Tag: Inspiration

Childhood Lesson 2.0

When I was thinking about the practice of breaking patterns, I thought of something that often happens when there’s a breakthrough; there’s a shift. Something that kept happening in a loop, perhaps “à la soupe du jour” but a soup nonetheless, suddenly has a different outcome.

Life lessons sometimes come back to check on you. They swing by to allow us to integrate the lesson from a different perspective.  To show us that we’ve grown, we’ve learned or that we’ve rediscovered something about ourselves we thought we’d lost or had simply forgotten about.

A childhood lesson of mine visited to see how I’d handle “speaking up” situation.

Rachellepost Speak even when I was working on a project and the person who was overseeing it made a decision impacting me that surprised me. And not the good kind. I felt punished, treated unfairly and didn’t understand why the event was happening to me or why this person had made the decision they made. I’d even wondered how I’d done them wrong and started taking their decision personally.

I came home ranting that day. My partner and my mom both expressed sympathy but they both, in their way, asked if I had a say in the decision that had been imposed upon me. I told them it’d been imposed on me and I thought I hadn’t had the “opportunity” to say anything, realistically.

Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. I sat with this.

The following day, I brought my concerns to this person and shared my feelings of disappointment in their decision. I tried to negotiate.  At first, it seemed my arguments were not going to provide resolution or change this person’s mind, but at least, I knew that I had spoken my peace. Later that day, this person returned to see me and told me that someone else* had raised the same concern I had, and since we were of the same mind, the person overseeing the project had decided the decision had a broader impact than what was originally considered. And the strangest thing happened: the person changed their mind (in my favour!).

I felt my faith in people being restored. I felt there was justice. I felt supported. Surely enough, I expressed my sincere gratitude to both persons (the supporter and the decision-maker).

When I came home, feeling victorious and fortunate, I happened to share this outcome with my mom, who reminded me of a lesson I learned in kindergarten.

True Colours…

As we all sat around in class learning our colours, we were being asked to name the colour to which the teacher was pointing. I was named in no particular order and out of surprise, I blurted out the wrong colour: “Brown!” (it was grey). My teacher immediately moved on to another student, although she’d given everyone else a second chance. I came home feeling defeated and down on myself. I was five and I was a failure! “Mom, I am stupid, I don’t know my colours!”

my-right-brain-is-cartoon_finalAfter some coaxing, my mom got the story out of me. I made a mistake and I didn’t get the same chance as everyone else. I experienced a small-time injustice. My mom proceeded to show me, through an exercise, that I did in fact know my colours (in English and French!). She restored part of my self-confidence. She calmed me down and asked me how I thought I could resolve this with my teacher. We concluded that I needed to explain how what happened made me feel. I was so scared!

The next day, I went to school and I asked my teacher if I could speak with her at recess (picture a tiny 5-year old asking to speak with you with a solemn look on her face and a crimped side ponytail – that was often my look back then). I took deep breaths and I explained that I knew I’d made a mistake but I felt like I didn’t get the same chance everyone else did. She hadn’t realized what she did or that it had hurt my feelings. She was so surprised that I didn’t get it the first time – me being a model student – that she moved on. She didn’t even realize that she took a chance away from me by doing so. Her expectation of my usual abilities and my experience of the situation were worlds apart.


Let the sass roll off your back!

My teacher apologized for treating me differently and for hurting my feelings (which caused me to question my abilities). Fortunately, she wasn’t an ego-driven adult and she loved her teaching job. In other words, she was receptive. She told my mother she was impressed with my judgment, my communication and my courage. Who knew?

Years later, as a twenty-something adult, the childhood lesson paid me a visit because I’d had my abilities questioned and I’d been treated unfairly. Along the way though, I’d lost faith in finding people like my kindergarten teacher. I’d lost faith there was someone brave inside my shell who believed in speaking up. I’m happy life’s proven me wrong. There are people who listen and I am brave.  So are you.

be braveHow have you shown courage?
Have you spoken your truth lately?

*I’m underlining here that the belief I now hold about support is taking shape. See my earlier post on Manifesting.

Power VS Control

“Come into your power.”

We hear this type of phrase often to encourage us to be true to ourselves.  When we speak of personal responsibility and blossoming, we speak of “empowerment”.  When we discuss the importance of educating women around the world, or developing countries, we speak of knowledge, tools and confidence that lead to empowerment.

I didn’t use to understand why often, life coaches and motivational speakers would say

Source: healinglightonline.com

Source: healinglightonline.com

“find your power” or “stop giving your power away” or “empower yourself”… I didn’t think I was ever handed a spell book or a magic wand. How could I, of all people, have a power? I wasn’t an X-Men mutant or Wonder Woman. I wasn’t born an heiress of any hotel chain or car company (I know, my name could fool so many!). So I always thought power was something outside of myself. Power was something I didn’t own; it was something I could reach for but I needed others to give it to me.

The other misconception I had about power, is that it was synonymous with control.

Somehow, in my head, I’d registered that to be “in control” or to “have things under control” meant that you had power over something, as if an external force decided that you were worthy of control and authority over a dominion. You were then awarded power to do with what you pleased. And obviously, everyone had to be cool with that, right? Well, no.

So what does empowerment mean? How does one come into their power? Do we have personal power and if so, how does one tap into it?

It recently came to my awareness that power is something intrinsic to each person. Every single one of us is born free and powerful and unique. You don’t have to be popular, rich or democratically elected as “special” to be powerful. Power isn’t found in your title, your net worth, the size of your social circles or the magnitude of your following. Power isn’t receiving unwavering obedience from underlings. Power isn’t manipulation and deceit. Power isn’t aggressive and it isn’t something you need to acquire. You do not need anyone’s permission to be powerful.

The only person’s approval you need is your own. That’s the key.

I’ve come to realize this through a lot of personal work on codependent issues and spiritual work on agreements. I’ll get into codepency and agreements in future posts, but for now, what’s important to remember is to separate Power from its insecure cousin, Control.

Here’s a little table I made of the two, very different relatives.

Self-Acceptance Self-love, Feeling Worthy Self-rejection, Feeling Unworthy
Attitude Positive, Confident, Accepting
Passionate, Dynamic
Negative, Insecure, Controlling, Pushy, Overbearing
Decisions Love, Intuitive & Reasonable Fear, Analysis-Paralysis
Feelings Trust, Peace Doubt, Unease
Approach Assertive, Open, Honest and Kind Aggressive, Stubborn, Abrupt or Deceitful
Focus Process, Present Moment Outcome, Past or Future
Personal Strength Internal, Infinite, Energized Projected Externally, Burned Out
Relationships Healthy, balanced, Harmonious, Respectful, Clear Boundaries Dysfunctional, Co-dependent,Unequal, Disrespectful, Non-existent Boundaries or Lax
Perceived Power Leadership, Reputable, Recognition Authority, Notoriety, Fame
Impression of life Grateful Victim, Fighter

When you tap into your power, you’re accepting yourself. You’re confident in who you are, in your place in the world and in how life unfolds for you. You’re not delusional in thinking you’re perfect, because you’re not but you’re self-aware and you embrace your darkness as well as your light. Your decisions come from a place of love – for yourself and others.

control freaksWhen you’re exercising control, your decisions come from a place of fear, you feel insecure and you doubt your path. You are either not accepting yourself or the situation.  There’s this fear of lack, or of being unworthy and so when in “control-mode”, we tend to be more aggressive as we feel the need to fight others for relationships or things we do not feel we deserve. Our relationships often become dependent or codependent; we feel the need to control our surroundings because we feel we have little control on what’s happening to us. This feeling feeds our fears and our distorted way of seeing ourselves (i.e. as unworthy, unappreciated, unskilled, unlucky/unsupported…).

When you find your power, you’re in tuned with who you are, you are present in the moment and your life feels meaningful. In the moment, anything can happen. In the moment, every possibility is at your finger tips. The strength of your power is sourced internally; you have every answer, every ability and an universe full of love inside you. Therefore, your focus is not on any outcome but on the process. Of course, there are things we want out of life and that’s part of being human, but when we’re too focused on having things in just such a way, we outline to a point where we fail to see the beautiful art outside the lines…

“Life is what happens when we’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

Finding your power means that you becoming free-er; everything that isn’t you seems less important and you no longer feel sorry about not fitting into this box or the other mold. It’s no longer about rejecting these ideas out of spite, but letting them go in love, knowing where you want to be, exactly how you want to be at that moment, with the people you want to share this experience. Life-Facebook-Status-20334

Your boundaries are clearer to you and you take very little personally. Your relationships become harmonious because you draw the people who feel similarly and share your values and compatible ways of expressing them. Your projects benefit from support because you call upon your passion and leadership, instead of trying to command authority and respect. Everything flows a bit more organically.

When you know who you are, you are HERE NOW to experience being you, and you’re unapologetically yourself, you are your truest, strongest self. Nothing is impossible (except becoming a mermaid, or a unicorn – I’ve tried!).

I hope you dig deep and start recognizing your power – it’ll change everything!

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