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Share Your Map

In the previous unit you drew and reflected on your first Atlas CareMap. In this unit, you’ll gain more insight by discussing your map and perspectives with others. This will likely lead you to redrawing your map.

Begin with a mindfulness prompt.

Mindfulness Prompt

Sunset over a Sierra mountain range, sun just hitting the peaks against a bluegrey sky and mountainbase

Take a moment to imagine sharing your map with someone else. Who might you share it with? How do you feel about sharing it? What might you hope to gain from sharing?

Sharing Your Atlas CareMap With Others

We encourage you to share your map with others, starting with two or three people who are included on your map. Why? In short, you will get a clearer understanding of your situation as you try and describe what you have drawn to them and as you hear their perspectives on the same situation. You will likely also get a better understanding of their lives, as they talk about their own situations. And, very often, this leads to a deeper sense of connection with each other.

As you share your Atlas CareMap describe what you’ve done in the spirit of “this is my current perception” and not as “this IS the situation”. Accept that these are your views, which may change, and may or may not be “the truth”!

Likewise, ask to hear their views, their perspective on your situation. Do they see things differently (now), and/or did they have a different impression before your conversation? Expect, and be open to, these differing perceptions. That will be great material for your further reflections. Perhaps you will view things differently after these conversations. That’s good!

The conversation may lead to them reflecting on their own lives, how their own Atlas CareMap might look if they examined their own life in a similar way. If they want to draw their own, show them how (or point them to this website).

As a way of sparking more such conversations, some people have purposely placed their Atlas CareMap in their homes such that close relatives and friends are likely to see it, and ask about it—on the refrigerator with a magnet being mentioned frequently.

Here are some brief videos from people who have shared their Atlas CareMaps with family, friends and others, and taught others have to draw their own:

Alison Wagner taught a group of her close friends to draw their maps, resulting in a transformational deepening of their connection.

Susannah Fox has helped several family elders draw their maps, in the process coming to know the networks of love in their lives, and becoming better prepared to care for them.

Luke Tanner, a therapist and consultant in social care, has made CareMapping a fundamental part of his family, community, and political life.

Re-draw your Map

After your reflections and conversations, almost always (based on the many hundreds of people who have participated in workshops led by Atlas of Caregiving) you will discover that your first Atlas CareMap needs to be updated to match your new-found clarity.

So, do it! Grab a pen or pencil and another piece of paper, and draw your improved, more-correct Atlas CareMap.

Discuss with Other Weavers

Questions for Further Reflection

  • What can you learn from who you chose to share your map with?
  • What did you learn from those conversations, about your own situation and about theirs?
  • How did you feel before, during, and after those conversations?
  • If you helped others draw their own maps, how was that experience?
  • How did this experience affect your relationships with the people you shared with?
  • If you re-drew your Atlas CareMap, what changed?

In the next unit, you will discover ideas for going further, personalizing and enriching your map and considering changes over time, and examining other aspects of your life in a similar way.