Being able to say that one is a survivor is an accomplishment. For many, the power is in the name itself’ (Clarissa Pinkola Estès)
Issues of personal power are interesting me at the moment. Pinkola Estès goes on to reflect that in making survivorship central to our story, to our ‘soul identity’ we can cut energy and power in the world and block further creative development. That might manifest as being stuck in fighter or warrior mode – necessary for survival in adversity, and a part of our selves we are proud of and thankful for – and rightly so. However, being on alert for the fight may mean we become rigid, defensive, hypervigilant and unwilling to be or show any vulnerability and to free up the creative spirit within us. In that way we can stifle the move to thriving, to really living – being in the moment in spontaneity, with all our senses alive and with a welcoming openness and curiosity in what or who we may meet. Thriving is a full throttle aliveness – Physis – the creative life force.
In Transactional Analysis (TA), an approach to personal development, self-understanding and psychological healing, connecting to Physis is a central idea and aim of personal and professional development work. Eric Berne, the creator of TA named Physis, the force of nature, as a fundamental human drive, that effects change and development. Physis is a fire, a growth force within us that pushes towards health, whole-ness and creativity.
The move from survivor to thriver, or from ‘me in a box’ to ‘ME and FREE! involves finding your connection to your own physis, which can come about through development of the capacities for spontaneity, awareness and intimacy. Then we can begin to move and flex, unfold, un crunch, and walk lightly in the company of our survivor, warrior selves, so that instead of being rigidly and defensively welded to them, we transform them, and they become a part of us that can contribute to our intuition, curiosity and ongoing learning and overall health.