Fate vs Destiny Part One

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Over the past 30 years, I’ve been on an active path of healing and transformation. Not half-assedly, mind you. Not necessarily nose-to-grindstone, either.  My journey has been more like a deluxe variety pack from which I’ve gleaned and incorporated a powerful arsenal of healing modalities, philosophies, practices.

Starting with a few mediocre therapists way back when (there are plenty of them out there), to the discipline of a 12-Step program; a weekend encounter program called Understanding Yourself and Others; kriya yoga; hatha yoga; working as a healing facilitator myself for 12 years; a few years of Landmark Education (magnificent); Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra (I worked at his establishment); Zen Buddhism; a variety of meditation practices; a toe dip into the Enneagram; Panache Desai (shaktipat!) and now – a good, somatic therapist.

Now that’s a whole lot of efforting. The good news is that I have always loved being on this path, learning about myself, watching myself evolve. It’s been grand fun, if you want to know the truth. And it’s been grand suffering as well. There’s also been grand payoffs because my stalwart efforts have enabled me to help a whole lot of people in a whole lot of ways as they forge their own journeys. I never keep anything good to myself.

The latest – and perhaps the most fascinating path I’ve discovered thus far – has been learning about archetypal patterns and how being aware of them can help one transform one’s life from fate to destiny.

In retrospect, I see clearly how one step led to the next and the next, in the exact timing in which I was able to receive the information. I could never have had archetypes be the first stop on my path. At the beginning, I wouldn’t even have been able to understand it.

Given that I’m acutely aware that I’m closer to the end of my life than I am to its beginning, the idea of transforming my fate (who I became) into destiny (who I was born to be) is a rather enticing prospect in whatever time I have left.

Years ago, I read in a pamphlet from a meditation retreat, If you want to know your future, take a look at your past.

Although I fully understood the sentiment and desperately wanted to create a future not rooted in my past, I had no idea how to do it. And, frankly, none of those myriad things I just mentioned above – many with some heavy-duty teachings and teachers – never told me how to do it, either.

Ever since I was a little girl walking to Sunday school alone with my clasp purse housing my church envelope holding a quarter and a cotton handkerchief with pink-flowered embroidery, I’ve known that I’m a spiritual being. It was the human part that had eluded me.

I was introduced to archetypes via author and teacher, Carolyn Myss, and then, by association, to Robert Ohotto: teacher, mystic, master of the esoteric arts.  I started taking his courses called “The Intuitive Adult” and “Change Your Karma, Change Your Life” – both of which feel like I’m privy to the teachings of an ancient Mystery School. But like I said, Mystery School isn’t the first stop on the path to enlightenment.

Finally! Answers, direction on how to evolve from fate to destiny!

Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, first used the term “archetype” in 1919 in his essay, “Instinct and the Unconscious”. At that time, and still, his work was revolutionary. Over 100 years later, his groundbreaking work is still not considered mainstream psychological practice; perhaps it should be.

A couple weeks ago, I spoke with a mental health practitioner who had no idea what I was talking about when I mentioned the word “archetypes”. “I don’t understand the language you’re using,” she said with an irritated tone.

I mentioned Carl Jung. Crickets. YIKES! This meant that she knew nothing about the man who, more than a century ago, basically invented the world of psychology. That’s like every car manufacturer in the world saying that they’d never heard of Henry Ford.

What is an archetype, anyway? Robert Ohotto makes it easy when he says, “think of an archetype as a pattern of behavior” that either you or another person who knows you would ascribe to you.

There are as many archetypes as there are patterns of behavior, but for the sake of easy understanding, let’s first have a look at Jung’s foundational ones:

The Innocent, Everyman, Hero, Outlaw, Explorer, Creator, Ruler, Magician, Lover, Caregiver, Jester, Sage

Some of these seem vague or outdated. Jung doesn’t even mention the four that Myss cites as universal archetypes related to survival: Child, Victim, Prostitute, Saboteur

The list goes on and on: mother, father, damsel, bully, artist, child, wounded child, activist, empath, narcissist, indentured servant, curmudgeon, mystic, seeker, addict. There are as many archetypes as there are expressions of collective human behavior.

Myss has an engaging series on YouTube on some of these archetypes. Her teaching is accessible and immediately-applicable. If you want a full-scale index of 40 archetypes from her website, go here:

Appendix: A Gallery of Archetypes

If you’re interested in pursuing knowledge of archetypes and how that knowledge can help you go from fate to destiny, I suggest starting with these resources and making a list of “who you think you are”.

Tomorrow I’ll give you the next piece in the archetypes journey and tell you why “The Secret” is a big, fat lie and a bunch of crap.

Penultimate

Earlier today, after sharing a lengthy conversation with a man and his wife at Alon’s,  swapping stories of caregiving, death,

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