Mountain rising above clouds

RISE ABOVE CHALLENGE

 

Have you recently needed to rise above a challenge? The pandemic has changed many of our jobs and relationships as well as left us with challenges. Challenges impact our life and work. They can take away our joy and replace it with stress. Personally, l often feel overwhelmed, alone and without resources to help me.

Inner Resources of Archetypes

In times of stress it’s easy to feel powerless, unsupported, and stuck.  However, we all have inner resources to support and help us get unstuck. These inner resources are known as archetypes. They help to energize, motivate and challenge us. Carol S. Pearson describes archetypes as “patterns in the mind that control how we experience the world,” (Awakening the Heroes Within, pg. 6). Archetypal patterns have existed for centuries. They are universal, recognizable behavior patterns. We can use these archetypal patterns to tap into our inner resources and rise above challenges that keep us discouraged.

Carl Jung was a psychoanalyst who developed the concepts of archetypes, among other accomplishments. He identified 12 main archetypal patterns found in people from all cultures. To simplify understanding of archetypes, Kim Hamblin-Hart and I reduced the 12 archetypes down to the Core Four. We’ve described the Core Four in the chart below. The chart lists the Core Four Archetypes gift and people who exemplify the archetypal pattern.

Archetype The Gifts of the Archetype People Whose Actions Exemplify the Pattern
Queen/Ruler Responsibility, Control, Competence, Leadership Kamala Harris, Mufasa (Lion King)
Lover Passion, Commitment, Appreciation Mother Teresa, Romeo and Juliet
Hero Courage, Discipline, Strength Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Wonder Woman
Catalyst Transformation, Power, New ideas Steve Jobs, Gandolf (Harry Potter)

Each of the above real and fictional people reveal the archetypal pattern in action. For example, Kamala Harris is a great political leader. Mother Teresa loved others above herself. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a courageous Supreme Court advocate for women’s rights. And finally, Steve Jobs transformed the computer and the internet.

 How Archetypes Can Help

We can consciously tap into the gifts of these universal patterns that live within us. Recently, I used the gifts of the Hero archetype to help me overcome being stuck in a writing project. I was procrastinating instead of writing the blog. Frankly, I felt defeated, insecure, inadequate, and feared being vulnerable.

I knew I needed a different approach than just thinking about writing a blog. I recalled how a Hero acted with perseverance, courage, and confidence. Those were all traits I needed!  I decided to tap into the positive actions of a Hero. So, I did  something totally different and put my body in the physical stance/pose of a Hero. I was applying what I’ve learned from Mark Walsh’s Embodiment Academy (https://embodiedfacilitator.com/mark-walsh/ ).

Something New

I began by imitating the Wonder Woman stance. I first, stood with feet planted on the floor, vertical spine, open chest, focused eyes and fists on my hips. At first, I felt awkward but gradually started settling into the power and confidence of the stance/pose. Soon, I realized that my body felt very comfortable in this position. As a result, I started feeling more confident and energized. Taking the Hero’s stance helped me feel what it’s like to actually be a Hero. The more I embraced feeling and being a Hero, the more my mind’s racing thoughts settled. I was experiencing the power of connecting my body, mind and emotions!

As a result of this positive change, I decided to practice the stance several times before sitting down to write. Finally, it was time to try again. As I sat at my desk, I sensed a relaxed, confident and creative mind. My body felt courageous. My emotions were excited. At last, I started writing again. I didn’t write the whole blog in the next hour, but I did create the outline and wrote 2 paragraphs. At last, I felt encouraged and excited. Finally, as my confidence soared, I kept persevering and finished the blog!

In summary I did two steps to rise above challenge and get unstuck. First, I chose the Hero archetype to remind me of my confidence and perseverance. Second, I applied the Hero archetype by imitating the Wonder Woman stance. Thus, in both choosing and applying the Hero archetype I was able to finish the project. Archetypes definitely helped me and they can help you too!

Bonus

I’ve used archetypal patterns many times to help empower me to rise above challenge. Archetypes are one of the many inner resources we have. If you want to learn how archetypes can help you, consider attending the Rise Above Challenge Workshop. Kim Hamblin Hart and I are co-hosting the workshop on April 24th – 25th from 2pm – 4pm (Mountain Time). Contact me for more information at lisalmcgee.com/contact/ or click here to register, khamblinhart.com/workshops.