When I ask most people what power means to them, the first thing that comes to mind is how power has been misused in their life. Stories come out about the poor use of or abuse of power, people speak of being dominated by it or harmed by it. Understandably we tend to associate power with being overpowered.
Everywhere on earth, power has been misused. It has been sought after for the wrong purposes, used to get things without care for the impact it has. We remember very clearly being overpowered because we were not given a choice. We did not welcome or give consent to this kind of power taking over our lives.
This experience of power, however, is a very small expression of the vast possibilities and potentials of power itself. Power can be used in infinite positive and benevolent ways both to manifest positive and far-reaching changes as well as small, vital adjustments in our own lives. Power can be the motor underpinning our personal growth, it dwells inside many of our accomplishments as well as the ways we have faced and overcome challenges.
If our focus remains fixed on power as something that overwhelms or dominates us, we miss the true diversity, abundance and life-changing nature of cultivating our own powers within.
So what is my definition of Power?
Power is an energy, a capacity and a strength that can be used to generate outcomes in ourselves and in the world around us.
Power can exist in any quarter of our life, in our creativity, our intellectual capacities, our relational strengths, our sensitivity, our courage. It can be the raw strength that you draw on to overcome significant childhood traumas, to leave difficult situations, to stand up for people you love, or causes that you love.
Power gives you the capacity to create, and it supports you to create change.
You get to decide what change you would like that to be.
Power can also be used to maintain the status quo – that might be an important use – to hold your ground in difficult circumstances. To keep showing up. This is a use of inner power.
So, when we open our mind and heart to power, we discover we have a vast array of unnamed, unrecognized and unclaimed powers within us.
In my work, one of the things I am conscious of doing is bringing people into a relationship with their power – whether in individual sessions or with students in my programs. I am looking for their powers, their strengths and capacities, and the gifts they have that they do not recognize.
It is my role to bring them into their relationship with this power, to use it to get through fears they have so that they can enjoy it, rest in its benefits and draw on it as a resource to make changes in their lives, chase their dreams and make them come true.
This is especially important when I work with people overcoming profound trauma, challenges, and setbacks. The struggle to overcome these lived experiences actually builds a power inside us and simultaneously asks us to find hidden powers in order to keep going.
An example that comes to mind is Peter: when he first came to see me he was truly devastated and heartbroken after a difficult and traumatic divorce from a partner who was determined to take his children away. While he had a lot of social power in the workplace and financially, we needed to find strengths and power to help him through a series of protracted difficulties and to help him to build a new life.
In pulling apart the trauma, he found he had a deep, spiritual nature and strength that was not known. Spiritual power overall is often the most neglected and marginalized. Yet it rested as a core driver in his life, but had not been unfolded or identified with. This power could not be accessed, could not be there for him without him claiming it. Through deep inner work, surrender and exploration he met and was able to own the powerful soulful calling that underpinned his life, and as a man, could rest in the profound vulnerability of his soul and come into alignment with it. He came home to his deepest nature while working on his pain. He began to live a life that was rooted in the power of his soul. This is spiritual power.
This then sustained and guided him. It gave him the resilience to meet whatever came at him and rise above it.
Today he is happily remarried, in a whole new life, in a loving relationship to all his children, and generously and well-known to be a wise, soulful and loving guide to those around him. He became a soulful leader. He can lean into this most important power, a spiritual power, a soul power, bringing him fulfillment and a sense of home as well as success in the world.
Power then, is not easily reduced to a simple definition. It has as many versions as there are individuals. Power is unique in how it meets the needs we have for its presence. Learning together about the powers that we have is surprising, relieving and revitalizing.
What could be possible for you in your own inner relationship and sense of well-being? What might be possible in your self-expression in the world?
What do you imagine could happen in your life if you claimed your unknown powers too?
Join me in a life-changing exploration of your own power skills, beginning in March, 2023.
The free Awakening To Your Power Masterclass will be on March 16. See you!