New Beginnings

All of us know about new beginnings. We’ve gone through them over and over, life long. We may resist them, especially if the decision to begin afresh has been made by someone else, like a boss. We may resist the changes that inevitably are part of new beginnings. Or – we might take a different stance.

New beginnings always bring new possibilities, especially the potential to create a little more of what we want in our lives. New beginnings invite new attitudes, new ways of sculpting the daily round of actions. And especially, new beginnings remind us that we don’t know for sure what’s coming next or how things will turn out. If we choose, this is a recipe for adventure.

I’m standing at the threshold of a large new beginning, so it’s not surprising that I’m thinking about them again. And it feels as if all of the above show up at different moments.

This new beginning feels different. In the last year, healing has happened—healing of old, childhood wounds. Corrections of childhood decisions have been made, not without effort, but fully now.

So now I ask a new question about my days, my choices: does this befriend my own soul? Does it befriend any other soul? The world Soul? Sometimes the answer is clear. When I went through and released a lot of leftover anxiety, I knew that was a process that befriended my soul, setting it free into deeper possibility. Sometimes the answers are not so clear, as in business-oriented decisions.

In this on-going blog, you will find more reflections about what befriends, nourishes, grows our soul, individually and collectively. I hope you will be fascinated by such a journey, because everything I know to share is offered to you, for the befriending of your own soul.

May we expand and deepen together!

Your Personal Power

Recently in a conversation, I heard someone say, “I gave away my power—so wrong of me, I now see.”

We hear it a lot, don’t we? Maybe we even say it about someone else or ourselves. Even though I’ve over-given plenty in my life, something about this statement never settled rightly with me.

Listening to a client a while back, it dawned on me why—and maybe you’ll find this as useful as I have.

It occurred to me that people who capitulate to others for unhealthy reasons are not really “giving away” their power. Power is what they never had much of in the first place, and it’s not their fault.

If we are chronically disempowered, the chance are it happened in early childhood. We were kids! We had perceived, usually with some accuracy, that if we expressed ourselves powerfully, we were in trouble with parents or teachers. One way or another, we came to believe that we had to give up what we wanted—or die or be utterly isolated. We didn’t have words for it at 4 or 5, but we knew it. Whatever personal power might have developed in us simply never did.

So if I have little sense of personal power, of course I’m going to go with whatever any other significant person wants.

When, as an adult, I wake up enough to see that this doesn’t serve me well, I may say “I gave away my power,” but it’s not true. I never had power in the first place! So now, when I see enough to say this, it is much more accurate to say, “Now I’m ready to develop my personal power.”

Isn’t that better—and truer—than an accusation against myself for being so silly as to give power away? Doesn’t it feel stronger to understand that I’m now seeing clearly enough to begin to develop the potential (which is, after all, power-in-future) that’s been waiting in me all this time?

I’ve found this a useful re-frame for issues of capitulation for the sake of approval. I hope you will experiment with this awareness of developing personal power and find out if it’s useful to you, too.