Post ID 712

Posted by on March 5, 2020

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!

     Nicole

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Posted in: Empowerment, Heart

Post ID 703

Posted by on October 9, 2019

No doubt you’ve heard of Forest Therapy (Forest Bathing or Shinrin Yoku), the evidence-based therapeutic practice of connecting with the woods. But have you experienced it for yourself? 

On Friday I finally had the chance to enjoy a guided forest therapy walk, and it was even greater than I thought it would be, so I’m excited to tell you a bit about it. I hope to inspire you to get out there among the trees for your psychological, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

I also view forest therapy is a complimentary ‘sister’ practice to my ‘walk and talk’ coaching sessions (which are more outdoor movement oriented), so am excited for you to learn more!

Sue Hamel, the owner, lead seeker and soleful guide of Seek Adventure and Tours, was our warm and gifted host. As a bonus, Ben Porchuk of the Global Institute for Forest Therapy was in town and was a co-host for the morning.

Sue’s Re-Wilding for Wellness Forest Therapy Walk, is a 3-hr opportunity to “immerse yourself in the sentience of the living forest, during a guided walk with sensory-based invitations to deepen connections.” I knew this would be a relaxing and connective experience with the landscape on an easy walk, but beyond that I didn’t know what to expect.

Our hosts met us on the bridge crossing over the Current River, and we entered into the autumn-painted, sunny yet chilly Centennial Park that boasts 147 acres of rich boreal forest. We were a group of 9 and I was surprised to be acquainted with most of the participants. It felt great to be with these kindred spirits in a new context. 

I won’t share too many specific details about the experience, all of which would be hard to put to words anyway. Instead I encourage you to try it for yourself, either with Seek or from a provider in your own local area.

To generally overview, we were guided through a series of “invitations” to practice several new ways to interact with and receive from the natural world around us, sometimes in a circle, with a partner or on our own. Many of us have spent much of our lives enjoying this park, and we agreed that we had never fully enjoyed and engaged with the land in this way. After a heartfelt closing ceremony, we ambled back through the park and over the bridge to return to our everyday lives, more refreshed, grounded and alive than when we arrived. 

One of my favourite takeaways was a deeper appreciation for the value of connection.

Beyond the experience of re-connecting with myself, I also enjoyed greater: 

  • Connection with Nature – The most obvious one, I experienced a deeper connection with nature and learned new and profound ways to be present with and learn from the landscape. We all know that we’re born to connect with nature – we live in, rely on and are nature – yet we often forget about or avoid it.  Surprising research (learned from Ben) indicates that North Americans spend more than 95% of our time indoors, which prohibits us from accessing nature’s many benefits and also leaves us vulnerable to the many stressors of our manufactured society. Contrast that with the fact that just a few hours of forest therapy boosts your immune system for a week(!) and it will have you asking yourself: How will I spend some time being present with nature today?

 

  •  Connection with the Guides – To effectively guide another is truly an artform, so it was a special treat to witness our leaders in their element. Although I’ve practiced aspects of forest bathing on my own for years, doing so with skilled guides added a layer of magic to the process. As a coaching guide myself, I especially admired how they seamlessly offered their wisdom and experiences while, most importantly, creating the space and allowing for the process to unfold between each of us as individuals and the forest. They truly modeled how “the forest is the therapist, and the guide opens the gate.” Who can you join on an outdoor adventure to take your experience to the next level?

 

  • Connection with Others – Obviously I love this stuff, so the best part for me was connecting with other nature-inspired people to practice something I normally do on my own. Simply showing up was a great way to reconnect with some old friends and acquaintances and meet some new folks too. More profoundly, hearing others’ personal thoughts and reflections throughout the morning added to my own insights and even  resolved difficult thoughts that I couldn’t work out on my own. And of course being with others made it way more fun too! Who will you invite outside today?

 

I wholeheartedly recommend that you all try forest therapy, especially Seek’s Re-Wilding for Wellness if you’re in the area. I will continue to use the practices I learned on my own outdoor adventures, and will look forward to my next guided walk in the woods  – maybe when the snow flies. 

And if you’re intrigued about how my ‘walk and talk’ coaching similarly supports your well-being while being outside, simply reply email me so we can arrange a chat. I would love to connect with you to tell you more.

Now I’m off for a walk on this unseasonably warm day in October. How about you?

Yours Outdoors, 

     Nicole

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Posted in: Adventure, Body, Community, Nature

Post ID 692

Posted by on August 14, 2019

“Sustainable happiness is . . . found in our relationship to place.” Richard Louv

 

Where do you feel most at home? 

On this lifelong adventure of being happy and whole, knowing this about yourself is gold.

There are many ways to know you’re on the right track to being your truest self on the inside and out. Today I have 3 fun questions you can ask to more fully be yourself and enjoy your life.

1) Where do you feel the most like yourself, at peace and alive – the most at home? 

This is on my mind as I’m currently at the place where I feel most at home – my family’s summer camp (or cottage or cabin if you prefer :).

Built on a beautiful lake by my grandparents in simpler times, when resources were treasured, craftsmanship was beautiful and the good times were oh so good, I’ve been blessed to spend summers here my entire life. 

Camp’s a part of me. I’m part of camp.

This is where I feel most at home. What about you? Even if it’s a specific patch of earth where you spent only moments, remember yourself in that place where you felt most like you.

2) As you picture yourself in that place, what adjectives describe how you feel there? 

I think about this all the time as I know there’s wisdom in our feelings. When I think about how I feel at camp, it’s no surprise to me that the words that come to mind very accurately describe my own personal values . . .

  • Connected – The loving and joyous times come to mind – with family and friends, young and old, today and yesterday
  • Simple – Camp life is easy life, it’s minimalist and routine in the best way which makes everything more simple and fun
  • Free – Living in the moment with barely a care in the world, spacious and away from life’s stressors
  • Natural – From morning through night, in all weather and elements, barefoot if I please, appreciating the wonder everywhere and feeling like a part of it all
  • True – This is me and this is where I feel most like me.

What words arise when you consider how you feel and why you feel that way in your “home”?

3) How does this awareness help you? 

The place you feel most at home is a ‘sacred space’ of sorts. In some cases, you may be able to return to this place that feels like home to feel whole, centred and true. More practically, you can recreate elements of this place in your everyday life. 

I use this insight about myself to guide my actions whenever possible. When it comes to my self-care, my personal life or my business, I use these words as a compass to make decisions and to guide my next steps.

How can I make this more connected, simple, free, natural or true?

For instance, when it’s time to take good care of me, I may ask myself what I can do to increase my experience of just one of my above 5 words. Maybe I need to meet up with a friend to meet my need for connection, or perhaps I can go for a walk to connect to nature. 

I do the same for my personal and professional life – how can I make housework more simple? How can I share more of my truth in these business emails? The more I align with my values, the more in flow and enjoyable life seems to be. 

I also use these words when facing decisions. To help me choose, I consider which option would bring me the most connection, simplicity, freedom, nature and truth.

Now it’s your turn. Considering the feelings you’ve noted for yourself, choose one and decide what you can do today to invite a little more of that into your life?

There’s no place like “home”,

     Nicole

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Posted in: Empowerment, Heart, Spirit
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