What does it mean to be a WOMAN?
In honour of International Women’s Day, I’m eager to take you back to a simple concept that helped me when I first undertook personal growth, that I learned at my coaching Institute and that I’ve since shared to help my clients.
The Emotional Age Archetypes offer a fantastic way to understand what it means to operate as the greatest version of yourself, what happens when you’re out of alignment with your Woman energy and how to use this understanding to shift into your expanded, truest, brightest self.
All credit for this concept goes to my first coach and mentor, Crystal Andrus Morissette, who taught me this through my SWAT Institute coach training, and in her book The Emotional Edge. Here is my humble explanation, with hopes that you’ll acknowledge and celebrate your own Woman-ness this IWD – and everyday!
The 3 Dominant Archetypes
An ‘Archetype’ or ‘universal symbol’ is a typical pattern or mental image that seems to represent universal patterns of human nature. You are likely familiar with some of the feminine archetypes that have existed for centuries, like the Maiden, Seductrice, Earth Mother, Witch, Healer or Crone. But what figure do we look to for a positive role model of a gal-next-door, got-it-all-together, empowered and enlightened woman? Where do we find mainstream representation of ourselves – and of who we aspire to become – at our most beautiful, bright and best?
What does it mean to be a Woman?
The Woman Archetype (or Adult archetype if you prefer) represents the greatest expression of who you are as a woman. You are love, joy, and peace. Confident, kind and wise, you give and receive equally. You’re in flow and balance, following your own path while also fulfilling your commitments to others. You’re an open, accepting and empowered communicator who plays, enjoys pleasure and follows your passion and purpose. You honour yourself in body, heart, mind and spirit, and similarly honour the world. You are aligned with both your True Self and the Universe. You have integrated and transcended all the parts of yourself. You are a Woman!
Now of course we don’t always exist this way, and that’s where the other two Archetypes come in. Many of us more strongly identify with the other two energies, the two types that are to be ‘integrated and transcended’ in order to be in our Woman energy more often.
The Daughter Archetype (or Child archetype) represents the expression of your needy, selfish self. In short, you are overwhelmed with emotions and are possibly seen as spoiled, wild and dramatic. You are attention and approval seeking, under the guise of a sweet, sexy, scared or tough facade. You seek more than others can give you and desperately await someone to notice you. You can’t seek the whole truth nor be told what to do. There’s a sense of not wanting to grow up. She is like the high-maintenance child or the rebellious teen in you.
Remember, this is an archetype. I’m not at all saying that this is how all daughters are, nor is this necessarily aligned with your actual chronological age. It’s simply meant to help you quickly understand these three broad ways that women approach the world. For example, you could be a senior chronologically, but your approach to life has been to act like a rebellious teenager, thus you live life in Daughter energy.
The Mother Archetype (Parent archetype) is the complete opposite, and reflects the expression of your martyr, selfless self. You are giving, protecting and reliable to a fault. Stress, exhaustion and overwhelm replace your fun, playfulness and joy. You forget to take care of yourself and resent others’ lack of appreciation. You always have a job to do or a fire to put out. You avoid letting others see your wounds, insecurities and flaws. You are saving the world, but not yourself. She is like the worrier or perfectionist in you.
Again, this is an archetype, so I’m not saying this is how all mothers are nor am I saying you have to be a mother to operate this way. For instance, you could be a teen chronologically, but with the weight of the world on your young shoulders, you live life in Mother energy.
Each of these three Archetypes are within us, and in every area of our life we’ll lead with a different one. For today’s sake, which one describes the way you generally operate in your overall life? This defines your Dominant Emotional Archetype – or Emotional Age.
Understanding Your Emotional Age
You’ve heard of Chronological Age (your true age) and Biological Age (how your body functions relative to your chronological age). Now you have a glimpse of what Crystal calls Emotional Age, which helps us understand how emotionally empowered we are.
And if you’re wondering how you have come to be operating in one of these three Emotional Ages, here’s the gist . . .
- You were born as your perfect, beautiful, bright, empowered self. (Woman Archetype)
- By a young age, you decided how loveable and worthy you were and how to best navigate in the world. You developed your identity and story about who you are and how you fit in. This was most influenced by the people who raised you, and grew to include your peers, authority figures, role models, environment and experiences.
- You created and began acting your dominant Emotional Age – based on what you believed at the time to be the safest, smartest way to get your needs met:
- Daughter energy begins when you learn to safely meet your needs by being charming, helpless, difficult or demanding to merge with the right people in power.
- Mother energy begins when you learn to safely meet your needs by being the steady and reliable “good girl” and taking care of the people you love.
- Woman energy begins and continues for the lucky few who learn to safely meet your needs by being exactly who you are and expressing your empowered self since birth.
Is it time to update your Emotional Age that was scripted so long ago?
Embracing Your Woman Energy
How can we all more fully embrace our Woman energy – and do so more often?
Of course the long-term goal is to integrate and transcend the noblest qualities of each of Daughter and Mother into your fully empowered Woman Self. This is just one way I can help you through my emotional wellness coaching. Reach out any time and I’d love to talk to you more about your unique experience.
For immediate results that you can create for yourself, when you catch yourself operating as Daughter or Mother, start by lovingly noting this about yourself and compassionately understanding why you’re being that way.
Next, you can draw on the Woman energy within you to determine your right next step by asking yourself . . .
What would a Woman do?
How would that bright, joyful, fun, accepting and wise part of YOU respond to the situation? Listen to the answers that bubble up from within and then do that. The Woman in you knows the way.
Enjoy your Day on March 8th!
P.S. If you’d love to receive more notes like this and exclusive treats directly to your inbox, opt in to my email community by CLICKING HERE!