19 Jan 2008

Snakes and Ladders

Thought you were here for a nice little game? Or just another daft cartoon. Well yes there is a daft cartoon, but I want your minds and emotions too (in a non evil way).
For my new readers, I have to admit I have lulled you into a false sense of fun. You see I am not as mad as toast all the time, in fact at times I am as deep as the deepest ocean while at other times as shallow as a puddle. I admit I am splashing in the puddle a lot of the time, but hey its mucho fun.
Yes I am getting to the point of my little ramble. During the process of becoming a counsellor, you learn a lot about yourself, some good and some bad. Even in the most simple exercises things crop up.
In class on Wednesday we did a 'Snakes and Ladders' exercise, chutes and ladders to my American readers. I thought it was going to be a cute game, but that's not quite the way it turned out.

Snakes and Ladders
It works like this, you think of your life as the game board. The ladders are the things/people that have made you happy and/or got you through a rough patch in your life. The Snakes are the things/people that have brought you down. In class we picked 5 Ladders and 5 Snakes, but you can do more if you like. Then for each Ladder we then gave it mark out of ten, ten feeling the absolute best . This was repeated for each Snake, with ten in this case being the absolute worse feeling.

Example of one of my Ladders : The nephews being born, the most important men in my life and they fill me with joy.
Others used children being born, getting married, passing driving test, passing exams etc.

Example of one of my Snakes: My Grandma having a stroke, one of the worst days in my life and I will never forget it.
Others used deaths, illnesses, losing jobs, getting divorced etc.

When added my own scores, the ladders had won, not by much though. I think if I had done this on a bad day then the snakes would of definitely had it in the bag.

Whats the point of this exercise? In a simplified way it just makes you more aware of your own thoughts and feelings. If you have more snakes in your life than ladders, what can be done about that?

I hope you enjoyed this? If you have a bash at it feel free to let me know :)


  1. Now Claire, don't be telling your new readers fibs.... you ARE SO mad as toast 24/7!!

    But seriously, that sounds like a pretty enlightening exercise... I'm not sure what my ratio would be.

  2. Interesting...I'm not sure I'm going to do this one. Because one a few years ago I took a test where you checked off from a list things that you have gone through-it was supposed to calculate your stress level.

    After taking the test I turned it in and the administrator said to me, "You should be dead by now!"

    Nice, huh? :)

  3. If I'd done this a couple of years ago, my snakes would have won anaconda sized!

    I like to think my ladders are the extending type ;-)

  4. We'd all like to think we have more ladders in life, but the truth is, as you say, on any given day, depending on our mood, I think we get overwhelmed by our snakes.

  5. This is a very interesting exercise, and I can see how your mood of that day could change the outcome of the number of snakes/ladders.

    I like how you mention that you learn things about yourself even when you don't expect it. I have to confess to you that every time I visit this blog (which is every day) I read that Counselling poem on your sidebar - I this it is absolutely fantastic.

    Oh, and just so you know - we regular readers know the truth - we know you are mad as toast and splashing in the puddles of life - and we love you like mad for it! :-)

  6. I am going to sit down tonight and really analyze my own snakes and ladders. It should be interesting, thank you for sharing! :)

  7. Very interesting!

    I can think of lots of snakes in my life for sure...but hopefully the ladders outweigh them.

  8. But what if one of your terrible memories involves a ladder???

  9. Well, I'm thinking snakes would win, but I love snakes. Real ones, not metaphysical gameboard score-keeping ones....
    Actually, in real life, I'm more fond of snakes than ladders. Wonder what that says about me?

    Oh, and why do Americans call it chutes and ladders, anyway? Could we not deal with "snakes" being in a children's game?

  10. What a fun way to put life. I've always thought of life as a game too.

  11. My ladders far outstretch my snakes - thankfully. x

  12. I really appreciate you all agreeing that I am as mad as toast after all!

    Hey! buggers :(

    I have lots of snakes and I only limited myself to five in this exercise. Thankfully due to some rather sturdy ladders, things are good.

    I learn a lot every single lesson I go to and hopefully try to pass on some of what I learn to you lucky readers :)

    I love the term metaphysical snakes, I am going to keep that one :)

  13. Have a go at this, even if you unsure :)

    These snakes wont bite!

  14. I am going to pass this along to my mom.. seriously, she has a tough time sorting this out and I think it may help her..

    Thanks for the idea.

  15. Very interesting that most of us agree about the toast thingie.
    You thought I was going to wax philosophical, didn't you?

  16. Snakes - negative energy, the day after too much drink, funerals.
    Ladders - Coffee, wine in moderation, sun on our back, wind in our hair (after beans) and muddy walks!

  17. Very cool way to think about and frame life.
    I may try this exercise...