Judi Neal, Ph.D., President & CEO, Edgewalkers International
On this Valentine’s Day 2022, I’m taking a moment to reflect on Edgewalkers and love. Love is the basis of all relationships, beginning with self-love. You cannot give what you don’t have, so it is essential that you build the strongest relationship possible with yourself first if you want to be a good partner. The first quality of an Edgewalker is self-awareness. Different forms of contemplative practice, or what Chris Laszlo calls “direct-intuitive” practices, provide the doorway to increased self-awareness. In my research on Edgewalkers, the practices that were mentioned most frequently were spending time in nature, journaling, and dream work. And there are countless practices that include playing music, running, martial arts, Lectio-Divina, tarot cards, and more. The key is to find the practice or practices that work for you. If the practice increases your self-love and your sense of joy and aliveness, then that practice is a fit for you.
One of the most frequent questions I get at the end of an Edgewalker workshop has to do with relationships. “What if I’m an Edgewalker and my significant other is a Placeholder?” “I’m single and am an Edgewalker. Should I be looking to date other Edgewalkers?” “I’m a Guardian and my significant other is a Flamekeeper. What should I be paying attention to for our relationship to be healthy?” (Click here for Archetype of Change definitions).
The is important to remember the five Archetypes of Change (Edgewalker, Flamekeeper, Placeholder, Hearthtender, and Guardian) are not personality types or labels. They are lenses through which we typically see our reality. They are a worldview, and an orientation to change. Our worldview can alter depending on the situation. I might be an Edgewalker (embracing change and the future) at work and a Hearthtender (being of service) at home. Or I might be a Guardian (protecting from something going wrong) when I’m preparing to take a trip, but an Edgewalker ready for adventure when I arrive. So, it is not accurate to say “I’m a Guardian and my significant other is a Flamekeeper,” although it is a useful conversational convention.
Unlike astrology, where you might be advised that certain signs are better for your love life, there is no “better” or “worse” in Archetypes of Change pairs. Each pairing has its own challenges and opportunities. If an Edgewalker is married to another Edgewalker, you can expect constant change, experimentation, creativity, and adventure. This might work well in the early stages of their relationship, but if they decide to settle down and raise a family, they will need to shift their orientation more towards the Flamekeeper (core values) Archetype and the Hearthtender Archetype.
Since opposites attract, it is not unusual for Edgewalkers to find themselves in relationships with either Placeholders (keeping things the way they’ve always been) or Guardians. Edgewalkers eat change for breakfast, and Placeholders and Guardians are uncomfortable with change. Compassion, understanding, and respect for differences are key to making relationships work when two people have such different worldviews. The key is to find the gift in each other’s Archetype, and to use those gifts to balance and deepen your relationship.
As we mature and increase our spiritual intelligence (see our webinar with Cindy Wigglesworth), it becomes easier to see the world from another’s eyes and to expand our own vision of reality as a result. Both the physicists and the mystics tell us that at the deepest level, reality is Love. And today is the perfect day to celebrate that reality. Happy Valentine’s Day!