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A wholeness approach to personal development

 
 

Many of us find ourselves growing up in societies which do not support the development of wholeness. In a wholeness oriented approach to personal development, we do not have to start with wounds and trauma. We can choose to address, approach, and be with a person as inherently whole, as a person who has the capacity for wholeness, and we can use tools to help them cultivate this wholeness.

So an alternative way forward is to ask the questions...

By cultivating the four facets of wholeness using the lens of the Archetypes we can approach your personal development through building inner resilience, supporting you to heal your wounds and trauma yourself. A person who has cultivated that wholeness sufficiently is able to be in a healthy relationship with all of the aspects of their personality and moreover, such a person has access to their inner leader that can hold all of the parts of the psyche in compassion, and is prepared and ready to lead the individual from the inside in a healthy and powerful way.

The Archetypes

The lens of the Archetypes can be used to represent the whole of human potential, and a gateway through which we can begin to understand and to see how our experiences and wounding might influence our perceptions, thoughts, feelings and actions. We all have access to these archetypes but the extent to which we express them differs and is determined by our experience, background and upbringing. Archetypes can be defined as blueprints for our emotional expression which cause us to react in a typical way to basic human experiences, inner or outer.

Through dreamwork, psychoanalysis and comprehensive study, Carl Jung identified archetypes as the hidden language of the psyche and a profound tool for psychological insight. The term “archetype” means original pattern in ancient Greek and Jung identified 12 universal mythic characters, archetypes, that reside within our collective unconscious and that represent the range of basic human motivations.

 

Later work condensed these 12 mythic characters to four (Moore & Gillette 1990, Boothroyd 2018). The four quadrant Archetypal model views the psyche as being divided into four distinct archetypal energies - areas of personality that can be viewed as sub-personalities or parts of us that stand alone and function almost autonomously as separate entities within us. Each of them carries a particular energy and can act as a semiautonomous part of our psyche with its own motivations, desires, feelings, thoughts, and way of being in the world. There are many different references to many different archetypes which describe different aspects of human experience. The archetypes in the four quadrant model are the  Sovereign, Warrior, Magician, and Lover: their respective areas of influence being leading, taking action, thinking, and feeling. Employing this lens, each of these archetypes can be approached, individually explored and balanced as necessary.

 

Archetypes, Jung wrote in The Structure And Dynamics Of The Psyche, are the living system of reactions and aptitudes that would determine the individuals life in invisible ways. Each archetype has an essence, a particular quality to it, and it also has polarities, light and dark aspects which manifest as optimal and detrimental character qualities. Negative emotional and psychological experiences and impacts can create barriers to the access of these healthy and full ways of inhabiting what it is to be human and fully showing up in the world. When you’re out of alignment with an archetype, you will suffer the shadow aspects of it, the specific limiting beliefs and behaviours. When you’re in balance, you receive the gifts and benefits of it. When we have unencumbered access to these archetypes, we are able to draw on their attributes and qualities and experience that part of us in it’s fullness, harnessing it’s aspects to fully inhabit our lives.

 

 

The archetypal lens in personal development

 

In my work, I draw on the lens of the Archetypes as an extremely helpful way of working with clients. By exploring how these areas of personality show up in your life and identifying and exploring the experiences or wounding that have led to these parts of you closing down, we can work towards the goal of you having full and balanced access to each of these four archetypes, so that you are able to call on the most appropriate archetype at any point to support you and bring you back into alignment. 

 

 

The concept of archetypes is very useful in working with behaviours or feelings you want to change. We can start this process by looking at how you express each of these archetypal energies and we can explore any imbalances. This serves as a framework within which we can examine what is driving unwanted behaviours and more importantly provide strategies to change the unhelpful or unwanted behaviours into something that really supports you in your life.

"Discovering your unique gift to bring to your community is your greatest opportunity and challenge. The offering of that gift - your true self - is the most you can do to love and serve the world. And it is all the world needs."

 

Bill Plotkin

What within you has not found its greatest expression? 

What are the dimensions of your wholeness that have not been cultivated enough or not at all because of the society or culture that you have grown up in?

The aim is to have healthy access to each of these four archetypes and to be able to move freely between them; to move through life with all these energies in balance, allowing you to live life fully.

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