Compass copy

The Map vs the Compass

Compass copy

Remember Srini Rao from the last post?

We’re gonna look into his “Map vs Compass” idea

In his words:

Srini Rao: “The map was based on where somebody else wanted me to end up.”

Therese: “Challenges are inherent in ditching the map. And why are so many people afraid to do it.”

Srini Rao: “Well it’s an incredibly difficult thing. The map has clear destinations outlined on it. Everything on the map is predetermined, so you don’t have to think, you don’t have to face uncertainty.

Suddenly you are left to fend for yourself.

The thing that a compass gives you is it points you in a particular direction. How you get there is irrelevant.
For me to get to this point I’ve had to do things that honestly have been uncomfortable. Like being 35 and live at home, which doesn’t do much for your dating life. There are all these things that are weird when you use a compass. You sleep in places that might not be comfortable. Sometimes you don’t know where the next meal or the next dollar is gonna come from.
The thing with a compass is that it’s going to lead you on a journey.”

Following your compass

It’s like… there’s a compass around you. And your heart sits at the centre.
And if you get really quiet, you can sense your heart leaning in one direction. And then that’s the direction you have to take because it’s the only one that makes sense.

Except that this is all metaphor and it doesn’t look like that at all.
I can’t tell you what it will look like because it will feel differently for everyone.

But using a metaphor will make it all easier, because you can actually visualise what’s going on. Plus, it’s way more fun :D

Uncomfortable things

I’m doing them.
I don’t have a stable place to live. Why? Well…

It all began last September, when the non-landlady told me I had one month to leave the house where I was.

I pictured myself finding another place to live, much like the one I had. I got quiet. And that’s when I heard it, like a voice from someplace deep inside me:
OMG! IF YOU PUT ME IN ANOTHER PLACE LIKE THIS, I WILL LOSE, IT, I SWEAR!!!

The voice yelled because, yeah, it was the best way to get my attention.
But I listened. And I asked “well, so where do you wanna live?”.
I got nothing.

Great. Now what?!

Turns out my “compass” knows where it doesn’t want to go, not where it *does* want to go.
Because sometimes that’s how things work.
So I’m currently living quite literally off a suitcase.

Real life examples

  • My business name was “Widdershins” from the start. Business “experts” rose their eyebrows, and wondered what the Hell. What they didn’t realise was that I didn’t actually “choose” its name. It chose itself.
  • The logo. Once again, people have said “what the hell”. And again, I had to explain: “it came that way”. The “W” was in my head all along, I just had to draw it.

See? I can’t actually explain where all that is coming from. It’s just what feels natural.

Following your compass doesn’t equal “success”

Just because you are following your compass, it doesn’t mean that everything will go your way.
(ditto for all spiritual practices.)

So… Mary… If things won’t go my way, why should I bother with following my compass?

Because that’s how you stay true to yourself.
Or if you prefer, because that’s the only way you will silence that nagging voice that keeps you in an anxious state, worried that you will never get to be true to yourself.
It’s not “why would I follow my compass” but rather “I can’t not follow my compass”.
You can try. But you may find yourself living a life that doesn’t feel true.

Can I stay true to myself even if everything is going completely wrong?
YES
Even if I’m in a situation that feels very wrong for me, which I don’t want to be in?
Yes. You can still follow your compass. It will be pointing *somewhere*. And so long as you take notice, you are following it. Even if you can’t actually walk in the direction it’s pointing at right now.

This is about the “old rules and the new rules”

The “map” is the “old rules”. The “compass” is the “new rules”.

The “new rules” are all about following your heart, your intuition, re-aligning your life with your “truth”. Doing things “your way”, not the “official” way.

Which doesn’t mean they will definitely lead us to “success”.
But they will lead us to healing and sanity.