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Trading the American Dream for Real Life

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Trading the American Dream for Real Life

A Trickster Romance

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Sofia Taboada, June 11, 2024

I was raised with a heavy sense of unfinished legacy. Growing up in the third-world country of Venezuela, I saw my father build himself up from poverty to a very comfortable life through his hard work in earning an education and building a successful business. When I was 11 years old, we moved to the United States, as one does when given the opportunity, and my father was forced to leave behind everything for which he had worked. Since then, I have been keenly aware of the sacrifice he made to provide me with a better life. Throughout the years, my father never quite found his footing in America and, sadly, never returned to Venezuela as it devolved into a dangerously corrupt communist regime. I witnessed the injustice of this turn of fate befalling the most intelligent person I knew. Perhaps it was his heavily accented English, his lack of any personal or professional connections, or the unwillingness of American employers to recognize a Venezuelan engineering degree, but he was never able to secure a job and continue to provide for us. Our household grew heavy with the weight of his struggle as we became increasingly frugal in an effort to survive on our savings. I knew then, albeit unconsciously, that I would fulfill my task of living out this American Dream for which my parents sacrificed so much.

Throughout my adolescence and early adulthood, I wielded the more advantageous components of my personality to become the person I felt I needed to be. I unconsciously formed a personality which leveraged useful traits and repressed any unproductive components, constructing an outgoing, charming nature while subduing any delicate sentimentality. This proved quite successful in achieving my aim of the American Dream—until a brush with the archetypal force of a trickster reversal brought down the foundations of the edifice I’d erected, leaving me to rebuild myself from the ground up.

Carl Jung developed his theory of psychological types by working with many clients over many years and noticing the ways in which their personalities affected the way they navigated their lives. We each perceive and judge the world based on a complex cocktail of psychological makeup and lived experience—some nature, some nurture. We take our unique perspective and classify experiences, events, and people into frameworks of our own making and then react or respond to these stimuli in unique ways. Jung understood that psychological growth comes from an awareness of these proclivities and a balancing out of our perspective where needed.

ENTP functions and archetypes according to the Beebe model.

A Renegade in Catholic School

As an individual with preferences for ENTP, I struggled with my conservative upbringing during my childhood in Venezuela. My early years were spent in strict all-girls Catholic schools being chastised by nuns for nonsensical indiscretions, like when I doodled in my notebook or when my socks fell to my ankles while running during recess. The dress code, strictly enforced, required a knee-length plaid skirt and knee-high white socks and moccasins. I found this mandate absurdly restrictive, and frankly still do, as it did not allow much space for a child to explore and get dirty. This is a perspective characteristic of my psychological type; in fact, Jung scholar Carol Shumate (2023) called extraverted intuition (Ne) “the explorer” function (personal communication).

My favorite activities were playing after-school sports and spending time with my next-door neighbor, Gabi, exploring our backyards at the foot of the rainforest. I cherished the freedom these activities gave me from the perceived oppression of the school environment. This world of play made more sense to me. I have always loved learning, and in those early days, I felt I was able to learn more through exploring my environment than through monotonous school days. This perspective is exemplary of the extraverted intuitive: “Because he is always seeking out new possibilities, stable conditions suffocate him” (Jung, 1921/1976, ¶ 613). Each new day in the wilderness of the Venezuelan forest held more intrigue than my regimented academic curriculum as my extraverted intuition sought “to discover what possibilities the objective situation [held] in store” (Jung, 1921/1976, ¶ 612).

My Catholic upbringing also created confusion around introverted feeling (Fi). Introverted feeling sits in the trickster position in my typological stack, meaning it is a shadow function that I tend to experience as tricky or untrustworthy. When I was a child, Catholicism provided me with belief in the religion’s mythology and symbols. I felt a warmth and familiarity with the goodness that it proclaimed. As I grew up, I learned about the negative aspects of the Catholic Church, with its violent history of inquisitions and very current systemic issue of covering up child abuse perpetrated by priests. My feeling function felt betrayed. I had been manipulated to feel positively about something which turned out to be quite negative. I learned that feelings are fickle and subject to manipulation, so I should not trust them. This is a common experience of ENTPs, who have introverted feeling in the trickster position according to John Beebe’s sequence of functions (Shumate, 2021, p, 222).

Out With the Old, In With the New

During this time, my family made its move to the United States. The move was made possible because my mother’s employer transferred her to its Headquarters-of-Latin-America office located in Miami, Florida. The move felt rushed. We unceremoniously packed a suitcase or two and went to our Miami house, which had served as a vacation home until this point. I was not aware that everything I left behind would be gone forever, but my father discarded all the items we had not packed and brought over with us. I felt surprise and sadness at losing some of my prized possessions, like a stuffed animal I’d had since birth and a book with beautiful illustrations that I read nearly every night. My parents simply brushed off my feelings, promising to buy me another book of illustrations as though that eliminated the pain of the loss.

The introverted sensing function (Si) may be referred to as the “memory keeper” (Shumate, 2023, personal communication), focusing on mementos as sacred containers for memories which make up one’s identity and worldview. This personality type manifests in an individual’s tendency to perceive experience through a personal and subjective lens and collect sensate objects as keepsakes to be catalogued and continuously referenced. A person with a dominant Si function is nostalgic and keeps inventory of internal emotional states to build a sense of consistency and stability.

What does it mean, then, to have introverted sensing as the inferior function? This part of me remained undeveloped, stunted by incidents like when my belongings were lost in the move to the US. I learned that sentimentality around objects was silly and not something I had time for, preferring instead to focus on all the possibilities ahead (Ne). The past, to me, represented a place of melancholy, and I had no use for the nostalgic ache which accompanies a walk down memory lane. The inferior function hovers at the threshold of unconsciousness and, as a result, “always remains primitive” (Shumate, 2021, p.7). I unconsciously refused to integrate the perspective of introverted sensation into my conscious personality and chose instead to double down on my dominant extraverted intuition.

Blackman, C. (n.d.) Divided faces.That aside, my family’s move to Miami was a positive inflection point in my childhood. I felt displaced, yes, having to learn a new language and make new friends, attend new schools, and find new activities to fill my time. But my overall feeling was one of liberation. I traded in Catholic school for the local public school, which was as different as a learning environment gets. Out with the uniforms and in with the coed classmates! I gradually found my footing and began to thrive. And on I went. With an energetically extraverted attitude of onward and upward! I succeeded in academics and sports, became one of the popular kids, and won student council elections. This new environment suited me, and I happily pursued the American Dream that my father talked about—good college, good job, and financially secure future.

My university years were fun and, for the most part, carefree. I went to the University of Florida on a full academic scholarship, excited at the prospect of becoming a small fish in a very large pond. I majored in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing. I took the academics in my stride and spent much of my time on extracurricular activities, sporting events, and socializing. I have always enjoyed meeting and befriending all kinds of people. The small college town of Gainesville, Florida, with its 50,000 students was a playground for me to explore. This social playfulness is an example of extraverted feeling (Fe) in the position of inner child, or puer aeternus. I effortlessly made friends and a name for myself in the business school. When it came time for internships, I leveraged my contacts to secure one at a prestigious marketing company, yielding a full-time job offer. I interned and worked at Procter & Gamble, in a very coveted position which again made my parents very proud. I found interviewing for jobs—something most of my classmates found terrifying—quite fun. It was a nice challenge to meet and win over an executive and find creative ways to share the talking points I’d prepared regardless of the question being asked.

The American Dream Realized

I followed the rubric I was handed: I graduated from a great school, got a great corporate job, and began my adult life. At certain moments I wondered whether I wouldn’t be happier going down a more bohemian route. Perhaps art school? Or a couple of years in the Peace Corps? A part of me longed to explore these curiosities. However, my father quickly vetoed such options, reasserting the need for financial security above all else and offering: “You can get a lucrative job and do art on the weekends.”

I found myself adept at success in corporate America. I adapted well and quickly climbed the ladder. I found that my father was right: I did enjoy the disposable income and the peace of mind that it afforded me for the first time in my life. Jung (1921/1976) wrote that Ne dominant types tend to be “many business tycoons, entrepreneurs,” due to a “capacity to inspire courage or to kindle enthusiasm for anything new” (¶ 613). This makes them natural leaders who inspire a following. I found this to be the case for myself, and I reveled in the satisfaction of competence in an area which I found interesting and allowed me to earn a good living. This satisfaction is a manifestation of my auxiliary function, introverted thinking (Ti). An introverted thinking type enjoys learning, problem solving, and feeling competent (Shumate, 2021, p. 209). In my ENTP profile, the introverted thinking shows up with the archetypal energy of the good parent. The hero Ne coupled with the parental Ti proved to be a winning combination for corporate success. The visionary in me could see the untapped potential in certain areas of a portfolio (Ne) and go after it with a strategic mindset, communicating the value of an opportunity (Ti). The playfulness of my childlike Fe was useful while cold calling and seeking to persuade clients. While others felt nervous at this aspect of the work, I thought, “What’s the worst than can happen? I get hung up on. Plenty of other clients to go after.”

By my early 30s, I had built a great career at Google, one of the world’s most sought-after employers. I had savings in the bank, and I lived an exciting life as a New Yorker 50% of the time and a jet set executive the other 50%, traveling to wine-and-dine clients at the best restaurants all over the globe. My life was exciting, with a full social calendar, ample entertainment, glamor, and fun. However, in moments of pause, I found that it lacked a certain depth that I longed for, which became increasingly acute as I entered the life stage traditionally reserved for marriage and children. My discomfort caused me to begin to reevaluate the validity of this famous American Dream. Everyone was proud of me, and the accolades felt good, but I had to face the fact that my life was missing pieces that I had always desired.

Jung was uniquely aware of the power of the unconscious. When one attitude becomes heavily weighted in the conscious perspective (serving the desires of the ego), its opposing attitude gains strength in the unconscious. As the years went by, I felt more and more my lack of meaningful personal relationships. Perhaps I had extended my rejection of sentimentality beyond mementos and keepsakes, all the way out to any objects of comfort, including relationships. I was not comfortable with the vulnerability which such relationships require, and I preferred to forgo them altogether. I was proud of my ability to take risks and push beyond my comfort zone yet found that the peaks of success brought troughs of disconnectedness and loneliness.

Zabaleta, R. (1957). The Quesada garden.I have always been very supportive of the feminist movement and believe that women should have the opportunity to live in whatever way their hearts desire. Therefore, it came as a surprise to me when I recognized that, for me, this freedom of choice included my desire for a traditional family structure of marriage and children, as sentimentally antiquated as that felt to admit. I have often had a difficult time determining my feelings. Feelings are very uncertain and fickle, apt to change with a moment’s notice. The feeling function is underappreciated in American culture today; we tend, instead, to favor thinking as a merited form of logical judgement while rejecting the romanticism of feeling. This position reflected my unintegrated personal attitude as well.

To identify and tend to one’s subjective feelings is the realm of the introverted feeling function (Fi), which is a shadow function of mine, meaning that it does not generally have consciously directed expression but sits below the threshold of the unconscious. Since my Fi is unconscious, I do not recognize myself at all in Jung’s (1921/1976) description of an introverted feeling type:

They are mostly silent, inaccessible, hard to understand; often they hide behind a childish or banal mask, and their temperament is inclined to melancholy. They neither shine nor reveal themselves. As they are mainly guided by their subjective feelings, their true motives generally remain hidden. (¶ 640)

Beebe’s model sheds light on the position of this function within the ENTP typology. Introverted feeling sits in the seventh position, which Beebe associates with the trickster archetype. Individuals with this positioning tend to distrust their own feelings, struggle to recognize their own desires, and resist intimacy due to their anxiety around discussing feelings (Shumate, 2021, p. 221-222). This trickster has clearly been at work in my lived experience.

As I began to understand my need for intimate connections and depth, I began to suspect that corporate America was not the most fertile ground to foster this change. As the years passed, dissatisfaction built beneath my threshold of consciousness, manifesting as a growing restlessness and tendency to question whether there is more to life. Countless times, I thought about quitting but could not bring myself to give up the incredibly comfortable position that my job afforded me, especially with no plan B. Eventually, the trickster took matters into its own hands.

Tricked by the Dream

Fast forward to January of 2023. I wake up one Friday morning, and, as I do every day, I open my laptop to begin my day working from my home office. I type in my password to find an error message indicating that it is incorrect. I try again: incorrect. I type it again and again, with increasing attention to letters and capitalization, to no avail. Baffled, I pick up my phone to check email on my mobile app. Perhaps the system changed my password for security reasons. I find that my work email app has been deleted from my phone. It is simply not on my device’s home screen any longer. I look for my work’s instant messaging app, thinking I’ll message my boss and ask for advice, but that is inexplicably missing from my device, too. I have many projects to complete and meetings to host today, so the clock is ticking.

I open my personal Gmail account and see a message in my inbox from Google People Operations with the subject “Notice regarding your employment.” I open it to read the first few lines: “Dear Sofia, We have some difficult news to share. We are reducing our workforce and are very sorry to tell you that your role is impacted and we no longer have a job for you at Google.” My body goes into a mild form of shock because I have been completely blindsided by this news. I have had no conversations with my manager or any coworker. The severance is a complete surprise. I read the words a few times, trying to make sense of their meaning.

The experience was a strangely dissociative one, where reality was so incongruent with its typical form that I felt as though I was in a fictional version of my life, an alternate universe. I was a star employee. I had just completed an executive coaching program, funded by Google, to groom me for senior leadership as part of their corporate diversity initiative. I had been working there for nearly a decade. I had no idea that being let go was even a possibility.

I made myself go outside and take a walk around my neighborhood to ensure that the physical universe to which I’d become accustomed was, in fact, still there. I had no heavy emotional reaction, just a stern focus on walking the next step and breathing the next breath while I contemplated the absurdity of this event. These sensing activities were part of my self-care toolkit. Allowing expression of extraverted sensation in an outdoor break and introverted sensation in breathing and moving my body helped balance my mind when the demands of the job became overwhelming.

Colville, A. (1950). Nude and dummy.I felt as if I were reading a dystopian, capitalistic-nightmare novel, an account of the impersonally barbaric manner in which a corporation discards a decade-long employee without even the decency of a human conversation. What a laughable contrast to Google’s stated values, according to which everyone respects each other and all team members are a family. Google’s betrayal of its stated core values gave my psyche yet another data point as to why Fi values cannot be trusted. I had allowed myself to be manipulated into a false sense of security, and this rejection felt like the trickster’s stab in the back. What a surreal experience! I thought of the dark humor in this—perhaps I would write a book one day. This reaction was an example of the archetypal good parent Ti in me, which “can maintain an enviable detachment in the face of disaster” (Shumate, 2021, p. 209).

However, soon I was launched into the five stages of grief, beginning with a heroic dose of denial. This could not possibly be. My manager tracked down my personal phone number and called me to apologize, assuring me that he had had no idea that this was to happen. I got most of my information from the press, which reported that Google had laid off 12,000 employees that day. European employees would not have been laid off in such a shocking way because it is against European law to make layoffs without notice or opportunity to remedy or negotiate. European law protects people from corporations, making it illegal to push someone off a cliff the way Google had done to me. Thus the trickster brought me face to face with the shadow side of the American Dream.

When we face calamity, we are thrown into our inferior function. In this moment I realized that I no longer had a job: “How am I going to make a living? I can’t afford the rent for my house. I need to move out immediately. Where will I live? How will I earn money? I am going to be poor and on the streets!” These were the panicked thoughts that plagued my psyche as I descended into my inferior function of introverted sensing. Introverted sensation concerns itself with security and safety. I feared for my physical security; for my finances; and for my ability to shelter, clothe, and feed myself. As I descended into the darkness of this fear, a distant part of me knew that I might be having an irrational overreaction. I had savings in the bank. I could probably find another job. Such is the power of the inferior function, especially in times of crisis. It hovers at the threshold of unconsciousness, causing it to remain undeveloped. It cannot be directed with conscious control. The inferior function takes over in a rushing flood, sweeping away any rationality with it.

During this time, I had a powerful dream. Dreams are communication from our unconscious psyche, offering guidance and perspective which we are missing from our conscious outlook. If understood, dream images have the power to bring insight that balances our outlook. In the dream, I am in a panicked state over the loss of my wallet. My wallet is gone! It has been lost or stolen, and I frantically scramble to find it. After long moments of this anxious searching, I finally find the wallet. A rush of relief floods over me. I open the wallet, worried all of my money has been stolen, and find that the money is all there. In fact, nothing is missing other than one item: my driver’s license. I think, “Alright, my money is here, but my ID is gone.”

In working with this dream, I realize it signals that I have been overly concerned with money and all that money symbolizes: safety, security, and wellbeing. The piece that I need to process during this upheaval is not concerned with finances but rather with a loss of identity symbolized by my missing ID. The competent, professional, independent persona that I had painstakingly crafted over my entire adolescence and adulthood was taken from me. The woman who had climbed the ranks to become a successful executive at the pinnacle of the corporate world, with her glamorous jet-setting lifestyle, was gone.

This was a very challenging realization to face, especially for someone with ENTP preferences who prides herself on competence and independence. I had experienced an enormous personal defeat and, having no recourse left, I realized I had reached rock bottom. When it comes to psychological transformation, the ego must travel a difficult path. We descend into the underworld of suffering where we encounter the real lesson to be learned before we can begin to process and rebuild.

In the grips of this crisis, my inferior introverted sensing craved safety and security, something I had always been able to provide for myself until now. From this new vantage point, I began to see that there might be other ways of meeting this need. However, having spent my whole life leaning on my dominant qualities of independence and self-assuredness, admitting that I might need help felt like a defeat. Such is the wisdom available to those who consciously experience rock bottom: with the ego at death’s door, we are finally given the chance to see with a new perspective. As I slowly and painstakingly opened myself up to this possibility, I knew that there is nothing wrong with leaning on others to meet our needs.

Until this point, my bravery had been to go brazenly into the world and conquer it. During this time of introspection, I learned that it is even braver to seek safety in others. The vulnerability needed for this kind of deep connection requires immense strength and courage, arguably more so than going at it alone—common knowledge for many, but new and frightening territory for my ENTP psyche.

Graves, M. (n.d.). Life cycle of a leaf.Transformation

During this time, I had been in a long-distance relationship with a wonderful man, Ralf, who lived in Europe. I often found myself settling into long-distance relationships because they offered closeness along with a healthy physical barrier that staved off any intense intimacy or deep enmeshment. This arrangement is exemplary of trickster introverted feeling where the personality “tends to prefer autonomy to intimacy while verbally professing commitment” (Shumate, 2021, p. 221).

Ralf had been a comforting and consistent presence in my life. The romantic relationship was relatively new, as we’d been officially dating only a few months, but I had known him since childhood. Our families were unlikely friends, meeting in a chance encounter at a community pool in Miami and keeping in touch throughout the decades as Ralf and I grew up. We never lived in the same place, his family having moved back to Germany and mine to Venezuela shortly after the friendship began, but we kept in touch. At first, distant and sporadic. Perhaps the annual “Happy Birthday!” message on social media or a comment left on a vacation photo. After years of this, however, we reconnected in person during one of Ralf’s visits to California, where I lived at the time. The spunky little kid I had known in childhood then became a dear friend, and I unknowingly leaned on him for the kind of support and comfort sought by introverted sensation. We stayed connected through the various turns in our lives—relationships, moves, graduations, jobs—remaining in familiar, steady communication.

Last summer, Ralf and I met in Portugal for a surf trip. He lived in Europe, and I traveled a lot with my location-free job, so this destination made sense for both of us. During this trip, we rediscovered each other as more than friends. We fell in love quickly, which felt exciting yet completely natural, new yet familiar.

I now realize, with this new perspective from grappling with my inferior introverted sensing, that Ralf was my safe place. I had always been wary of the immense, lifelong commitment that marriage symbolizes, wondering how anybody could ever be so certain about the infinitely unknown future as to make that kind of decision. My dominant extraverted intuition imagines a myriad of possible futures. Corporate executive in New York, meditation teacher in Bali, writer in San Diego—it is not in my nature to commit to just one. Yet Ralf is the rarest, most valuable treasure. He is my shelter in the storm, always supportive and offering comfort, even when I refused to see how much I needed it. The gift of this crisis is that my hyper-independent persona had been humbled into submission, finally allowing me to see the wisdom in committing wholeheartedly to a partnership with Ralf. Marriage suddenly felt like a no-brainer. Life-altering decisions rarely feel this way to thinking types. Being laid off had freed me to enter my feelings and to follow their advice, which was that I should move to Europe.

Today, I live in the Netherlands and am married to this wonderful man. I am, for the first time since my adolescence, unemployed and finding creative ways to fill my time. My new and most time-consuming hobby is scrapbooking. The hobby started with the idea to make one for my husband as an anniversary gift, detailing the memories we shared in our first year. Then I moved on to making scrapbooks as gifts for my family. I have purchased an at-home photo printer which allows me to bring innumerable iPhone photos into physical form and create beautiful spreads of experiences which will live in homemade books forever.

I see my new hobby as an integration of the inferior function, which “always makes the bridge to the unconscious” (von Franz, 2013, p. 16). My introverted sensing, the memory keeper for whom I had little time before, is with me every day. I find a profound sense of joy in artfully crafting page after page of memories and sharing them with the people I love. I did not consciously set out to use scrapbooking as a method of healing from the shock of losing my job, but it is helping me accomplish that. “The inferior function is the ever-living wound of the conscious personality, but through it the unconscious can always come in and so enlarge consciousness and bring forth a new attitude,” said von Franz (2013, p. 72).

Herbin, A. (1908). Pond and small house.With time, I have come to see the wisdom in this life transition. My life now is an unrecognizable contrast to my past life as a New York executive. I live in a small Dutch village where time passes slowly and gently. I take walks, I cook, and I write. I have a deep connection with my chosen life partner, and we are building a home together. I suspect that this environment might not keep me satisfied for long, as my energetic Ne spirit needs flight, but I can sense the wisdom of living into it in this moment.

As happens with trickster encounters, I was offered an opportunity to rise to a challenge and integrate a part of myself that had been relegated to the shadows. I have learned through dream images and synchronicities that I am in an archetypal moment, and I am committed to learning its lessons. I am not certain of what the future holds, but I accept the death and rebirth that is occurring during this chapter of my life. In my termination agreement, Google declared that my official last day of employment was the last day of the quarter, March 31, 2023. This happens to make my time at Google nine years to the day, as my first day was March 31, 2014. The synchronistic detail, with nine as the numerical symbol of completion of a cycle, gives me a numinous sense of confirmation of the purposefulness of this moment.

In my pursuit of the American Dream, I unconsciously chased the perpetual onward and upward mentality of an inflated puer aeternus. Jung identified the development of the conscious personality, of a strong ego, as the aim of the first half of life. Following this stage, individuation may begin to occur. In this way, the trickster is a powerful force in the integration of the personality. It throws the ego into failure, where it has no choice but to admit defeat. Through its trickery, it “can rescue us from the narcissism that plagues the eternal child” (Shumate, 2021, p. 144).

Jung believed that the key to psychological wholeness is to become aware of rejected parts of ourselves and integrate them into our conscious self. I do not claim to have succeeded in achieving this goal of a unified personality, but I can recognize my progress. Recently I visited my father in Virginia and had the opportunity to look through a box that I had left in his basement when I moved out of my New York apartment a long time ago. One of the items in it was a gold watch that my grandmother had gifted to me before she passed away. I was struck both by this beautiful heirloom with which she honored me and by my unconsciously callous attitude in completely forgetting about it. My father reflected on the watch, excitedly telling me that he had not seen it for decades. His father had given it to his mother for an anniversary, and she proudly wore it on special occasions, a rare token of luxury in his modest upbringing. My heart goes out to the past version of myself who received the gift and thoughtlessly discarded it. Today, the watch is on my wrist. It warms my heart to see how beautifully its gold strap matches my new gold wedding ring.

References

Beebe, J. (2004). Understanding consciousness through the theory of psychological types. In J. Cambray & L. Carter (Eds.), Analytical Psychology: Contemporary perspectives in Jungian analysis (pp. 83-115). Brunner – Routledge.

Jung, C. G. (1921/1976). Psychological Types. CW 6.

Shumate, C. (2021). Projection and personality development via the eight-function model. Routledge.

Von Franz, M.-L. (2013). The inferior function. In M.-L. von Franz & J. Hillman. Lectures on Jung’s typology. Putnam, CT: Spring Publications. (Original work published 1971)

Images

Blackman, C. (n.d.) Divided faces.

Colville, A. (1950). Nude and dummy.

Graves, M. (n.d.). Life cycle of a leaf.

Herbin, A. (1908). Pond and small house.

Redon, O. (n.d.). The masked anemone.

Zabaleta, R. (1957). The Quesada garden.

Images courtesy of wikiart.com

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Sofia Taboada

Sofia Taboada

Sofia Taboada (ENTP) is a doctoral candidate in Jungian & Archetypal psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She worked for 15 years as an executive in marketing and technology companies, helping businesses throughout the world modernize their marketing practices with digital tools, prior to making a pivot into depth psychology. Originally from Venezuela, Sofia speaks Spanish, German, English, and some French. She currently resides in the Netherlands with her husband Ralf, where they are expecting their first child in September 2024.

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