“No man is an island, entire of itself.” – John Donne
My aim in Lifecrafting is to share with you as many useful resources and ideas as I possibly can, in order to help you craft a life you love.
Seeking out your gifts and talents; learning to deal with resistance and setbacks; finding all the motivation you’ll ever need inside yourself; setting exciting and achievable goals which impel you into action without compromising your integrity; plotting a course towards your most cherished dreams; dealing with self-limiting beliefs; generating options and ideas to move you forward; working with your feelings, rather than against them – all these are areas which I have covered, or will cover in the future. But perhaps the most important area I can direct you towards is this: getting support from others.
Icons & Allies
Whether we are aware of it or not, and even when it doesn’t feel like it, each one of us is supported by other people in every single moment of our lives. Don’t believe me? Who made the chair you’re sitting on? Who designed it? Who got it to the shop where it was purchased? Who invented chairs in the first place? Who invented the money that was used to buy it? When you stop to think about it, from birth to death, there really isn’t a single moment where we aren’t being supported by the efforts of others in some way.
In a future blog post, I’m going to look at specific ways in which you can generate surprising levels of support from friends, loved ones, acquaintances – and even strangers. But what happens if you’re embarking on the beginning of a journey without the obvious support you’re going to need?
Don’t worry. If you’re not yet ready to share your plans with anyone else; if you’re struggling to find a way to ask for help; or if you’re just feeling isolated at the moment – you can still get the support you need. You can do that by building yourself a cheering team from the inside out. You deserve to feel safe and secure, and you need to gather your allies, even when there are no allies to gather. Get ready to make some imaginary friends. Get ready to invoke your icons…
Don’t know how? Yes, you do – if you’ve ever had a poster of a favourite pop star or football player on your bedroom wall or locker door, then you know exactly what to do. Let me show you:
As promised, here is my current cheering section:
Here’s an interesting essay on why heroes are important to us.
“We need heroes first and foremost because our heroes help define the limits of our aspirations. We largely define our ideals by the heroes we choose, and our ideals – things like courage, honor, and justice – largely define us.” – Scott LaBarge
“The primordial image, or archetype, is a figure…that constantly recurs in the course of history and appears wherever creative fantasy is freely expressed…In each of these images there is a little piece of human psychology and human fate, a remnant of the joys and sorrows that have been repeated countless times in our ancestral history…” – Carl Jung
Archetypes – ancient, universal patterns embedded within the human collective psyche – provide the deepest structure of human motivation and meaning. They become personalised when they are part of our own individual psychological make-up. When we encounter them in ourselves or others – and in art, literature, sacred texts, movies, or advertising – they evoke powerful feelings within us, because they emanate from a deeply mysterious, yet fundamental place.
Archetypes were projected outwards by the ancients onto images of gods and goddesses (you’ll find explicit similarities between the deities of otherwise unrelated cultures, and in the creation myths of very diverse peoples) and, arguably, we do the same today with celebrities and public figures. Just watch the next series of Britain’s Got Talent or Big Brother to see a procession of archetypes – hero, child, victim, rescuer, saboteur, lover, queen, rebel – play themselves out before your very eyes. Becoming aware of the archetypes which are most active – and least active – within us at any given time, can help us to make conscious decisions about which qualities to strive for, and which pitfalls to avoid, in our quest to build a life we love.
We don’t choose whether or not we express archetypal patterns. We do that without having to think about it. The “teacher” archetype is active in anyone anytime they teach something to someone else. The issue is – what are you teaching?
Working consciously with archetypes can enable you to better understand your own journey, improve the communication between your conscious and unconscious minds, inspire you to move forward, increase your flexibilty in responding to challenges, and elevate your effectiveness on a daily basis. All archetypes come with specific qualities embedded within them. Ambiguous qualities of light and shadow…
“We are the hero of our own story.” – Mary McCarthy
How to find your dominant archetypes: The Heroic Myth Index
An introduction to the most common archetypes, and how to work with them: Archetypes 101
Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces
“Be your own hero. It’s cheaper than a movie ticket.” – Doug Horton
© Brian Cormack Carr, 2009