Inside Out? Explore Your Islands



Have you been to the new Disney movie Inside Out yet? I recommend it as a story of self-discovery and inner psychological exploration.  The aspect I like best about the concept of revealing what “goes on” emotionally in an 11 year old girl’s head is how some experiences form not only long-term but “core” memories, and these core memories can grow into “Islands.”

The Islands are what I would call your Life Themes: repeating, primary kinds of situations that interweave through your life like uniquely colored threads in the overall weave of your Life Path. FAMILY, for instance, or EDUCATION, or TRAVEL might be central Islands that occupy much of a person’s thoughts and focus much of their interests and goals.

View on Maldives Islands from airplane

Each of us develops several LIFE THEME Islands as we grow up. Some of these are happy places, others maybe not so happy, depending on the nature of the Core Memories around which they have formed.

As this month’s Life Metaphor is of life as A Mountain with Vistas, I invite you to explore your own core memory Islands this week. It is very easy to identfy these Islands. List 10-20 key memories from your life. Just identify these as events or situations that have been influential in shaping “the person you have become.”  after you have created this list of some of your Significant Life Events, next then simply SORT THESE experiences from your life into KINDS of situations or experiences. For example, some of these events may have to do with FAMILY, others with FRIENDS or ROMANCE or WORK or TRAVEL.  Simply make a new list now of the kinds of events you have referred to with your first list of memories. This set of kinds of events in your life are some of your dominant LIFE THEMES. These are your Islands.

easter island

Now then I invte you to EXPLORE your own Islands. Visualize and actively contempate one LIFE THEME at a time. You can take several days to do this. What is the nature of each of your LIFE THEME Islands? Are you happy there? Does it lift you or hold you “down”? Write about these in your journal; discuss them with a loved one. Consider how each of these Islands affects your life.

Love island

I welcome your insights and stories!