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The Proper Use of Power

In the reductionist thinking of the mind, power is many things. It is a tool or a weapon, a feeling or a knowing, something within and outside of us. Acknowledging the role of #power is to recognize the effects of raw #creativity. It starts with #instinct, a sense of compulsion to do something with our body, then objects, and later with people. As we learn what it is and how to use it, the hierarchy of power encodes itself in the heart and mind as willpower, self-empowerment, power in #authority outside of us, #PowerStruggles, collaborative power in connection and relationship, the power to create or transform, and the power to manipulate or destroy. Power is a raw experience channeled through intention to become a #ForceOfNature. This force affects our sense of self and our lives in every way.

When we activate a sense of power, it is further defined by our will to use it as a #tool or a #weapon. The experience of power and the active force of it may be hard or soft in one’s applications. #Knowing when to hold one’s ground, circulating power within, and when to direct that power outward is an #EssentialLesson in the journey of life. Circumstances arise that require one or both ways of #ManagingPower and the outcomes that result reveal to us whether our #intentions have succeeded. #Outcomes also show how the use of power was lacking in delivery for effect and if one’s perception of power has caused a backlash in some way. #Reflecting on these outcomes can improve precision through problem-solving and #discernment in order to apply creative #solutions for restoring a #balance of power. Learning the proper use of power is essential to affect and create more fulfilling outcomes in one’s endeavors in the world and one’s perception of #sustainable #empowerment in the face of things beyond their control. Elders, gurus, spiritual teachers, and acclaimed thought influencers consistently speak on the need to understand the proper use of power. This is achieved through applied #pragmatism.

Accepting what an individual has the #PowerToChange within oneself to affect change in their #PersonalNarrative and in the external world is a teaching in pragmatism. Harnessing one’s power for the good of self and the good of others, is another. Often, power struggles arise due to the inability of a person to see the perspective of the other and sustain #receptivity to mutual solutions that empower both individuals or groups. Emotional self-absorption, irrational mindsets lacking acuity and focus, and assertions of power to portray or embed an authoritative role are all factors that instigate #PowerStruggles. This may occur within the mind of an individual or between individuals or groups. The focus on preferred outcomes or a sense of resolve must be maintained or power loss through the scatter of competing emotions and mental rationale will inevitably occur. Power #dynamics are based on give and take. #Acknowledging what one has to give without depleting their own sense of foundational empowerment is important when assessing the balance of #GiveAndTake in an #argument, #relationship, or creative endeavor. Understanding that we each have different capacities to carry and deliver power is also an important part of #evaluating power dynamics. However, an individual’s current capacity for power does not limit them from the #expansion of that capacity in the journey of #learning how to nourish and work with their own power.

When safeguarding one’s sense of power, the discernment of wants and needs, perceptions of essential #values, and factors that reduce a sense of #integrity with self must be evaluated. When a feeling of depletion or exhaustion occurs, it is necessary to reflect and tend to empowerment within through nourishing outlets or #practices. These may include exercise, time in nature, shared time with uplifting and supportive people, researching other perspectives that #inspire, tending to bodily needs with #cleansing practices and power foods. #Reclaiming one’s power when it feels taken or #depleted by others or a creative endeavor, requires an individual to set #boundaries, know when to say “no”, and to discontinue a relationship or endeavor if a fulfilling flow of give and take is denied or unable to be reached. Most often, #ReclaimingPower requires that an individual first honor boundaries and needs within self, in order to uphold them with others. This is imperative to learn for those often stuck in co-dependent, neglectful, or abusive #relationships and for individuals who have a history of feeling like a doormat for others, a victim, or #unacknowledged for their merits, #offerings, and #strengths. If an individual denies the opportunities to cultivate power within, they will remain in victim and childlike roles without #SelfAuthority, #recognition, and #autonomy. This will perpetuate the #attraction of relationships with others that control, abuse, or neglect an individual, compounding their perceptions of weakness, helplessness, and foolishness. This pattern eventually generates the persona of a “hungry soul” seeking to claim power from others for self through the same #ego tactics of condescension and intimidation for #control, #abuse, and #neglect.

Power is life force. It bestows a sense of vitality in one’s daily experience and relationships. To be alive is to have the capacity to carry and utilize power. #Power exists within. The power outside oneself exists in other beings and natural elements that manifest in the earth and universe. Being a #witness for how others use their power, in order to #RespondEffectively with your own is how one maintains self-authority and refrains from depleting power struggles. “Know when to hold’em, fold’em, or play’em” is effectively learned through acknowledging others #capacity to hold, utilize, and share power as well as the discernment of context and circumstance when evaluating how to wield one’s own power. #Honorable transparency, compassionate communication, and trusting in one’s resilience with an open mind and an open heart, are the skills that may be #cultivated by wielding one’s power with intention and mindful awareness. #MindfulAwareness challenges one’s perceptions to seek pragmatic view-points, in order to learn when to apply one’s power inwardly or outwardly. Distinguishing how one’s perceptions serve the ego or the soul of the authentic self, further refines the raw power one carries and cultivates.

The more an individual defines and utilizes their power with confidence in self-authority, the more #challenges may arise from others who seek to gain or affect that power for themselves. This is especially true for those who are in situations and relationships with “#HungrySouls” or a significant #imbalance of power. These challenges to an individual’s power will attempt to test it, muddle it, or take it. When this occurs, an individual that has come to understand the nature of power and the proper use of power will acknowledge the #illusion these challenges present and overcome any fear of losing their own power of self-authority or giving up power that would damage their #integrity with self. To be clear, foregoing the opportunity to #assert one’s power with others is not the act of #giving up power if an individual is asserting that power within themselves for an intentional outcome. This is relative to the #balance of power perceived when a #struggle initiates the need for #choice in the proper use of power.

Hard power and soft power are both useful and have #TradeOffs for the #outcomes one seeks. Pushing one’s need over another’s is the use of #HardPower. Choosing a firm boundary with another attempting to intimidate and control you is also hard power. Soft power is wielded through vocalization or quiet acceptance of another’s position, in contrast to your own without pushing arguments about that difference. #SoftPower may also be an active choice to go along with someone’s request when it doesn’t challenge an individual’s integrity and does not give up an essential need perceived by the ego or the soul. All individuals have their own path of discovery to walk, in order to understand their own power and how to apply it. The way one individual applies soft or hard power may be very different than another. Establishing the #intention for #MutualResolve and #honoring the integrity of all involved will influence the #CreativeCapacity for all individuals to balance a perceived power dynamic, relative to the circumstances. #SharingPower means #negotiating a path to fulfill the primary #needs of those involved. The more we, as a collective, align with the deeper #needs of the ego self and the soul beyond the superficial layers of impulse and egoic #desires, the more profound the wielding of power may become.

When life demands instigate internal or external #conflict, default #behaviors, unhealthy compensatory #habits, and mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual #fatigue may occur. The more demands at one time, the more likely these will occur in combination or totality. This is when power within self may feel #compromised or waning in #sustainability. It is also when the capacity of one’s power can be expanded and wielded in new innovative ways. The seed of power exists within and will always have the #PowerToGrow, no matter how depleted one believes they are. It is belief that structures an individual’s capacity and belief that effects one’s #endurance. “Nothing can happen to me that is bigger than I am” may be interpreted as “Anything that happens to me is within my capacity to find a creative way to resolve.” Belief in oneself and honoring one’s power is essential to endure the challenges of life experiences. To honor one’s power, an individual must have #SelfLove and #SelfRespect. They must be able to reflect and discern the origins of their intentions and desires that lead to their behaviors. One must be able to embrace #accountability and realize the power within self to choose effectively for the soul’s #fulfillment, in #balance with basic needs and egoic desires. Every #choice has trade-offs. Discernment of the most valuable trade-offs is essential to feeling empowered by a choice. This is how an individual actualizes the authentic self and cultivates the proper use of power through life experience.

~Focus on the seed of power within you to harness innate potential. Cultivate mindfulness and connection to the authentic self and nourish discernment for the balance of power in times of conflict. Embody confidence in your capacity to expand and share empowerment with others through choice. ~

Excerpt From the Writings of Julie Hightman

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