The foundation of the three step method is viewing our states of mind as if they were geographical realms, each with its own terrain and landmarks. This is “where you’re at” mentally and emotionally. For instance, when angry, our world might seem to be a steamy place bathed in red. Or, when peaceful, it may feel as if there is a cool clear breeze wafting through. Sometimes we’re off wandering through old memories and sometimes we’re sharply aware of our immediate surroundings. Each case describes a realm on the Three Steps map. Each has identifying marks we’ll use to pinpoint its realm.
We all learn ways of navigating through our moods and automatic response mechanisms. We know when we’re angry, and if we’re lucky we’ll see it early enough to stop us from being destructive. Or, we’ll recognize when our mind is clear and decide to use the time productively. With the Three Steps you’ll be able to put your familiar mental pathways into a larger context and use them in a more conscious way. Now, you might say there are an infinite number of states the mind produces, but they tend to fall into a small number of broad categories. We’ll be working with those categories, naming them and clearly defining their borders. Within those borders are found the rest of our mind states, almost like the provinces and counties lying within the boundaries of a nation. Just the way a paper map of Europe can help you find your way when exploring that continent, the Three Steps map of the mind will help you find your mental position at any given moment.
Once we’ve identified the realms we’ll be able to step between them and learn to recognize the almost physical sensation of crossing their borders. Moving between them we also find that they have different characteristics when entered from different directions.
There is nothing wrong or right with any of these realms - we’re simply learning to recognize the terrain of each, to know when we’re there, and how to move from one to another at appropriate times.