We all Thrive in different ways and today I’m excited to introduce my next guest in the Over 50 & Thriving Series, because the topic she has chosen is something that I’ve not really heard of before. This is the reason I love the series so much because I am continually learning from all of the wonderful women who have taken part.
I recently became friends across the globe with Karen Hume from Profound Journey. We met through the AtoZ Blogging Challenge in April and when I saw her website and read the content I knew I had found another blogging friend. I love Karen’s attitude to Midlife & Beyond and I know you will too. You can connect with Karen through her website and social media links at the end of the post.
What Keeps You On Track to Thrive?
Last summer, I built a labyrinth. That sounds like I have serious construction skills, doesn’t it? I don’t. What I have is a credit card and a whole lot of rocks on my country property. The credit card bought me a classic Chartres labyrinth design preprinted on weed-blocking landscape cloth. The rocks made their way, a few at a time, from up near the house down to the lower meadow. I put crushed limestone in between the rocks and ta da, one 11’ x 11’ labyrinth.
Before we go any further, since this post is supposed to be about thriving, I need to stress that a labyrinth is NOT a maze. Mazes are deceptive devils, deliberately designed to get you lost—the exact opposite of thriving! Labyrinths, on the other hand, have a single path. You walk in, follow the path, and leave at the same point you entered.
What Does a Labyrinth Have to Do with Thriving?
The labyrinth is actually only part of the story. For it all to make sense, you need the whole setting which includes: the labyrinth, a bench, and three stone angel sculptures carved by artists from Zimbabwe.
Each object is a symbol for a quality I want in my life:
- Labyrinths have long been about a quiet, reflective inner journey, a walking meditation. I crave the peacefulness and, hopefully, wisdom that comes with contemplation.
- The bench is symbolic of a sense of ease, a level of deep relaxation and self-kindness that I haven’t yet achieved.
- The stone angels are symbols of beauty and creativity that I purchased from a local outdoor Zimbabwean art gallery. It’s significant that there are three angels. I connect three objects to the idea of body/mind/spirit, and the attention I want to be paying to each.
And lest you think I’ve got this thriving thing down pat, I’m a work-in-progress on every single quality I’ve mentioned. Lots of times I’m not even in progress, but am simply looking forward to getting started.
Why Do Visuals Matter?
I used to travel North America, speaking with groups of teachers and principals. Following in the footsteps of Garr Reynolds, author of Presentation Zen, my PowerPoint presentations had almost no words. Instead, each screen was a single large image. And each image was carefully chosen to help people make an emotional connection to the information I shared. As Reynolds explains, “Logic is not enough. Communication is the transfer of emotion.”
Visuals matter because:
- Our brains are better image processors than they are word processors. We process images much faster than words, probably because so much of the cerebral cortex is devoted to images.
- Abstract ideas are made concrete through image. An image provides an anchor on which we can hang all of our associations to a concept.
- The above two statements mean that we can also readily retrieve and remember information presented in a visual form.
- Whether a photograph, an animated GIF, video, or tangible object, visuals help us to keep an idea front of mind. This is the rationale behind vision boards, company logos, even lawn signs for political candidates.
How about you? What image or object reminds you of a quality that is important to the thriving you? Please share in the comments.