Would it be better to attend a conference in California this fall or put that money toward a bucket-list trip in 2018? Take a road trip inland or head for a retreat by the sea? Keep a “go bag” ready for something unexpected, or plan the next trip in advance? Our previous posts about Resonance Mapping laid out principles and basics. This post details an example of using Resonance Mapping for a practical inquiry: how to satisfy my wanderlust without blowing my budget.
I wanted to know which of the various travel options I could think of for this fall would be most resonant for me. “Resonant” in this case meant most supportive of my ongoing evolution, with an ample measure of pleasure thrown in.
Jeff and I co-sensed this together, starting with a few possibilities I’d been considering: going to a retreat center, taking a one- or two-week road trip, holing up in a cabin somewhere, or jetting off on the spur of the moment if I found a great fare to a beautiful place.
For each place on my list of possible destinations, we listed three data points: two from Jeff, one from me. Jeff used his inner sensing methods to ask the resonance of each travel idea on two value scales: a percentage, and a scale of 0-10. He also listened for new suggestions that hadn’t occurred to me—for example, he repeatedly got a hit to include Canada in the list of optimal possibilities.
Unlike Jeff’s, my ‘data points’ were qualitative, not quantitative. When I tuned into my body sense, my core would contract or expand slightly, I’d get tingles or energy rushes around my head or torso, or my imagination would light up with a new idea or image. By practicing with Sourcing The Way folks, I’ve learned to recognize the difference between such hints or messages and my usual mental chatter.
Once we got rolling, I also heard or felt suggestions for going deeper. (More about that later in this post.)
In less than 30 minutes we co-sensed and mapped a list of ideas that blossomed from a handful to more than 40.
Most resonant (top of the list): Go to Paradise at Mt. Rainier when the wildflowers are blooming. The winners overall were to head for high elevation terrain (my usual vacation choice is coastal), do something unexpected, visit Canada, and do a self-directed retreat for a deep dive into the roots of being. These all came in at 9.8 to 10 out of 10, and above 90%.
Least resonant: Urban settings, an impulse trip to Europe, staying home and saving the money for a later bucket-list trip, signing up for a formal retreat, and attending any of the upcoming conferences and festivals I’d wondered about. These ranged from 0 to 3 out of 10, and below 30%.
Somewhere in between: Going to the desert, heading for Hawaii, taking a road trip through Washington state, and a few dozen other possibilities.
As the list grew, several axes or pivots presented themselves, so we also tested them:
- Urban vs. rural? Rural, with highest values for natural settings at high elevations.
- North America vs. going abroad? North America.
- Impromptu or planned in advance? Both were okay.
- A retreat or a trip or a conference? A trip and a retreat. Organized group events didn’t make the cut this time.
- If retreat, self-directed or formal? Self-directed.
An example of a question series
Once the rural vs. urban question was settled, we zeroed in on geography and my intuition joined in. I felt prompted to ask about vegetation. Somewhere with lots of plants, focusing on trees? 99%, but only 1.8 on the 10 scale. Somewhere with lots of plants, without focusing on trees? That got 1 trillion % (sometimes Jeff’s percentage values go beyond 100), but only 2.2 on the 10 scale.
At that point, I got a stronger hunch about what was going on. We’ve noticed that when the percentage and 0-10 scales give answers that are wildly different, we’re being invited to look more closely, to reframe the context or the question. So I asked “High elevation?” Yes! Infinitely high % and 9.9 on the scale. When I then asked “Near and above treeline during wildflower season at Paradise in Mt. Rainier National Park?” that 9.9 moved to 10.0 for a perfect score. And my insides felt excited—super excited, like a child with a birthday present to open.
When the process becomes alive
We went through three stages with this Resonance Mapping sequence: static, dynamic, and alive. We had started with a list of a half-dozen travel possibilities. Simple inquiry, simple answers. That was the static phase of the process.
The Resonance Mapping became dynamic when new ideas started to surface. For example, the process got simpler and faster when we noticed and asked about the patterns or pivots in the rapidly growing list, such as whether a natural rural setting would be more resonant for my next trip than any city.
After we’d gone through the whole list once, intuition nudged me to shift from destinations to motivations. I got that my questions hadn’t been coming only from a desire to travel. Yes, I wanted to travel somewhere. But, to me, freedom to travel represents personal freedom, and I realized I’d been using this list as a gauge of my own freedom—or lack thereof.
When Jeff and I reframed the inquiry to remove any energy that suggested I wasn’t already free, a new question emerged: Where—which journey or experience—would offer me the greatest chance to be of service?
At that point, the process shifted from dynamic to alive.
The question deepened into my bones and into the floor beneath me. All kinds of additional possibilities raced into my mind. I also felt freedom—as lightness and curiosity—replace the mild constriction and contraction I’d been feeling about the list. “Either/or” left as “both/and” arrived.
Physically, I also felt something lift and stir my insides, like a spring breeze playing with sheets on a clothesline—an inner movement helping to free an old energy pattern I no longer need.
Source willingly (and playfully) uses Resonance Mapping to help us co-sense the practical decisions of life. But we’ve seen again and again that when we listen deeply enough to catch Source’s hints about our patterns and assumptions and then explore those assumptions together, Source takes us deeper, and the inquiries assume a radiant life of their own.
As for Mt. Rainier, as soon as Jeff and I finished our session, I went online and booked an inexpensive room just outside the national park for 2 nights in mid-August. It’ll give me easy access to the Paradise area with its beautiful trails through high-country meadows. I haven’t been there in years. Maybe I’ll take a trip this fall, too. But for now, the wildflowers and treeline at Paradise are calling.
This is the third post in a series on Resonance Mapping, one of Sourcing the Way’s foundational tools.