by Michael Hurley, L.Ac.
Do you ever find yourself biting your tongue when you know something is not right? Or yield to another person’s wishes because you feel obligated to make them happy? Or settle for less than what you know is possible?
The above examples are just a few ways so many of us give our POWER away every day and have for most of our lives. When I say give our power away, I mean we settle. We settle for things that we could have, we settle for how people treat us, we settle for emotions that are holding us back from what we want, we settle for a life that is less than what we could have.
We do this for many reasons, some of which seem, in our minds, very appropriate. Maybe we hold ourselves back so that someone else does not feel bad, or we hold ourselves back to avoid a confrontation, or maybe we hold ourselves back because of something that we learned when we were young. When we settle, when we don’t honor our needs or what is true for us, we give our power away.
This is where things get tricky. Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re giving our power away. Our unconscious mind is what drives most of our lives. It is how we connect with the Universe and all of her expressions. Our unconscious mind is also where we hold onto thought patterns that either help us or hurt us. We learn these at an early age where we are taught a way of behavior that gets reinforced over several years of “training” or programming. This can cause poor or great relationships, poor or great health, poor or great financial status, etc.
Yet, our habits and our power are both simply energy patterns. The great thing is that we, as humans, can not only identify these patterns but we can turn them around so that we are in more alignment of what we want out of life. We can move that energy the way we want. Another way of putting this is we can take charge of our energy and reclaim our POWER.
What I would like to suggest is that all of us get back our Power in 2018. I am not much of a New Year’s Resolution type of a guy but this year, I am committing to aligning myself to what I want out of life not what I think others want from me.
So, that is great, right? Good job Mike. More power to you. Well, one, thanks for the support and two, let’s move on to how I and we all can do this if we choose.
Two Important Tools for Reclaiming Your Power:
Breathing. That is the first thing we can do. The location of our power center is about 2 inches below the navel. Chinese medicine calls this the dan tien which can be referred to as the “Sea of Qi”. This is your center of gravity. In martial arts, all of one’s power comes from this spot. In Qi Gong and Tai Chi, we gather Qi and store it there. If you have ever done yoga, you will be familiar with “belly breathing”. This is when you breathe into your lower abdomen as opposed to your chest.
My point in telling you this is that breathing into your dan tien is essential for keeping perspective in life and staying grounded, which in turn helps you maintain your own power. If we can have perspective, we can see that life is actually working for us instead of against us. We can stay out of our own drama as well as other people’s drama which will conserve our energy so that it can be used for things that benefit us and those around us.
Fake it till you make it. Yes, fake it. I really love this practice. The theory is that we manifest our thoughts. Our brain can change our outer circumstances to a good circumstance, a bad circumstance, or anything in between regardless of the reality of the circumstance. It just takes consistent thought. If we keep telling ourselves that our life is good and actually begin to believe it, we decrease anxiety and become more outgoing. This has side effects like people wanting to help us and becoming aware of new opportunities.
Tuning in with your breath and shifting our thoughts can make all the difference. These two things and more attract other people and make them more willing to help in various ways. Instantly, our lives are better. Then, if we keep practicing breath awareness and actively choosing positive thoughts, it becomes a habit and over time our lives become infinitely better.
It is a good idea to have a daily reminder, especially at first. The most important part to remember—we are trying to undo a habit of negative thought as well as set up a habit of positive thought. This can be reading books about mindfulness, setting up a daily calendar reminder, or even adding a sticky note to your work laptop or monitor.
So, remember to breathe and think positively, even if you need to fake it for a while. These two seemingly insignificant things can make a world of difference in your next year.
Here’s to your 2018! Happy New Year!