Friday, June 12, 2009

The web

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric. Bertrand Russell
I am late writing this morning. Computer/Internet angst interrupted my morning flow. It was a surprisingly good change. Gave me a chance to focus on other things, to look for other ways, opportunities, ideas.

On Tuesday, we had a seminar at the shelter where I work on the Relational Rennaisance. Dr. Jean LaFrance presented his format for discovering new ways to solve problems. It reminded me of 'web writing' -- no, not online missives, but creating a web for story ideas to evolve from.

IN web writing, you write a word or phrase in the centre of the page and circle it. Branching out from the centre circle you draw a line to a circle and in it write a word or phrase that is spawned by the centre idea. You keep drawing circles around words you write until your page is full or you have run out of words. There's no judging the words. No, 'that one doesn't relate', or censoring of your ideas. The object is to get all the words down on paper first -- and then categorize, organize, shape the web into coherent thoughts. From the page you might come out with five or six even ten distinct thoughts. From there, you begin the process of linking those ideas to thoughts on the page.

In relational based practice, you link ideas through first of all, writing down a problem in the centre of the page and then webbing from that centre point what you know about the 'current reality'. The sub-text to the problem statement that elaborates on the issue. From there, you create a map leading you to the question, "What do I want to achieve."

It was a powerful process for me. I realized as we discussed issues around staff/client utilization that often my perception is based on what I hear -- and when I don't investigate through free-thinking, I am limited in my ability to create solutions that are innovative, practical and effective.

Try it.

Pick a problem in your life. Something that is a recurring theme -- like, I don't have enough time. Write it in the middle of the page, and begin to web. Free associate to the thought of 'time', what does it mean, what is the sub-text to the thought?

And then, start letting the ideas flow. Be creative. Be eccentric.

You get to choose -- is this an idea worth keeping, or not. Does believing' I don't have enough time' create more of what I want in life or less? What are some creative ways I can change how I look at the problem -- what's the subtext.

The question is: Can you let eccentricity create new and exciting opportunities in your life. Are you willing to get outside the box and web away?

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