A life map is a visual representation of all the key moments in time that have shaped who you are, regardless of whether they were happy or sad occasions. You can also think of a life map as a graphical representation of your life, starting from birth and going up until the present day. It can include any event, milestone, or experience that has made an impact on your life.
Many people don’t know what their own “life moment” looks like until later on down the line when trying desperately hard enough to find out where everything went wrong. Let’s take some time now…to learn something about how to trace back our steps, plan for the future and understand our life story up until this point.
There isn’t a single right way to make a life map, as everyone will be unique to them. However, there are some key steps that you can follow to create your own. For you to come up with a good life map, you need the ideal paraphernalia for the job. Here are some of the things you need:
• A piece of paper or canvas
• A pen or pencil
• Some coloured pens or crayons
• A good memory to remember what happened
• Time and patience
CREATING YOUR LIFE MAP
1. Start by identifying the key moments in your life. You need to number them right from the beginning, starting from those that happened at the youngest age you can remember.
2. Draw a big circle on the paper/canvas. Place the key moments at specific points in the circle, using either dates or relative age (e.g. “age 10-13”). It’s always good to use different colours so that you can easily identify different stages in your life.
3. Once you have plotted all of the key moments, it’s time to start filling in some details. This is where things can get really interesting, as you can add as much or as little information as you like. Some people might want to include what they were feeling at the time, while others might just want to write a brief description of what happened.
4. Link the different moments using lines. This will help you know how one event has led to another. It will also help you to see any patterns that have emerged in your life.
5. Finally, once you have finished your drawing, take some time to reflect on it. What did you learn about yourself? What surprised you? How do you feel now that you have seen everything in one place?
You can put your map somewhere where you can see it regularly and reflect on your progress. Sharing it with others can also be helpful, as it allows you to talk about your life with others and get some valuable insights. There are many benefits of creating a visual timeline, and here are just a few:
• It can help you to see your life story up until this point.
• You can identify the key moments that have shaped you into the person you are today.
• It helps you identify any patterns that have emerged in your life.
• It can be a useful way to communicate your life story with others.
• You can use it to plan for your future
• You can use it as a form of self-care.
HOW DO YOU USE YOUR LIFE MAP
There are many ways in which you can use your life map, and here are some ideas:
• Look back on your life and reflect on the different stages you have been through.
• Understand how your past has influenced your present.
• Use it to make decisions about your future.
• Track your progress over time.
• Document important events and milestones.
• Identify patterns in your life.
• Use it as a tool for self-care.
• Share it with your friends and family.
WHAT SHOULD BE IN A LIFE MAP
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as everyone’s life map will be unique to them. Even so, there are some key things that you might want to consider including:
• The date or age of each key moment.
• The emotions you were feeling at the time.
• A brief description of what happened.
• The impact that each moment has had on your life.
• How the different moments are linked together.
• Anything else that you find valuable!
Before you pick that piece of paper to start drawing your life map on, here are some tips to help you out:
• Use a large piece of paper or canvas, as you will have plenty of space to fill in details.
• Get creative with the way you layout your life map.
• Also, get creative with how you use the colours. For instance, you can use the colours based on what you were wearing or to represent the emotions attached to that time.
• Labelling each stage of your life is a great way to help keep track of everything.
• Don’t be afraid to add in extra details. The more information you include, the more valuable your life map will be.
• Enjoy the process of creating your life map – it can be really therapeutic.