Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Becoming a Person of Power - First Principles

It's helpful to know where you are going and it's helpful to have a map to get there.  These principles are like a map in that they offer landmarks for the journey.  They also point us in the direction that will take us to our destination, even if the roads we take are different. I will be highlighting four principles -- the list may not be exhaustive, but it is a great beginning.  Undoubtedly, you will find more as you move through your own journey.  But these four are what I would dare say are common to all empowered people.  Some of them are obviously supportive, while others help us to get out of our own way.  Even those, ultimately, are supportive. They all require both inner and outer work.  And some of them take a lot of work.  Each person is different, so you may find that some are easier for you than they are for others.  What may seem impossible to you may feel tremendously simple to another.  And I will offer another bit of guidance -- some of this stuff is tricky.  You may think you have it down, and then you may also find at times something will trigger something in you that feels more powerful than you are.  When these moments come, take a deep breath and press on.

Being powerful does not mean you are perfect.  Powerful people make mistakes and trip themselves up at times. Powerful people are just that...power-full.  They have the willingness and the intention to discover and to live into their higher selves, and they use the tools at their disposal and their inner drives to keep themselves from collapsing into unhelpful thought patterns and toxic emotions that can undermine them.  They are aware of energy and how powerful energy is.  They understand that they can create their own reality through self-mastery and by directing this powerful energy to create the outcomes they are looking for.  This inner work eventually leads to improved outer circumstances, whatever that may look like.  They understand that expectations can be a trap that can lead to self-destruction and that a willingness to notice what is emerging in the moment is the true indicator of healthy and life-giving self-direction.  They are curious and always listening, always willing to learn.

The first principle of personal power is Awareness of Wound.

Each of us has a deep core-level wound.  And when we are not aware of our wound, we can become triggered around it in ways that undermine and sabotage us. Sometimes our core-level wound controls everything -- how we hear things, how we see things, how we relate to others, whether or not we are willing to be open to learning new things. 

This wounding usually happens to us early in childhood and becomes part of the fabric of our Soul.  When we are children, we have limited understanding about life and about the projections of others, which may be the foundation of this wound.  And since each person is unique, we will have been wounded in some way that is unique to us and to our life experience.

Where this throws us into crisis is how we interact with every person and every situation we meet from then on.  Our wound becomes internalized and an unconscious motivator in all our relationships until we grow up and learn how to get conscious around our wound and its effects.

The wound we carry whispers in our ears constantly, trying to limit us -- especially around opportunity and risk taking.  Its job in our psyche is to keep us safe and in control of our outer circumstances.  But this is illusion -- being controlled by our wound never leads to safety and usually brings us to greater harm.  It knows where we are vulnerable and it is powerful.  Control, also, is an illusion.  The only real control we have is over ourselves.

Psychologist Carl Gustav Jung said, "There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious." 

This kind of consciousness enables us to harness ourselves and to attain thought patterns and emotional control that promote mental and emotional health.

We are complex beings -- we have a physical body, an emotional body, a mental body, and a spiritual body.  These four energies make up the whole person.  They all have to be working in concert for us to be able to master ourselves and to stand in our power.

We need to be able to control our thoughts so that unhelpful thinking patterns do not control us.  We need to be able to control our emotions, which are fed by the ways we think, in order to be able to communicate (and to act) well and effectively.  A Huna Kapua principle reminds us -- energy goes where attention flows.  How we think and what we feel matter.

Awareness around wound is critical to our ability to focus our attention in healthy and empowered ways, unencumbered by the unconscious motivation that derives its energy from an internalized psychological, emotional, or spiritual wound.

Emotional control and healthy thought patterns are the basic human technologies of powerful living, which at its core has to do with being grounded and centered. These technologies of the Soul are powered by spirituality -- however you connect with that.  We will talk about spiritual connection in the next post, for that is the second principle of personal power.

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