My worldview reshaped itself when I had my kids and each one colored it a little differently. It is from observing them and being their mother that I have come to understand humans at their most whole level.
Babies come into this world with such inner strength and knowing. They come full of power and presence. And slowly the world strips that away from them.
As we grow into adults, we get conditioned out of our power.
Funny enough, a huge reason for this is out of love and care. Our caring guardians wanted to keep us safe from the very real dangers of this world. So they had to power over us, protect us by instilling behavior and fears that kept us momentarily safe.
Another reason we get conditioned out of our power is by adults in our lives who could only act on their own fears and experiences. They knew no other way but to treat us in a way that took away our power.
And lastly, I couldn’t talk about taking away power without mentioning the social and cultural systems that we live in which were created to keep certain people in power and others under their power or out of power. Redlining (discriminatory lending practices that involved the government, financial firms and real estate companies to create “good” and “bad” neighborhoods) is an example of a systemic practice that disempowered people. While it is illegal now, the reverberations of it are felt in the Black community everyday.
Our cultural construct of power leaves a lot to be desired. It distorts power to be things we have whether that be money, position, skin color, gender, etc. This creates distinct division to the have’s and the have not’s.
That is such a superficial form of power!
To be in power and to have power because of those external factors does not mean that someone is empowered.
When I think of power, it is about empowerment which comes from the inside out, not the outside in.
When power comes from the outside, it actually takes away internal power. When society gives a person power through its systems and social construct, they have less reason to be empowered. Instead, they can work with the system and leverage the characteristics that are aligned with what is “normal” or “superior” instead of summoning their grit, determination and resilience.
When power is not given to someone aka marginalized people (women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, etc.), they can certainly try to hone in on characteristics that are tangential to that external power. However, that only upholds those systems and more importantly, erases crucial parts of our identity. Instead, we need to find the power within ourselves in order to resist the systems of oppression and ultimately, create a new norm.
The parts of us that don’t align with the status quo are actually our sources of power.
The only way to change what is considered “power” in our culture is to empower ourselves first. Empowerment is what will overthrow “power.”
This is why I am so passionate about empowering people to see their inner strength and knowing. Understanding who we are is one of the first steps to creating change in the world.
I am over the moon to share with you Embrace Your Power – my next in person workshop created especially for changemakers, community leaders and impact driven business owners. We will redefine power for ourselves and align with our inner power. It is part workshop, part revolution! Learn more here.