Like Wonder Woman
I have a deck of cards with different abstract designs on them. As you turn the card on each of the four sides, four other pictures emerge. What amazes my clients is that the design doesn\’t change; the picture changes as the perspective does. We all have the power of choice, and there are more choices available to us than we think we have, especially when we see a situation from different points of view.
Seeing things from different perspectives is a hallmark of the Gritty Goddess, along with firmness of mind, invincible spirit, unyielding courage, and fortitude. The fictional Amazonian goddess Wonder Woman comes to mind as I write these words. Her Lasso of truth tethers her to integrity and values but also acknowledges her fierce nature. According to Comic verse (July 12, 2016), “The Lasso evokes both the womanhood and warrior nature of Wonder Woman. Its versatility lends to this duality, and its powers are a re-enforcement of her will. The Lasso symbolizes the truth that is Wonder Woman and womanhood. That a woman is never just one thing – such as a warrior, mother, or lover – but many things.”
We hold the gifts from our ancestral goddesses in our DNA. We are, in effect, tethered to them. What they ate, their work, passions, and their proclivities are all genetically imprinted. But that\’s not the whole story. Epigenetics tells us that the experiences they had shaped the way those genetic imprints were expressed. Those expressions are heritable for other generations, yet we have free will even in the face of our genetic history. If your ancestors left you a shadow, consider it a gift. The gift of darkness can motivate you toward changing the experiences that shape you by making mindful choices.
Author Angela Duckworth has broken the concept of grit into three components; passion, purpose, and sustained persistence.
Passion is generated in the heart as energy. Heart energy can transmit up to three feet outside the cavity of the chest. It\’s like a force field announcing you. Depending on the type of heart energy you emit, others will respond. I\’m not speaking of positivity. Which has of late taken a bad rap. I\’m referring to something HeartMath.org calls coherence. Coherence is like a finely tuned orchestra, with each instrument playing its part in harmony. If mapped by neuro-imagery of your heart rate variability, a sine wave of coherence would look like gently rolling hills.
Opposite coherence is incoherence, like cacophony created when instruments are out of tune and out of sync. Incoherence creates a sine wave that looks like a line of spikes in different sizes. It can leave you feeling distracted and agitated, making it hard to focus or even enjoy the task at hand. Alternately, when heart energy is in coherence with the rest of your organs, you can feel genuinely engaged and passionate about what you are doing, no matter the task.
Purpose is something we strive to find in life. Wonder Woman\’s purpose was to pursue justice, protect the innocent, and prosecute the guilty. She was passionate about doing that. Seeking justice put her in a state of flow. It seems given her ancestral heritage Wonder Woman was born to do what she does. For some of us, though, it\’s not that clear.
Maybe our purpose is also in our epigenome. What are you good at? What are your talents? What do you do that makes you lose track of time? Look back at your ancestral Goddesses and get to know what they did with their lives. Try on their strengths and talents to see if they fit. Look at those characteristics and your own in four different ways, like the abstract cards I previously mentioned. Create your Goddess avatar with these character traits and talents. Think about how they might translate into work or an avocation. Employ your gut (intuition) in the process of finding your purpose by paying attention to whether you feel expansive or contractive while doing this job or activity. Expansiveness is a green light for pursuing that path.
Finally, sustained persistence can get you where you want to be in life. Once you find a path, persist. There are speed bumps, potholes, construction, metaphorically speaking, that may slow you down or cause you to rethink your choices. The antidote to all those obstacles is to keep going and pay attention. It was hard for Wonder Woman sometimes too. It seems she was always fighting Darkside and maybe even felt at times like the situation was hopeless. Yet, she kept persevering and, in the end, accomplished her purpose. She blinded Darkside to do it. Maybe your challenges are not as formidable as hers, but if you can blind the darkness with your light, why not try?
Shifting to a mindful perspective allows problem-solving and creativity to flow. We begin to see differently, to behave differently because we are no longer bound by limiting beliefs and faulty thinking. Staying in mindfulness requires persistence. It requires making meditation of some kind your sustained practice. Gritty Goddesses are mindful; they are passionate, purposeful, and persevere. When you decide to claim your grittiness, ask yourself this question: What Would Wonder Woman Do? WWWD
You can find Dr. Poston at The Gritty Goddess.
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Dr. Pamela Poston is a Transpersonal Psychologist, Counselor and Life Coach with a passion for helping people become the best version of themselves. Her focus is in treating mind body and spirit because she believes that the intersection of all three is where healing begins. Dr. Poston’s holistic approach includes techniques such as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Prenatal Psychology, EMDR, Family Systems therapy, Meditation, Yoga Nidra, Qigong, Art, Music, Bibliotherapy and HRV Biofeedback training.She is also an educator and child development specialist. Dr. Poston’s private therapy practice is in North Carolina where she has practiced for 20 years. She was honored to be featured as the Cambridge Who’s Who 2009 Mental Health Professional of the year.