The Power of Metaphor

What is metaphor?

It’s a way of speaking that uses words or pictures to describe something in a symbolic way.

At the workshop I presented at today, I used both words and pictures as metaphors to bypass the conscious mind and get the participants thinking more deeply about their EQ or emotional intelligence in regard to how much balance (or not) is in their lives.

Without giving too much away…. because I’m planning on repeating the workshop quite soon….. I asked them to think about what tools that they might have on hand to apply in various situations.

Using a variety of photos, including that of my own toolbox, we segued into how they might successfully navigate situations or people using various Emotional Intelligence strategies.

My real toolbox actually contains a good selection of Homeopathic remedies and many years ago I used to take it on home visits for some clients who had children diagnosed with ADHD. Much easier than having a bored and disruptive child confined in an office and a wonderful way to observe their behaviours in their natural habitat!

The metaphoric toolbox contains various tools that can be used to change perception of self or situations, to respond rapidly to changing situations or to be creative and innovative in an approach to new or novel ideas.

Life goals are much like having a garden. You’ve set out the garden beds, carefully planned where the trees have been placed and planted a variety of plants – perhaps even a lawn area. But the work doesn’t stop here…. the lawn needs to be mowed on a regular basis, the plants need to be tended and occasionally plants, such as roses…..need to be pruned quite a lot to produce the next seasons lush growth. And so it is with life goals….. You’ve planned the goals, placed a few key elements to stand out. All this needs maintenance…constant action to keep the momentum towards the end result. Along the way you may encounter a prickly person or what you thought was a beautiful flower, turns out to be a weed and needs to be removed.

Without knowing their story, a metaphor can be transformative to many people as they apply and adapt it to their own life experience or goals and bring about an inner awareness of their own strengths or weaknesses.