When I left my marriage of close to twenty years and headed to the city to live and raise my three growing sons as a Sole Parent (a role I stepped into for many years), my self confidence was pretty shaken after years of giving away my power to my partner who had claimed the role as The Authoritarian in our family. When I look back I bow to myself for having the courage to walk away from all that was familiar to my children and me, and for finding the resources to forge new pathways that led to healing and spiritual growth, opening up new possibilities and pathways for us all. In saying that, this has been and continues to be a life long journey, for both me, and for my now grown sons.
At that time of great change, I was very much in Victim role, and Seeker was strong in me as well as I searched for the answers outside of myself. There were other roles that were playing out in my psyche, some negative and draining, and others comforting and life giving. By naming the roles you step into, you can create your own story around them. These can be negative or positive – it your choice. This is the power of archetypes. They can either drain and deplete, or uplift and expand your energy field.
The Archetypal Journey of Transformation.
From Victim, where I allowed myself to suffer daily verbal and spiritual abuse and could not stay in my power for very long, I moved to Survivor, where I realized I had what it takes to pick up as many pieces of myself that I could, and move into a safe space to rebuild my spirit and my life. Once I made the decision to move out of the desperate situation that I was in, where not only was I in a damaged relationship, we had also lost our two beautiful properties and homes that we had built together over many years. We had gone without so much to reach a place of security, only to have natural and economic disasters rip it all out of our hands. When I left the land and our home, I had no idea how I was going to be able to feed my children on a daily basis. I stepped into Warrior and Braveheart, then into Thinker and Innovator and sat down and looked at what skills I had to offer the world. Looking outside of myself to where I could extend my flow and pour out my energy, I realized that in doing so the natural laws would bring the rewards I needed to keep going. Even in those early days I was aware of the Laws of Attraction, Innovation, and Commitment. I had a strong sense that what I dreaded most would be attracted to me and often happen if I gave it too much attention and fear, and would strive to see the glass half full, going against my Wounded Heart Nature that I was so familiar with.
Stepping into my True Heart Nature was challenging for me as I had few role models around me growing up to introduce this way to me. I had grown up with spirit robbing imprints such as “Life is hard and unpredictable”; “There is never enough money to pay the bills let alone have fun”; “Every time we get on our feet we get knocked down”; “Dirty, stinking, rotten money is the root of all evil” (I know – its terrible isn’t it – hard to write here); “A woman’s place is in the home”, “Children must be seen and not heard”, “It’s not ok to shine, you must always be humble”.
None the less, there were many other positive imprints that were strong in me that kept me going, and many of these I didn’t know about until I was well on my journey of transformation. These included: “Never give up”; “There is always light at the end of the tunnel”; “First things first”; “One Day at a time”; “Easy does it”, “Hand it over”…. These well loved slogans persisted and gave me strength.
Re-discovering My True Self Through Hardship, Failure and Shame
Drawing on my artistic and creative skills as Artist, I at first set up my own children’s art school after school hours once a week and every Saturday morning. Two mornings a week I would go into my local supermarket and write up the blackboard to display the sale items. These two jobs created what I needed to feed my growing family. I was experiencing, for the first time since I was a very young adult, how to be Sole Provider. While my former partner assisted to some degree, it wasn’t consistent and I had valid reasons for not accepting his help, which I wont go into here. I can remember one day standing in the cue at the supermarket praying I would have enough money to pay for the groceries, I was sweating profusely because I worked in this place, and felt embarrassed about my circumstances. My grazier friends walked in and out around me, and had little idea of the suffering I was experiencing, and I am sure many of them were also going through similar trials as we were not alone in having to walk off our beloved properties.
Four generations of men and women on the land had walked before me, living and working with animals and the earth, and I had taken three beautiful, strong, competent growing boys away from everything that they loved and knew. The guilt and shame was unbearable at times, and I felt I had let my ancestors down and that I had betrayed my sons, taking away their birthright. “If only I had the courage to stay in my unhappy relationship, there may be a way I could save my sons from losing their heritage” – these were the thoughts going through my mind at this time. But there was no way I could go back, although I offered (and was rejected) to reconcile a number of times with my partner on the condition that we had relationship counselling. By this time, the banks had squeezed us out. We lost our fight to keep our beloved land. Paying 24% interest (I think it may have been more) on our overdraft and loan, and only making a third of our regular income due to wool and cattle crashing together, our debt spiraled out of control. The Story of Failure was strong in me. I felt I had failed, as a wife, as a mother, and as daughter and granddaughter. It took me years to forgive myself for ‘failing’ at these important roles in my life. And it took me more years to fight my way back to Self Love and Forgiveness, to let go of ruminating and regrets, and to realize that everything I had experienced was perfect and had been the catalyst to open me up into worlds I had forgotten existed. These worlds have nurtured my soul ever since.
The Shamanic Way
The shamanic way led me to healing, to tracking what was inside of me that allowed me to be a Victim in the first place. In finally understanding the perfection of all things, this Way supported me to learn to trust in myself and my journey.
As I discovered and began to understand more about the Archetypal roles that had dominated my life, I became more empowered to do something about changing these. I began to look at people around me and to identify the skills they had that I admired, to observe their qualities and archetypal energies, and to search for and rebirth these inside of myself.
Turning more and more inward to find my answers, my Inner World began to open right up. I began to discover and rebirth the light within me and stepped more consciously into the archetypes of Spiritual Warrior and Bravehearted Adventurer, awakening and stirred the blood of my Scottish ancestors to establish a stronger state of self-belief and trust in my journey.
Initially too afraid to cross a busy road in daylight in the city for fear of being judged by people in their cars who I felt could see inside my shamed soul, this slowly began to change as I stuck to my healing practices every day, having embraced Reiki at that time, and began a degree in Social Science. Working part time as a teacher aide, and then later as youthworker and artist in residence, I studied three subjects at a time at university, and had sole day to day care of my family, working with them individually each evening to get their homework done, before doing my own, getting to bed well past midnight most nights. I stepped into the archetypal roles as Father and Provider as well as Mother and Nurturer, guiding my sons as best I could into manhood, often struggling against all the literature that told me I must have a role model for them. I looked around, and though there were a number of big hearted men in our lives who were very supportive, I couldn’t seem to attract men who were comfortable with authentic emotional exchanges, who embraced the spiritual aspects of life as well as the material and physical, and who could offer intellectual and logical balance, while looking at live in unlimited and expansive ways. These days I know many such men, but in those days my tribe was very small.
Stepping into many unfamiliar roles, I began to claim my new place in the world. Slowly, I adapted, and while there were many troubled circumstances still existing within my family, with one of my sons very ill, I was guided by the shamanic way and began to let go of the Wounded Heart Self that had dominated my life and created debilitating archetypes within me, finding instead my True Heart Nature; I began the journey of Love and Trust, coming home to myself.
Reflection and Animal Spirits:
The story of my life and journey into the shamanic way and to my True Heart Nature is much longer than I can write here. I have left out so much, but I hope I have made my point and assisted you in some way to identify your own archetypes and to challenge those that no longer serve you, seeking out those that do and stepping into them. Animal spirits can help you with this process and at times of transition as well. For me the Lioness with her innate strength to protect and take care of her cubs was strong, and later the Giraffe came to help me to stretch myself and to feel worthy of the best fruits on the highest branches. Horse always walked beside me and came to me several times in my dreams at the times when I was afraid I couldn’t take care of my children. She (Horse) always showed me the way to my inner strength and my knowing how to stay safe and find my way home to the knowing that the universe would always take care of us. Snake also appeared in my dreams, and in tangible form several times – her message “Do not fear that which may never happen”.
STEPS TO (RE)CLAIM YOUR (NEW) ARCHETYPAL ROLES
- Become aware of your Trigger - you have had a reaction!
- Greet and breathe in light energy from above, from your ancestors and the stars, moon and planets, from Father Sun. Ask to be held in light before you go exploring. Breathe this light into your power place in your belly before taking the next step.
- Revisit the situation that triggered you. Ask - "How do I feel?";
- Then "What Mask am I wearing and role am I playing (eg Victim, Abandoned/Rejected/Shamed/Controlled/Betrayed Child, Mater, Rescuer)?"
- Create a cave of transformation below your feet and ask for all energy in this cave to be transformed into what you need in your life right now to be able to let go of this old way of being in the world. Strength, self love and self worth, courage and so on.
- PHysically take off the masks you have worn that you are ready to let go of (as above - you may also have masks of denial, fear,anger, rage, grief and so on). USe your hands to pull these off your eyes and head and place then in teh cave to be transformed.
- Breathe in light energy from above, from your ancestors and the stars, moon and planets, from Father Sun.
- Then ask "How do I want to feel instead? (e.g empowered, loving, strong, resilient, wise, authentic, connected, present, certain and so on ...)?"
- Then ask - "What Archetypal Role do I choose to step into to support this way forward (e.g Braveheart, Spiritual Warrior,Mature Adult, Wise Old Man/Woman and so on)?"
- Call to stand in front of you the Universal or Ancestral (or both) Archetype that you choose to step into forward. Breath into it, Feel into it. Imagine and see it. Imagine how your voice sounds when you are in it.
- BOW TO THIS ARCHETYPE WITH GRATITUDE THEN PHYSICALLY STEP INTO IT.Feel the spirit of this archetype enter you body.
- Breathe in light energy from above, from your ancestors and the stars, moon and planets, from Father Sun and the healing energy from Mother Earth and give thanks.
- Take note of how you feel. The kind of thoughts you are now thinking. How the world and situation looks through these new eyes? Take some notes. Write some declarations and affirmations to support you.
- Write out a task to support this new way of being - e.g that you will revisit this archetype each day for ten minutes in meditation and step into its energy fully and take yourself on an adventure into your dreaming.
PLease leave your comments here as to how you experience this process. Thank you, it is lovely to have your feedback for others to read as well as me.