A good example of how you can use learning maps is to pull personal memories out of the convolutions of your brain. Begin in the way described above by writing a central word in the middle of a piece of paper and let your thoughts fly away, but don t forget to write all the time! With the help of associations you can dig deeper into past events and hidden memories. Even things you have ˜forgotten will find their way up to the surface. It is like pulling in a long line with thousands of hooks, all with fish on them, and taking the fish off the hooks once they come to the surface. But again, it is very important that you write all the time. Otherwise the words will vanish like bubbles in the air.
Go back in your thoughts to an important event in your life, such as:
your first love
your best friend when you were . . . years old
an important person in your life
the first time you travelled abroad
This is how you do it:
Write or draw the central word/idea in the middle of a blank piece of paper, for instance, ˜My fifth birthday .
Start making free associations to that central point. Let branches and twigs grow out of the centre and write one word on each line. Follow lines of associations as far out as they take you.
When you get too many words around the central word, or if your associations suddenly come to an end, just open new ˜forks after one of the existing words.
The important thing is to get as many words as you can, to create an abundance .
When you have done this for five to ten minutes it is time to stop. Look at all the words and pick out a few that you would like to try on another map. You can either put them in the middle of a new map or just go on writing new associations where the word is in the first map.
Now it is time to go more and more into detail in your associations. It is very important to write down every word that pops into your mind.
When you are ready with that stage, let the map rest for a while. The thinking process and the flow of associations will go on in your brain even if you stop writing and when you come back to the map you will have a lot of new words to add. Let the map stay unstructured until you feel it is ˜ripe . How can you use the map? You can of course let the map stay as it is, but you can also use it for writing down your memories or a story in a linear form.