We held a seminar this month that almost didn’t happen, and that until the day before I didn’t even care to do.
In this seminar, I didn’t teach for more than 5-10 minutes of the 8 hour day, but it was probably the most transformative seminar we have ever offered the community.
Its genesis was from two different sources that God brought to me at one time. FIrst, one of our participants in one of our weekly Master Classes over Tea suggested not only the idea of a day-long seminar, but offered to organize it. That’s the kind of initiative I look for around here, so it was hard to argue. Second was from an improbable direction. We have been looking for resources to help Lydia’s unique learning style and struggles, and someone started her on what are called Mind Maps. I got a book on it to help her and became intrigued.
The idea of a Mind Map is simply to express visually on paper what is going on inside of your brain in the way most like how your brain organizes itself. So, as opposed to traditional note-taking or brainstorming, or outline formats, etc., the Mind Map is much more creative, holistic, multidimensional, visual, and right-brain – left-brain integrative. It has application from how best to study for tests (where we started with Lydia – and it has really helped, by the way), to any learning or writing or creative process.
With this request for a seminar in my mind, I immediately started seeing applications for use with the subject – Incarnating your Dream. What took some thought was how to make it a spiritual process, not just a creative humanistic process that affirms anything as good. The result was simple: we used the basic mind mapping process to practice on a couple of concepts, then started working on their Dream. What seemed to super-charge the process was two additional elements. First, after a couple of iterations I would have them pause and pray out loud over what they had to that point. This had the amazing effect of integrating understanding, increasing specificity in prayer, and sparking new insights to add to the map. Secondly, I had them start to work together to integrate their maps so that it was not representative of their thoughts singularly, but now collectively. The result was a greater appreciation for the values and gifts of other members of the Body of Christ quicker than I have seen before.
The group, most of whom had never taken a class with us, decided by the end to commit to meeting twice a month from now on to support each other in the process. I was amazed. Now I’ve decided to start integrating this process into every ministry we do. I see it as a great tool for group planning and prayer, as well as creating unity and momentum.