Life isn’t a business to be managed, it’s a mystery to be lived. Osho
In a recent speaking engagement, I used archetypes to help those attending answer the following question — Who am I Really? An archetype is an essential quality of human behaviour present in our collective human consciousness from the time of our origins up to the present moment. Caroline Myss, author of Sacred Contracts & Archetypes, claims we each have 12 primary archetypes, which speaks to the multi-faceted nature of our personalities. Knowing our personal archetypes helps us to understand and appreciate what we share in common with others as well as how we are unique. Relevant in our team-based workplaces, it also helps others to know our gifts and talents.
Review the 21 archetypes listed below, and choose 4 (or 12 if your are more ambitious) that best describe who you are authentically, right here, right now.
When my collaborator, Deri Latimer, and I did this same exercise in preparation for a client presentation, here is what we chose for ourselves.
What is interesting to note is both Deri and I chose “Seeker” (of wisdom) as one of our archetypes. This makes sense given that anyone choosing to collaborate with others needs to assess not only what each has in common (attractors) but also how they are different and thereby able to add value to the collaborative relationship. In organizational collaborations, it would be valuable to know this up front rather than try to second guess after the team has already been compiled.
Now that you have determined your own archetypes, I would ask you this question — Are you contributing your authentic self (the real you) at home? At work? In life?
Here’s why it is vital for you to do so?
It is our authentic contribution at home, at work and in life that builds happy, healthy, humane, innovative lives, workplaces and communities.
So please do your part by being real. Really you, that is.
Below I wrote about one of my 12 archetypes.
Forged of steel,
pressing forward through murky horizons
with only a pioneering spirit for confidence,
the Crusader banishes secrecy.
Striving to reform,
to transform the imprisoned soul,
her explorer heart seeks truth and
shape shifts into a powerful eagle.
This earth-sky messenger,
now estranged from either realm,
seeks sustenance in freedom
even while survival clenches hold.
It’s a strange courage to be owned by no one,
no society, no nation, but to defend all.
05 November 2013
If you have a poem or story describing one of your archetypes, send it along to me and I will post it on my blog. In the meantime, be well and BE REAL.
If you are interested in learning more about archetypes, read From Now to WOW – Step by Step, An Invitation to Transformation.