Recapitulation of our life


A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic

Copyright 2006 by K. Ferlic,   All Rights Reserved

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Recapitulation of our life

World Events
Personal events and experiences

The Battles
Forest and Jungles
What do you do with the results?
Related topics

To recapitulate something is to summarize and state again the main points. Recapitulation of our life is to summarize our life experiences and review the major points in our life. It is first step in calling back and reconstituting our creative power. It is essential if we are either going to explore our true nature, including the depth and breadth of our creative power, and/or create a soul retrieval to call back parts of our being we may have lost over life.

The recapitulation life review exercises provide a review of your life to summarize where you have been and what you have done in your life with your creative power. In reviewing our lives, some of us have exceptionally good memories where as other seem to forget everything. There is no right or wrong answer as to how much you remember and how much you write up in this exercise. All that is recommended is that you include enough information to remember the essential details of where have been and what you have done, especially those events and places that were important it getting you to be who you are today. You can be as detailed as your like but, so as not to get lost in the details, try and keep to the salient points of any time period.

This exercise can be used to explore the inner language that your creative spirit and intuitive guidance use to communicate to you what you experience. As you do the exercises, become aware if any other symbolism arises that will allow you to better address what the particular question asks you to address. The symbolism that does arise probably is part of your inner language.

The following list of questions will provide some assistance to you in recalling the different aspects of your life. Also, what you recall does not need to be in chronological order. Just list what you remember as your remember it. You can add to it and expand the information at any time. There will be other exercises that you do that will utilize this information and help you to organize in different ways. At this time, you are only asked to remember what you can and add to it as you remember.

We can look at our life from a variety of perspectives. For each of the topics below you are asked to look at your life for that particular type and kind of experience. You may find your life full of only one or a few types of experiences or you may find that you have experienced a little of everything but a not a lot in any one area. Everyone’s life is different and you may even find one life experience belongs in a variety of categories. You are free to place your life experiences in where ever category or as many categories they fit best. This exercise is about you getting a perspective on the experience you have had. How you choose to arrange them and perceive them is your choice.

This exercise can take quite a bit of time if completed throughly and in detail. It does not have to be completed at any one time and sometimes is best completed over time. However, frequently it is unnecessary to complete all the questions in detail. Rather, as you works through the questions you being to see the story or the picture that best describes how you have being living your life and experiencing your reality. Within that understanding the key aspects of your life surface and you only need to capture that essential thread of events that has woven through your life to create the story you tell or the picture that best describes who and what you think you are.

In answering these questions, it needs to be remembered that you have a spiritual, mental, emotional and physical aspect to your being. Your life experience may affect any one or all of these four aspects. When answering these questions, it is recommended that you look at all four of these aspects for there are some important life events that have occurred that have only affected one of these aspects and may be otherwise overlooked.

Within this exercise a variety of symbolism and imagery is used such as “battles” you have fought, “mountains” you have climbed, “rivers” you have crossed and the like. The imagery was chooses to make it easier to draw a life map of your results as a geographical type map. You should not be constrained by this imagery and symbolism. A geographical based map is not the only kind of life map that can be drawn.

Use what is effective for you to access the information you need. For example, you may prefer to describe events in your life as “kingly,” “queenly,” “foolish,” or “sorcerer” roles you have played in life. Some like to use the imagery and symbolism of their profession for example a musician uses musical analogies and songs. A nurse or doctor may prefer medical imagery. Here again, you what you feel comfortable with to recall and recapitulate your life.

It is recommend you record your results. You will probably find a variety of reason you may wish to return to the information you generate in this exercise.

People (Top)

People affect us in a variety of ways and allows us to have a variety of different experiences. Most of us have probably met and interacted with more people that we could have ever imagined by the time we are young adults. Some allowed us to have wonderful experiences and other have caused us to have experiences we would just a soon forget them and the experience. With some, we interacted personally, with others, we may have only read about their lives in a book and they inspired us from a distance. Some may have been a hero and role model in our childhood and adolescence.

What people have made a lasting impact on your life? How exactly did they impact you?

For the people you listed, at what time period of your life (childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, etc..) did they influence you?

Which, if any, of these individuals appeared rather magically at a pivotal time in your life or at some crossroad you encountered in your life such that they helped guide and direct you towards fulfillment of your life?

Are there any common elements about the type and kind of people who inspired you? Or, is there a common type of experience you were having in your life when they inspired you?

World Events (Top)

Each of us are affected by world events. Some of these events occur hundreds or thousands of miles away. Other occur just across the street.

What world events (near or far) had a significant impact on your life? Why or how did the event affect you?

Which of the world everts (near or far), if any, actually caused you to live your life differently or change the direction of your life?

Personal events and experiences (Top)

Obviously the life events that we personally experience have the greatest impact on us. Some are pleasurable and some are painful. Some give us great pride where as others tend to cause us to feel guilt and remorse. It is in these life events, or during these life events that we experience love, hate, anger, violence, confusion, clarity, contentment, and the other emotions and ways of being in the world.

Some of these life events cause feelings to arises such that we can characterize them figuratively (although they could be literal). For example: struggle with others can be see as battles; transitions that link past ways of being with new ways as bridges; walking on the edge of who you think you and/or the unknown as cliffs; decisions as crossroads; torturous up hill like climbs as mountains; moments of great clarity and insight as peaks and lack of clarity as deep within a valley; dry lifeless times as deserts; seemingly lost in the details of life as a dense forest or jungle; suck in routine and habits of the mundane of life as swamps; obstacles to cross where you have to change you way of doing things as streams and rivers; isolation and aloneness as islands; time of chaos and confusion as hurricanes, tornadoes and/or storms; the guidance and direction of life as signposts; and of course they may be the mysterious and miraculous gifts and miracles that we experience from time to time.
You are now asked to review your personal experiences of life and see what category or categories in which they fit. In this exercise, you are not limited to the figurative categories of landscape that are used here. If you wish, create your own categories. Use whatever best suits how you see and experience life. You may choose some other images like the theater, sports events, or a circus motif or describe your life as animals found in nature. The categories we provide here are simply a starting point to recall and understand how you have felt about the different experiences you have had in life.

The Battles
(Top): Battles are characterized by conflict and struggle against an opponent of some type. They may be small conflicts that you would characterize as skirmishes. Others are full engagements where anything and everything you have available you throw into the fight. The conflict does not necessarily need to be physical. It may be emotional, spiritual or mental or any combination.

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by a battle?

What events in your life if any, felt as though you were engaged in a battle?

Are there any causes that you have chosen to fight for such that you have experience conflict in your life as a result of standing for those causes?

As you look back of the battles that you fought, what did you win and/or lose in each?

For each of these battles, whether you feel your won or lost, do you feel the fight was worth it?

(Top) : Bridges are structures that link specific locations such as two shores or two ledges that are separated by a rather large obstacle such as a river or chasm that would otherwise be difficult to cross. Bridges make our transition across the obstacle much easier. Or, a bridge can be seen as connecting two different worlds. In this case the bridge also represent the passage from one way of living or being in the world to another. Bridges in life are often those events that end one way of living and allow us to enter another way of living. Often bridges are not unrecognized for the link they provide at the time we actually cross them. Of the we take them for granted. These bridges may be ceremonies, physical moves, or simply a change in attitude or way of viewing and experiencing the world. Bridges may be something we build ourselves or they may be provided by our family, our society or some other way by the world in which we live. More often than not, they are something built by another who has journeyed a similar path before us.

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by a bridge?

Where are the bridges, or rather the bridge points, in your life? What exactly is, or was, the obstacle that the bridge allowed you to cross?

Which events would you describe that allowed you to bridge an obstacle in your life such that you could say you were reborn into a new world or a new way of being - that is you were somehow changed as you crossed that bridge?

(Top): Cliffs represent the edge. They represent the edge of who you think you are. The cliff represents the boundary between the known world and the unknown. They are limits and boundaries of our won thinking. The cliff represents those points or places in life that if you step over, we will seemingly fall into an abyss and destroy who we think we are. The cliff represents that point where we step into the unknown, not knowing what will happen. It is a place where we are unsure of our footing and there is the always present danger or fear of falling. It is a place were we feel unsafe. It is where we step out in faith. If we play life safe we do not walk near the edge, and if we do walk near the edge we ensure ourselves that we do not step over. When we play it safe we surround ourselves with the comfortable and preserve the way we are. The fool and the fool’s journey have traditionally been seen as the one who walks along the edge or steps over the edge in innocence. In full trust, they innocently walk along or over the edge seek something that is not found in their current world. The fools journey is the traditional leap of faith where one jumps out in faith into the unknown not knowing what to expect or what they will find.

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by a cliff?

Where have been the cliffs in your life?

Can you identify where you walked out in complete innocence and faith as the fool?

Can you identify where you walked close to the edge but backed away out of fear or danger?

(Top): Crossroads are decision points. We each make numerous decisions every day but often don’t recognize the decision for the crossroad that it is. As a cross roads, decisions allows us to choose one path or one direction over another. Iin reflections, we see there are some decisions that standout and stand above the others in importance as to how we have come to live our life. Some of these decisions were made by us where as others we made for us by some authority figure in our life. Sometimes even if we choose a certain course of action, we do not feel free to choose what we want rather we chose based on the expectations of others in some way.

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by a crossroad?

Where were the major crossroads or decisions points in your life?

Which of these decisions were made by some authority figures such as your:

  • parents (“You are going to Whatsamatter U and going to become a ....”),

  • a doctor (“We will have to operate!”),

  • an employer (“You are being transferred, if you want your job....”),

  • the government (“You are invited to report to the Selective Service Office/Immigration Office/Internal Revenue Office on ....”),

  • your spiritual advisor (“If you want to go to heave and be saved, you must....”) and/or other similar authority figures?

Can you identify those decisions that were made in complete freedom of your own being without any influence or pressure from the external world, what the external world expected, or how the external world taught you to make your decisions?

Can you identify those decisions that you made more to satisfy the external world as opposed to what you wanted to do?

Can you identify any decisions that you made that at the time you thought you were making in freedom but only come to find out you were making the decision based on how you were conditioned to think or responded out of an ingrained habit?

(Top): Mountains are those torturous up-hill like climbs that we make at various times in our life. In some ways a mountain is an obstacle. But rather than being an obstacle to overcome, it represents something that in completing the climb allows us to see or live at a different level. Climbing a mountain gives us access to a new way being, a new perspective, or new experiences that we would otherwise not have. Learning to read and write are the most obvious examples of mountains that we have climbed in our life. By learning to read and write whole new worlds open to us that otherwise could never be obtained. Climbing a mountain can also be seen as climbing that “ladder of success.” Becoming successful is a mountain that has been climbed. However, as with many climbs that are made in life sometimes we have to ask if we have climbed the right mountain. Any high point in you life, such as, accomplishment, victories, overcoming an obstacle, that results after much effort on your part is a mountain that has been climbed. Climbing a mountain is characterized by hard work, persistence, and sacrifice and, of course, the greater the work, persistence and sacrifice the great the mountain that is conquered.

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by a mountain?

What mountains have you climbed in your life?

Did you climb the mountain because you chose to climb it, or you where told by another you had to climb it, or did it arise seemingly out of no where as something to be addressed?

Are there any mountain that you have climbed only to come to find out that you have climbed the wrong mountain?

(Top): Although we physically associate peaks with mountains, peaks as used here are not necessarily associated with anything that you do such as climbing a mounting to obtain a view. Rather peaks are moment of great clarity and insight. They are flashes of illumination and are usually spontaneous and unplanned. Peaks are those moments in life that you seem to be standing on a very tall peak and see with extreme clarity into the valley below and all the surrounding country side. Peak can occur in any aspect of your life and you can have spiritual, emotional, mental or physical peak experiences.

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by a peak?

What events or experiences in your life do you consider peak experiences? What was the clarity or insight you obtained?

Which of these peak experiences provided you the opportunity to act on the clarity and insight you were given?

Can you described which peak experiences changed your life and how?

(Top): Valleys are the opposites of the peaks. Valleys are times when you can’t seem to see beyond the hand that you put in the front of your face. Fog, and being in a fog, is associated with valleys for that valleys contain the mist of the fog. The valley allows the fog to concentrate rather than dissipate. The valley denies us the ability to see what is in front of ourselves. Additional, even without the fog, valleys are surrounded by mountain and the tall mountains that do not allow you to see beyond the mountain. The valley confines you to the here and now and with what is directly before you. The valley is something in which you must climb out, or find a way out.

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by a valley?

What event or experiences in your life do you consider to be as though you were traveling thought a deep valley with high insurmountable cliffs on either side? What freed you from the valley in which you were confined?

What events or experiences in your life do you consider as being immersed in an endless fog? What allowed the fog to disperse?

What experiences in your life have you had that, although you had great freedom of movement, you knew you were confined within a set of limits and boundaries that you seemed unable to surmount? What eventually allowed you to find freedom?

(Top): Deserts are the dry and lifeless times of life where there seems to be nothing alive and only dust, dirt and dryness abound. Deserts are those times in life that it seems that no matter whatever we try and do, nothing grows or brings forth fruit. When in the desert we just keep putting one foot in front of the other wondering if we will survive and make it to the other side. Usually we feel totally alone and there is no one there to help us and to quench our thirst. Although we may be surrounded by a multitude of warm friends and family, we still cannot quench the thirst that lies within our being. Deserts give rise to mirages and/or false guides and hopes that never materialize for the come from a longing that cannot be supported by the life one is leading. Deserts tend to create the space for the illusion in our life to arise. The mirages and illusions of life tend to make if feel ashamed and/or betrayed by life. We are dying for thirst and we long for that oasis that never appears. Sometimes pursuit of that illusion keeps us in the desert longer than we need to be. Rather than just focus on where we need to get to, we begin to follow the mirage that appears in a direction other than were we are going or need to be going.

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by a desert?

What circumstances and events in your life feel like a desert you have had to walk though? What allowed you to survive in these desert times and/or escape the desert?

Can you identify the desert times, where illusions appeared that causes you to chase after the unreal rather then sticking to your path that you knew you needed to follow?

Have you ever been lead into the desert because you listen to another rather than following your own internal guidance?

Forest and Jungles
(Top): Dense forests and jungles are thick with trees and vegetation. Any path that has been cut, quickly get lost either in the rapid regrowth of the vegetation or seemingly unendedness of tree after identical tree after identical tree. You cannot follow the path of another for their path is quickly absorbed and rendered invisible by the forest or the jungle. The forest and jungle are those places where ones path gets lost seemingly by the thickness and vibrance of the details of life itself. The only way one can get though them is by one own internal guidance system and one either needs to have a well developed internal sense of guidance or be accompanied by one, a guide, who does.

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by a forest or jungle?

Can you identify the life events that you have experienced that best represent the forest or the jungle? What was what you experienced best described as a forest or jungle?

In these jungles and forests, was a guide present who help you to navigate this unknown world or did you learn to navigate it yourself?

If a guide was present, do you remember who they were and exactly how they helped you? Did they teach you any of their techniques?

(Top): Swamps are the marshy ground that cannot support the normal ways of living. They are too overgrown, watery and wet to support normal land life. Yet, they are to land-like to support the sea life of the ocean. Swamps and marshes stand between the two world of water and land. Yet because the swamps and marshes are neither one nor the other, they are some of the most richest and fertile sources of life in the world. In today’s world we find that they have to be protected to so they can continue to nourish all the life forms they do support. Our problem with swamps is that we try and live as thought it is dry and we get stuck because the ways of the land are not the ways of the swamp. The effort one needs to expend seems to be too much for what is gained and the efforts seems to be more trouble that it is worth. It is like the old saying, “It is hard to remember the intention was to drain the swamp when you are up to you behind in alligators.”

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by a swamp?

Where in you life have been the swamps and marshes that have causes you to slowdown, get suck and/or alter your course because you could not get thought them? What was it that caused the experience to feel like a swamp rather than some other image?

Have you learned to navigate the swamps of life or have you come to avoid them?

(Top): Rivers are much like the obstacles of life. A river is something that you have to cross to continue your journey but you cannot continue on your journey using the same mode of transportation. You have to change and alter you way of being unless someone has erected a bridge or has a boat for you use. Some of these obstacles are like small stream that one can step across to the broad expanses of the Mississippi River that can be a mile wide. Obstacles give rise to fear, anger, and resentment and whatever else we feel when our path seems blocked. However obstacles test our ingenuity and creativity. They allow us to go to the depth of our being to find ways to surmount the greatest obstacles that we encounter. Life events give rise to obstacles that may be external to us or internal to our own being. Obstacles may be fears or the lack of skills and talents. Or, they may be people that seem to always thwart our efforts or hold us back by stealing our energy and/or distract us from our path. In any case, rivers not crossed keep us bound in the world we find ourselves.

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by a river?

What significant external and internal obstacles have you faced in life? Included both those that have both kept you bound and those that you have transcended.

For those obstacles that have kept you bound do you know why you are unable to figure out how to cross or pass through them or do they continue to baffle you? For example knowing you have a fear and you are unable to face that fear as opposed to not knowing you have a fear this is keeping you from something in particular.

For those obstacles that you have transcended, can you identify the new skills and talents that you have learned? Have you learned a way to transcend your obstacles or is what you learned unique to that situation?

(Top): Islands are surrounded by water. They represent when one is isolated and very alone unless one can figure out now to cross the body of water that isolates the island from the mainland or other islands. There are times in life when we feel very alone and isolated. Sometimes we seem so close yet separated by a swift flowing currents that can not be readily crossed. Other times we seem to be in the middle of a vast ocean with no evidence of anyone else existing in the world we are experiencing.

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by an island?

What life events have you experienced that would be best characterized and an island experience or a time of feeling like an island - isolated and alone?

Which of these life experiences cause you to feel every so close to another by yet totally separated and isolated by a separation that just could not be crossed?

What allowed you leave the island or are you still isolated in the events you listed in the preceding two questions?

(Top): The chaos we face is life is much like the as hurricanes, tornadoes and/or storms that reek havoc and destruction as they pass though. Sometimes they only come with a lot of wind an rain threatening to destroy what we hold dear. Other times they actually destroy our home down to it foundation or flood our home making it unuseable and in need of being rebuilt. We all face storms that pass through our life from time to time. Just when things seem to be falling into place and we are achieving our success a storm blows in destroying what we have built. Storms appear to be forces beyond our control which make us feel a victim and at the mercy of the forces that be. We both curse them and try and find ways to appease them hoping they spare us their destructive power. Yet some storms are exactly what we need to clean and cleanse our life allows us to get on with what is truly important to us. They give us reason to rethink our life, reorganize, or completely abandon projects that were just not really that useful to us.

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by a Storm?

Can you identify the life events that have been the storms in your life?

Which of these storm were set backs and misfortunes causing you to redo your efforts?

Which of these storms were actually a needed cleansing that allowed you to pick and go in a different, more fulfilling direction in life?

(Top): Signposts are those forms of guidance that we encounter in life that allow us to get our bearings and obtain the clarity that we need to continue on the path that we choose. Signposts tell us which way to go. Sailors and caravans that used the oceans and the broad expanses of the desert use the stars. Land explores tend to use prominent geological and other land feature. Each of us in our journey though life have encountered spiritual, mental, emotional and physical signpost at one time or another. They may have been people, animals, books, songs, dreams, paintings, geographical locations or a multitude of other forms. What ever form they took, the signpost leads us to a deeper awareness of ourselves. The help to clarify who we are and what we are here to accomplish and experience. Some guides may come and go where as others can remain in our lives for quite some time. Each of us are different and have our own unique signpost in life.

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by a signpost?

As you review your life, who or what has guided you? What form did your guides take?

Do your guide tend to be of one type or form or is there a variety?

Can you identify specific events in your life where the presence of a guide resulted in you taking a different path than the one you were initially pursuing?

(Top): In addition to the pains of life, life give many joys and pleasures. Frequently the joys and pleasures of life are accompanied with gifts. The gifts may be something material or they may be non physical and maybe have the appearance of something like a helping hand when most needed.

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by a gift?

What gifts have you received in life that have profoundly affected your life?

What gifts have you given that have profoundly affected the life of another?

(Top): Miracles are those life events that seem to take us into mysterious and miraculous aspects of the universe. They seem to defy logic and explanation. Although they may seem mysterious and miraculous, many of us experience miracles more often than we realize or talk about. Many time words cannot describe the experience of a miracle and one can only be with the experience as it happens. The key characteristic of a miracle is that is leaves in awe and wonder deep inside our being. The experience of a miracle just reassures us there is more to life that what can be seen on the surface.

Exploring your own imagery: Does any imagery or symbolism arise that better address the types and kinds of events symbolized by a miracle?

What life events have you experienced and witnessed in your life that would fall into this definition of miracle?

In reflecting on the miracles that you have witness, how did your life change in response to witnessing the miracle?.

What do you do with the results? (Top)

If you have completed the above questions, you may be asking yourself what do I do with the results. It is recommended you use them to reflect on your life and what life has revealed to you. The results are most useful to compile into the story of your life or to create a life map. They can be used to decided what type and kind of eulogy you want said about yourself when you life is over. Similarly, they can be used to tell you what is important in your life. From a creativity perspective and holding your creativity sacred, look to see here you have given your creative power away or allowed yourself to be victim. Also look to see were you have taken creative control and determined what unfolded in your life. Probably the most important question can you ask is, “Do the events in my life reflect a life worth living or should I be creating some other life experiences that better serves me?”

Related topics (Top)
Life Map
Your eulogy
Who am I questions
Question about our essence

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