What if power, like love, was limitless? I suspect that true power is.
A few weeks ago I started to explore my relationship with power. I found myself writing in a string-of-consciousness approach:
What do I do with my power?
Try to get people to do things? Try to get money? Take resources – share/not share.
Force my way through people who are obstacles. Yes, I’ve done that, I still catch myself sometimes.
I separate and bring together. (Within myself as much as outside of myself and with people).
Not say what I want/need in case I don’t get it – store energy and keep power close so I don’t lose it or spend it all too soon – I might need it later and not have any left (lack).
Is expression power?
Or a way of controlling power (exertion or not).
Powerless? Do I ever feel powerless or is it really a fear of expressing empowerment? I don’t think I’m powerless. (Though this is new, I used to believe I was).
Are power and control the same thing? Or have I confused them?
What is the power of letting go? Loss of control not happening? More freedom.
In my current apprenticeship in Ireland, we’re exploring different enemies and their corresponding virtues. The enemies of Power, Fear, Old Age, Clarity and Death.
As I continued moving along the stream of my consciousness I started to see that I think my enemy of power is hiding it and hiding in it. Keeping it all for myself by not saying what I need for fear that moment of power seeking will cause others to leave me – or worse.
I continued to explore:
Keeping my power hidden to stay safe and because I haven’t know what to do with it. The system of education didn’t really help with this sort of true power. It was more about competing and having the smarts in order to obtain the most. Learning how to live in lack – as history tells us to.
Except that’s no longer working. Not for me.
Did it ever work?
I’m learning I’m quite a powerful being. Not in a powerful take over the world kind of way. I’m still not really sure what this power is and I’m starting to sense it. I’m starting to sense that it’s always been there and it was forced underground.
The power itself hasn’t felt safe or steady because it’s actually so big and I’ve only really learned how to put a lid on it. Quash it. Keep it quiet.
I try to limit it, control it, which just leads to controlling everything around me when my will wants something to happen. At the same time fear expressing emotions or needs or what I can really do. Who I can really be. The labels here might be healer, witch, or other names you associate with that kind of energy. It’s always been there and yet… My stream of consciousness continued:
Is being what I am power?
Is that why they were so afraid?
And now I’m afraid of them –
I’m afraid then only of their fears of me.
That realization struck a chord.
Is that why I seek acceptance? Wanting to know they don’t fear me?
If they don’t fear me then I can be who I am without limiting my power.
I give up my power to appease their fear.
Today I went to Prospect Park where they have placed hundreds of bright yellow pinwheels in what used to be the old Rose Garden. This place always felt sacred to me – ancient in some way. I was always drawn to it at least to wander through – and could often feel my solar plexus tense when I entered, my throat close. At the same time I loved the beauty of the area, despite the constriction I felt when entering it.
Almost a year ago today I had a deep experience where I realized the seeds of what is emerging now. Last year I practiced in that isolated space, and let myself be witnessed even though I felt terrified. I stepped into my fear of persecution and explored what it felt like to breathe out fear.
To transform it.
Today, I happened upon this place, filled with golden wheels and instantly realized I was standing in a field of spinning third chakra wheels! Talk about a powerful force.
The third chakra in the yoga system relates to power, among other things. Stoking the fire. Building and sustaining. Keeping that fire of transformation burning.
Power to me isn’t about having things. It isn’t about making money or being “successful”. It isn’t about exerting will over others – though that is a trait that is hard-learned for me and continues to dissolve.
Power for me might mean living life without constant fear of judgment and what that will result in. Power for me might be to understand how to let my gifts or abilities be no matter what other people fear. No matter how much exclusion or the belief of persecution feels painful. Power for me might mean to feel that pain and recognize that it is only pain, not something that will truly harm me. To no longer deny that nature which simply is.
To let myself become as powerful as I already am so that I can help others realize they have power too.
To me, true empowerment is seeing what gifts another has and allowing them to fully step into their gifts, as they do for you. Sometimes by witnessing and sometimes through guiding. Without judgment or fear. Without taking over. Without exerting will over another.
In order to help allow others to be gifted, I need to ensure my own power flows without limit. Without holding on or hiding. I need to continue to heal my own distorted way of working with power and way of viewing myself.
To understand that we are all powerful beings. It’s not just me.
We are all powerful, no matter our size or shape or kind of being. True nature is unlimited and doesn’t my power doesn’t diminish and isn’t threatened by allowing others to be powerful too. Nothing is taken away. I’m not taken away.
To me, when that third chakra wheel is shiny and bright – when it’s spinning in all dimensions and is healthy and not tipped upside down or squashed or deflated, it beams. It beams out and across all other aspects of being. It beams and it feels so good!
That kind of power can feel fulfilling. Bright. Non-threatening. Fear-less.
Seeing this space in the park that used to bring a mix of fear and aspiration to me absolutely overflowing with third chakra energy let me reclaim something within myself. As though this part of the land needs to have more power generated. Through work many people have done there over the years without notice or knowing, this area has been quietly healing. It’s like the area is overflowing with power now. Becoming a stronger field of being. Brighter. Allowing more power to move through and sharing that power with everyone.
That power without fear can create so much beauty.
It’s infinite. Abundant. True power, like love, doesn’t need to be kept in a box for fear of using it or losing it. For feeling battered by it or exposed to the bullying behavior that limited power can create. Or for holding it over others to force will.
It flows, unlimited. When individual power flows, we all rise together.
I didn’t realize when I set out today to see the pinwheels that I had been there one year prior. A year ago my practice there helped me “start to not be trapped”. Now I can see it’s also about abundance, not fear of lack. Let’s put those powerful third chakra wheels ALL over the place! Let the power and energy flow. It’s not to be limited.
In tantra yoga philosophy there is an aim to allow all aspects of self to become fully realized. I see now that this includes power. This includes that third chakra that I tend to shy away from. The fire that needs to be there daily, not just when I feel like accomplishing something for some end purpose or goal and not to force power or will over others when that center is weakened. My power cannot remain hidden under lock and key. I cannot remain weak and hiding in false powerlessness. Certainly not for fear of what others may say or do.
Standing in that reclaimed place in the park today helped me understand that it’s time to reclaim my power.