True Power: What Is It and How Can I get Some?

This month I decided to dedicate my newsletter to the subject of Power. It seems appropriate as we’re heading into spring and many of you will be seeing the power of nature come alive in a new and beautiful way very soon. Instead of the harsh power of snow and sleet and cold wind, you’ll look about and see the trees blossoming and the plants flowering and  grass actually springing up here and there. You’ll see the power of life with the coming spring as opposed to the power of destruction you’ve witnessed all winter. So, as we look outside of ourselves we’re also given the opportunity to look inside and ask:

What is true power?

Well, let’s see, we have power bars, power sports drinks we have power yoga, power races, power-ball, power rangers. If someone from another culture wanted to learn about power here, in the good ole U.S.A., they could turn on the television and see 100 shows and news programs about power. Power over, like on the nightly news when one country invades another. Power around, like all those real housewives reality shows that don’t seem all that real. Power through like the info commercials about weight loss or gain thru this powdered sports drink or that 30 minute core exercise. And, of course, power under like when we see those survival shows where one person has to connive and manipulate the others into making mistakes so they can stay on the island, etc, etc. Yep, we have no shortage of power here....but is it real? Will this type of power withstand the true test of happiness? Not likely. I mean you may loose weight or win the lottery or win a fight but will you feel true, sustained power? And, if so, for how long?

There are so very many examples of one country invading another country and overpowering them into submission. Then, invariably the invading country eradicates the indigenous culture. It’s sad and tragic and it happens. Why? Because we still don’t know what true power is and where it comes from. I have worked so often with clients who are in relationships where their power is being drained by their partner; sometimes through physical or emotional abuse, sometimes through manipulation and sometimes through co-dependency. So many times in readings I hear from the persons’ spirit that they need to “stand in their power”. But what does that  truly mean?

Let’s take this concept of true power down to an everyday level for a moment. Maybe this example will help. I had this idea a few years back that I wanted to learn how to play the guitar. I had a picture in my mind about how I would really be great at it and all my friends would come over for dinner and wine and we’d sit around on the floor while I played a song. I was awesome in my vision. I was so talented and everyone really enjoyed me and was in awe of my guitar playing. I was a hit in my own mind!

So, my wonderful partner Abby bought me a beautiful guitar with lessons for Christmas one year. I took guitar lessons with a very cool guy in town and was diligent about practicing. It sounded pretty bad at first but I was encouraged that a song would come to me and soon I’d be playing at those dinner parties I had envisioned. So I kept at it. Learning my notes and contorting my fingers into crazy shapes, trying to “be” my picture. After about 3 months of this my commitment began to wan. My neck hurt from straining to see that my left hand was never complying with what it needed to do to make a true cord. My guitar practicing became less frequent as well until eventually I placed my guitar on it’s stand for good. During this time, a friend of mine was given a guitar and learned to play a song overnight. I was stunned. How? I was stuck still doing cords that sounded really bad. No song in sight for me! To make matters a little bit worse, my partner Abby, one day, sauntered by my guitar sitting on its stand and said, “Hey babe, if you’re not going to play the guitar, do you mind if I do?” I knew the “correct and mature” answer was to say, yes to I did. But I secretly worried that she, too, would learn a song in no time and would not find the guitar hard to play at all. And, well, that’s exactly what happened. Yes, Abby and my friend were playing songs on their guitars at our next dinner party.

I was left with this kind of comical egoic feeling of, “Hey, that was my thing and they took it!” I was surprised at how much I really wanted to identify thru playing that guitar. And how truly invested my ego was in my being a “guitar player”. It was the picture of this identity as a guitar player that was feeding me this false sense of power. And, because my ego was so involved, I forgot, momentarily, to come from my heart and be happy for my nimble-fingered talented friends and loved ones. In this case, true power, for me, was to practice this heart-felt desire for all of us to be happy; starting with myself. For me, happiness was giving myself permission to put that darn guitar down; to forgive my ego for it’s involvement and to love and accept myself for the talents Ido have. Then, it was easy for me to be happy, truly happy, for my friend and my partner when they were able to play songs on their guitars.

Power isn’t about conquering another person or overcoming a task at hand. True power comes through the heart, through acceptance and through compassion; compassion for both yourself and others.  For years I thought I had to “be” a certain way because of my gifts as a psychic. I thought, well I’m privy to certain information from spirit and with that comes a responsibility. So, and this is where I got really tripped up, I thought I had better “act” the part. Because of this view, I began to edit myself in public. I remember being so afraid someone would take a picture of me with a beer in my hand and then put it up on face-book. The voice in my head would say something like, “Well, do you think it’s a good idea for folks to see you imbibing on alcohol? Won’t that diminish your role as a healer in their eyes?” Hmmmm, that one really tormented me for a long time until I finally realized that I was disempowering myself by not allowing me to just be me...whatever that might look like at the time. It was about me stepping into my power thru accepting myself. Yep, I enjoy the occasional beer or glass of wine. Now, the only one with a judgement about that was me. So, that judgement was taking me out of my place of power and moving me into fear.

Are you disempowering yourself through self-judgments or fear?

If so, how do you see yourself doing this? Where in your own life do you limit yourself, or others in your life, by stepping out of your heart and into your ego? This is strong stuff so be easy on yourself when you make these discoveries. This is about loving our darkness....we all carry the dark and the light. So often I’ve tried to ignore my own dark or hide it. But I’ve realized that’s the worst thing I could ever do. My dark is beautiful and, as my Buddhist teachers would say, it’s the fuel for transformation into the light. So, this is about loving and accepting our dark. 

What “dark” aspect of yourself do you need to accept? 

It can be big or small. It doesn’t matter. You know what it is. It’s waiting for your acceptance. Just noticing it will take the power from this dark aspect and put it in your heart where it and you belong. 

And, hey, if you’re drawn to playing a musical instrument, don’t’s worth it!

Happy April and May All Beings Benefit!