In previous posts, we’ve been exploring how conscious collaboration with the members of Your Personal Board of Directors (Sage, Guardian, and Muse) helps you reveal and advance the highest good with equanimity in each moment. In this post, we continue exploring some of the common ways the members show up and interact.
Why the Guardian Takes Over
There are two primary reasons why the guardian tends to take over early in life: First, survival is the top priority in the early years, and the guardian’s specialty is safety and survival. Second, the guardian’s proclivities for order, structure, and hard work make it popular with many cultures and parents. Raising a child is challenging. An obedient, predictable child makes the parents’ job easier, though at a huge cost to the healthy development of that child into a confident, self-sufficient adult.
How the Muse Learns to Be Sneaky
For the very reasons that cultures and parents in general love the guardian’s energy, many find the muse a handful. All that unbridled imagination, lack of fear, and willingness to experiment make raising a muse exhausting and downright scary at times. For that reason, many children get the message early on that to be popular and feel secure at home, they’d better learn to ratchet their muse back a few notches and toe the line. Those who do not can have a very tumultuous childhood. Even without any real threat of abuse or abandonment, many children learn early on to be seen and not heard.
To accomplish this long term, they must silence their muses. Because the guardian’s prime directive is to keep you safe, often he will help the muse find a place to hide. I’ve facilitated deeply touching guardian/muse reconciliations with clients, including one where the guardian pulled a skeleton key out of his pocket so he could unlock the door to the closet where he and the muse agreed she would hide forty years earlier for the safety of the child.
Because all aspects of ourselves long to be expressed, even locked in a closet the typical muse will just find more devious ways to make its influence known. For its own energetic survival, the muse becomes quite adept at being sneaky.
Why the Sage Is Out to Lunch
Some clients think they don’t have a sage. So far that hasn’t proven to be the case. For the very reasons that guardians and muses tend to clash (egged on by our culture and parents), sages tend to hide. The constant discord is upsetting and discouraging to the sage’s energetic constitution. When even its extraordinary gift of discernment proves ineffective at resolving conflict, the sage’s first line of defense is withdrawal. If the discord continues to escalate such that it invades the sage’s sanctuary, then it might change tactics and go ballistic, harming itself or others. Typically it just wants to be left alone, unless there is hope of reconciliation and a return to synergy. Be patient, trust your gut, and invite your sage to become active again in helping you discern the optimal path for your life and the best way to restore the guardian and muse to a relationship centered in love and light. A sage respectfully petitioned and offered an opportunity for hope will respond with greater courage in time.
Sit with a copy of figure 11 below and study the board members in pairs and as a team. Looking at their individual gifts, bear in mind that a virtue overdone becomes a defect. You will immediately see that the members are tailor-made to complement each other when fueled by love and drive each other nuts when fueled by fear.
In the grip of fear, the guardian will become a control freak or drill sergeant, imposing a stranglehold of structure and discipline that will result in the muse (who loves flexibility) and the sage (who loves flow) going berserk. They’ll then become afraid as well and retaliate in the only ways they know how, which will incite the guardian, and each other, to behave even more detrimentally.
Remember that any member “gone gremlin” will quickly pull your other board members out of alignment as well. Keep a watchful eye on each of them at all times and intervene the moment things feel at all off-kilter. The equanimity scan shared in the 12/27/19 post is an invaluable tool for managing the trickier permutations of their disparate agendas.
Keeping in mind the sensory balance teachings on relationships in the belonging section of chapter 5, you can also begin to imagine the added complexity that results from your board members’ constant interaction with and reaction to the board members of everyone you encounter. Paying attention to what you’re thinking, feeling, saying, and doing—and using the scan to identify and remedy any anomalies quickly and constructively—will go a long way to enjoying more loving, constructive, harmonious relationships with others. The relationship dynamics and opportunities of board members “gone Gremlin” is addressed in greater detail in my individual and group coaching programs. Interpersonal gremlin dynamics are a powerful reminder that relationships are the doctoral program of life lessons.