Saturday, May 25, 2013

Do You Want To Be A Butterfly Or A Freak?

This is from the book, "48 Days To The Work You Love," by Dan Miller. This quote is found on page 24- 25. I really liked this. I hope it ministers to you like it did me....

"The man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He watched the butterfly for several hours as a struggle to force its body through that little hole. Then it seems to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it could go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He slipped off the remaining bit of the cooking. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small shriveled wings. The man expected that the wings would enlarge and expand to support the body, which would contract in time, but neither happened. Instead the butterfly spent the rest of his life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never flew. What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon was God's way of forcing fluid from the butterfly's body into its wings, so that it could fly once  free from the cocoon. Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need. If God allowed us to Go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us we would not be as strong and we could never fly!"

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mind Mapping

EROP Mind Map

I am sure much of the world  already knows about the wonders of mind mapping.

I didn't.

I can't tell you how excited I am to learn about this amazing tool.

Did I mention I was excited?

If you are unfamiliar with mind mapping, like I was, it is, in a nutshell, a method of laying out data in a non-linear way so you can see large amounts of data at a glance. It is essentially a picture of data organized much like your brain organizes it, through connections.

Mind mapping can be used in many ways to help you mange data.

You can use it to take notes, organize a project, communicate a plan, organize a  brainstorming session, organize a presentation or speech, memorize information, etc, etc.

As Tony Buzan, who is responsible for popularizing the term, 'mind mapping', said, it is a "tool of geniuses." It is a method that has shown up in the journals and work of great minds of the past such as Leonardo DaVinci and others. A mind map is a way to put things down on paper in a way that is much closer to how your brain actually thinks, with makes it easier to get it down as well as easier to sort through the data. It is esp great for visual learners, although I think it can work very well for the other learning styles as well.

You can use a pen and paper, a white board, or software designed for the purpose. They can be elaborate or simple.

Since stumbling onto the concept of mind maps and learning a bit on how to use them last week, it has been amazing how this simple tool has impacted my life.

So far, I have used mind maps to:
Create accurate pictures of the long range and short range to-do lists that float around in my head. The stuff that would normally require flipping here and there in my planner to write down, is all on one page in my notebook. I can easily add to it at any moment. I look at and think, "Wow. THAT'S why I have felt like I had a lot to do and it was so complicated...." Now I can see it, and am hopeful to actually make progress, because I can a plan, not just a list.

Create and then communicate plans of action on how life needs to happen and function in a season that is frankly, hard to function in right now. I may be the only mom who has this issue, but I very often find myself feeling like I am the only one that sees the plan. In many ways, I am. I have said many times, "I wish I could show them the picture in my head so they could understand!"  I have tried to follow the great advice of other moms and get the info out where they can see it in form of charts, schedules, etc. This had had some measure of success, but has been a bit of a struggle to get people excited about. And it never really communicated the real picture in my head. This past week, I did it. I drew a picture of how things need to happen right now in our home and why. They got it. It was great for all of us. (The picture at the top of this post is from our first home managing mind map.)

Take notes on short research projects and webinars.Haven't used the mapping for this a whole lot yet, but am excited about the potential I see for it. I have always been a terrible note taker. I predict mind mapping will be a simple and yet massive tool to help me take better notes in any setting and hopefully retain the info better.

Map a passage of Scripture. This was fun, and really made me think through the passage. When you are reading and mapping the connections that are laid out in the text, there is a richness that emerges. I am looking forward to learning more about using mind maps for Bible study.

Here are a few things I found to be helpful in learning about mind maps.

Google- Google "mind maps" "mind mapping" "how to mind map" "mind mapping uses" Blogs, websites and videos galore will pop up.
YouTube- YouTube was a great resource for me in learning about this. Esp as a visual learner, seeing it done was, well, worth a thousand words. Put the same searches into a YouTube search box. The results that mention Tony Buzan are esp helpful. This site has a gallery of mind maps that show some of the more elaborate  types of mind maps you can create.

Do you mind map? I would love to hear how you use mind mapping or other visual aids to help you organize your brain! Leave me a comment!