How to Identify and Meet Different Parts of YourselfAug 01, 2022
So you made a decision to change the way you show up in the world. Maybe you listened to yourself and made a decision that is best for you for what feels like the first time in your life. Maybe you ended a relationship that wasn’t serving you; moved to a totally new place; left a career that didn’t feel aligned or supportive; started expressing your gender or identity in a new way; or took on any number of other major shifts.
Or—maybe you made a discovery about yourself through your healing journey and you’ve decided that you want to stop doing things the way you have been doing them.
No matter why you’re experiencing a major shift or change, you might notice that there are many different parts of you that you are getting to know again or noticing for the first time in your life. Some of these parts of you, you might have already known. In fact, they might have contributed to your choice to change your life in a more drastic way.
As you’re getting to know yourself again, you might find parts of you that feel like old friends you lost, and you might confront parts of you that feel like ghosts. What do I mean by that?
Whenever you experience a major shift, there are parts of you that feel very uncomfortable about what is happening. Even if you chose to shift your life and you are excited or happy about the change, there will still be parts of you that feel very threatened by the changes you're experiencing. They might show up as brain stories or intrusive thoughts; as behaviors and habits that you thought you were done with; or they could show up as reactions and cravings you didn’t realize you had inside of you.
These might be unhealed parts of yourself or parts you haven’t acknowledged for a long time. And as you embark on this new chapter in your life, you might wonder how can I let go of these old parts of myself and break this cycle?
How to Identify and Acknowledge Parts of Yourself
I’ve mentioned meeting different parts of yourself multiple times in this post, and you might wonder what I mean by that.
Before I knew anything about parts work or how to read my own natal chart, or any of the things that I share and talk about on my blog and in my work, I was able to identify this for sure: Traveling to new places brought out different parts of me.
When I was in California, I only wanted to listen to moody, immersive soundtracks like what I heard on teen soap operas like The O.C. When I was in Berlin, Germany, my inner entrepreneurial artist wanted to wear rainbow colored sneakers and open a coffee shop/furniture store. When I went to Nashville, the little girl in me who wanted to be Sara Evans took control of the wheel.
All of these parts of me are pretty different—so who is the truth of who I am?
What both astrology and the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model I work with show us, is that I am not one singular part. I am all of these parts. Within me I hold all of their gifts, all of their strengths, and all of their challenges. But I could never, ever be summarized by a single part. I could never, ever be summarized as a Capricorn Sun. I could never, ever be summarized as a highly sensitive person recovering from people pleasing, perfectionism, and codependency. I could never be summarized by one identity, one archetype, one planet.
As a young queer person, I struggled to see examples of identities that were as expansive as mine. I had a tendency to try and fit myself into a box that people could make sense of—even if those boxes were boxes like the punk box or the hippie box or the farm kid box.
As an ancestral astrologer and coach, I help my clients identify, understand, accept and integrate all of the amazing parts that make up who they are. I hold space for people to meet these different parts of themselves where they are at, which means holding compassion for them, welcoming them, holding space for them, and not feeling like they need to fix or get rid of any part of who they are.
Through your astrological natal chart, you can identify how different parts of you are showing up or activated at different points in time. You can use the transits you experience to your chart to get to know the different parts of you and learn how to help give them new assignments when the roles they have played no longer serve you as the person you are becoming today.
This is how we can start to end cycles we’ve been in or at least actively shift them and observe how they are changing.
Your natal chart doesn’t only tell you about your personality, it can also reveal what’s important to you, what motivates you, core aspects of your identity, and even how your life, family and ancestral or past life inheritances show up in your life today.
When you combine the insights from your natal chart with a tool like Internal Family Systems, you can get to know yourself very deeply and find more compassion with the different parts of yourself. As you integrate them into your whole Self, you also find greater peace in life. I explain more about Internal Family Systems in this blog post, which includes a tarot spread for navigating internal conflict. I highly recommend interviewing the different parts of yourself to learn more about them.
Holding Compassionate Space for Different Parts of Yourself
As you get to know yourself more, you will discover that different parts of you have different needs. You might also discover that you don’t like or appreciate certain parts of yourself. Some parts of you might be much louder and harder to ignore while others have learned to play a small, almost undetectable role.
When you see a part of yourself that you don’t like or don’t want to acknowledge, the first reaction you might have is to say: How can I get rid of this part of myself? I hate this part of myself. I need to not be this way.
That is a totally normal reaction. It’s also totally normal to feel resentful that some of these parts of yourself exist because they remind you of ways that you were shaped without your permission.
When I look at your natal chart, I can see who has influenced the different parts of you (which are represented by the different planets in your chart). Your natal chart is based on the date, exact time, and location of your birth—so you were born with these different parts of you. That said, we also know that your early environment and life experiences will strongly influence the different parts of you. Through astrology, I can see the source of some of these parts of you and how they are activated at different points in time.
What do I mean by a part of you getting activated?
Through astrological transits (the positions of the planets at the current moment) different parts of you get a flashlight pointed to them at different points in time. These transits are like invitations to really acknowledge and work with specific parts of yourself (which we can identify through planets).
This can be extremely helpful when you are trying to be compassionate towards the different parts of you while also shifting their roles to break cycles that you no longer want to continue. Knowing which parts are most activated right now helps you focus more on the inner work you are called to do.
During transits, I can coach you to...
- hear the parts of you as they speak and help you observe how you respond to them
- help you identify what would support the part while
- help you understand the wound and the gifts that come with this part
The ultimate goal of this work is to stop fighting against these parts of yourself and begin integrating them into your Self. Integration means being able to own all parts of yourself, whether “good” or “bad,” and understand how they make you the person you are today.
Essentially, transits help you understand which parts of you need to be focused on consciously and potentially explored subconsciously, during a set period of time.
We can even look back to when certain parts of you might have come up previously. This can help you reconnect with younger parts of yourself by looking at old photos of yourself, listening to music you loved at that time, and giving yourself advice or affirmations you might have needed at that point and time.
Tools for Communicating to Different Parts
When we approach healing by looking at each part of ourself, we can get really focused and intentional about what each part needs to create greater healing for the whole self. This can help us break down the healing process itself into smaller parts and allow us to get more comfortable with the unfolding healing process, rather than treating our healing as an all or nothing endeavor or like an item on a to-do list.
All you need to do to try this method of healing out is to identify one part of yourself and begin communicating to it. So how do you do this?
For me, the answer was using astrology to identify parts of myself and using tarot to interview these parts of myself and learn more about them. Back in March, I shared this Tarot Spread for Inner Conflict that is inspired by IFS, which is the first step to interviewing the parts of yourself.
This especially helped me identify and name my feelings and understand what parts of myself needed. It helped me get over the idea that I didn't need to listen to those parts of myself that were asking for more gentleness or attention. It helped me understand that I didn't need to "get over" anything and that I wasn't weak. I learned to treat the parts of myself that I saw as weak as important and worthy members of my inner family, and as I listened to them, fed them, and cared for them, they began to integrate into me and their gifts become more visible.
This is a tarot spread that has the potential to change the way you life your life, if you allow it.
But using it effectively requires you to change the way you arrive to the cards. If you’ve been reading tarot for prediction or to find answers, then a mindset shift is required to get the most out of working with tarot this way.
That’s why I’m offering Reading Your Inner Family—a free guided tarot journey that will help you learn to use tarot to listen to yourself so you can express your needs with clarity.
In this free guided journey, I will not only talk about ways to work with tarot cards inspired by “parts work,” I will guide you to meeting a part of yourself that wants to be heard right now. I have found guided journeys to be so essential to my inner work and they are a huge part of the work I do with clients inside of the Ancestral Transformation Guided Journey.
Acknowledge How Far You’ve Come
Healing is a (life)long journey, and it also doesn’t have to be the entire focus of your life. Cycle breaking can be a fascinating, deeply spiritual journey. My own cycle breaking journey has led me deep into the woods of my subconscious, exploring past lives and gathering flowers with my ancestors. It has guided me to ways of holding and healing myself that I wouldn’t have known were possible. And it truly has been a journey that is pleasurable and powerful.
Rather than approaching our healing with a mindset of fixing and manipulating ourselves to be something different than who we are, I encourage us all to consider approaching our healing with a mindset of: What would make me want to continue going on this healing journey for myself and the collective? What would make my healing journey more fun? What would allow me to feel more spaciousness around who I am and how I show up in this world?
How can you acknowledge and celebrate the ways you’ve already experienced healing? What have you created space for in your life? How are you enjoying the spaciousness you’ve already created through getting to know yourself?
Use astrology to break cycles and align with your calling.
In the Cycle Breaking Astrology Masterclass I will show you
how to identify inherited family patterns in your natal chart to determine the patterns you are here to integrate.
- How to identify inherited family patterns in your natal chart
- Determine the patterns you are here to integrate
- Find the gifts you are here to bring forward
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