Do you have competing thoughts in your head like I do? “Who do you think you are, writing a blog? You are not a writer!” says one of mine. “You have insights to share – go for it!” says another. Colette Baron-Reid’s new book, “The Map: Finding Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life” can help you sort out these conflicting messages.
At first glance the approach Baron-Reid employs to explain the mysteries of the human mind did not appeal to me. She uses imaginary beings to identify the different voices in your head, with names like “the Goblin”, “the Gentle Gardner”, “the Bone Collector”, and “the Wizard of Awareness”. Most of my reading is of the non-fiction variety, and I didn’t initially grasp the value of these fairy tale type characters.
“As an intuitive counselor, I look beyond the surface of things and into the intricacies behind people’s stories: the motivations, unseen patterns, hidden agendas, and ancestral legacy,” Baron-Reid writes. To accomplish this goal she uses metaphoric language to paint an imaginary “Map” of your mind. “If you’re willing to enter into a partnership with Spirit and allow your imagination to be ignited and inspired,” she writes, “you’ll be amazed by the results.”
“OK, I’ll give this a try” I thought and I soon became absorbed into the mythical world of The Map. For example, Baron-Reid creates a character called “The Goblin” to represent negative messages you tell yourself. “Think of the Goblin as the trickster, which is the most troublesome and wounded aspect of your ego,” she writes. To overcome these negative messages she says “when we name a Goblin, he no longer has power over us … Just ask him ‘what is your name and birthday?’”
In Baron-Reid’s imaginary Map, a Goblin is born from a wounding in the past. I thought back to a recurring negative thought that plagues me at times and asked myself, “when did I first start thinking that?” Sure enough, I could remember an incident, a hurt, where I first perceived myself in this negative way. By buying into The Map’s mythical character of The Goblin, I gained new insight and a tool to quiet this negative thought in the future.
Baron-Reid introduces us to many other characters in The Map, far too many to recap in this review. A feature I liked about the book was the way she finishes each chapter with a section called “Traveler’s Notes” – a summary of the key points of that chapter. The Map’s mythical language can be challenging to follow at times, and I found these summaries valuable in making The Map more understandable.
Throughout the book Baron-Reid has a variety of journaling exercises. Sometimes when I read a book that encourages journaling I skip over the exercises and keep reading. Not with The Map. I took the Map’s journaling assignments seriously, and gained value from the probing questions the author asks. If you read the Map I encourage you to do the journaling exercises to get the maximum benefit from the book. I liked the journaling exercises so much that I have started this practice at the end of my morning meditation time. I have not consistently journaled for years; since reading The Map I now do it every day.
The Map is an excellent book to help you understand the mysteries of the human psyche. The mythical characters of The Map are not for everyone, but if you allow Baron-Reid’s characters to weave their magic on you I believe you’ll gain new insights and healing. I know I did.
You can get “The Map” from these book sellers:
This is another book review in my partnership with Hay House. I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.