Last week I shared this photo on my social media, which prompted me to go a little deeper into the discussion of Power.
First, let’s be clear that we’re talking about personal Power. I’m not discussing the use or abuse of power – that’s not Power with a capital P. That’s power as a tool to impose on others. (Sometimes for “good” and sometimes not for “good.”)
Power with a capital P is very different. It’s the personal Power we all have within us that is activated when we are living in alignment with our soul’s purpose. Some call it being in the flow, but I think it’s more than that. I think it’s the source of flow.
I was recently asked why so many power struggles persist. I likened it to a tug-of-war game. When both parties are constantly pulling on the same rope, trying to claim their place and space, and take as much of the rope as possible, the struggle will persist. This is power as a tool – as in, “who has the most strength or can last the longest?” This is not Power.
- Being in your Power is having the ability to recognize you’re exhausting yourself by engaging in the tug-of-war, and dropping the rope.
- Being in your Power is not picking up the rope in the first place.
- Being in your Power is not watching the rope game and commenting on it.
- Being in your Power is not giving your money or your time to the events that host tug-of-war competitions.
- Being in your Power is standing tall in your own boots, as who you are, living your life in alignment with your core values and your soul’s purpose.
For some this is about being a parent, for others it’s being a doctor, or a writer. For some it’s being an artist, yoga teacher, or an engineer. Whatever your soul is called to do, doing it is being in your Power. Living your life in alignment with who you are is being in your Power. Living in alignment with your core values is being in your Power.
The converse is true, too. When you step out of alignment with who you are and your core values, you are giving away your Power. In that sense, it’s more powerful to be neutral than anything else. And that’s where the picture came from.
I have learned in my own life that neutrality is powerful. It means that I cannot be swayed constantly, like the flag tied in the middle of the tug-of-war rope. It means I am not the flag, but rather I am a tree on the sidelines of the field where the event is being held. I have neither judgment nor investment in the events. I am rooted in who I am, and I live my life with purpose.
(That’s a great mantra by the way: I am rooted in who I am, and I live my life with purpose.)
A tree is a perfect example of standing in your Power. The tree does not judge the rain or the sun. Nor does it pace blame on the snow and ice for damaging its limbs. It stands tall, grows where it can, and draws on the natural resources around it to reinforce its purpose. A tree is neutral and wholly aligned with its nature.
Like the tree, remaining neutral on things outside of your purpose and values is a key to standing in your Power. Staying in alignment with your values and purpose is another key. Your Power is yours. Therefore, it’s your choice whether you choose to stand in it, or give it away.