The Power of Archetypes is a Secret Worth Sharing

I never seem to tire of working with archetypes. I started using them as tools for my personal growth and spiritual development in 1996 and I still use them today. I spent 8 years as a student of Caroline Myss, and officially promoted them for her, so I learnt about them first hand from an expert in the field. I expect to use archetypes for the rest of my life. They’re an unlimited source of information, and they contain countless possibilities. Even though I spend a lot of time talking and writing about them, many have not heard of the term archetypes, so they won’t be aware of how powerful they can be. Archetypes may be this industry’s best-kept secret, but perhaps not for long.

archetypes are a secret worth sharing by gail goodwin
Archetypes. Are they the personal development industry’s best-kept secret?

Archetypes are universally recognized patterns of behavior. They’re roles people play in a conscious, subconscious, or unconscious manner. How conscious I am of playing these roles determines the quality of the outcomes of my actions. I know that archetypal awareness has the potential to control the quality of my entire life. The roles I play impact my relationships, my health, my business, my career, and my finances. My conscious, subconscious or unconscious choices influence how well I play those roles, so archetypes determine my daily challenges as well as my life long challenges. My life experiences influence my preferences for certain archetypes. My personal archetypes represent the stories of my relationships, my business, my career, my health, and my finances.

Archetypes have the capacity to affect balance and harmony, and conflict and change, in every area of life. Business, relationships, career, health and finances are affected in a positive or negative way. Archetypes highlight the many ways I sabotage myself, and how others sabotage me, or how I sabotage others. Archetypes confront the natural human tendency to take on too much responsibility, or to avoid it. They highlight personal boundaries that are too weak or too strong. Archetypes expose double standards and hidden agendas. Archetypes create chaos. Archetypes create order. Therefore, they can be neutral forces until I direct the force of their power in a constructive or destructive manner.

Archetypes have the power to influence the life-death-life cycle of my relationships, business, career and finances. Archetypes generate personal growth and evolution. They serve to correct imbalances in my personality and those areas of life that are important to me. Archetypes can obstruct or support my ability to evolve at every level of my being: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

Archetypes confront discrepancies that cause internal and external conflict. By doing so, they restore balance, order and harmony in life. That is, until it’s time again for the next stage of growth and change, and personal evolution. Human nature resists change. It takes too much effort. It takes too much time and energy to adjust. It’s inconvenient. It’s uncomfortable. Sometimes it hurts or worse, it can be humiliating. The will to avoid change is strong. If shame, rejection, exclusion or abandonment are looming, this leads some to believe that change must be avoided at all costs. One of those costs may be at the expense of good health and wellbeing.

Humans avoid change because they want to avoid these scenarios. So they hang on. They refuse to let go and surrender to change. Change means chaos, so why would you surrender to chaos? Personal growth is not possible unless the old order is replaced with a new order. The reordering process is rarely clean. It’s messy. The old breaks down. The end is unavoidable. Destruction, death and decay create chaos.

Archetypes help me to question the validity of waiting until a crisis occurs before I move forward. Change is going to create some sort of chaos anyway. If I wait until a crisis hits me, then I end up doubling my dose of trouble. Humans have a habit of doing things the hard way. It’s unconscious, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Many times I’ve said, “Was that really me?” Or, “I didn’t mean to say that.” Or, “ I didn’t mean to do that.” But I did it. Or I said it. It’s almost as if I was under a spell. Self-sabotage is so easy to succumb to, but it’s also easy to prevent. Opportunities for sabotage increase in the midst of conflict and change. Growth is slower or brought to a standstill. It puts me in danger of becoming stagnant.

One way to get my life moving again is to use archetypes to help me to do it. There are many roles that I play in life. My role at home is being a parent, while at work I have three roles, one as a counselor, and teacher, and author. I play the companion when I have coffee with a friend. I played the role of carer when I needed to look after my sick parents. Every role I play is equally important to my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual life. They are roles that contribute to the achievement of my hopes and wishes.

When I work with my archetypes, I realize that I am not these roles. I simply play these roles. I experience my life through these roles. Each role in it’s own way, with it’s individual characteristics, has the potential to enhance or detract from my experiences. How well I play my roles are not only my choice, they are my life’s challenges. I can step into any role I need that may be relevant or appropriate for the task at hand. I can step out of my chosen role whenever I please.

This makes it easier to manage change and conflict. Archetypes help me to identify potential sources of change, conflict and chaos before they occur. Archetypes are patterns. Patterns can be read and patterns are predictable. Archetypes guide me through the process of change and growth, and when necessary, they support me through chaos. Archetypal information puts me in charge of my relationships, business, health, career, and finances. I have learnt that if it’s a habit to use one role to accomplish certain activities in life, and it’s not working, then it’s my choice to try another more suitable role, or another or another.

Thoughts and feelings precede behavior. Both drive actions. Archetypes influence the quality of my thoughts and feelings. My actions are the result of my awareness of my behavior patterns, which are contained with my archetypes. Archetypal patterns read in the same way as a story. They describe my past, my present and my future. My stories, along with their characters, scripts, plot and scenarios are played out on the stage of my life. I am the writer, director and producer of it.

Archetypes continue to pull me out of trouble and put me back on track, so that I’m heading in the direction that’s best for me and everything that is important to me.

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