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James Lawley

James LawleyJames Lawley offers psychotherapiy to individuals and couples, and coaching, research and consultancy to organisations. He is a co-developer of Symbolic Modelling and co-author (with Penny Tompkins) of Metaphors in Mind: Transformation through Symbolic Modelling, (with Marian Way) Insights in Space: How to use Clean Space to solve problems, generate ideas and spark creativity and an Online training in Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling. For a more detailed biography see about us and his blog.

Imagine Your Life in Full Color
By James Lawley | Published  11 02 2012
Download a print-friendly version: 2012-02-11 Imagine Your Life in Full Color.pdf

Debbie Happy Cohen, has written and beautifully illustrated a new Kindle ebook, IMAGINE Your Life in Full Color: 12 Ways to use Art in the Mind to Supercharge Your Goals and Empower Your Dreams… Not Someday, but NOW!

The book is an inspiring story of how Debbie had an idea, ran with it, and created something that perfectly expresses who she is. On top of that, this book has the potential to galvanize those of us who want to learn from what successful people imagine in the private, inner sanctum of their mind and body.

While reading Penny Tompkins and my book, Metaphors in Mind, Debbie was particularly struck by the story of how I used a highly published author’s metaphor to motivate myself to complete our book (see pages 236-7). For this author, publishing was like “leaving footprints in the snow”. I 'borrowed' this metaphor and made it 'real' by placing sheets of white paper between my bed and my computer. The homemade 'snow', including the crunch it made when I stepped on the sheets, got me in the habit of writing first-thing in the morning. I did this every day for two weeks until I no longer needed the paper to create the images, sounds and feelings. 'Taking on' this metaphor helped motivate me to complete our book.

Debbie takes up the story:

Well, I really liked the idea of modeling a successful author’s metaphor, but I didn’t like the idea of leaving footprints in the snow (way too cold for my tootsies!). I began thinking and wondering about a metaphor for successful publishing, one that would resonate better with me. A few days later, I was having lunch with Rev. Edwene Gaines, whose book The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity has been, for years, a publishing success. I asked her, “When you are successful in publishing, IT’S LIKE WHAT?”

For Rev. Edwene Gaines successful publishing was like "walking through a jungle". Debbie was so inspired that she decided to produce a book "success metaphors".  She found out that most of the people she interviewed did not know their success metaphor consciously, but when they did they were delighted to discover it. Debbie's book summerises her interviews with twelve people who are highly successful in their own field – everything from film making to dog-whispering to parenting. She facilitated each person to identify and elaborate their metaphor for success (using some Clean Language, but not exclusively). Her intention?

That by using my example as a model, you’ll be able to digest each person’s metaphor, their mind-art, to make the fulfillment of your own goals and dreams more tangible and compelling. Ultimately, my hope is that you’ll be inspired to both envision and take new steps toward fulfilling your heart’s deepest desires and your soul’s highest aspirations.

How do you take on another person's metaphor? Debbie was kind enough to include a few of my hints in her book:

When attempting to acquire another person's metaphor first "try it on" like a beautiful piece of clothing to see if it fits, feels right and resonates. Imagine living life through this metaphor. Do you like what it gives you?
Notice there is a difference between unfamiliar and uncomfortable. The metaphor will likely feel strange because it is new – that's its purpose! But that is different to being uncomfortable.*

Over the next few days and weeks be aware of the effect the metaphor is having on your behavior and your attitude to life. It may take a while before it seems natural and becomes a part of you.

If the metaphor mostly works for you but there is a piece that doesn't feel quite right, then amend or change that piece until it's just right for you.

However, if the metaphor doesn't work, set it as side and go find another.

Congratulations to Debbie for turning an inspired idea into a beautiful reality.

(* I was introduced to the subtlety of this distinction at a Richard Bandler workshop.)


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