I’ve been delving into some new areas as part of learning and contemplation. This time it was archetypes based on goddess mythology and the feminine equivalent to the Hero’s Journey. I will probably continue down this rabbit hole with more feminine-focused non-fiction literature reads as I am finding it fascinating. But this new exploration made me stop to review all the self-discovery work I’ve done as part of my retirement journey.
If you’ve been following my blog for long, you’ll have seen me delving into understanding my strengths (VIA is one of the best tools for this – link here), learning about personality tools like Enneagram (link here) and Human Design (link here). I’ve explored understanding how to balance/release blockages in my Chakras and how to put Positive Psychology into practice (my best blog summary here). Years ago I had explored Pearson’s 12 archetypes (I was a Sage) and Johnson’s Spiritual Strengths. I’ve gone back to review all of these topics!
I have come to the realization that I am at a specific “stage of adult development” and the most recent goddess mythology has reiterated three elements I am personally working on:
- Separate from/release familial and societal expectations. Many have been internalized – I expect to hear them and therefore continue to hear them, even when they are not there.
- Cultivate my “feminine side” – creativity, sensuality, and spirituality. For most of my life, I downplayed the feminine, especially career-wise. I learned to play and succeed in a man’s world (as an engineer/product designer). I’m naturally analytical and a critical thinker, so focusing on more masculine traits actually wasn’t that hard. Often in my reading about adult development, the integration of the masculine and the feminine has been sited as this “stage” – for someone my age.
- Learn to play and nurture a child-like curiosity and joy.
It was interesting that even in my take-away ideas from the goddess mythology exploration, the same things emerged: increase connection to nature, daily movement, and live in the moment. One new element was the concept of integrating aspects for your authentic self – in this case blending the playfulness of Persephone, the tactical planning of Athena, the wisdom of Metis, and the dabbling of Artemis.
As I reviewed all the ways I’ve done self-discovery, I came back to putting Positive Psychology into practice as the BEST approach to living my best life at this moment in time. It captures the tools, activities, and thinking patterns I’m actively working on:
- SAVOR – invest in and enjoy new experiences, take time in nature, find joy in each day, and Increase use of all senses
- GRATITUDE – daily gratitude journaling, regular emotional awareness journaling, and awareness of time abundance
- Boost COURAGEOUSNESS – invest in experiences outside of comfort zone, activate the Someday-I-Wills, and do more things solo
- Intentional CONNECTIONS – actively plan connections from far-away friends chats to building new local friendships, plan Out & About activities, and spend more time with hubby
- Daily MOVEMENT – restart beach yoga, plan long(er) bike rides and more regular beach walks, keep up with Zumba and morning gardening
- STOP Self-limiting Thinking– stop Compare & Despair (instead – Compare & Inspire or Compare & Admire), stop “hearing” expectations, stop using “should and should not” language, stop looking for external validation
I will probably always do the next personality quiz or profile “recommended”, not for more self-discovery but because I find them fascinating. [Yes, I just did one on Blind Spots! ] But when I do them, it’s nice to see consistency on Who I am, what my strengths are, and what my personal growth areas continue to be.
What’s your favorite self-discovery tool?
Picture Credit: Me, from fairgrounds.art, a local immersive art exhibit; part of my new experiences!