Metaphor MouseBackground: the metaphor technique is something I’ve adapted from Suzette Haden Elgin‘s teachings. It’s a terrific tool for destuckifying.

We play with this one at the Kitchen Table and 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 great.

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

More recently we turned my horrid Tickler file into an Iguana Watcher’s Guide And we turned “doing taxes” into a Secret Money Cave where I visit my treasures, take notes in my Pirate Log and make a Tribute to the lands that allow me access to their fair harbours.

Let’s do this thing.

Metaphor Mouse Chicken Iguana Pirate Troll powers ACTIVATE!

Aaargh. Projects. Unpacking the metaphor.

The situation:

I’m currently working on about a hundred projects. Which means I use the word project. A lot.

And I don’t even like it. Plus, projects have tasks and I absolutely cannot stand tasks.

So when I start messing with iguanaccountability, I’m already losing steam.

Cinderella does not like her tasks. Or her stupid projects.

This must be a job for … Metaphor Mouse!

* As always, this is is just me yelling I AM METAPHOR MOUSE to the song I am Iron Man. Yes. Still.

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

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

[+ should]
[+ stress]
[+ big]
[+ unmanageable]
[+ needs to get done]
[+ sometimes exciting and invigorating]
[+ proud (look at me, doing a project!]
[+ responsibility]
[+ hard to get a handle on]
[+ doesn’t always have clear boundaries]
[+ can be fulfilling]
[+ but not necessarily]
[+ tired]
[+ heavy]
[+ weight of the world on my shoulders]
[+ hard to access support]
[+ lonely]
[+ dark, with patches of light]

Reminds me of?

It’s like wandering through a forest, trying to gather all sorts of …. things that have to be gathered.

And I have these heavy packs on my back and am carrying all these baskets.

Plus I’m not even sure where I’m going or how to get there or if I’m ever going to get there. But for whatever reason I’m still not able to stop.

Learning more about my IDEAL metaphor (X = ?)

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

[+ clarity]
[+ sovereignty]
[+ confidence]
[+ light]
[+ support]
[+ exciting]
[+ invigorating]
[+ happy]
[+ energy]
[+ container]
[+ clear boundaries]
[+ ritual]
[+ transitions]
[+ fun]
[+ support (not alone)]
[+ people are happy for me when it’s done]
[+ valuable]
[+ anticipation]
[+ yay]

Reminds me of?

Oooh! Ooh! it’s a TREASURE HUNT.

It’s kind of a game, so I don’t have to take it too seriously.

But it’s fun so if I want to get crazy invested in it, I can.

And I choose to be a part of it. And other people are helping me.

The things I need to do may require work, but they are clearly defined. It’s not this big amorphous thing.

And if a “task” is an element of a project, a bite sized piece, then the corresponding part of a treasure hunt would be a clew.

Or maybe it’s more like one of Lucy’s missions.

What do you think, Metaphor Mouse? Are we at metaphor?

I love this. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

What needs to happen next?

Taking forty five minutes to figure out what I know about the next clue in my treasure hunt.

And how do we make it more fun?

I want:

  • people to celebrate with when a chunk of this gets done
  • strategizing
  • laughter
  • to remember the light-heartedness of this, and let that mix with my passion for the thing I want to happen.

Play with me? Comment zen for today.

You are more than welcome to do your own Metaphor Mousing on something you’re working on.

Or to celebrate with me and join my treasure hunt.

And, as always: we let people have their own experience, and we don’t give advice (unless someone specifically asks for it).

Whee! No more projects! No more TASKS.

Come play.

*puts on treasure-hunting hat*

The Fluent Self