Background: the metaphor technique is something I’ve adapted from Suzette Haden Elgin‘s teachings. It’s a terrifically great tool for destuckifying.

We play with this one at the Kitchen Table and at some of my wacky events. It’s mainly an excuse for me to make my “What’s a meta for?” joke, but the results are seriously awesome.

It’s also how I discovered that I work on a pirate ship. Which helped me deal with my hackers. And with my fear of being beautiful.

Last time we turned my horrid Tickler file into an Iguana Watcher’s Guide. Nice.

No iguana taxation without representation! Unpacking the metaphor.*

* Cough, unpacking IS a metaphor.

So. My secret alter-ego has been Metaphor Mouse-ing my business systems.

Specifically the ones that help me deal with iguanas (the annoying things that I expertly resist doing).

The situation this time? Tis the season of the Dreaded Tax Prep. And the not happening of that. And ugh ugh ugh.

Which means it was time to call on … ta da! Cape-swooshing-sounds! Metaphor Mouse!**

** Again, this is is really just me yelling I AM METAPHOR MOUSE to the tune of Iron Man.

Unpacking my CURRENT relationship with this. (TAXES = ?)

What are the qualities, aspects and attributes of the thing that isn’t working (including what *is* working — if anything)?

[+ should]
[+ stressful]
[+ shame]
[+ guilt]
[+ worry]
[+ what if I’m doing it wrong?]
[+ I don’t want to procrastinate but I also really don’t want to do this]
[+ little kid]
[+ I could get in trouble if I do something wrong]
[+ do not like do not like do not like]
[+ all alone]
[+ I suck at being an adult]
[+ but someone will have to help me and then I’ll feel even more stupid]
[+ waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah]
[+ I do like knowing what the numbers are]

Reminds me of?

When I was little (six?), I was “caught” stealing money.

I hadn’t been stealing it. I had been collecting it (everything from allowance to gifts from grandparents to the pennies and bottlecaps I found on the street) and keeping it all in a large brown leather bag at the back of the closet.

It was fun. Like a game.

Then I was hauled into the living room and given a lecture about stealing. No one could believe that my loot hadn’t been stolen.

And really, they had a point. Why would I hide it in the back of my closet if I wasn’t doing something wrong or if I didn’t know I was doing something wrong?.

I wasn’t able to make my point, and no one believed me, so eventually I just apologized and said I wouldn’t do it again. And then they took my treasure.

Is there a metaphor here?

Ahhhhh. Loot and treasure.

Of course.

So what would an ideal story/situation/metaphor be for taxes? And can I relate it to pirate treasure?

Because that would be perfect.

And learning more about my IDEAL metaphor (X = ?)

What sort of qualities, aspects and feelings does the thing I want contain?

[+ proud]
[+ digging for treasure]
[+ powerful]
[+ the good kind of hiding (not a shameful hoarding but a strong boundary of safety)]
[+ sovereignty]
[+ safety]
[+ trust]
[+ commitment]
[+ gratitude]
[+ ease]
[+ people helping]
[+ but I’m still in charge]
[+ I can ask for help whenever I need it]
[+ it is an honor to spend time with what I have been given and what I have chosen to give in return]

Reminds me of?

It’s a cave!

A Secret Money Cave where it is safe — and desirable — for me to be with my treasures and be present with what I have.

So I think instead of “working on my taxes” …

I am going to Go Visit My Money Cave and spend time with my treasures.

And then I will Take Notes in my Pirate Log so that I can make a Generous Donation, nay, a Tribute to the lands that allow me access to their fair harbours.

And I am going to look for various Clews and Seeds that I can plant to remind me that this is what I am doing.

Also, I may invent a silly ritual that is about grateful appreciation for support in all forms.

Oh boy! I wish I ate chocolate so I could cover my bed with gold-foil-wrapped chocolate coins. That would be AWESOME.

Do we have Lift-off Metaphor?


Are we comfortable with this metaphor?

Or do we need an intermediary metaphor to be a bridge (ding! metaphor!) to help you get from where there to here?

No. I think this will work!

Next steps?

Hello, cave. I have missed you.

Reporting back:

I did some pirate iguana chicken stuff iguanability on this one and took it to the Deguiltified Chicken Board at the Kitchen Table.

It was 10:30 in the morning. Prime Visiting The Cave time.

I announced that I was going to light some incense and spread my papers out over the bed.

Committed to keeping this vision in my head. And checking in.

Totally worked.

Took longer than I would have liked. And yeah, some moments of frustration.

The hard was that I still don’t feel very pirate queen-ey. The good was that I didn’t cry or throw a tantrum or yell at my Gentleman Friend.

And the real good is that it’s done. John Donne! Donne! Donne!

Also I made a chart of General DEDUCKTIONS which cracked me up. Yes, it was really funny to be me for about five seconds there.

Would you like to play? Comment zen for today.

As always: We all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff.

We share what’s true for us, and we let people have their own experience, and we don’t give advice.

You are more than welcome to mess around with this stuff and share in the comments. Or not. Or you can comment on something else entirely. Selma and I like you either way. Promise.

Note: If you’re new here and you have no idea what I’m talking about half the time, you’re in really good company, it will make sense eventually, I promise. In the meantime, you might want to hang out in the Glossary.

*waves to the Beloved Lurker mice*

The Fluent Self