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Hey, Vampire Slayer -- Who's Your "Watcher"?

I was watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer* one day, like you do, and I thought, "Wow. I wish I had a Watcher."

According to the Buffy Wiki, a Watcher is:
a member of the Watchers Council, devoted to tracking and combating malevolent supernatural entities (and particularly vampires), primarily by locating individuals with the talents required to fight such beings and win. More specifically, Watchers were assigned to train and guide Slayers, girls that were part of a succession of mystically powered young women who were destined to face the forces of darkness.
And then, quick as a vampire turns to dust when stabbed with a wooden stake, I realized, "Ohmygosh, I TOTALLY have a Watcher."

My Watcher is named Ken, and he's an expert in Bowen Systems Theory, and he coaches me, teaching me about the vampires I encounter, and drilling me in how to slay them.

No, the Vampires aren't people around me! 

Far from it. The Vampires are my own responses to anxiety. How do I show up as the person I want to be, rather than reacting to events around me? How do I identify my guiding principles and practice being led by them? How do I identify the forces of anxiety that emerge in systems and help others to slay their own vampires?

I am a huge proponent of having a Watcher. Maybe yours is a systems coach, or a spiritual director, or a therapist. But it's a person with some expertise who partners with you to help you become the best You you can be. And holds you accountable for doing your own work.

It's kind of funny. At the beginning of every Buffy episode, a voice intones, In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the slayer. But the whole show is a refutation of that. Buffy has friends and a Watcher to make sure she doesn't stand alone.

We've all got big things to do, slaying monsters and building Beloved Community.

Don't try to go it alone.

*The tv show, not the movie. But you really shouldn't have to ask.


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