A prominent theme in my life this month has been around archetypes and how to partner with them to unfold my highest potential. I was originally introduced to archetypes about 6 years ago when I began working with Deepak Chopra and David Simon at the Chopra Center. Initially, I really struggled with grasping an understanding what an archetype is and why I should care. What are they, who are mine, and what purpose does it serve for me to identify with them?
While I found Greek mythology fairly interesting in junior high school, I hadn’t ever felt a real connection to Gods, Goddesses or other types of religious figures or deities. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I understood the definition of an archetype and what they represent. An archetype is a concentration of psychic energy that refers to a constantly recurring symbol or motif that shows up in literature, art, mythology and, one’s daily life. I perceive an archetype to be someone or something whose qualities and characteristics I would like to emulate more of in my own life.
This being said, we all have a multitude of archetypal patterns that we play out; some are considered to be functional or positive, and others dysfunctional or not so positive. Then there are those that we endeavor to pattern after. We all have qualities of the mother (nurturer) and the victim, the empress / emperor and the martyr, the warrior and the servant, the lover and the actor, the communicator and the silent child, the intuitive and the intellectual, the guru and the egotist. The most commonly known modern day archetypes are our superheroes and villains (Wonder Woman, Batman, The Joker and Lex Luther) and those who have lived in our society and represented aspects of ourselves (Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana).
So the question became “who is MY archetype?” I grew up with modern day superheroes so I began to identify what characters I was drawn to as a child and what roles and energy patterns am I currently living out. A few came to mind and then I started asking myself what qualities I would like to emulate and who did I know that inspired me to be the best version of myself that I could? Around this time, Deepak Chopra had just co-authored Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes with his son Gotham, who is a talented filmmaker and is big in the Los Angeles comic scene. As I read through this book, it became apparent that we are all superheroes; we all have our stories of tragedy and darkness, and we all have our stories of resurrection and redemption.
Yet, I still struggled with identifying who my archetypes were. I resonated with Wonder Woman since childhood (and shamelessly touted my underoos on a daily basis) but I still didn’t quite get the concept that she was (and still is) my archetype. For some reason, I thought that I had to create my own archetype. So, my inner child decided that I was the heroin on the cover of Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes. I became the Meditation Maven (read more here) and my super power was the ability to sprinkle meditative fairy dust on those who needed a dose of stillness, silence, peace and compassion. That was fun and all but it didn’t really get me anywhere other than into a playful mood.
Fast forward 2 years to present day. I’ve just spent the month with Jean Houston diving deep into mythical archetypes and studying how their stories continue to play out through each and every one of us. Jean took us through various stories of tragedy and triumph and brought us through the hero’s journey. As someone who has been paramount in her pragmatic approach to illustrating the archetypes present in our collective consciousness, Jean has taught countless people how to partner with their archetypes in a way that unfolds their highest purpose and enables them to fulfill their dreams.
I now have clarity on who my main archetypes are, from the sacred to the superhero to modern day icons. I don’t necessarily feel compelled to share who they are or make a production of my connection with them. Like a precious seed, I have planted them at the level of my soul and I regard them with reverence. They are a part of who I am and who I am becoming, and their energetic expressions simply show up whenever I am called to respond from a higher place.
This is how it works. Start by identifying who your archetypes are. If you’re not sure, then ask yourself who inspires you and what are the qualities that either draw you to them, or what qualities of theirs do you currently possess? Find one or two main archetypal energies that you strongly resonate with and ask them to help you become more of that which you desire. Ask for their help in manifesting what you want, ask for their guidance when you feel as if you’ve lost your way, breathe in and become them when you need their strength, their support and their courage, and notice how you begin to take on their energy. Partnering with your archetypes is a powerful way to accomplish more by doing less. We are all here to collaborate with one another and with archetypal energies to be the change we wish to see in our world.
Self-reflection + Inspired Action
- Who are your functional archetypes and in what ways do they show up in your daily life?
- Who are your dysfunctional archetypes and in what ways are you playing their roles that limit you?
- Who are the archetypes that you would like to bring in and how can you partner with them to achieve greatness?
An International Bestselling Author, Lifestyle and Leadership Coach and speaker, Tris Thorp is one of today’s leading experts in the field of personal growth and leadership development. Having spent a decade traveling the world, being trained by and sharing the stage with Dr. Deepak Chopra in the field of social emotional learning, consciousness and mindfulness-based practices, Tris has a real gift for integrating the ancient spiritual teachings with modern-day science and mindfulness to help people all over the world let go of their past and create an empowered new future.
During her tenure at the Chopra Center, Tris apprenticed under the Chopra Center’s co-founder Dr. David Simon, co-facilitating the Healing the Heart and Emotional Freedom workshops alongside him. Prior to his passing in 2012, Dr. Simon appointed Tris as the person to carry on his teachings in the field of emotional healing. In addition, Tris was fortunate to be mentored by the late Debbie Ford prior to her passing in 2013, which is where she continued her extensive studies of the unconscious mind and concepts of the persona and shadow. After the loss of her two mentors, Tris went on to become certified through the Ford Institute as a coach specializing in Shadow Work and reconciling mental and emotional issues stemming from past experiences. She continues to share the gifts of emotional healing and facilitating this work in the footsteps of her former mentors.
Tris is the International bestselling author of Healing Your Heart: Rewrite Your Story with Awareness and Intention. A guide book to understanding your emotions, how we create our story and workable tools and techniques to heal from the past, Healing Your Heart stewards you through the process of releasing mental and emotional baggage, forgiving yourself and others, setting and enforcing boundaries and consciously communicating your needs in a loving and effective way so you can be who you’re meant to be, do the things you want to do and have all that you deserve to have in this life.
Tris is also the co-author of bestseller Mental and Emotional Release® with Dr. Matt James. Written in a language both professionals and non-professionals can understand, Mental and Emotional Release® offers real life case studies, an overview of MER and its foundation, step by step scripts to follow, and clinical efficacy studies comparing MER to other therapies.
Clearly in her dharma, Tris’s passion and dedication to gently guide people on their inward journey through personal growth is evident in her work as a Lifestyle and Leadership coach, Trainer of Mental and Emotional Release and workshop facilitator. She teaches various courses on leadership development, personal empowerment, social emotional learning and higher states of consciousness – both in online courses and her certification programs, live workshops, VIP retreats and 1-1 clients.
Tris Thorp is Board Certified by the Association of Integrative Psychology as a Trainer of Mental and Emotional Release ®, Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming, Hypnosis, and Mental and Emotional Release ®, a Certified Reiki Master, and an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance.
Tris is devoted to inspiring and empowering others to cultivate and maintain mindfulness-based lifestyle practices that lead to greater clarity, purpose and fulfillment. Through one-on-one coaching, online programs and live events, Tris specializes in helping people to fully release negative emotions, limiting beliefs and unconscious patterns, enabling them to make quantum leaps into the life they are truly meant to be living.
This is so well explained, Trista! Archetypes have fascinated me since first hearing about it at Seduction of the Spirit. I just taught my first meditation class, and one of the participants wanted a deeper explanation of archetypes than what I touched on. I’m going to send her the link her to your blog.