The Map: Who Is Guiding You on Your Path?!


Updated: February 4, 2011

sweet little lieWho is guiding you on your path? Is it the voice of wisdom or the chatter of trickery?

Over the last few blogs, I’ve shared some of the insight from my new bestselling book, The Map: Finding the Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life. We’ve talked about the power of knowing Where and When you are on your path. Now, it’s time to look at Who you’re listening to. If you want to harness your power to direct your life, you must learn to sort out what the voices within you are, their messages, and the quality of their advice. You must tame your Goblins and quiet your Chatterbox so you can then tune into the wisdom of your magical allies. Today, we’re going to do just this! Are you ready?!

Ever feel like you keep encountering the same old frustrating patterns or issues, even though you keep working on yourself?
Do you sometimes sabotage yourself, expect things to fall apart, or act out of compulsiveness?

Have you struggled with low self-worth and a tendency to beat yourself up?
Do you ever judge others harshly?
Do you keep running into the same difficult people?

I’d like to introduce you to your Goblin—the trickster behind the above experiences!

Many years ago, I came up with the character of the Goblin to represent the wounded ego we all have. He is the disowned part of yourself that’s hiding and making mischief in the darkest shadows of your Map. The Goblin is your primary source of fear and all its subsequent by-products, such as anger, jealousy, procrastination, lust, defensiveness, and greed. He is the voice of separation and inflames your negative emotions and feelings of unworthiness. Because he can only identify with trauma, the Goblin can’t recognize your higher self, which isn’t wounded and has different priorities than your wounded ego. When untamed, these tricksters try to protect you with promises of love, security, and power if only you listen to their messages of fear, unworthiness, and abandonment. If you follow their lead, they whisk you away to emotionally challenging territories. They grab the wheel while you end up taking a back seat to your life.

It can be helpful to think of the Goblin as a type of gnome gone wrong. Yes, those garden statues of gnomes actually have a history dating back to the 16th century. Back then, gnomes were thought of as mythic creatures representing the earth element whose job was to protect treasures underground. They were meant to watch over the energies of potential and guard the seeds of possibility, both within the world and within oneself. The Goblin is the deformed gnome which has forgotten its purpose; instead of protecting the unformed—the seeds—it protects the deformed and makes trouble!

Every Goblin has a birthday. He sprang to life from your pain the day you were wounded. As a way to protect his existence, he reminds you over and over of what you lost in his birth through negative self-talk or an expectation that the original wound will always be who you are now and forever. This may have been your loss of innocence, trust, self-worth, and so on which he continues by reminding you that it’s not safe to trust, expect the worst, you’ll never be good enough, etc. He also may have been born out of your ancestry, handed down from your parents. The good news is that once you name the Goblin, you can heal and move forward on your path.

Another character who can prevent you from moving forward on your path is the Chatterbox. Unlike the Goblin, the Chatterbox won’t take you to a place of pain, but he can be just as distracting. He keeps your mind busy with his motor-mouth, diverting you from attending to what’s really important to you. The Chatterbox is the stream of random thoughts that have little importance. You might be trying to work, while the Chatterbox goes something like this. “Oh, I just got a new email—wonder who it’s from. Hmm…I wonder what I should have for dinner. Maybe salad or take out. Oh, look, there’s a picture of a palm tree. I really need to go on a vacation…” And on and on the Chatterbox goes until before you know it, an hour has passed.

The best way to quiet the Chatterbox is through a meditation practice. While “formal” meditation and stillness are fantastic for quieting the Chatterbox, you can also do yoga, walking or some other activity as a way to slow your mind so you can become an observer of your thoughts.

I share much more on the Goblin and the Chatterbox in The Map! There are so many facets to talk about with each voice—it’s one of my favorite chapters of the book, so I hope you check it out. Now, let’s get to today’s exercise.

As I mentioned, when you name your Goblin, you reclaim that piece of you he took. If you don’t name it, you belong to it. So, today, you’re going to discover your Goblin’s birthday!

In your journal, write an account of a painful incident in your past as the story of your Goblin’s birth. If you’re tempted to skip this exercise, thinking that there’s nothing more to learn, remember that’s your Goblin trying to trick you!

Note the Goblin that was born that day. What’s he like? How does he look and talk?

Look into his eyes and observe how you feel. Then ask, what is he telling you about himself?

If he was born from a wound from your past, can you allow yourself to see him as a reminder of that wound, and active to protect that wound, so you always remember it?

Now can you feel compassion for him?

What would it be like to care for and understand him, knowing that this would allow you to be empowered? (Remember the Goblin is essentially a denied aspect of yourself represented by this metaphor—the parts of you that you deny that are expressed through fear, rage, jealousy, etc.)

Please share your comments on this blog! I love reading what you have to say and, remember, your thoughts and experiences help empower other readers.

And, stay tuned! Next, we’ll talk about tapping into your voices of wisdom for better guidance on your path.


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