• Jennifer Holmes

Are You A Trickster Or A Martyr?


Barry Neil Kaufman said, "The way we choose to see the world creates the world we see."

Most of us know by now that the energy we give to things is what shapes our mood, emotions, and our world in general. We also recognize, on some level, that we are responsible for what we create. Makes sense, right? Joy invites joy, and misery...well, you know the deal.

So I understand the "what" and "why". I struggle with the "HOW." How do I get better at staying in my natural joyful state? (Like when I was a little kid.) How do I keep negative thoughts and emotions from pulling me into frustration, anxiety and worry?

Recently I read a FANTASTIC book by Elizabeth Gilbert (actually, I've read it about 6 times) called, "Big Magic." One of my favorite parts is where she talks about choosing between two very different kinds of energy: the trickster or the martyr. Here's what I took from it:

The martyr is serious. Solid. No-nonsense. She never acts on impulse, but plans everything. She sets strict rules for herself. She judges and compares herself to others, to keep herself on track. She worries about the future - her own and the world's in general. She tries to control what people think and do and say so they can't take anything from her. She is dedicated, hardworking, and will put aside her own pleasure if it means reaching her goals and having people respect her.

The trickster is creative. Light. Playful. A bit irreverent. She dives right in. She enjoys caring for and serving others, expecting nothing in return. She doesn't take herself of the world too seriously, or care what other people think. She works hard, and plays harder. Often she can't tell the difference between the two, and that is fine by her. She dreams big. She takes dares. She believes in herself, trusting that she can handle whatever the universe throws at her.

I recognize both of these energies in myself. The point is, giving attention to one will bring me down. While the other will bring me ANYWHERE I WANT TO GO.

So here's a handy table I made to identify which energy I'm choosing. (HINT: The more I choose the TRICKSTER, the better I feel!)

TRICKSTER ENERGY SAYS MARTYR ENERGY SAYS

"Why the HELL not?" "HELL NO."

"I can be or try anything." "I'm not that kind of person."

"I'm excited!" "I'm concerned."

"I choose to...." "I have to...."

"What could that person/situation teach me?" "What could that person/ situation do to me?"

"What have I got to lose?" "I better not dare."

"How do I....?" "I don't know how to...."

"I am working to create..." "Someday, I wish I could..."

"Life is fascinating." "Life is complicated."

"I can't wait!" "I can't."

Trickster = Ferris Bueller Martyr = Cameron

How often do you channel your inner Trickster?

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