I find the various disciplines that study human behaviour (anthropology, philosophy, psychology, sociology) intriguing. Even as a child, although I wanted to be an astronaut or a doctor, it was really my curiosity about the inner workings or core essence of cultural, social and personal experience that attracted my attention and eventually my scrutiny. I was manifesting in my outer world what I so deeply desired within — to know and be known. For me, this is the definition of intimacy or, as a friend so aptly coined it, in-to-me-see.
In hindsight, I yearned for this intimate knowledge of self and life from my earliest recollections. In spite of the many distractions crossing my path as well as my own ignorance of purposeful vision, an inner urge drove me toward revealing myself. When people asked why I chose psychology as a field of study, I responded in my less than brilliant but insightful fashion, because I needed it. I have since come to know this — all knowledge is self-knowledge. Hence, the better I know myself, the better I will know the universe and the wiser will be the decisions I make in each moment of my life.
Below is a meditation, my yoga mentor and dear friend, Jan Debenham, shared with me to remind me of my purpose —
Awakening Mind is precious
May it arise where it has not yet arisen
May it not diminish where it has arisen
May it ever grow and flourish
In appreciation of awakening to wisdom, I use a multitude of personality profile tools in my practice; all of which I test on myself before subjecting others to them. My selection criteria are validity, inspiration and fun. Here is one of the simplest you might want to try.
Add up your birth date numbers until you reach a single digit. My birthday is November 10, 1954, which looks like 1+1+1+0+1+9+5+4 and equals 22; 2+2=4. In Tarot decks worldwide, the number 4 represents The Emperor (or Rebel) card, which symbolizes leadership, wisdom and power. What struck me as valid and inspirational were the following characteristics associated with those of us who identify as Emperors:
• ability to lead and inspire others
• mediator between war and peace, aggression and passivity
• knows how to ‘work the system’ without compromising important values
• embraces all the ‘colours of the rainbow’
• challenges us to be courageous and live our truth
• knows herself; does not belong to anyone
Once you have discovered your ‘number’, here is a place where you can dig deeper into who you are. Your single digit birth number located at the top of the card reflects one of the major arcana or archetypes within our human psyche and the age-old descriptions will provide you with food for thought.
What did the archetype and description bring forth that you didn’t know about yourself? Did any information make you feel uneasy? Why? What about the description uplifted you?