allow the book to act as a tour guide, explaining certain things and concepts to you, you are still free to interpret the symbols as how you see it. And I feel that is important because this is all about you and your journey. It’s about what your psyche is communicating to you and therefore the interpretation of these symbols may be different compared to what others see.bone-collector

Now, the way the book is supposed to work is as a workbook with journalling as it’s tool. So, there is a lot of thoughts to sift through, revelations to come by and writing does help. In a way as you write you will find that there will be point when things just start to flow…so let it! It’s again a process of emptying. As you keep discovering, you keep emptying it our through the writing giving more room for more information to come through. At the end of each chapter there are Traveller’s Notes, just as was posted last Sunday – like a summary of the whole chapter.

If you feel you need more help then the deck which carries the same name as the book may help you. The reason is sometimes we need a little something-something to trigger certain thoughts or emotions, sort of like kick starting an engine. I feel that any deck of cards you may have, tarot or oracle cards will do. The difference is only that The Enchanted Map deck corresponds to the places and beings from the book, so it will be just a little easier to relate to what you’ve been reading. There are 52 cards in the deck and it does come with a little guide book too. The cards can be read either upright or reversed, but we didn’t do it like that in the class. We just read everything upright. Again it all depends on how you feel you want to work with them.

To be really honest…I was surprised that I didn’t really resonate with what was going on. I mean, I enjoyed the class…I learned quite a bit but for someone who loves to imagine scenarios and all, I just had trouble trying to do so! (And I have an idea why it may have been so) However, the rest of the ladies had a wonderful time and really resonated well with it.

Rating and recommendations:

4 stars.

For this book to work, you need to do the work, which means you need to be prepared to let your imagination work with you, you will learn how to trust what comes to you, you may need to dig deep and may not like what some of your allies (who are parts of you) say to you! It’s not a magic pill sort of book…it’s not going to give you the magic formula to get it right (well no book does, but you know..just thought I’d put it out there).


33 thoughts on “The Map

    1. It is work..but effort is needed when we want to work on ourselves, which is a bummer…but what to do 😛

      As for the beings and landscapes…one doesn’t strictly have to follow the ones in the book. It’s a guide to what sorts of landscapes one could come across 🙂 The beings too are just part of the person doing the exercise..and the main ones are just a few 🙂

      However, I do understand how it can seem a bit too much..hehe


      1. I really should work on my “Wombie Guide Map To Life”. There’d be just four characters, and I bet you could guess them. They’d represent parts of you as well. Plus there’d be treats when you finish each chapter.


  1. It is totally up my alley and I am all about the cards, but I think it is probably best to use when you have the time, energy, and focus to really immerse yourself in it. Right now I have too much going on and I am noticing I am less present for mostly everything. But I bet at the right time with the right outlook it could be fantastic.

    And thanks for the props 🙂
    xx Linda


    1. Mhmm..definitely need the time to sit, contemplate, imagine..for some it will definitely be fun to do..and for me it was fun when we were doing it in class…like fellow travellers exploring each other’s Maps 😉


  2. I have been thinking about your question regarding simplicity vs compexity. One thing I definitely agree with you on is that symbols can mean different things to different people and this is why cookbooks of symbol meanings do not make much sense. I could accept simple but it would have to be deep, not shallow (or simplistic). Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler, as Einstein said.


  3. I am awarding you the Blog of the Year Award 2013 as an expression of my gratitude for following “The Journal of Wall Grimm” blog. You can see the post here: If you don’t accept awards, that’s no problem at all. Awarding you is my way to thank you and it is of no insult to me if you decline.


    1. Thank YOU Sage! Wow…what an award 😀 I’ll drop by and have a look at it…BUT I will accept it, with gratitude! I’m having fun tweaking the rules of the awards I get…and already thinking of how to do it with this! Hehehe


  4. That’s a very cool concept! If nothing else, it would encourage people to take a time-out from daily life and be inside themselves for a short time, and that’s always a good thing. 🙂


  5. I’m REALLY liking the sound of this book, Shree. Sounds right up my street. With all my Inner Beings I’m ‘used’ to a large cast anyway, so a few more are more than welcome. I need to check this out.


    1. OMG really?? Tom! You’re frightfully as impetuous (that’s impulsive right?) … me!! Hahahahah

      Yay! I’m glad you ordered the book and you know what Tom…it really would be right up your street…you imagination is wondrously wonderful and this would suit you perfectly!!

      Can’t wait to hear who comes to your mind when you imagine the Bone Collector 😀


  6. ✿ღ✿ღ.¸¸ღ♫*¨`*•..¸ƸӜƷ ✿ღ ✫❀ •❤٠·˙✿
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    *✿*.` •.¸.•´*✿*• .¸¸.`•´¯✿
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  7. Working upon ourselves is always worth the effort and this book I had not come across, but love the tarot deck and the various names for them, I can relate already to their meanings… I think this may be one I need to go to my bookstore and order 🙂

    I hope you are managing to get some of your ‘Me time’ back.. as your work load sounds like you still have much to do… I need to back track now to see what else I have been missing.. Nosey that I am 🙂


    1. Ah-ha! Now I realize that the post on the Travelers Notes just sealed the deal on the book 🙂 Great to hear!

      Yes, I enjoyed the cards a lot more than the book…and I don’t really know why. When I was invited to join the class, the facilitator / teacher who is also a friend and my go to tarot card reader had an idea of creating a deck of cards based on mythology and relating it to the fools journey. She had seen some of my art work and wanted to work with me. When preparing to teach this class, for some reason my name kept popping up in her mind…so she called me a few days before the class and told me to join it…forget paying for it, she said, you need to be in that class. I feel maybe it was that part of me who was / is still afraid of success / failure that stopped me from enjoying the book…I felt pressured I think. So I didn’t really read the whole book…only when we went through it in class!

      I love the concept of it though, and like Tom mentions in his comment…as it is I do have quite a few voices in my head..haha.

      I do still have much to do and can’t wait till the 14th! Then I’ll have a nice breather till the end of that week..and then I’ll be off for the whole week and a half for Christmas! So yay!!!

      I’m glad that you’re nosey! Your noseyness is always welcomed…hehe


  8. Shree, what a pleasure to read this. Brought me back to Angel Cards and the meditation I used to teach that I called the Hub of the Wheel. Your honesty in the comments is both touching and brought a big smile to my face – ha! someone else who doesn’t always do her homework. Grin. Once again, thank you for sharing this book. It sounds like a wonderful tool for rediscovery and healing of the self. Best ~ HuntMode


    1. Hehe..yes. I am a lazy bum and I don’t mind saying it too! LOL
      It actually is a great book…but yea, gotta do the work…but then most books are…aren’t they?

      I’m intrigued with the mediation you mentioned…what is it and how does one do it?

      I didn’t realise you liked cards and all that! This is so cool!! 😀

      Thank you for dropping by and commenting too 🙂


      1. Shree, you and me, babe, we got a lot in common! I’m willing to bet if you search “angel cards” or “meditation” on my site, a slew of posts will come up. There are a couple of very powerful meditations – by powerful, I mean people responded so strongly to them in a positive way – that I taught. You’ve given me an idea re the Hub Wheel… I may have to write that up – oh, if I didn’t have to be jumping in the shower! So glad we have met!


        1. Yay to meeting people with lots in common! That helps 😉 I’ll get to searching your site for them!

          Great that you have an idea about posting on the Hub Wheel…but you pressure! One needs to get a shower…and eat…and take naps…and gain ideas from surfing the net and all that…:)


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