Personal Development: Tools for Being Your Own Life Coach
Some people coming to this website may have read one of my books, heard me or someone else speak about my work, or read about archetypes from another source. Some may have been tracking archetypes in their dreams and waking life for some time, but still find it useful to have a framework for understanding what they are experiencing. For many visitors to this website, however, the topic of archetypes can be uncharted territory. Much of my work is focused on creating systems and models that help people, whether or not they have a background in depth psychology, utilize archetypal intelligence, awareness, and even mindfulness in their everyday lives and work.
Your own heroic allies are the archetypes most active in you, helping you to
- find ways of acting and being that give you energy and make you feel excited about your life,
- shift energy from counterproductive to productive attitudes and behaviors,
- become more inspiring and motivational through expressing your archetypes more fully, and
- realize your full potential as a hero or heroine.
However, archetypes operate as filters in the mind that take in experiences and order them according to the archetypal stories that predominate for you, thus influencing the meaning you make of what is happening in and around you. Depth psychologist and author James Hillman, in Revisioning Psychology, suggests that we “imagine archetypes as the deepest patterns of psychic functioning, the roots of the soul governing the perspectives we have of ourselves and the world.” Thus, to see the world with greater flexibility and creativity, it is important to be able to establish at least an imaginative relationship with other archetypes—to see what happens through their lenses—or else your outlook will be forever limited by your habitual archetype-infused worldviews and their patterns only.
Over time, I have developed slightly different systems for different purposes, but the foundational system arose from Awakening the Hero Within, and was made even more accessible in the workbook What Story Are You Living? Both of these help you make unconscious motivations accessible to your conscious mind, which allows you to get behind the steering wheel on your journey, rather than sitting in the back seat—with an energy steering the car that you may not even recognize, and perhaps not even heading in a direction you want to go. Not knowing about archetypes does not keep them from informing your attitudes and behaviors, and at worst can lead to “the devil made me do it” moments. Making archetypes conscious protects against this.
Click here to see the applied model of the 12 Archetype System used in personal development, then on the archetypes that interest you to read more about them and find out how they express themselves at different levels over time. You can further your self-knowledge by taking an assessment instrument, the Pearson-Marr Archetype Indicator (PMAI)® which helps you to identify the archetypes that show up in your attitudes and behaviors, and that may have shaped your life trajectory, recognize the archetypal allies that are most active in helping you to thrive as you pursue your heroic journey. To get the most out of What Story Are You Living?, which is mentioned in the previous paragraph, it is essential to have taken the PMAI® because the workbook walks you through your results.
Discovering Your Archetypal Allies provides you with a simple informal exercise to get started on identifying your archetypes, and also reaffirms the value of taking a tested instrument like the PMAI®.