Do you see a bully?
Stand up to bullies.
Humans are profoundly social. Woven through the tapestry of our relationships are several major threads. One of these is power. The only question is, do we use it for good or ill?
The abuse of power can be called many things, including intimidation, fraud, discrimination, and tyranny. I’ll use a term that’s down-to-earth: bullying.
Bullies are unfortunately common. Throughout history and right now today, from homes and schoolyards to the halls of power, they create a vast amount of human suffering. What can we do?
“Commitment creates intention, and intention makes a desire worthy of manifestation.”
When you elevate and prioritize a goal or desire, you dedicate your intelligence and power to it. And when you bring your intelligence and power to bear on a goal, it comes into being.
I offer you the following five commitments. Allow them to become the foundation that powers your expansion.
#1: Commit to Knowing Your Essential Self
To commit to your Essential Self is to fully employ the power of Divine Intelligence in your life, letting go of the attachments and expectations that cloud its transmission. In truth, you are the Observer of this life. It is grace that is guiding the unfolding of your evolution. Grace powers revelation; grace reveals oneness and your life’s purpose. It is grace that restores full remembrance of your Essential Self. This discovery, this unfolding, this realization, and this revelation is your commitment
Your essential self is vast. it is pure consciousness, universal awareness, and it is the foundation of all expression, creativity, and expansion in this world. It is “you” in your most unadulterated form. You entered this world with this essential innocence and purity, but life’s events have distanced and covered over the core foundation of your being. You have forgotten the essential you.
When you forget, you do something very curious.You experience your mind thinking, your feelings arising, and your body functioning, and you conclude that those aspects of your experience are the totality of who you are. You say, “I’m fat,” “I’m depressed,” “I’m poor, broken, and hopeless,” “I’m angry,” or “I’m stupid,” as if you are the thought, feeling, situation, or body part.
Creating authentic power requires distinguishing love from fear in yourself and choosing love no matter what is happening inside you or what is happening outside. Our evolution now requires us to create authentic power. The coronavirus is teaching us how to do that. The reality of the coronavirus is often lost in the fear of it (including denial). The reality of the coronavirus is that no one is immune to it, and it is extremely contagious. The mortality rate of the coronavirus is much lower than small pox or bubonic plague, yet it is a deadly threat. That reality demands that we bring our fears into our awareness so that we can choose responsibly between our fears on the one hand and love on the other. This is important because not only your health depends upon your choices, but also the health of others.
In other words, the coronavirus is the perfect teacher of responsibility. The coronavirus is contagious days before its symptoms appear in you. You do not know when you become infected! During that time you can infect others without knowing it and without them knowing it (because they do not know when they become infected, either), and they can (will) very quickly infect others and on and on and on and on. These are the things that make the coronavirus very dangerous. It is extremely contagious, everyone can unknowingly infect anyone else, and it can kill you. In other words, if you mindlessly endanger yourself, you mindlessly endanger others. If others recklessly endanger themselves, they recklessly endanger you. To echo Lakota wisdom, the health of one is the health of all, and the illness of one is the illness of all.
Loving mothers know instinctively that when their children are hurting physically or emotionally, what they need is to be gently held with loving arms and soothed with loving words. Those of us who have raised young children know the magic of “kissing it and making it better.”
Discovering the Healing Power of Loving Holding
Years ago, Erika and I discovered the healing power of mothering, and we wrote about it in “Healing Your Aloneness.” What we discovered has now been verified over and over. In his excellent book, “In An Unspoken Voice,” author Peter Levine tells a heartwarming story. When National Guard soldiers were ordered to remove Elian Gonzales – the young boy who became a pawn in a political battle in Florida – from the hands of his Cuban exile cousins living in Miami, they trained a female federal agent to caringly take the boy from the cousins and angry onlookers. Knowing he would be extremely frightened, and not wanting to further traumatize him…
“The agent held him firmly enough to not be ripped away by the angry mob, yet gently enough for her embrace to match the words she calmly recited in Spanish,”Elian, this may seem scary right now, but it soon will be better. We’re taking you to your papa…You will not be taken back to Cuba [which was true for the time being]…You will not be put on a boat again [he had been brought to Miami on a treacherous boat ride]…You are with people who care for you and are going to take care of you.’” p.265
As she rocked him gently and spoke soothingly to him, he relaxed.
Levine goes on to describe another dramatic mothering scene that occurred during the East Timor conflict. As dazed and disoriented refugees wandered into a refugee camp, a group of Portuguese nuns greeted and gently held and rocked the children and the most shocked adults, whispering soothing words to them, thawing them out of shock with their love.
Stress is self created, therefore mastering ourselves is truly in our own hands. Stress looms large on a conscious or sub conscious level in our lives. As much as it is the manifestation of our own minds, it is also controlled by it, and we need to understand this.
SOURCE OF POWER
The power of the sub conscious is a power that never sleeps or rests. We can discover it's miraculous effects by plainly stating to the subconscious, before sleeping, a specific required accomplishment. Amazingly, much to your initial surprise, you will see your desire accomplished. Here is a power putting you in touch with the universal forces. Live in the faith and belief, as to the wisdom of the Universe. This is the power that moves the world
When expectations get dashed, we don't see new possibilities unfolding; all we see is the way things should have gone. We don't see what is with all of its positive possibilities; instead we see only the negative . . . what is not. We feel powerless because we've become the captive of a mind resisting itself, an involuntary prisoner of a mind struggling to escape its own negative images. There is nothing but powerlessness in this resistance because by law whatever we resist . . . persists!
The only way to liberate ourselves from the confines of this unconscious relationship is to develop a new awareness of what it costs us to remain in its captivity. We must ask, what kind of "power" is it to resent any moment for unfolding as it does, to wish it didn't happen? Does it change the moment in any positive way? No, it does not. Does our pain prove that our position is right? To the contrary: the more we don't want the moment, the more we lend credibility to that moment as being overpowering. This false perception then strengthens our negative sense of self, as someone being overpowered by it.
In the moment you find yourself stressed, tense, worried, irritable, or angry -- when you find yourself in a negative state, thinking about what to do about your negativity -- all you have to do to break free is realize that you're in the wrong place. Don't think about what to do with where you are. Admit to yourself you're in the wrong place, and then... just don't go there.
You may, at any moment that you wish, become aware of yourself sufficiently enough to know where you are inwardly. When you find yourself living a resentment over again, all you have to do is see that you're surrounded by thoughts and feelings that were produced by your resistance to a remembered event. That's all you have to do. Who made you remember what you now wish hadn't happened to you? Who made you picture the person you resent? Who brought up the failure from your past? Who did any of that in the moment you're sitting by yourself, or driving in your car, or eating your cup of coffee.
Any seemingly scary condition in your life, whatever it may be, is not the real problem. It’s your reaction to it that has you shaking. Which is why, if you’ll become truly conscious of a fearful condition instead of afraid of it, you’ll change forever your relationship with fear.
Being conscious of your fear empowers you to interact with it in an entirely new way. This new inner relationship gives you the power to be awake to fear's scary influences, instead of being their unconscious slave. And as each day you discover something new about the shaky nature of your own fearful reactions, they lose their power over you. Why? You see them for what they have always been: unintelligent, mechanical forces.
To be consciously afraid means that you know you are frightened. You feel it, but at the same time you know that these very fears, as real as they may seem, are not you.
Fear is really nothing other than a self-limiting reaction that we’ve always mistaken for a shield of self-protection. It’s time to let it go, which you can do anytime you want. Here’s how: Dare to proceed, even while being afraid.
Every journey of genuine self-discovery, and the subsequent changes this process produces in us, must begin somewhere. We begin our journey with a great but unrealized truth: within each of us resides a power that can change the whole world. It’s true; we each have a secret character hidden away in us that is created for just the alchemical purpose of transforming any dark influence into a beneficial force. And yet, as appealing as the idea of such a power may sound to us, to take conscious possession of its strength is not that simple.
Becoming an instrument of this higher power takes more than merely wishing for its entrance into our life. To realize such a viable wisdom requires action in the Now. So let us be clear: we are created with everything that we need to transform and transcend the shadows of fear, regrets, and resentments that prowl the corridors of our sleeping consciousness. And when these secret seeds of conflict have been revealed and released, we are as well, for then nothing negative remains within us to goad us into acting against ourselves. Multiply this possibility by billions of beings and gone are the mindless wars and all the selfish acts of socially accepted gluttony.
Perhaps you are wondering, what is this great power entrusted to us by which we may overcome all of our interior adversaries? Here is the answer:
Each of us is created to be the Light of the world.
Within each of us resides a nascent Light born into this world with us. We can think of this as being the Light of higher conscience by whose compassionate intelligence we are empowered to discern what is helpful from what is harmful, to intuitively know the difference between a genuine act of kindness and a kindness done for selfish reasons. By this Light we are able to tell what is true and what is false. When we do our part to live in the awareness of this Light so that its presence becomes an active power within us, then what is there that can remain with the power to hurt us? How can any unseen darkness prevail if its character is revealed before it begins its punishing action? Just think of such a power and the freedoms it must bear.
Women everywhere no matter what the circumstance have risen in the midst of the refusal of acknowledgement of her power and presence for Eons, silently or passionately voicing for the many. The Divine Feminine within each one of us on this planet has given rise to compassion, intuition, inclusivity, cooperation, vision, expanded senses, deep heart intelligence and most importantly unconditional love that reaches beyond reason, time and space. The so called “super powers” birth from the Divine Feminine, have historically been feared and thus pushed aside as soft power. What is perhaps really rising is the genius and truth of connection, infinite and inherent, encoded in the DNA of all life known and unknown. This is part of the unfolding mystery of the Divine Feminine. She is ever present yet cannot be summoned “on demand.”
No one is responsible for your happiness.
No one has power over you unless you allow them to have it.
The more you need other people and external events in life to be a certain way in order to feel free, the less free you will end up being.
When you take full responsibility for your inner experience you become powerful.
What are you making responsible for your current experience?
Who are you making responsible for how you feel?
One can often feel powerless when confronting the naked use of power, as in politics or corporate life. Meaningful action can be taken, however, the first step being to overcome one's personal sense of weakness. There is such a thing as personal power, even though most people haven't experienced it. That's because their notion of personal power aims at the wrong goal. They define a powerful person as someone with money and status who can exert his will over others. Such a person is imagined to be strong, smart, lucky, and more than a little ruthless. Examples crop up from Washington to Wall Street, any area of life where competition is fierce and the spoils go to the victors.
But the real secret to personal power lies elsewhere. The difference is that one kind of power, the kind I've just sketched, comes from what you do while the other comes from who you are. Before writing this post, I reviewed in my mind the qualities I've observed in the most powerful people I've met over the past thirty years, and it was astonishing how many qualities come directly from being rather than doing. Here's my list:
Is anyone being pushed around?
Stand up to bullies.
Humans are the most social species on the planet. Most of us spend most of our lives working, eating, sleeping, and playing in groups that range in size from two people all the way up to nations and humanity as a whole.
Woven through the tapestry of our relationships are several major threads. One of these is power, which plays out in almost every group of any size. The only question is, do we use it for good or ill?
Like a hammer, power itself is neutral. It can be used justly and wisely for beneficial purposes, such as the necessary authority of a loving parent, a child’s popular friend protecting her from mean kids, a physically stronger spouse helping a more vulnerable one, or a government defending a country being invaded. Power can also be used unjustly and unwisely for harmful purposes, such as a parent beating a child, a big kid picking on a little one, domestic violence, or a government jailing its critics.
Recently I was at a conference, and one of the men at the conference was very powerful, and very preoccupied with power, much like a teenager might be occupied with power, except that he was considerably older.
I experienced this as he was introduced to me and he said, “How ya doing Ram?” I spent time with him and saw that he had decided in his mind that I was irrelevant. Everything I stood for was irrelevant, and I felt my irrelevance in his presence, and I watched that pour through me. I watched myself get caught in it at first, so that I started to crunch up into irrelevance and get slightly deviant. Those are the ways I responded to irrelevancy in his mind about me.
Then I saw my predicament, saved by my meditation bell, and I saw what I was doing. I saw my mind buy his model of myself, and just the noticing of that started to loosen its hold over me. He had brought me into the dimension of power, and found me wanting. He found that I was not powerful enough to be important in his eyes, and I just sat with it, and I felt what it felt like to be irrelevant and somewhat litigious. I just noticed all this, and slowly as I noticed it, and just allowed it. I didn’t push it away, I didn’t make believe that it didn’t exist, I just noticed and allowed it.
Negative thinking is a prison that leads to a limited life.
The more you focus on the negative, the more you give power to what you don’t want.
The more you give power to what you don’t want, the more what you don’t want will manifest in your life.
How you view a situation, person or place will determine your reality. Your reality is created by how you see it.
If you are not conscious, your mind will rob you of happiness and cause you suffering.
Negative thinking serves nothing other than to keep you from being open to possibilities and keeps you small.
A new kind of power – authentic power – is replacing the old kind of power – external power. Authentic power is the ability to distinguish love from fear within yourself and choose love no matter what is happening inside you or what is happening outside you. External power is the ability to manipulate and control.
From the perspective of external power villains are powerful and victims are powerless. From the perspective of authentic power, the callous lust of one who abuses others to satisfy his (or her) destructive desires and the rage of those who are abused are both experiences of powerlessness. There is no power in abuse or revenge.
One of the major human lessons today is learning to take our power back and reposition ourselves above the bullying and abuse that exists in the world.
Bullies and psychopaths are not just in the movies, they are real personality types. Manipulation and control are as addictive as heroin to these people. While they make horrible spouses and BFF's, they are amazing spiritual teachers!
If a person has low self-worth or is lacking in self-respect they will attract these types of people and will probably get into a close relationship with them. They will keep these people close until they have learned the lessons they need to be more self-loving and self-respecting.
In my earliest of years I had experienced lots of brutal abuse of every kind. This led me to believe that I didn't matter a whole lot. On more of a toxic level I subconsciously believed that I existed to be an abuse toy for other people. This led to a string of psychopaths and emotionally abusive bullies. I allowed men and women alike to manipulate, control and abuse me. I am also incredibly empathic which played a dynamic in this unhealthy cycle.
If you are easy-going, and empathic, you may be a target for psychopaths.
Being easy-going, or laid-back, may lead the power-hungry and manipulative to perceive you as possible prey for their shenanigans. Someone once said, "Don't mistake kindness for weakness."
I've been thinking a lot this week about the word "no."
No is a word that has great power in our lives and in our society. And yet, it's one of the most challenging words in our vocabulary.
Every time I've heard "no" in my professional life, I've challenged myself to defy it. To go around it. I've used it as fuel to keep fighting—whether it's in chasing a hard-to-get interview, or in proving to doctors and researchers that Alzheimer's does indeed discriminate against women, even when they told me it doesn't.
In fact, all of the Architects of Change we feature in this week's Sunday Paper have heard the word "no" at some point. Some have heard it from others, who told them that what they wanted to achieve could not be done. Others have said it themselves, declaring that one thing or another in our society is unacceptable and that they won't rest until they've done something to change it.