One of the most effective things you can do is manage your anxiety. In the face of uncertainty, you cannot often manage the concerns beyond your control. Instead, managing your reaction to them is where your power lies.
There is an old samurai saying, “Adversity makes the man”. Challenging times build resilience. It is all too easy to get lost in fear and despair. So, it is good to know what signs to look for if you stray that way. And to have a North Star by which to orient yourself so that you can move towards greater confidence, resilience and leadership. Archetypes provide such a template.
The point of this blog is to highlight some of the aspects of four archetypes so you might navigate your way through lockdown. And be able to look back and say I did well in lockdown and contributed in a positive way towards my own well-being and that of my family, friends, community and beyond.
**I’ll put in bold the aspects of each archetype**
All life events are an opportunity to live within your values and remain focused on your chosen purpose and direction in life. Covid-19 is no exception. A plethora of opportunities are opening to follow and expand your purpose as a values-focused warrior. Warrior will keep you on focus and make sure you stay on purpose. But Warrior will hold you entrenched in particular thinking and action because “it is the right thing to do” when actually it would benefit you, family and business to pivot and do something different.
As long as it does not compromise your values and purpose, your creativity (Magician) will take you to new and fascinating places. And because you remain aligned to your purpose and values, it still feels heart-felt, passionate and inspiring to take this new path. For example, the fruit and veg wholesaler who overnight had no restaurants to buy his stock. So, he delivered free food parcels to local homeowners so that the food would not go to waste. Now he is inundated with orders for fruit and veg boxes during lockdown. He is making more profit as a result than he ever made dealing with restaurants.
Adapt or Flounder
As Nietzsche said, “if you know the why, you can live any how”. In other words, stay true to your driving force and principles and you can live with integrity in any life situation. Look at all leaders. They have had to pivot and have done so successfully by staying true to who they are. Steve Jobs for example, co-founded Apple on one of his visions of using computers for creativity. When the Apple Board kicked him out, he founded Pixar soon after, which creates computer-animated films.
Personally, during the 2008 financial crash, I lost two thirds of my clients overnight. I did not adapt fast enough to make ends meet, had a painful time of it financially and floundered in the subsequent years. This time, I am more adaptable, and have used the opportunity to go online more and promote myself and my brand by offering free support and training. The connections I make now may lead to new opportunities post-Covid. We will see. But I am staying aligned to my values and purpose at every pivot I take. Therefore, it matters less whether it leads to business in the future. And more about whether I maintain integrity and true to myself. It’s much more fun that way!
I think people appreciate the loyalty and steadfastness of Warrior. People trust the person who is reliable, true, honest, consistent, principled and unshaking in a cause or purpose. Are you feeling the strength and confidence of Warrior during lockdown?
How are your relationships doing with social distancing and self-isolation? Are you finding it hard to say “yes” to things that are supportive and “no” to things that undermine your well-being, safety and confidence, so that you maintain your boundaries? Are you using this as a time for self-care or are you caring for others?
As your life takes on new rhythms during lockdown, how are you managing your relationships? Are you able to get the time and space alone you want? And how are you using that time? Some time alone is important for your well-being. To take time to connect inward, be that meditation, writing, walking or exercising alone, contemplation or reflection, reaffirms your relationship with yourself. And that always you to keep centre when you are in relationships with others. Lover can be prone to giving to others without thought for oneself…… which ultimately can lead to resentment, burnout and fatigue. Or to be self-centric and give no thought to others. How are you managing that balance?
Which really comes down to boundaries. How is lockdown impacting your capacity to say “yes” to the things that support your well-being and relationships? Are you able to ask for the time alone you feel you want? Can you ask for help when things are overwhelming? Or even better, before they become overwhelming, so that you can avoid unnecessary stress and anxiety. And how are you doing with saying “no” to things that do not serve you? Can you push back on the demands made by others for your own well-being?
Travelling to work on public transport may pose a threat to your health. If this worries you, can you ask to work from home or take furlough? If there are social events, can you attend and maintain social distancing? We recently celebrated Victory in Europe (VE) day in the UK marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. There were street parties and celebrations. In our street, we made a point of keep two metres distance from each other and still enjoy the festivities.
And I have noticed that people are using this time to connect to new communities online. I met someone on an online embodiment event who was saying that he has always felt an outsider in the communities he usually connects with. Lockdown has given him the opportunity to find new communities in which he feels a part and included. He will come out of lockdown with a new collection of friends that more deeply appreciate him, his gifts and contribution.
There is always the option of living from fear through the Covid-19 situation. More often than not, the News promotes the negative view. And many people seem to focus on bad news. But there are many positives coming from lockdown at a personal level, for community and the planet.
Our inter-dependence, the fact that we all impact each other, is coming to the fore perhaps more than ever before. Our fates rely on everyone doing their part to be responsible for self-isolating for the benefit of the common good. There is a larger cause here that we are daily being asked to consider when we take any action. And that larger cause means we are being kinder to each other. It means we are driving and flying less which is allowing the environment to recover and heal. We are seeing tremendous acts of bravery, be it frontline healthcare professionals or war veterans walking to raise money for charitable causes.
Healing and Peace
For the first time in human history, humanity is united against a common enemy. What healing can be done from this place of peace, unification and kindness? The world could become a very different place once lockdown has passed. Things could go back to where they were before. But when Magician responds to this pandemic, there is a look towards doing things differently and finding solutions that will heal many of the challenges we faced before Coronavirus hit.
There is an opportunity to rewrite how we work, care for the sick and elderly, look after those closest to us and our neighbours, support our communities, manage stress and mental health, govern with compassion, take our responsibility as custodians of the planet, invest financially, cultivate relationships and much more.
It’s easy to go back to the old ways. But, many of those old ways are not working right now. Perhaps we are paving the way for a new way of being? There is no precedent for this. We are going to have to work it out as we go. Turn inward towards our intuition and gut instinct and feel which is the best way to go.
In the old traditions, Magicians were wise men of counsel, like Merlin. They saw the bigger picture and advised the sovereign so that he may rule with wisdom and compassion. And perhaps Magician’s greatest counsel was not to be swayed by the fearful minds of lesser men. But rather to be guided by your personal inner strength so that you may live with gratitude, wisdom, respect, compassion and above all, love.
What order are you creating through lockdown? Or perhaps you feel like things are in disorder? Quick and radical changes have thrown many of us into disarray and it is taking time to reestablish order. So that we feel safe and able to flourish. And as things continue to change, so we are being asked to shift our structure, organisation and order to accommodate shifting sands.
Order and Freedom
Order offers freedom. Structure and organisation give a framework around which freedom, adaptability and versatility can thrive. This could be an opportunity to take action on your own initiative and authority. There is the opportunity to do something new.
By your own direction, you can determine your routines, the order in your house, the care you take of yourself. And your capacity and willingness to support others and empower them to tap into their own sovereignty. Self-sovereignty is about having dominion over your own body, mind, emotions and spirituality. I have spoken before how self-awareness empowers choice which leads to freedom. And freedom is a hallmark of self-sovereignty. Freedom allows self-authorship. In other words, the power to write your life the way you would like it to be.
Sovereign as Leader
It takes Sovereign to mark out the routines, order, structure, plan, strategy and tactics to make that happen. And Sovereign recruits the other archetypes to make that possible. Sovereign calls on Lover for boundaries and relationship building with self and others. Warrior to move forward and stay on purpose in a values-driven way. And Magician to balance the heart and the head and live in service of something bigger than personal success.
Knowledge and Learning
I’m also hearing a lot of people are taking the time to learn new things. Knowledge increases your capacity to adapt, lead and be more compassionate. Covid-19 has opened the internet to so many free learning opportunities and expand your sphere of influence.
How are you using your sovereignty and self-authority during lockdown? Are you using it to create order so that you and others can flourish? Or are you abusing your position and using your freedom to limit the freedom of others? Are you using it to lead with a sense of vision of how lockdown can be better for us as individuals, a society and the planet? What can you do so for your family and community at large?
Over to You
How are you doing? What areas of your archetypes do you feel you are doing well in? Which archetypes do you think you’d like to work on? What archetypes do you want more of? And which ones are dominant or over-bearing? Which archetypes do you want less of? And which archetypes would it be beneficial to step up to? What areas of your life would you apply the archetypes? What of the archetypes could you do more of and take into your life beyond lockdown and Covid-19?
Pass it on
Phew!!!! That was a long one!!!! If you found this blog useful, please pass it on.
Covid-19 and lockdown are both emotional subjects for a lot of people. I am noticing that there are many emotional responses as individuals, families, businesses and communities come to terms with the impact this pandemic is having on all our lives. This varied emotional response is completely normal, natural and healthy.
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