Archetypes are systems of readiness for action, and at the same time images and emotions.
The last few days of The Healer’s Gathering in Sisters, Oregon has been great. Whenever we attend powerful healing workshops like this, people have childhood issues surface and they have the opportunity to process their feelings and heal the Child Archetype.
The Child Archetype is the one of the four main archetypes: the Child, the Victim, the Prostitute and the Saboteur explained in Caroline Myss’s incredible book Sacred Contracts.
There is the Wounded Child, the Orphan Child, the Magical/Innocent Child, the Nature Child, Puer/Puella Eternis (Eternal Boy/Girl), the Dependent Child and the Divine Child.
After taking a class from Caroline Myss on Sacred Contracts as well as Medical Intuition, I taught this work for many years. This information is a combination of information from her book and my interpretation and sharing.
The mature child archetype is the part of us that nurtures us and is lighthearted and innocent. The child watches for the wonders of the world, no matter what age we might be. It brings playfulness and balance to our lives and brings out the best in others.
The core issue of the Child archetype is dependency verses responsibility. It governs when we take responsibility, when we have a healthy dependency or interdependency, when to stand up to the group and when to embrace the community.
The Wounded Child Archetype remembers the abuse, neglect and traumas that were experienced in childhood. Since therapy has become more acceptable, many people identify with this archetype. It is the child that blames their parents for their lives, their choices, and the dysfunctional relationships they create. The positive side of the wounded child is they have the desire to help other wounded children and have a deep ability to be compassionate.
The shadow side of the wounded child is they blame others for their pain and get stuck in the past, not moving through the painful memories into present time.
The Orphan Child Archetype is well known in childhood stories. Orphan children do not feel they belong to their families. One of my favorite stories is the Ugly Duckling. I was so happy when I realized I was not a duck at all, but was a swan. I had often felt I was dropped out of the sky into this family and wondered, “who are these people?” Orphans who do not belong to the tribal spirit of the family often become independent early and feel like they raised themselves. As Caroline Myss says “The absence of family influences, attitudes, and traditions inspires or compels the Orphan Child to construct an inner reality based on personal judgment and experience.”
The shadow side of the Orphan is they suffer from feelings of abandonment. They often seek out surrogate families or support groups in which to connect. Creating and maintaining healthy relationships is often a challenge for the Orphan Child.
The Magical Child / Innocent Child archetype sees beauty in all things. They are able to maintain wisdom and courage when what is happening around them may be catastrophic. A good example is Anne Frank. When her family was hiding from Nazis, she was still able to believe that humanity was good.
The shadow side of the Magical Child leaves the person without a sense of possibility and a lack of transformation from evil to good. Pessimism and depression can surface, especially if the child had a dream that was discouraged by adults. Another shadow side is when the adult gets lost in fantasy and does not believe action and energy are required to obtain a result. They get lost in magical thinking.
The Nature Child Archetype manifests as a child who has a strong, intimate bond with the earth and with animals. They may show a tender, emotional side, but also can be tough and have great survival skills, “the resilience of Nature herself.” Often nature children can communicate with animals and these animals may even rescue the nature child in some way. Nature children also may have developed abilities to communicate with nature spirits and work with them to help the planet. Veterinarians and animal activists are often nature children. Today is Earth day and I imagine many of the activists connected with Earth Day are nature children.
“The shadow aspect of the Nature Child may manifest in a tendency to abuse animals and people and the environment.”
The Eternal Boy/Girl Archetype manifests as an ability to stay young in body, mind and spirit. These children continue to have fun and enjoy life even as they age. I imagine many who write books on anti-aging have this child archetype.
The shadow Eternal Child manifests and an inability to grow up and be responsible. They live outside the conventional norm of adulthood and remain child-like, not taking on the responsibilities of the adult. Some of my clients have referred to their husbands as being “another child to care for.” These men have the Eternal Child archetype. For a woman, the Eternal Child archetype can manifest as extreme dependence on those who take care of their physical security. The woman cannot be relied upon and does not accept the aging process. “The Eternal Child often flounders between the stages of life because they have not laid the foundation for a functioning adulthood.”
The Dependent Child Archetype will appear needy and dependent and have a heavy feeling within that nothing is ever enough. They are always trying to replace emptiness from childhood, but they can never figure out what the emptiness is. They often suffer from depression, sometimes severe. If you identify with this archetype, you can use it to alert yourself to when you are becoming too needy and self-absorbed. Although this is my own thinking, I often refer to women who have this archetype in full activation as the female narcissist. Everything becomes about them and their needs.
The Divine Child Archetype (excerpted from Caroline Myss) is closely related to both the Innocent and Magical Child, but is distinguished from them by its redemptive mission. It is associated with innocence, purity, and redemption, god-like qualities that suggest that the Child enjoys a special union with the Divine itself. Few people are inclined to choose the Divine Child as their dominant Child archetype, however, because they have difficulty acknowledging that they could live continually in divine innocence. And yet, divinity is also a reference point of your inner spirit that you can turn to when you are in a conscious process of choice. You may also assume that anything divine cannot have a shadow aspect, but that’s not realistic. The shadow of this archetype manifests as an inability to defend itself against negative forces. Even the mythic gods and most spiritual masters — including Jesus, who is the template of the Divine Child for the Christian tradition — simultaneously expressed anger and divine strength when confronting those who claimed to represent heaven while manifesting injustice, arrogance, or other negative qualities (think of Jesus’ wrath at the money-changers in the Temple). Assess your involvement with this archetype by asking whether you see life through the eyes of a benevolent, trusting God/Goddess, or whether you tend to respond initially with fear of being hurt or with a desire to hurt others first.
I hope this is helpful for you. Use this to look at your relationships with others and see where you fit! Enjoy!
“A sad feeling can last a few minutes, and then you return to joy once you feel the pure feeling and let it go. Much as you would flex a muscle and let it go, you can feel the feeling and just let it go.”
– Candess M. Campbell – 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine
I sat with a client recently who’s working on developing a practice of journaling in order to deepen her relationship with herself. She laughs when she is saying something painful and tends to be disconnected from her feelings. She seems to be incongruent. I’ve given her some sentence stems to use. Sentence stems are beginnings of sentences to use to begin a free-writing session. I create these sentence stems specific to the issues that have been buried. This particular client uses alcohol, shopping, and staying busy as a way of not getting connected to herself; not becoming self-aware.
I’ve journaled over 30 years of my life and it has been an incredible experience of growth, insight, creativity and humor. You would be surprised at what surfaces in a 20-minute timed writing.
In the process of working with a Sentence Stem, you set the timer for 20 minutes, or 10 if 20 seems to long to start with. You use a fast writing pen and keep writing. Whatever comes to your mind you write, even if you have several lines of “I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to say.” Generally, you will start by being chatty, then go into resistance, “I don’t know what to say” or “I don’t like this,” and then you deepen into the underlying issue. You may notice that you touch on something and then change to writing your grocery list, but at least you know where to return to access the underlying issue or feelings.
Often when we overeat or over drink, or eat at the wrong time, we are covering up feelings. If not feelings directly, we may be over-consuming to manage the stress from all the activity we do to bury the feelings.
In my book 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine, I write a whole chapter entitled Feel your Feelings.
Today, before you make a choice to eat or drink something you know is not healthy, give yourself 20 minutes to journal first. Notice how you feel afterwards and see if it changes your need for the food or drink.
Here are a few sentence stems to start with.
If I listened to my body, I would . . .
What I desire most in my life is . . .
If I were fit/healthy, I would . . .
Comment below and let me know how you did!
Wouldn’t you know! It was when I was facilitating a journal class on the fifth chakra (throat – communication) that it all came to me. In one of the writing exercises I realized how great it was to have the support I am receiving in my business. I have a Mahfuzul who does my websites, Filip who edits the sound on my mp4s, Robert who fixed my Outlook issues, and Julie who is absolutely the best bookkeeper ever! Great awareness.
The next sentence stem was picked by one of the students. We wrote “What I need to change is. . .” Well, was I ever surprised!
My writing went like this. What I need to change is what I need to change. What the __ does that mean? A little anger here. Some pain is coming up. My face – there is pressure near my eyes and cheeks. I am feeling defensive and protective of myself. This really hit a nerve. What? I am breathing deeply. My solar plexus is tight. My throat is closing up. Okay this is the 5th chakra so let’s talk about my thyroid. I have a lump on my thyroid the size of a plum. Okay. I am getting clearer. I feel like crying. I feel hopeless around my weight . . .
Private journaling information –
. . . I have been talking today about how good it feels to have help, support, work as a team. I am sad about (relationship ending – touch, oxytocin, etc.) My dad and I cuddled and I gained weight because he and I ate all the sugary foods. I do want to create a relationship where I can be supported by someone when I work out and get healthier. I don’t want to wait for a relationship. For this part I will get a trainer. Oh, that feels better. Whew! Again, I don’t have to do it alone!
What I realized is that even though I am very self-motivated, in this area of my life, I am NOT! I do need help.
When it was my turn, I shared my writing and my “ah-ha” with the group. One of the women shared that she meets with her trainer 5 x a week. She said she lost weight but needed to build muscle and it was doctor recommended!
So I am making an appointment with an athletic trainer!
Are you ready for a breakthrough?
“The power of belief, the absolutely awesome incredible power of belief, is the genie in your life. Let me say that again.
The absolutely awesome incredible power of belief, is the genie in your life.” — Eldon Taylor
12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine shares about self-healing and healing others.
This is an excerpt from my #1 Best-selling book. (p. 149)
When teaching Reiki healing for many years, I have told my students that we all have the ability to heal. Many clients experienced their own ability to feel energy and heal themselves as well as others in this process.
An illustration of this principle involved a client of mine with cancer who was in the hospital preparing for surgery. I asked my students to meet me there and use Reiki to help calm her and assist in the healing process. When the doctors located a blood clot and could not operate, I invited my students, as well as the client’s mother and sister, to assist me in laying hands on the client. After talking with the nurse in charge, I understood the clot needed to dissolve before they could operate. We all imaged this as we did the healing. A period of a half hour or so went by, and when I felt an immediate sense that the healing was complete, I asked the nurse to check again. They did, and the clot was gone. The client was subsequently able to receive the needed surgery, the mother and sister of the patient were able to be helpful, and my students’ confidence in their healing ability increased. It was a glorious day!
We are all connected to the Source, and we all have the ability to channel this love. Here are some exercises to practice so that you can define your beliefs and connect with the God of your heart, as well as get in touch with your own healing abilities.
“Sure it hurts, but if you love someone, you forgive them.” Blanche
“Somethings you forgive, somethings you never forgive.” Kate”
Recently at Interplayers Theatre, I saw the play Brighton Beach Memoirs by Neil Simon. It was an incredible performance that exemplified the topic at hand – conflict.
The story is about Eugene, an adolescent, Jewish boy in 1937. He recalls his memories of living with his parents, aunt, two female cousins, and his brother at a time when he was going through puberty, sexual fantasy, poverty, and living in a crowed home. In this play, Eugene Jerome, played by Nich Witham, gave an over-exaggerated sense (in a fantastic performance) of not being heard and doing what he could to find his place and get his needs met in this family.
This play was a great backdrop for me to expound on how to resolve conflict and the pitfalls of communication. Here are some helpful steps.
Clear with this person on an energetic level.
1. Ground your energy. Here is a video that will teach you to do this. http://bit.ly/wBHJbh
2. You have an aura around you which is part of your energetic self. Imagine pulling your aura in around your body. Pull it in about 6 – 8 inches around you.
3. Focus in your heart and bring your attention out of the top of your head into the heavens.
4. Image the person there with you. At this level, send them love from your heart. You may also imagine sending them golden white Light from your heart.
5. If you can do this without anger or negative feelings, talk with them at this level
6. Come back down, image yourself filling up with golden white Light and release any leftover energy down your grounding cord.
Steps to resolve conflict in person.
1. Write out the situation in your journal and then re-read it the next day. Sometimes it helps to do this a few times, so that you can become clear on what happened and what you want to communicate.
2. Become aware of your own part of the situation, even if you perceive it to be minor in comparison to the other person.
3. If you are angry, look at where you may be feeling hurt or fearful. These emotions are often right under the surface of anger. Feel your feelings and let them go. Journal them over and over if need be.
4. Contact the person you are having conflict with and use clear, direct, honest communication. I suggest you meet in person (not via text or email) because this allows you not only to read the body language, but also to open your heart.
5. Give the other person the chance to communicate their side completely. It is helpful to use the words, “I heard you say,” and repeat back to them what you heard and let them clarify. This helps them to feel heard. You can hear what someone is saying without agreeing with them. It is important that you hear.
6. Once the other person feels heard, share your side. They may not listen well and you may not feel heard. If that is the case use the broken record method. Continue to say the core message again and again, “I hear what you say, and ______.” Yes, that is true, and _______.” Do this until they are able to understand they are not hearing you.
7. Make a request of the person such as “My request is we put this behind us and go on from here,” or “My request is that we continue to meet and talk weekly until we can resolve this.” You can use whatever it is that you desire.
8. Trust your intuition, and use as many of these steps as you would like. If the person is not willing to meet with you or clear the situation with you, then move on and let it go. No longer allow them into your energy field and set healthy boundaries. (I will share more about this in a future video and blog.)
Sometimes people have a hard time clearing conflict because of negative communication patterns. Often these reactions were learned in early childhood as a survival response to a dysfunctional family. In this case they may triangle in other people to take sides, or become passive aggressive and rather than talking with you directly, they will be passive in their aggression in a subversive manner.
One of the books I recommend for healthy communication is Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg
You can find other valuable information at http://candesscampbell.com/books/self-help-toolbox
Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.”
― Robert Fripp
Decided to lighten up today in the conversation about relationships. Last night I attended the Spokane Songwriter’s Open Mic. One of the ways I nurture myself is by listening to music and especially local musicians.
We all have our tribes, our people, those we feel most comfortable with. For me it has been my musician friends.
I’m delighted to share with you The Brad Keeler Trio; Brad Keeler, Jim Pittman and Linda Parman. The song Front Porch Swing was written by Brad Keeler.
“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.”
― C.G. Jung
Have you ever been in a relationship where you feel like you are crazy? This was a familiar feeling for me as a young woman when the love of my life was alcoholic and I came from an alcoholic home. Then I became a chemical dependency counselor, and began to understand. When you are in a relationship with someone who is addicted, you often feel like you are crazy.
How do you know if your relationship is dysfunctional?
1. You keep saying the same thing over and over again and it does not help the situation. You are either not heard or ignored.
2. You do everything you can to fix the situation to no avail.
3. Your friends get tired of your ongoing drama and you feel isolated.
4. You begin to doubt yourself.
5. Tension builds and there may be an outburst (yours or theirs) and then there is the period where things go better and you feel guilty and try harder, just to end up right where you were before, only deeper, more depressed, uncertain, depressed or exhausted.
6. You make excuses for his behavior.
7. You hold onto any kind word or gesture and immediate think it will get better, even though it never does.
8. You think you will never be able to find anyone else and so you stay.
9. You feel confined, trapped and are afraid to leave.
This is the pattern of being in a dysfunctional relationship. You begin to feel like you are crazy. I see this often in my counseling private practice. It is usually the partner of the addict who shows up for advice. The addict himself rarely seeks out help. Too often when the codependent realizes she has to make some changes, she stops coming until the situation escalates. In order for an addict to hit bottom they usually have to have legal trouble, health issues, lose their job, lose their family, or death.
If you find you are in this kind of relationship, before your self-esteem tanks totally, I strongly encourage you to educate yourself. One resource I like is the book Codependent No More by Melody Beatty. I also suggest contacting a local counselor that is educated in chemical dependency. When you get to the stage of feeling crazy, reach out for help before the disastrous incident. There is help!
Watch for the blog on Addictive Relationships!