"Try tapping into Athena," my mentors said to me when I told them I wanted to develop more focus and determination.
In my coaching and brand development work, I tap into archetypes: storylines that pervade the human race through time and between cultures. We've all heard of the hero, the magician, the sage, and the explorer. We've heard these stories since we were children, read them in the classroom and watched them on the big screen. But these stories are more than mere fairytales. They help us understand what it is to be human. Some say they're built into our DNA. They give us peeks into the rewards we can experience and the consequences we might expect when living our lives.
These archetypes create an easy entry point for a person or organization to gain insights into their own story and how they are showing up in the world. They help us understand what motivates us and what provides meaning to individuals, teams and followers of movements.
I was introduced to the archetypes through Cindy Atlee about seven years ago. After taking her free assessment (you should take it!) and having a follow-up conversation with her, Cindy declared me a "Lover." When I heard the verdict, I felt like I had found my home. Yes, I was a Lover! I gained energy from connecting with people, I believed in following one's bliss, I lived life with passion. I thrived on bringing more beauty into the world.
Over those seven years, I felt most alive when living in the full expression of Lover. But recently, I realized something was missing. When I talked to my mentors about it, they suggested that I channel my inner Athena. Yes! Athena, I thought. A warrior woman who symbolizes the heroic endeavor. That's what I need: some Warrior.
And so I've stood stronger in my Warrior poses during yoga (believing in Amy Cuddy's thoughts that stance shapes who you are). I've spoken my mind when I might have otherwise stayed silent. I've led with my heart, but now not only for the purpose of spreading more love in the world, but for pursuing a heroic endeavor.
I'm seeing that the Warrior and the Lover have more in common than I thought. As Joseph Campbell writes, "The warrior's approach to life is to say 'yes' to life: 'yea' to it all."
The passion-filled Lover in me can get behind that. She sees the beauty in the Warrior's strength and admires the heroism in pursuit of a noble cause. There is a lot of heart in a Warrior and my Lover feels at home standing taller and stepping more boldly through life.
What storyline are you living right now? What would happen if you lived more fully into it? What storyline is missing? What character embodies those qualities?
I encourage you to take the free SVSS assessment. You'll get some automatic insights into yourself that might help you blossom. If you want to explore a more in-depth version of the assessment for yourself or your organization, feel free to reach out to me. I'd love to work with you!