Metaphor describes one thing in terms of another - helping to capture the essence of our experience in a way that can be both powerfully revealing and richly creative.
Asking Clean questions of the metaphors we naturally use helps us to bring them into focus, making them more defined and tangible. These metaphors often hold the seeds of a solution to challenges we may face.
For example, there were times when I felt overwhelmed by the task of writing my book, The Listening Space: A New Path to Personal Discovery. A friend used Clean questions to help me explore this feeling and before long a metaphor appeared. Writing each chapter was like climbing the tall sand dunes on Bamburgh Beach. The harder I tried to get to the top, the more I sank into the sand.
I realised that I needed to go at a slow and steady pace, focussing on one step at a time. It was important to pause every now and again and turn around to enjoy the view out to sea. I could also make sure I had fun on the run down before embarking on the next chapter's climb.
Now I knew what was needed to make the task of writing much more manageable.
How about you? Thinking of a challenge that you currently face - is there a metaphor that captures the essence of this situation for you?