Empowerment and personal power are inextricably linked.
Personal power is the strength, confidence, and competence we gradually acquire in the course of our development. It’s a natural and healthy way to connect to love, satisfaction and meaning in our interpersonal universe. Personal power fuels self-realization and the transcendent goals in life. It’s the power behind purpose, vision, positive personal qualities, and our particular service to the world.
The outer path we take is public knowledge, but the path with heart is an inner one. The two come together when who we are that is seen in the world coincides with who we deeply are.
— Jean Shinoda Bolen
Unless personal power is claimed, developed and wielded appropriately, empowerment will be elusive. Empowerment is where we want to be; it’s the power that contains personal power. Once we settle in it, there are still uses for personal power because it’s the juice that powers our daily living. Empowerment is the goal, personal power is its building block and keeps flowing to make the whole process sustainable.
Personal power isn’t a given. Some of it develops as a natural part of human growth and new experiences as we go through the phases of life. Left there, it’s inconsistent and unreliable. It has to be consciously cultivated and owned by the individual. Otherwise it’s too easy to give away, it frays, depletes and disintegrates.
Any kind of power needs a source and because its nature is to be used, it needs ways to be replenished. Power needs efficiency, consistency and steady output. Power has systemic requirements.
In the human system power is vital to all parts of the system. It’s involved in our biology, psychology and spirituality. Since it’s needed everywhere, it’s already a precious resource with no margin for waste. Yet we squander personal power, perhaps because it’s hard to identify and feel.
Personal power is nonphysical, so it needs special understanding to track it. Where it’s most easy to track is probably in the psyche because human feelings can be used as biofeedback. Next time you come out of a less-than-desirable interaction with someone, stop and feel your midsection.
If you have a sinking feeling there, or fluttering, or a burning sensation, tightness, even a boiling over then personal power has been compromised.
The solar plexus is the center of personal power in the human system. It’s located between the base of the sternum (breastbone) and the navel. It’s also the seat of self-worth and self-belief.
Lack of self-confidence and self-worth can result from affection being withheld, too much criticism or rejection, being unappreciated. It becomes too easy to be the victim. Your voice disappears and you’re unable to assert yourself.
Here are some ways to counteract power leaks in the human system and restore this vital resource:
Movement: Moving the body generates endorphins, those juicy feel-good neurotransmitters. A key psychological benefit of regular physical activity is improved self-esteem.
Nutrition: Because the body needs energy, a lot of power goes to its functioning. Must eat better, period. Food with low nutritional value is not only unhealthy, it saps energy in a big way.
Keywords: The solar plexus relates to personal power, will and vitality. Meditate on each of these words and what they represent. Then free associate in journaling/writing, arts and crafts, or dance/movement.
When personal power is intact it becomes a foundation for empowerment. We must be psychologically and spiritually empowered to optimize our lifetime for wellness, happiness and soul development. In the psyche empowerment is about honoring our individuality with a healthy dose of worth and esteem, being comfortable speaking up in our unique voice, and having good boundaries that don’t compromise our integrity.
Psychological empowerment has to be stable before spiritual empowerment can part its gifts to us. To be spiritually empowered means that we’ve interacted with a reality other than the material and have merged enough with it to know that it’s meaningful, transformative and life-sustaining. This takes time. It’s certainly not available to dabblers.
The personality has goals. The soul has purpose. Goals require less power. Purpose needs soul force. Once the solar plexus is activated, we’re able to take action. We act in the world for worldly goals, but it’s when we launch our purpose in the world that we’re truly empowered. It takes will to get out of bed in the morning. Will is part of personal power, which is used for daily tasks as well as more complex dynamics. However, will is manifest in its highest form when it’s attached to realizing purpose.
Will is the conscious direction of soul power and life energy to fulfilling our purpose on the planet. Will guides and harnesses personal power towards empowerment. The right application of will brings us out of automatic patterns to conscious choices. This gives our life a new dimension, a larger arc, a transcendence that manifests both today and in the timeless.
Otherwise life’s just a string of mundane markers.
Having conscious will at our disposal to initiate right action, is very different than following actions we’re asked to take with unconscious will. Being conscious means being awake. To have self-determination just in daily life means to assert our will. In more significant contexts than daily living, an awakened will is needed to bring purpose to fruition.
Carrying a thought with dynamic will power means holding to it until that thought pattern develops dynamic force. When a thought is made dynamic by will force, it can manifest according to the mental blueprint you have created.
— Paramahansa Yogananda
Living this way boosts vitality and claiming personal power in everyday ways establishes a reservoir of vitality. Health and wellness are dependent on strong vitality which also fortifies immunity. Will and vitality are connected—vitality increases mental vigor which is part of the ability to apply will steadily through life.
Will is the operator of the switch that controls the flow of energy into the body. — Paramahansa Yogananda
To live an empowered life involves the body, the mind and the soul. The body is the vehicle through which purpose is carried out in the world. Mind is the generator of ideas, inspiration, determination, follow-through, and will power. Soul infuses the whole process with its power and divine connection.
The body has to be healthy or it can’t sustain the work required. The mind has to be clean and clear or it chases false goals. The soul has to be awakened in the individual’s consciousness and embodied in the day to day so their lifetime can be optimized.
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
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