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Distillation no. 3 of the 3 Ps of personal growth series. Cracking the sweet shell of power with the back of a spoon. 

Power: The Hidden Pervasive Force

Power.
 
What images come up when you think of this word?
 
For me, I see despot politicians, wars, and abuse. I have always harbored a distaste for this word, one associated with a taking over, a forceful subsuming of something. So I never really looked into it or thought it was a practical doorway into my growth.
 
But it all began to change when I was catching up with a dear friend and she mentioned this word. I couldn’t stop reflecting on it afterwards. It felt like she had given me a key that I needed to search the lock for. My heart was telling me to press on.

The Journal

Through the next weeks, this word sat on my desk like a firefly in a jar. One night, as I was pressing my face against its glass, something dawned on me. I noticed how there was a difference between Power, the one that shouts from podiums, and power, the one that’s silent.
 
Today, I’d like to talk about its lower case sibling, power, because I now see that it is the hidden force shaping our lives. When we aren’t aware of this force, our lives can easily lose momentum and get stuck.

“Step into your power”- this is often a phrase that comes up in the personal growth world. To be honest, it’s one that has always sounded a bit cheesy to me. And, what does it mean, exactly, to “step into your power?” How do you do that?
 
The meaning of this phrase didn’t reveal itself until I stumbled into another word- sovereignty. For me, these two words are intertwined, like two roots of a tree. To understand power and its practical implications, it's helpful to first understand the word sovereign.
 
Turns out, Wikipedia provided the most useful definition:
 
Sovereignty | the defining authority within individual consciousness, social construct, or territory.
 
Sovereign | the state of having sovereignty, possessing supreme or ultimate power.
 
In other words, you are a sovereign being if you possess the authority and agency to direct your life.
 

Power is the force that grounds sovereignty. It’s the force that allows you to hold and take ownership of your life.

You may be thinking: “Well, of course I am a sovereign being. I am the definitive authority of my life.” But let’s take a deeper look. I find that we undermine our own sovereignty more often than not by giving away or leaking our power.
 
Such as:

  • Outsourcing your decisions to external agents
  • Following misaligned scripts
  • Not grieving a past phase or old story
  • Filling others’ cups before your own
  • Saying yes when you wanted to say no
  • Doing too many things at once
  • Comparing yourself
  • Scrolling listlessly
  • Procrastinating
  • Constricting from scarcity
  • Not communicating your needs
  • Holding resentment
  • Burning out

What do these actions all do?
 
They deplete your power, the force of the desired flow in your life. In this sense, power can be seen as the strength of the current carrying you where you want to go. 
 

Often, when the life well runs dry, we believe there’s no water running through. We believe we’re in a rut or facing a block. From a power perspective, though, there can be an abundance of water (hint: there usually is)- there are just too many leaks. 
 
In the personal growth market, the solutions for dry spells usually come in the form of adding more energy. Power offers us another kind of remedy: sealing the fissures. 
 
These are two very different processes. 
 
So if you're scratching your head, wondering why your life still feels stagnant after all the efforts and vision boards, take a look at your power. Where is it going?
 
Here's another reason why power is important to understand: 
 
Like rain drops that fall on a fire, the more we give away our power, the more the core generating this power begins to collapse. The noise to signal ratio increases. We then walk this earth in constant doubt, unable to move forward in a clear simple fashion. 
 
So power is not just a force that belongs in politics; it's one that's pivotal in shaping our everyday life. 

So, how do you plug up these power leaks then? How do you step into your power? 
 
I see two necessary steps:
Root work to know yourself and stand back on your native ground aka your truth.
 
A practical and energetic holding of this native ground aka your boundaries.
To go into these in-depth would take several weeks, so I will just give an overview here.

What do I mean by root work?
 
In order to reclaim your power, it’s important that you live life according to your own truth, not someone else’s. In other words, you have to build your life on land you own, not on “rented” land.
 
This doesn’t mean you don’t compromise, of course, but it does mean that you make decisions that are in accordance with your core values and authentic self. 
 
By authentic self, I don't mean your personality. I mean your essential self behind all the masks and conditioning. 
 
Because we have grown in a society that doesn’t value our uniqueness, we have to shed all the false ways and masks we have adopted to fit into its mold. We must reclaim those parts we have disowned.
 
So, this first step into power doesn't require adding anything. It's more of a subtracting that involves remembering, shedding, and unlearning.

Now let’s address the second ingredient of true sovereignty and power: boundaries.
 
Even when you reroot your life in your truth, there has to be an upholding of that rootedness. 
 
This looks like saying no to things that do not resonate with your truth. Saying yes to things that do, even if they don't match your preconceived notions. Feeling so connected with your truth that it permeates your tissues.
 
You know that instance when someone walks into a room and you just feel the strength of their presence? Like nothing can topple their integrity with themselves? That is magnetism grounded on silent power. No puffed chests required. 
 
While boundaries are usually conceived in relation to others, let's not forget the ones we need to uphold with ourselves. In other words, stepping into your power involves discipline. For me, this looks like working on one project at a time to limiting my social media hours. 
 
Anything that you feel is depleting the flow of your life- that’s a good sign there needs to be a boundary there. Even a river needs its banks.

So there you have it. My fresh take on power, and how this silent force shapes our lives. I share this not as someone who has figured it out, but as a fellow human who is also patching up her leaks and marveling at the light they're letting in. 

Thank you all for receiving this series on the 3Ps of personal growth. I know they are not the popular opinion, but they are my truth for now. I hope they have carved deep ravines of insight for you.
 
Sending fireflies, 
Dandan 
 
PS: If you’d like a guided systematic process for this root work, which I believe is essential to true power and sovereignty, check out my Unravel program, which begins March 30th. This is the most effective and efficient path I have designed to bring you back home to your truth, distilled from over a decade of exploration. 
 
“Unravel is the biggest catharsis of one's life.”
-Josefa Fox
 
“Unravel is not a course. It's a whole new way of being in myself and experiencing life."
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Wave from Kanagawa by Hokusai

Depiction of sovereignty from
Thomas Hobbes' “The Leviathan"

Sovereignty & power entwined like these 2,000 year old lover trees from Alishan, Taiwan

The Silent power

An Unexpected
Accomplice

What Is Power Then?

Are You A Sovereign Being?

Why is This Important?

Step 1: Root Work

Step 2: Boundaries

Reclaiming Your Power

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