In last week’s RRRN meditation and writing circle, we explored our hero/villain archetype — the dual expressions or boundaries of our human experience regarding who we want to be. In our human search for purpose, direction and integration (the hero’s journey), we discover our authentic self. The vision of authenticity we hold of ourselves is our goal in terms of growth and achievement.
Of course, in pursuit of our goals, we are likely to respond both heroically and villainously. Once we can integrate (not ignore) these dual expressions within us, what emerges is the REAL ME — our authentic self.
Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s
about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice
to let our true selves be seen. Brené Brown
Both the hero (our ideal) and the villain (our shadow) aspects exist within us. Our work is to integrate these two aspects of our being. In so doing, as Joseph Campbell author of The Power of Myth writes, we find our bliss. As a traveller whose own purpose is to transform fear into joy, my lifelong work has been to integrate my ideal and shadow aspects. After last week’s soulful exploration, I wrote the following poem as a tribute to my authentic self.
Seated on a bench, twin sisters clasp hands
and share secret longings.
This gentle one yearns for peace —
within, between and among.
The other impatiently seeks the thrill
of exploration and new beginnings.
The Loving One calms
by the touch of her heart and hand,
while the Amazon crashes through
boundaries, barriers, beliefs.
One feels the rumble of past deeds
in ancient relics, while,
with a clean sweep of her hand,
the other casts away what no longer serves.
She, hands and feet on the ground,
lovingly cultivates the earthly paradise,
while she, head in the clouds,
dreams of fantasy and far off worlds.
Alchemy is bound by creation and destruction,
bound to embrace her opposites ‘til they befriend.
08 October 2013
To serve you in your journey to know your authentic self, I included the following questionnaire created by Walumbwa and associates. Its 16 items relate to different dimensions of authenticity. For each item, use the following key and circle the number you feel most accurately represents you.
We are all leaders in our own lives. How does your score reflect your capacity to lead authentically? Is there one action you can take to bring you closer to your REAL ME?
For more about how to live authentically, check out one of my books.
Northouse, P.G. (2010). Leadership: Theory and practice, 5th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications