My Method: Cartoon Processing

Ok so today I wanted to post what I’ve been doing to come up with the “discoveries” I’ve been claiming to find.

Basically, I am putting my stream of consciousness on paper – not just as words, but also as little cartoon faces. The faces are important as they show the emotion behind the words, which allows me to see the character of the thoughts in my head – whether or not a certain thought is from a negative or positive part of myself, for instance.

With this tool, I have been approaching various topics that I want to delve deeper in to. My largest exploration so far as been in “self-doubt”, which is still ongoing. My goal in starting that section was to dispel my self-doubt by uncovering and resolving all the reasons why I doubted myself at any time. And while there are lots of reasons, I have felt more and more confident in more areas, and I feel more free.

But regardless of what I’ve explored, the method has proven extremely useful for whatever I’ve tackled with it. Often, when I’m feeling some kind of inner turmoil, I turn to this “cartoon processing”, and I get some kind of revelation about it as a result, and the turmoil subsides. New issues keep coming up, and I feel as though I’m just scratching the surface.

But since the cartoon faces represent my conscious stream at that moment, I know that it’s real – at least in the sense that I’m not postulating how self-doubt works – I’m living all the reasons why I’m doubting myself.

Anyway, it’s really easy if you want to try it. Just take out a piece of paper and think about something that bothers you. Draw a face to represent yourself (the part of you delving into this issue) and think something like “I want to resolve (insert issue here)”. Write that next to the face. Then, see what the response is inside yourself. Maybe it’s a cynical voice, saying “There’s no way you can resolve that!” or a fatalistic voice “Oh, we’ve tried time and time again to resolve that, we certainly can’t do that!” And draw what you feel is an appropriate face to that voice. Then let the conversation begin.

You may find as you continue that by representing these familiar forces as separate beings hashing it out on paper, that you notice patterns you never saw before, and ways to resolve the conflict that you didn’t think existed. You may just solve something that’s been plaguing you for years. And that’s always a relief!

So if anyone tries this, or has any questions about it, let me know. I’ll continue to share my own findings too. Maybe I’ll even scan in a page from my processing as an example. And if you do try it, I hope it proves useful!

Helping Friends with Analysis vs. Comforting

Found out today that if you try to help your friends, say by analyzing their problem in order to discover a solution, they might get pissed off at you, and claim you’re not being their friend. That’s not to say you didn’t mean well, but your friend really just wanted to be comforted, rather than analyzed. Their problem may seem big, but they’re despairing about because they do not have the inner comforting necessary to handle it themselves. So comforting them is a much better immediate solution, and then they’ll know that you care about them, rather than about yourself appearing like the cool problem solver you’d like to be seen as. At least, this is how it worked out for me.

The fantasy of the friend (feminine energy friend) might be something like a sparkly guy on a white horse riding in to save them from their enemies, but that too seems lame to the problem-solver (you, perhaps). Truth is, when your friend gets comfort, despite your non-sparkliness, they just might forget their fantasy and appreciate you as you are. In this environment, friendship blossoms.

Keep in mind though that though traditionally men and women play these roles, we have within us both perspective, the “male” and “female” in the above conflict – that’s how I “discovered” it – by playing through it in myself.