What is the story of our four survival archetypes?

Over the past four months we have looked at the four survival archetypes of the Unconscious mind – the Child, the Victim, the Saboteur and the Prostitute – in order to understand our behaviour and that of others. We each go on a Hero’s Journey to discover our true selves and nowhere is this more evident that in the story of The Wizard of Oz.

The first character we meet is Dorothy who represents the Child. At the beginning of the story she is continually looking for attention, struggling to be heard and recognised by adults. Her plea to find a place “somewhere over the rainbow” is her longing to find a home of her own where she can be herself. Without warning she is whisked out of Kansas by a tornado – chaos – into the Land of Oz. After being recognized as a Hero by the Munchkins for unwittingly killing the Wicked Witch of the East, she asks how she can return home only to be told that she must find the Wizard in the Emerald City and ask him for help. So, with the gift of ruby slippers on her feet, she starts out on her Hero’s Journey to independence and self responsibility, along the path of the yellow brick road.

The second person we meet is the Scarecrow who represents the Saboteur. He points in one direction and then another, unable to make up his mind. Stuck on a pole, he announces that he is a failure because he hasn’t got a brain. As he sings about all the things he would do ‘if only’ he had a brain, we see the Saboteur in the shadow aspect, representing confusion, lack and ‘if only’ attitudes. His Hero’s Journey is all about his gaining sufficient self-esteem to use his intelligence. Only once he has done so will he be able to make choices and decisions for himself.

Next we meet the Tin Man who represents the Prostitute, standing alone, frozen and unable to speak in the forest. With the aid of Dorothy and the Scarecrow his joints are oiled. In other words, he is given attention and love. Once he can move again, he complains that he hasn’t got a heart, singing about how loving he would be if he had one. His Hero’s Journey is finding his heart and being able to love freely without becoming frozen in fear.

Finally, we meet the Lion who claims that he has no courage, quickly showing himself to be the Victim. He asks for pity by complaining about how unbearable life has been. His Hero’s Journey is to find his courage so that he can at last be victorious and claim himself for himself.

Each of them is looking for something outside themselves – the Wizard of Oz – to make them whole. It is only when they realise that the Wizard is a fraud that they begin to see through the illusion. It seems that they already had what they were missing.  Dorothy has the ruby slippers which she needs to get her home, the Scarecrow has the intelligence which shows them what to do, the Tin Man has the heart to be kind and loving, and the Lion has the courage to fight for what he wants.

It is well worth watching the film of The Wizard of Oz see how the characters react both individually and together. Understanding how the four survival archetypes work within us frees us to see that, like Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion, our perceived lack is only an illusion. The truth is that each of us already has exactly what we need if only we will dare to see it. We just have to look inside and discover the treasure that was there all along.

Happy August!

Love Laurelle

 

In which ways do you prostitute yourself?

The fourth and final survival archetype that we all share is The Prostitute. This is a difficult word for most of us and yet this is one of the most beautiful of all archetypes to work through. We prostitute ourselves when we sell our bodies or minds for money or when we compromise our morals and ethics for financial gain.

The Prostitute begins by showing us our price, how we can be bought and what we will sell ourselves for – e.g. talents, ideas, and any other expression of the self – in order to be safe and financially secure.

The end game of the Prostitute archetype, however, is the learning and building up of integrity and qualities. It teaches us self-esteem and self-respect so that we are strong enough to stand up and be counted.

In order to find out what is really important to you, try asking yourself some of these questions: Have you ever stayed in a marriage or job simply for financial gain? Have you ever sold out to people or organisations you do not truly believe in? Have you ever put another person in a compromising position in order to gain power over them? Have you ever bought another person’s loyalty, support, or even silence, in order to have your way? What do you care enough about to stand up for?

Working through the Prostitute Archetype develops moral stamina. It is rarely comfortable: and we may end up going against some of our friends, our family or even our culture, but the qualities we will develop – e.g. honesty, integrity, compassion and acceptance – will be worth it.  A wonderful example of the archetype is the film “Indecent Proposal” with Robert Redford and Demi Moore. A rich man offers a million dollars to spend a night with the wife of a happily married young couple. The husband needs money so he agrees. The rest is history…

So embrace your own Prostitute Archetype and try not to judge others when they are working through theirs. Allow it to teach you to look at your life and decide what’s important to you. Then claim your personal power and be everything you are capable of being.

Have a wonderful summer.

Love Laurelle

In which ways do you sabotage yourself?

The third of our four shared survival archetypes is the Saboteur. The Saboteur archetype is all about the fear of change. Because most of us lack self-esteem and self-belief, we will do almost anything to stop change or at least try to slow it down, whether the change is for the good or the bad. Take a creative idea for a new business, for example. If we’re frightened of failure, or of what other people might think of us if we put that new idea into action, most of us will sabotage it and do nothing. Or take a new relationship: if it threatens the life we have so carefully created, or we fear we may be hurt, then we will end it precipitously. Or what about clean eating? We all know that it will make us feel healthier and fitter, but if we don’t feel good enough, or if we secretly fear that being slim will open up all sorts of opportunities that will take us out of our comfort zone, then we’ll be turning to junk food by lunchtime.

It’s important to remember that archetypes are here to help us. Because 95% of our minds is unconscious, we need to work through unconscious patterns so that we can grow into greater consciousness. The Saboteur exists to develop our self-esteem, self-belief and courage. We can either ignore it, take the easy route and stay ordinary, or work with it, go out of our comfort zone, dare to make mistakes and become extraordinary. But be aware that ignoring the Saboteur comes at a price. Not only to we betray ourselves and cause ourselves deep pain, but its shadow will manifest in the form of self-destructive behaviour and/or the desire to undermine others.

Working with the Saboteur offers us a gateway into our potential. Because it works through intuition and gut instinct rather than rational thought, it teaches us to listen to our inner promptings and learn to trust them. As a result, we develop courage and self-belief. This in turn enables us to turn that phenomenal idea into a viable business, that relationship into something that lasts, and that eating regime into a healthy and fit body.

The first step to working through the Saboteur, is to realise when you have gone into its subconscious pattern. When you hear yourself or someone else saying: “I don’t know what to do,” “I’ll do it tomorrow,” “I’ll wait until I’ve lost a stone before I…”, “I know what I should do but…”, or “If only…”, then you know the Saboteur is rearing its head. Once you have recognised the pattern, stop, step out of it and refrain from making any decisions. Allow yourself the necessary silence and space to hear your hunches and intuition, then discern whether you are being faced with something positive or negative for you. Little by little, your self-esteem will build up alongside courage and, before you know it, you will be strong enough to embrace positive change and brave enough to say no when the change is not in your best interest.

Ultimately, the Saboteur is a good friend who will tell you what you need to know as long as you are prepared to listen. The question is, will you choose to stay small or will you dare to be big? Will you settle for an easy route and a life of bitter disappointment and regret, or will you move out of your comfort zone, dare to make mistakes, and discover who you really can be? Will you settle for being ordinary, or will you take the challenge that the Saboteur offers and lead an extraordinary life?

Happy June.

Love Laurelle

Who is your Inner Child?

Last month, we learned that 95% of us in unconscious and that the language that this Unconsciousness speaks is archetypes, patterns of behaviour that we work through during our lives in order to find ourselves. According to the American Medical Intuitive, Caroline Myss, each of us works mainly through twelve major archetypes, four of which we all have in common.

The first of these shared archetypes The Child. The Child represents safety, loyalty and family and teaches us how to go from dependency to self responsibility. We first meet The Child in fairy tales and one of its most common aspects is The Orphan. For example, Cinderella’s mother dies and her father goes away, leaving her to be bullied by her wicked stepmother and her daughters. She has to endure bullying and injustice but her good nature wins out and she gets her Prince in the end. The Orphan reflects the fear of abandonment and forced solitude and loneliness is its cry but, if we work with the archetype, it will teach us how to grow up independently, reinvent ourselves and become self responsible. As with all archetypes, The Orphan has a shadow aspect. This manifests when the wounds of abandonment and rejection stop us from growing up and discovering how to live alone gracefully.

The Wounded Child is another version of The Child archetype, this time seen through the lens of the abuse, neglect and trauma suffered during childhood. Its shadow aspect may manifest as an abiding sense of self-pity and a tendency to blame parents for everything, but the person who works through the Wounded Child archetype can ultimately learn compassion, forgiveness and how to be of service to others.

The Magical Child represents the part of us that is both enchanted and enchanting, seeing the potential for beauty in everything and embodying qualities of wisdom and courage in the face of difficult circumstances. Anne Frank was a Magical Child who believed in the potential of love in everyone even though, as a Jew, she faced death from the Nazis. Its shadow is pessimism, depression and a retreat into fantasy, which can be as a result of the ridiculing of a Magical Child’s dreams by cynical adults.

The Nature Child has a particular affinity with animals and combines tender, emotional qualities with inner toughness and an innate ability to survive. However, the shadow side can manifest as cruelty to animals and a disregard of nature.

The Eternal Child manifests as a determination to remain eternally young. Peter Pan resists growing up, determined to live a life outside the boundaries of conventional adulthood. The shadow aspect manifests as an unwillingness to grow up and embrace the responsible life of an adult and can be seen in unreliability and the overuse of cosmetic surgery.

There are many more versions of The Child archetype and searching inside the Self is the only way to determine which we are working through. Common to them all is the journey from neediness and dependence to self-responsibility that this archetype helps us to go on. Sometimes it is most easily identifiable from its wounds of abandonment, loss and rejection and can be heard in language such as: “I can’t”, “It’s not fair”, “It’s your fault”, and “You don’t love me”.  So listen to what you  say, most particularly when your buttons are pushed and you default into unconscious behaviour. The trick is to recognise what is happening and then using The Child to grow up, toughen up, accept consequences, forgive, be compassionate and embrace self-responsibility. It can be a tough challenge, but, if we don’t take it, we will experience failure, defeat and be unable to engage in the game of life.

Most of all, keep in mind that it is The Child in us that enables us to play. Embracing our Inner Child will not only reveal our wounds so that we can begin to heal them, but it will also show us how to have fun!

Happy April!

Love Laurelle

How on earth do we cope with terrorism and atrocity?

I am writing this in response to yesterday’s horrific actions in Brussels. This, along with the daily reports of atrocities around the world, have left many of us reeling. Although we try to distract ourselves from the pain, we know that the suffering will not go away if we continue like this. It doesn’t help that we are me are masters of distraction. Beginning as a baby when we try to shut off our sensitivity because we can’t handle the intense energy and emotions of others, we only add more and more ways to distract ourselves as we grow up.

But the emotions we try so hard to avoid are stored in the cells of the physical body and become part the Collective Consciousness – the part of us that we all share. That negative emotion then adds fuel to our thinking, creating a personal electromagnetic field which acts like a magnet. This means that by feeling the fear engendered by terrorism, we are enabling that energy to return again and again.

But how do we stop such a natural reaction? It takes extraordinary strength and stamina to resist the low energy tsunamis in the Collective Unconscious caused by terrorism, yet that is exactly what we have to do if we are to climb out of the vicious circle of low frequency negative energy. It is only by neutralising low frequency negativity with high frequency positivity that we can stop being victims and claim back our power of free will and choice.

There are many low frequency forms of energy such as hatred, anger, worry, anxiety, despondency and hopelessness but fear resonates at the lowest frequency of all. Conversely, there are many high frequency forms of energy such a joy, co-operation, honesty, forgiveness, trust and compassion with love resonating at the highest frequency of all. Unfortunately the word “love” has become somewhat hackneyed and misused. However, in its purest form, it is also the most powerful frequency in the universe. Therefore, if only we can find a way of feeling love as our primary frequency, we will raise the vibrations of the Collective, negativity and fear will cease to rule us.

Being in the frequency of love means seeing the beauty in everyone, whoever they are and whatever they are doing. Like all frequencies, we need to practice endlessly so that it becomes our predominant frequency. That may not be so hard when we live relatively happy lives, but if we are involved in atrocities such as terrorism, feeling love instead of hatred will be the hardest challenge we will ever face. The place to start is by taking our minds off ourselves and really being present with whatever or whoever we are at the time. Then search for and honour the beauty in them, having the discipline to stop ourselves the moment we see negativity or start judging and criticising. With practise, seeing the beauty will become a habit and once we are re-entrained to the positive, it becomes about what we expect.

This brings to mind a true story told to me by a dear friend. When a young man began teaching at a failing school, his pupils all began to do extraordinarily well. The Head came into to ask what the secret was. The teacher smiled and pointed to the register. “Look, here are all their IQ levels – they are all extremely bright. Of course they are doing well.” The Head stared at him in astonishment. “These are not their IQ levels,” he exclaimed. “They are their locker numbers!”

It is extraordinary but it seems that when you see and then expect the best in everyone, they come up trumps. You can still send your heart out to those who are suffering, but by concentrating on the positive frequencies not the negative. Learning the stamina and strength to uphold high level frequencies and energies is a journey for all of mankind, but it is a journey that begins with each one of us. Remember, you can see a candle flame in an ocean of darkness but you won’t even notice a smudge of darkness in an ocean of light.

Wishing us all love and peace

Laurelle

How can we choose our behaviour when 95% of us is unconscious?

We are a strange species. Watch a cat napping comfortably on a sofa or a dog stretched out blissfully in front of a fire and you won’t see a creature ruminating on why it is here or what its purpose is. Yet we humans agonise endlessly over such questions, convinced that finding answers to them is key to living a happy, fulfilled life.

The difference between animals and humans is supposed to be the ability to choose. Yet with anger, greed and vengeance raging both inside and outside us, sometimes it seems as though no intelligent free will is being engaged at all.

So what is the answer? The journey of human life seems to be about power and how to handle it. Do you decide to have power over others and cause pain or power over yourself and develop your qualities? It shouldn’t be difficult choice because 95% of our minds is unconscious, we simply do not seem to be able to make the sensible choice. Unconsciousness reveals itself to us in many ways but one of its most obvious methods is through our behaviour. The ways in which our buttons can be pushed tell us much about who we are and have become but unless we find a way of responding (conscious) rather than reacting (unconscious), we are likely to be in for a lot of unhappiness and trouble, both on a personal and global scale.

In order to communicate with the Unconscious mind, we need a language. One such language was discovered by Jung and developed by the likes of Joseph Campbell and Caroline Myss. The language of archetypes is a way of understanding the behavioural patterns in our unconscious minds. We first come across them in fairy tales and myths: Cinderella, Snow White, Peter Pan, the Wicked Step Mother, the Queen, the Bully, the Prince, the Free Spirit etc. They are rather like filters, or stage lights that colour your energy in a certain way, determining how you live your life and what you do with it.

Archetypes are made up of light (that which we know) and shadow (that which we don’t recognise/admit to) and they form the foundation of our personality, drives, feelings, beliefs, motivation and actions. It is vital that we integrate both light and shadow if we are to be conscious enough to act from free will and choice.

According to Caroline Myss, our unconscious mind works through a basic twelve archetypes, four of which are common to every human being on the planet. In the next four newsletters, I will be discussing each of these – the Child, the Victim, the Saboteur and the Prostitute (yes, a tough word, but we all go through it in some form or other).

Learning to speak the language of archetypes sends us on a fascinating journey into the mind, shining light on parts which may have lain hidden for a very long time. As a bonus, learning this language also helps us to understand why others behave the way they do.

In preparation, try observing your behaviour over the next month. Write down what you do, especially when your buttons are pushed. The more you understand about what you do, the easier it will be to discover why you do it.

Wishing you a peaceful, insightful and joyful March,

Love Laurelle

We’re in for a rock ‘n roll year!

The Chinese New Year of the Fire Monkey will start on February 8th and this monkey’s going to shake, rattle and roll 2016! A hyperactive, strong-minded, intelligent, witty, and inventive animal, the monkey likes to solve problems. As an independent achiever who is nimble, playful and youthful in nature, he loves a variety of activities and having fun. However, while monkeys symbolise curiosity and creativity, they are also tricksters and their very intelligence enables them to play pranks because, free from inhibitions and guilt, they display little conscience. This means that, while anarchy may raise its head, at least the economy should improve.

Fire monkeys are extremely lively and charismatic so this could be an interesting year for relationships. They love to be centre of attention and are excellent teachers but they do want everyone to think the way they do. Their imagination is lively and their intuition rarely wrong but they can be suspicious of other people’s motivation and very jealous.

Some of the famous people born in the year of the monkey are Leonardo da Vinci, Mick Jagger, Charles Dickens, Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor, Sylvia Plath, Omar Sharif and Peter O’Toole.

To make the most of this irrepressible, inventive energy, you need to be experimental and allow yourself to think as outrageously as you can. Personal effort rather than the group collective is the key here. The monkey is an opportunistic tactician and you need to keep abreast of events which will happen quickly. Monkeys are excellent communicators and brilliant at business, but be alert for deception, trickery and feelings of insecurity and base your decisions on fact rather than emotion if you don’t want to get caught out.  Don’t take anything for granted, whether politically, financially, professionally, domestically or emotionally and beware of trusting too easily. The monkey can be faithless and unscrupulous and he loves nothing more than to catch you out. Creating new inventions, taking risks and being courageous will propel you forward but you may have to learn to bluff your way out of trouble if you don’t want stress to get the better of you. A regular regime of strong physical exercise will help you to deal with stress and survive this fast paced year unscathed. It will be the year for education and self improvement so take some new courses and invest in yourself.

If you run with your ideas, are inventive and rely on yourself, you should have a lot of fun in this year of individual success and creativity. Just make sure that you love what you do. Otherwise, the monkey may well jump out at you and trick you!

Enjoy the wild ride!

Love Laurelle

 

The Need for Balance

Christmas is a time for stories and winter for gathering round a fire to tell and share our tales. Storytelling is a vital part of human life from tales told to children to help them to sleep, to web-weaving our lives into some kind of tapestry that can be told. Storytelling balances us and helps us to understand the incomprehensible.

Mythology grew up with such an aim in mind. Common throughout the ancient near East and the Mediterranean were tales of a male god who died and, as a result of the great work done by his female consort, was reborn. The male represented the sacrificial lamb while the female represented eternity. Together, they described the cyclical nature of birth life and death. From Ancient Egypt there is Osiris and Isis, from Mesopotamia Tammuz and Innana-Ishtar, from Lebanon Eshmun and Astarte, from Palestine Baal and Anat, and from Britain Taliesin and Ceridwen. Each male god was killed, often more than once, and after being put back together by his female consort, eventually reborn.

The Christian story of Jesus has many parallels with this ancient myth except that the female consort was removed. In an attempt to redress this imbalance, the church was portrayed as the missing female part but this didn’t satisfy the people who also wanted a female deity. Mary Magdelene, whom many are beginning to believe may have been the bride of Jesus, was denigrated to the status of a prostitute. Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus, was put in as a substitute for the consort but even she was toned down when worshippers began to place too much importance on her.

Removing one half of the heavenly duo has led to a dangerous imbalance and the denial of the Mystical Marriage has resulted in two thousand years of Christian patriarchy. Women are still seen as second class citizens in many places and, even in the UK, a land of many freedoms, it is anticipated that equal pay between men and women will not be achieved universally until 2050.

Nowhere do we find Jesus saying that women are second class citizens so isn’t it about time that we restored the Divine Female to her true place, by the side of the Divine Male? With the atrocities that are being committed against both men and women around the world today, we desperately need the classic female qualities of compassion, nurturing and forgiveness. If we are to get through this dangerous time and come out the other side in a more balanced and caring way, then each of us needs to restore the male and female elements inside us before we will be able to see more harmonious results in the outside world.

Wishing us all a more peaceful, united and balanced 2016.

Love Laurelle

 

 

 

Why is having a purpose so important?

In the film “Suffragette”, Maud started working in a laundry factory when she was seven and worked there full time from the age of eleven. By the time she turned twenty three, she had been burned, scalded and sexually abused. Nevertheless, she went about doing a full day’s back-breaking work scrubbing, cleaning and ironing before going home without a word of complaint to look after her husband and young son.  When she was arrested for peaceful protest, she was put in prison, force fed and had her child taken away from her. Shockingly, that wasn’t enough. It took the death of Emily Davison under the feet of the King’s horse in the 1913 Derby to bring the cause of women to the world stage, and even then it took a further fifteen years for all women to get the vote in Britain. In Switzerland, women only got the vote in 1971.

Society in the Western world is very different in the twenty first century. Thankfully, most women don’t have to return to the days of scrubbing boards and laundries. There are women MPs and prime ministers and women head some of the biggest companies. Not that the victory is yet complete: official figures show men in the UK earn 14.2% more per hour than women and, at the current rate of change, it will take another 50 years to close the gap.

Yet despite such hard won freedom and wealth, depression is alarmingly on the rise. The qualities of stoicism and tenacity that our sisters of old had in spadefuls seem to have disappeared. We complain about the smallest things and rely on screens to entertain us so that we don’t have to think for ourselves. (It has actually been confirmed that we go into a state of mild depression when we watch sitcoms.) It would appear that when life is handed to us on a plate, we become passive and cease to engage.

A story about a lizard confirms this. When a chap bought an exotic lizard as a pet, he could not persuade it to eat despite offering it a huge variety of tasty morsels. In a last ditch attempt, the man tried to feed the starving lizard a ham sandwich. When the lizard refused this as well, the man gave up, put the sandwich down and started to read his newspaper. When he had finished reading the first section, he tossed it on top of the sandwich. Immediately the lizard crept towards the paper, shredded it and gobbled up the sandwich. Apparently, the lizard had needed something to stalk before he would eat.

Irrespective of gender, humans and animals alike need purpose in order to live satisfying lives. Having nothing to fight for, being spiritually starved, having food available 24 hours a day, too much convenience and the continual seeking of pleasure is making us weak. We need challenge if we are to grow and be fulfilled. We need to get out into the world and DO something with this precious gift of life that we have been given.

Christmas is a particularly apt time to think about purpose. Whilst we are having fun and feasting, let’s reflect on the birth of a child into a family forced to become refugees, a subject of so much relevance today. Let’s remind ourselves that, however comfortable we might be, we can still fight for peace, justice and compassion. Finding a cause to support will not only gives us purpose but also stir the altruism which, ultimately, makes us happy. Let’s develop some of that wisdom and courage that were so much in evidence in our tougher forebears and rediscover those old qualities of stoicism and tenacity.

Wishing you a peaceful but purposeful Christmas

Love Laurelle

 

 

Could ethics be more important than religion?

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In a world in which refugees are seeking safety in ever greater numbers, the Dalai Lama, the world’s most prominent refugee, purports to know no enemies and feel no hatred. Even though the Chinese have occupied Tibet and taken away his homeland, he still prays for them and their leaders. He also says that ethics are more important than religion because, while we don’t arrive in the world as a member of a particular religion, we are born with a sense of ethics.

The ethical qualities of love, compassion and peace are at the basis of all religions but mankind is doing his best to kill them with his desire for power over others, causing cruel war and the desperate plight of refugees.  Ethics, on the other hand, demand power over oneself. Power over oneself isn’t easy. Living ethically demands practice, patience and self-discipline with an ample helping of learned self knowledge. It also asks us to question our new Western religions of overindulgence, money, excessive materialism and our worship of the numbing god in the corner of the room, the television.

Ethics, the Dalai Lama suggests, leads to happiness, and modern research into neuroscience certainly backs him up. It would seem that altruism is not only more rewarding than egotism but also that the human brain is actually programmed to be happy. The fact is that we like helping people – it makes us feel good. Moreover, we can’t bear seeing others hurting. The horrific photographs coming out of Syria have begun to shock us out of our complacency but we need to act more ethically if we want to begin to transform suffering in a meaningful and lasting way.

Most of us in the Western World have far more than we need – if we have a roof over our heads and food in the cupboards we are in the top 8% of the world wealth. We can afford to share out some of our good fortune and we will even get a shot of happiness as a result. Choosing to see the influx of refugees as an exciting opportunity rather than a threat could be fascinating. Celebrating a world in which Christians, Hindus, Seiks, Muslims, Jainists, Buddhists, Jews, Agnostics, Atheists and Pagans all have a safe place to live, could bring some much needed colour into our lives. Working together towards education for all, respect for each other and acceptance of our differences could open up whole new worlds to many of us.

A few new beliefs wouldn’t go amiss either. How about – What is in your interest is also in mine. Or – What serves you, serves me, serves all of us. Sounds better than shouting fearfully to keep everything for ourselves, doesn’t it?

Have a happy, compassionate and loving November.

Love Laurelle