Posted by: Circle of Grace Member, Shannon Paige Schneider
My mother would laugh at me as a child and marvel at my creativity with language. I would sometimes hear words as I heard them and offer definitions that I felt made contextual sense. I would make words and their definitions my own.
“Empowerment” was one of those words. I remember hearing it and in the conversation it seemed clear to me that the power in question was something that made a person feel good on the INSIDE. I began to use the four-syllable word in the everyday, feeling really, REALLY, really big in my little boots.
Only, I was saying, “IN-powerment.”
My mom asked me to qualify it once. She cocked her head to one side and said, “You know, I think you are right.” So she did not correct me. In fact, she NEVER let on at all. I do not actually remember who DID finally point out the snafu but it kind of stuck with me my whole life and I think about it every once in a while when I feel small, contracted, or a little uninspired.
Who does NOT like to be powered on the inside? Who does not like to feel lit up and in the seat of solid decisions and following truth, joy, inspiration, and intuition?
Everyone can operate from a sense of internal power. This is actually the sustainable state. It is like GREENING one’s decisions and life-lived patterns. When we live without this, our energy falls, we push ourselves to the limit and burnout, exhaustion, fatigue, and depression are not far behind.
Power is something very different from force, though both can be internalized and can find a strong presence in the day-to-day. We can force ourselves to sit in front of a situation and take it in. We can force ourselves to show up in a situation where we are diminished or told we are not enough, screwed up, somehow not quite right. We can force ourselves to act as though we feel a certain way to attain a certain outcome. We can force a decision to feel right and righteous. We can simply force for the sake of force.
OR, we can soften and listen to the questions we are asking inside. We can soften and listen to the vibrations of grace we are answering to ourselves on the inside. When we soften and tap into the way life and love and energy moves through us, we realize that it is our nature to live in connection to an expanding universe. In lining up to that pulse of expansion, remembrance and placing ourselves in tandem to universal embrace, we too power up from the inside.
We find ourselves IN-powered.
When IN-powered, we are much less likely to make a decision for a small outcome. When IN-powered we don’t really feel the need to push a single agenda. When IN-powered, we look for grace, goodness, and a win-win in service to the expansion of the universe herself. When we live in a state of IN-powerment, there is less fear, there is more creativity and there are rows and rows and rows of more love blossoms blooming. When we are IN-powered, we give unconscious permission for others to do and live the same.
So the exercise is to sit, to soften, to listen, to re-spond rather than re-act and therein lies the work of a lifetime. However, the power certainly outweighs any sense of force, leverage, or sense of unsustainable lack.
Make a list of all those activities you have in your day that lift you up. Make a list of all those people in your life who make you feel held, safe, and present. Do you realize that these people, places, things all live in the vibration of you, your memory, your body, your capacity to connect? At ANY one time, you, me, we can turn within and see them, feel them, know that they are part of us from the inside out. We are, therefore, constantly IN-powered by those we love.
Here’s to living IN-powered.
Shan, as she is known to her students and friends, is the founder and muse of om time. She is an activist, an eternal optimist, and a lover of the flow of grace within everyone. Shannon has been featured in Alternative Health Magazine and Yoga International. She leads weekly classes in Boulder and Denver, as well as workshops, intensives, teacher trainings and retreats nationally and internationally.
Shannon will be teaching a Zobha-sponsored community class along with fellow Circle of Grace member, Coral Brown, at the Yoga Journal Boston Conference on April 10, 2010 from 1-2PM. For more information on the community class, see our events page - http://www.zobha.com/t-events.aspx