At the time of the equinox, day and night are seen to be equal in length and darkness and light are in balance. As with solstices, the equinox reminds me to pause and open a space in time to contemplate my journey through life. In these moments, I am one of a long lineage of people who have observed these earthly transitions, while musing on transformation.
I peer at my reflection and ask, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who am I when I am at my best?”
An exercise for reflecting through metaphor
Take a few moments to step in front of your own metaphorical mirror. Choose the aspect of yourself you want to explore – as leader, coach, supervisor, trainer, mentor, parent, or simply a human being.
Gazing at your reflection, ask yourself these questions.
- How am I when I am my best?
- Who am I?
- What metaphors best describe me?
What do you see? Make a drawing or capture an image of your core metaphor. What does this mean to you?
What metaphor appears? It turns out that at my best, I am a moon. This metaphor first showed up for me in 2020 as part of a coach training and again in 2021 as part of a supervision training. Celestial bodies seem to be a theme for me. When I first began my journey as a coach, I was a shooting star. Since that time my metaphor has shifted, and now I play with the image of moon.
I am a moon
orbiting your world
reflecting your light
revealing your shadows
you lift your face to mine
to be revealed
Through this exercise, I can notice moment-to-moment where I live this metaphor purposefully, and where I’m not quite there yet. I also consider what supports and what challenges me.
What about you? Where are you living into your metaphor? What supports and what challenges you to step more fully into this image?
We can even lean into metaphor in reflecting on reflection. In a recent article for Coach Magazine, Sherry Matheson and Larissa Thurlow and I used metaphor to describe different forms of reflection in coaching supervision:
- a rearview mirror reviews what is in the past
- a mirror helps us to see ourselves in the moment
- and the crystal ball supports what we want to bring in future.
Metaphor is just one of the contemplative tools which can support us to extend beyond our ordinary perspective, as we explore how who we are impacts how we lead transformation.
Want to develop your own reflective practice? We invite you to take part in our free weekly conversations for change leaders and team coaches.
As director of Novalda,Kerry Woodcockdevelops core, collective and change leadership capacity in leaders, teams and organizations, coaching pioneers and influencers to amplify the power of relationship and lead over the edge of change.