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How to Create Your Most Powerful Alter Ego

What is an Alter Ego and Why do You Need to get One (or more)?

In Latin, alter ego literally means “second I” which is believed to be distinct from a person’s normal or everyday personality.

In a literary analysis of fiction and other narrative forms, the term alter ego is used to describe a key character in a story who is perceived to be the work’s author (or creator) intentional representative of, by virtue of oblique similarities. Princess Isabelle, the main character of my fictional series The Adventures of Isabelle is an example of this sort of alter ego.

While many famous alter egos such as Diana Prince’s “Wonder Woman,” Beyoncé Knowles “Sasha Fierce” and Tony Stark’s “Iron Man” represent a heroic second self this is not always the case. In Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll is a good-hearted, honorable man; but after taking a potion, his alter ego, the loathsome and diabolical Mr. Hyde, takes over his personality!

The type of alter ego we will be discussing in this article can be defined as, “a second-self created by an individual to live out a better, more heroic version of the self.”

So, why do you need to create an alter ego? There are several benefits!

Some of the benefits of having an alter ego:

  • It’s empowering, helping you step out of your comfort zone or Ordinary World*.
  • It provides you with a character through whose eyes to see your life as a heroine’s quest or journey. [You may want to check out my FREE course, “Write Your Own Heroine’s Quest”]
  • You have a persona through which you can channel your genius.
  • It can give you distance or objectivity from yourself.
  • You have a template to use in difficult situations, a sort of WWJD shortcut but instead, it would be WW (fill in name of your alter ego) D.

What are Female Archetypes?

An archetype is “A very typical example of a certain person or thing,  An original which has been imitated; a prototype or a recurrent symbol or motif in literature, art, or mythology” (Oxford Dictionaries).

*The mundane world in which the heroine lives prior to heeding the Call to Adventure (Vogler, 2007).

In Carl Jung’s psychoanalytic theory archetypes are highly developed universal elements: archaic patterns and images, that derive from the collective unconscious* and are the psychic counterpart of instinct. Jung believed there were four primary archetypes contained in the collective unconscious: the Self, the Persona, the Shadow and the Anima/Animus or the Soul.

According to Jungian psychology…click to download the full article: How to Create Your Most Powerful Alter Ego

For our purposes, I will be focusing on four types or clusters of female archetypes that are not necessarily elucidated by Jung: The four archetype clusters we will focus on are; 1. Witch/Sorceress, 2. Love Goddess, 3. Warrior Princess/Huntress and 4. Priestess/Shaman.

I will also only be focusing on the positive aspects of these archetypes because it is from this vein that you can mine the best they have to offer to incorporate into your chosen powerful alter ego.

Characteristics of the Four Archetype Clusters:

1. Witch/Sorceress (Medicine Woman, Cook, Midwife, Healer, Doctor, Artist, Seamstress): These archetypes are very powerful, able to cast spells, control natural forces, heal illness and create something out of nothing or very little. They may live outside the bounds of traditional society but not necessarily. They also possess strong powers of influence often being charismatic, magnetic or seductive but overt or covert sexuality is not crucial to fit this category but merely one possible expression of her immense personal power. The Witch/Sorceress can also be nurturing and sought out by others for help, healing and succor.

Click image to view video from 10.31.18

This grouping also includes the Crone or elderly wise woman. The Crone is often associated with… click to download the full article: How to Create Your Most Powerful Alter Ego

2. Love Goddess (Seductress, Vixen, Wife): There are two sides to this very powerful archetype. One is concerned with love and marriage and the other more associated with sex and lust. The side associated with marriage is represented as the Wife or a believer/protector of the institute of marriage and views sex as a means to express love and to procreate within the context of marriage. The power of this side of the goddess of love is in her ability to provide a safe nurturing place for her mate and children. She may also use her sexual powers in this context to bond her man to her in love and to ensure the security and sanctity of her home. The expectation of monogamy from her mate is an important aspect of this archetype that she takes very seriously and if not respected can bring great punishment on her erring mate!

Click image to view video

The other side of the Love Goddess archetype is more concerned with lust: hot, romantic love affairs and…click to download the full article: How to Create Your Most Powerful Alter Ego

3. Warrior Woman (Warrior Goddess, Warrior Princess, Warrior Queen and Huntress):

The Warrior Woman is an ancient archetype. Some of the permutations of this archetype include the Warrior Goddess, Huntress and my favorite: the Warrior Princess! Mythology is replete with warrior goddesses like the Roman Bellona, who fought with her brother Mars; and the Norse goddess Alfhild, who fought dressed as a man. There are legends of female warriors like the Amazons. The Celts had warrior queens trained in the arts of warfare. There are also historical female warriors like the Roman gladiatrix (female gladiators), Dahomey female warriors, the Celtic Queen Boudicca, the Anglo-Saxon Aethelflaed, and the Chinese Fu Hao.

Click image to view video

The primary characteristics of this archetype are; courage, fierceness, physical emotional and spiritual strength and protectiveness. The true strength of this archetype is grounded in the divine feminine. While many may wish to ascribe masculinity to warrior traits, this is a mistake. She is divinely feminine because…click to download the full article: How to Create Your Most Powerful Alter Ego

4. Priestess (Shaman, Professor, Teacher, Librarian, Wise Woman, Nun):

The Priestess archetype embodies the Mysteries: the hidden laws of nature and the universe. Her domain is intuitive awareness, the subconscious, insight and secret or “occult” knowledge of the unknown, spirit realm. Her presence embodies depth.

Click Image to View Video

The Priestess/Shaman/Nun is a connector or facilitator between the material and the spiritual worlds. She mediates the powerful spiritual, psychological and emotional energies that makeup who we are. Priestesses know how and seek to teach others how to detach from inner and outer storms and how to connect deep inner truths and resources with their concrete experience of life.

Priestesses reveal the unknown regions of our minds and spirits to us via…click to download the full article: How to Create Your Most Powerful Alter Ego

Six Steps to Create Your Most Powerful Alter Ego:

According to Marelisa Fabrega there are six steps you can follow in order to create an alter ego. You by no means need to stick to these six steps but if you want help getting started they may be quite useful.

These steps [modified from Fabrega] are the following:

  1. Determine Why You Want an Alter Ego
  2. Figure Out Your Alter Ego’s Personality
  3. Create a Distinct Image
  4. Choose a Name
  5. Adopt a Mantra or an Invocation
  6. Inhabit the Personality of Your Alter Ego (as needed)

The Six Steps in Detail…click to download the full article: How to Create Your Most Powerful Alter Ego

 

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Dr. Cutts on Channel 9 News (WUSA9 #OffScripton9 with Bruce Johnson)

I’m honored to be asked by veteran news anchor, Bruce Johnson of WUSA Channel 9 News in Washington, DC to offer my expertise and opinions on matters related to psychology, diversity, gender and politics. Click the images or titles below to view segments.

How to talk to your kids about violence and hate crimes

What can you say to them after Pittsburgh (10.29.18) (click image to view vid)

Dating and relationships in a political world

When it comes to online dating, you probably look at the picture, the interests, maybe job and education, but what about politics? A new study says millennials care about political views when it comes to swiping left or right. (10.18.18)(click image to view vid)

Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison for sex assault

Psychologist Dr. Nicole Cutts and Attorney and Former Prosecutor A. Scott Bolden joined Bruce Johnson on Off Script to discuss Bill Cosby’s sentencing. (9.25.18) (click image to view vid)

Kavanaugh’s Allegations Related to Anita Hill: The allegations come in the #MeToo era. 

Kavanaugh’s Allegations Related to Anita Hill (9.18.18) (Click image to view vid)

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The Adventures of Isabelle: Cast & Crew

Below (for download) is a glossary, of sorts, of the names of characters in Journey to Orphalese. Think of it as a sort of anthropological or archeological map or a list of clues to aid you on your own exploration. In the column marked “Name Origin” I have given you a stub of information. This is by no means exhaustive but meant, instead to encourage you to do your own exploration and research; finding and excavating what is most important to you. Feel free to share what you find or are inspired to add either here as a comment or on the Adventures of Isabelle FB page!

A note from the Preface of Journey to Orphalese:

“It’s important for women and girls to see true reflections of themselves in literature and popular culture, but in order for them to find themselves they must search amid a diversity of archetypes and real-life heroines. I wrote The Adventures of Isabelle to add to this diversity. As such, all female characters in this book represent archetypes that have appeared across many cultures and ages and many of their names are drawn from heroines, both historic and mythical. Some are goddesses and some are mere mortals. I uncovered them through research for this book and for a series of paintings I did entitled, Reclaiming the G*ddess. And, I encourage you to go on your own exploration to find archetypes and heroines, both divine and mortal, that resonate with you. To aid you in your search I’ve created a glossary of names and places in the book that provide anthropological clues.” (p.IX)

Cast and Crew Major Characters

 

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Princess Isabelle in the News!

LISTEN/WATCH Princess Isabelle’s and my Interview on WHUR 96.3 FM with the always funny and insightful host of the Daily Drum Harold T. Fisher! We talked about How Seeing Your Life as a Heroine’s Quest and Yourself as a Heroine can help you turn lemons into lemonade, the #metoo movement and how to avoid the state of victimhood by being ASSERTIVE!

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What do you do to maintain your mental health?

CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST NICOLE CUTTS ON WARNING SIGNS OF DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE  (Click to View Video. My segment starts at 15:10)

As we know and have seen recently with the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade being wealthy and successful does NOT inoculate you against depression & anxiety. Just as we care for our bodies we must care for our minds and mental health. Whether you have ever been diagnosed with depression, anxiety or any other mental health disorder your self-care regimen should include taking care of your mental health.

FB Live: A Candid Conversation About Suicide & Depression (click image to view vid)

I was honored to appear on #OffScript on WUSA Channel 9 the other day with Anchor, Debra Alfarone, and her other guests to include Dr. Caitlin Thompson of the Cohen Veterans Network and Roxanne Roberts of the Washington Post to discuss the warning signs of depression and suicidality.

Know the Warning Signs of Depression:
Clinical depression is characterized by the presence of 5 or more of these depressive symptoms:

  1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feeling sad, blue, “down in the dumps,” or empty) or observations made by others (e.g., appears tearful or about to cry). (In children and adolescents, this may present as an irritable or cranky, rather than sad, mood.)
  2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities every day, such as no interest in hobbies, sports, or other things the person used to enjoy doing
  3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5 percent of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day
  4. Insomnia (inability to get to sleep or difficulty staying asleep) or hypersomnia (sleeping too much) nearly every day
  5. More days than not, problems with sitting still, including constant restlessness, pacing, or picking at one’s clothes (called psychomotor agitation by professionals); or the opposite, a slowing of one’s movements, talking very quietly with slowed speech (called psychomotor retardation by professionals)
  6. Fatigue, tiredness, or loss of energy nearly every day — even the smallest tasks, like dressing or washing, seem difficult to do and take longer than usual
  7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day (e.g., ruminating over minor past failings)
  8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (e.g., appears easily distracted, complains of memory difficulties)
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideas without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

*If you are concerned that you are clinically depressed or even suffering from depressed mood you should seek help from a professional i.e licensed therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist! Here is a list to National HOTLINES.

Whether you have signs of depression or anxiety there are things you can do to improve your mood and maintain your mental health.

10 Simple Things You Can do to Improve Your Mood:

  1. Exercise (even a 15 min walk can help)
  2. Spend time with supportive friends and family.
  3. Laugh (be around funny people, watch/listen to comedy)
  4. Get plenty of sleep
  5. Prayer and Meditation (even a few mins every day)
  6. Don’t overwork
  7. Have fun! (take time to play, hang out with friends do something you enjoy)
  8. Avoid negative thinking and focus on positive thoughts and emotions
  9. Practice Gratitude
  10. Celebrate even your smallest successes!

I hope you found this helpful. If you want more information feel free to visit my Psychology Today Profile or my Therapy Services page on my Vision Quest Retreats website.

Much continued success and well being,
Nicole
Nicole Cutts, CEO
Cutts Consulting, LLC & Founder Vision Quest Retreatswww.visionquestretreats.com
www.cuttsconsulting.com

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Understanding “Journey to Orphalese” & the The Adventures of Isabelle Series

To better understand what’s behind The Adventures of Isabelle series, check out these videos from interviews conducted by Sifu Wayne Rodney, martial artist, illustrator and creator of the new Global Fusion Tarot Deck and Guide Book!


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Princess Isabelle Reclaims Paris!

Paris (May, 2018)

Princess Isabelle and I (as her royal biographer) reclaimed the city of Paris in the name of the Kingdom of Xamayca this May! We had last visited in May of 2008 where our adventurous princess was waylaid by the dreaded pirate, Capt. Flint. Both trips were taken in honour of the Princesse’s birthday but they were very different trips. These videos tell the story of this most recent and victorious trip through pictures.

In 2008 we went to Paris to paint and be inspired by the beauty and art of this legendary city that provided an artistic home to many notable figures of the Harlem Renaissance. This time the trip was more about taking in the beauty, writing and reveling in our liberation. Below are two of the exhibitions we were able to take in: an immersive exhibition of Gustav Klimt and an exhibition dedicated to Picasso’s seminal work of art, Guernica!

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Doors & Doorways of Montmartre, Paris


I’ve always loved old European doors and doorways. More than merely pretty, there is something sacred and magical about them. I think I love them also because they represent possibility. They are portals standing on the thresholds of unknown places, locked gifts to lives we may never know.

Doors also offer protection: we can open and close, unlock and lock those to which we hold the key. The magic of them is that we can knock on them but only the owner of the door can decide to keep it closed or open it and let us in. We don’t always know the secret knock or password to gain admittance but when we discover it we embark on new journeys! Sometimes, however, we find there are doors within doors (as you see in my video above). We may cross the first perimeter through this temporary portal but never penetrate the inner sanctum.

Doors also offer blank canvases on which we can project our dreams and imaginings. We can leave the doors closed and continue to imagine what we want, we can risk opening them and being disappointed or we can risk opening them and embarking on a heroic and fulfilling quest.

You may find it of interest that in the first act (Departure), of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth or hero’s journey which begins with “The Call to Adventure,” “Crossing the First Threshold” is the fourth stage. In this stage the person [who would become hero or heroine] actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are unknown.

Campbell: “With the personifications of his destiny to guide and aid him, the hero goes forward in his adventure until he comes to the ‘threshold guardian’ at the entrance to the zone of magnified power. Such custodians bound the world in four directions — also up and down — standing for the limits of the hero’s present sphere, or life horizon. Beyond them is darkness, the unknown and danger; just as beyond the parental watch is danger to the infant and beyond the protection of his society danger to the members of the tribe. The usual person is more than content, he is even proud, to remain within the indicated bounds, and popular belief gives him every reason to fear so much as the first step into the unexplored. The adventure is always and everywhere a passage beyond the veil of the known into the unknown; the powers that watch at the boundary are dangerous; to deal with them is risky; yet for anyone with competence and courage the danger fades.”

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My Iceland Adventure May, 2018

In the middle of April I decided to go to Iceland. I had been wanting to visit for some time and with the way the world seems to be going, something inside of me said, “What are you waiting for?!” So, I headed off to Iceland to coincide with my birthday in search of adventure (doing recon for Vision Quest Retreats, travel blogging/vlogging and throwing myself into things I had not done before in a land I’d never seen before)! Below is an accounting of my experience via pictures and videos. I hope you enjoy!

Day 1: Arrived Keflavik airport at about 6:15 am, got a transfer at Reykjavik Excursions desk to the Blue Lagoon that would then take me to the city of Reykjavik and my hotel: Center Hotel Midgardur.



Day 1: Walking around Reykjavik and getting settled in my room. Below are some scenes from my first day in Reykjavik after I arrived from the Blue Lagoon. I hope you enjoy my little video!

Day 2 Part I: A Trip to the Original Geysir

Today I took a tour of the Golden Circle in southwest Iceland which included a trip to the Geysir/Geothermal Area,  Þingvellir National Park, and the Gullfoss waterfall.

Day 2 Part II: Snowmobiling on Langjökull Glacier!

Day 3 Part I: Hiking  Sólheimajökull Glacier

Day 3 Part II: Soaking in the Secret Lagoon!

Day 4 Part I: Snorkeling Silfra Fissure

Day 4 Part II:  Riding Icelandic Horses-Laxnes Horse Farm

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