For most of my life, I have sought ways to feel more confident…how to believe in myself, how to do things better: how to succeed at life, how to stop bad habits and build new, better ones. Secretly, I always wondered if I would ever be normal or if I would always be this fucked up person back-peddling from poor decisions and mourning lost opportunities.
As I mentioned in a previous piece (SOMETIMES YOU SET A GOAL WHEN WHAT YOU REALLY NEED IS A BREAKTHROUGH) after many years of striving, I hit a wall and found myself in a very dark and lonely place. For years before that, my darkness and depression slowly crescendoed. By 2013, I realized that I couldn’t go on as I had been for any longer or I would die. In a moment of inspiration, everything changed. I understood that I didn’t want to die…I wanted this life of misery to die. And so I set out to find a new path.
One morning, during a feminine power call with Claire and Katherine
I was lucky to find the work of Claire Zammit and Katherine Woodward Thomas. They are leaders of a movement of Feminine Power, and it was exactly what I needed in my life. I had been praying for a new paradigm to guide my life because the tools I had been using up to that point were no longer working. Claire and Katherine taught me that I had been ignoring my own internal guidance, my own intuition, and my strongest sources of power. I was out of balance from following a strictly masculine power system that relies too much on doing and external sources of power.
As a result of this masculine power system, women have more education, more money, more success, and more understanding of their “issues,” however, masculine power hasn’t given them access to the ability to create those things that can’t be controlled with a strategic, step-by-step plan. For instance, masculine power hasn’t allowed women to create those things their heart and soul are aching for, such as true love, intimacy, spiritual connection, self-expression, creativity, right livelihood, or the fulfilment of their destiny or higher calling. All of these require the awakening of a different power system, a feminine version of power.
What I am most grateful to Claire and Katherine for is that they taught me that I alone have the power to change my life, to shift my ways of being, and that the power already exists inside me, waiting to be activated. When I activated this power, I began to generate new experiences in my life.
I am going to share with you what they taught me about tapping into my own power and using it to manifest my deepest desires….to create the future I having been longing for. If you keep practicing, this will change your life.
It all starts with one question….
Within this simple question, we find our deepest hopes for the future, and the patterns that stop us from manifesting them. When you start something new, be it a job, a relationship, or a project, our wounds in need of healing often rise to the surface as fears, insecurities, and false beliefs about ourselves and others. At the same time, it is also fertile ground for our hopes and dreams for ourselves, the people we love, and the world around us.
Let’s focus on what you most want to create in your life. Is it a new job, a stronger relationship, your own business, or a social project to change the world?
So ask yourself, what do you most desire to create in your life? Take a moment and write it down.
When I first answered this question, I said this:
What I would like to experience is connection and to move past my current responses to stress, challenges, and break downs. Now, sometimes I can respond and turn things around, while other times, I feel as if I’m being carried away by a tidal wave of emotions. Since I got married and had my son (now 5 years old) I have been in a place that feels very old…it is a place where I feel unloved, not accepted, a disappointment, rejected, not connected, and abused….and I know this is what is holding me back.
A year later, (and with a year of working with these practices under my belt) I asked myself the same question and my answer was to create a space to share what I’ve learned on my personal journey to evolve my life and my consciousness using my writing, photography, and creative work…and the result is this project! There is no right or wrong answer, nothing too simple or too complicated.
In this question, let’s go back to the times you have gone after your dreams. Sit in a quiet room and just let your mind go. Be patient with yourself if your “doing” mind tells you this is silly and a waste of time. If you listen, you will begin to hear and feel the patterns, the behaviors, the beliefs, and you will recognize them. Tune into your inner voice. Keep in mind that you are learning new ways of being, and it may take some practice to master.
For me, my deepest patterns revolved around giving up in one way or another by not taking the steps to work with the set-back. Looking back, I can see that my responses of victimization, negative self talk, and anger/resentment blocked me from taking the necessary actions that would have allowed me to overcome the set-backs. I didn’t yet understand that life is co-creative….it is what life throws at me and what I do with it that is creating the future.
It’s so important to identify and understand what comes up for you when things don’t go your way… when you start feeling insecure, when you get scared, when someone makes you feel threatened or unsafe. When you don’t get the sale, when someone important rejects you, when things don’t work out as planned….what is a common pattern that arises?
This is another place where you have to just surrender to what is happening inside you. This can be painful. This can bring up resentments towards your parents, family, or people who hurt you when you were too young protect yourself. So I’ll tell you that you are now old enough and wise enough to access these feelings that still haunt your life, to bring them into the open, and to begin to put them to rest. My I AM statements are “I’m not good enough” and “I’m not wanted”. When things don’t go my way…all my negative thinking, patterns, and behaviors stem from these I AM statements.
What are your “I AM” statements?
Generally, these false beliefs start in childhood, and they are more often than not the voices of family members, teachers, and friends who thoughtlessly said mean things to you. In childhood, we are too young to understand that the things people say often aren’t true. Unfortunately, they can also hang around and haunt us for many years into the future. When you look at your top “I AM” statements, how old were you when you started feeling this way?
What is the best thing about being a grown up, adult person? For me it’s freedom to make choices for myself, it’s independence, it’s starting my own family and having the option to not recreate the patterns of abuse and neglect that have existed across the previous generations of my family. I’ve put myself through school, I’ve traveled, I can choose the people I have in my life. What is it for you? What is the best thing about being your current age? What’s the best thing about being a grown-up, independent adult?
Bringing it all together…..
The key to finding your true power is finding this wise, loving, capable adult inside yourself, recognizing this part of yourself as a coach and mentor to the under-evolved parts of yourself, and developing the ability to show up in your life as this person, all the time.
This person, YOU, can give new meaning to old wounds and issues.
You can nurture and encourage yourself the way you have nurtured and encouraged others.
You can do for yourself what you have longed for from others….what you have falsely believed should come from the outside but can only come from the inside.
When you do this, you being to heal your wounds. When you learn to heal your wounds and nurture yourself, you become a powerful co-creator with life…a person who can take full advantage of opportunities and navigate any challenge or set-back.
When you find yourself unraveling under the pressures of life, you will have the ability to bring yourself back to center, and in the process, put an end to the beliefs, habits, and ideas that have been holding your back.
You can begin to tap into new resources, new thought patterns, and new ideas that you couldn’t see before because you were stuck within those old stories.
YOU WILL BEGIN TO GENERATE NEW EXPERIENCES FOR YOURSELF and create the future you most deeply desire because you will begin to see that your true power lies in your responses to life. Psychologist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl learned quite a bit about life during his times in Nazi death camps, and this is one of the most empowering lessons:
“Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”
― Viktor E. Frankl
One last thing…..Understand that this is an ongoing process. My patterns still appear in my life, but now I’ve learned how to defuse them and return myself to center. (See my piece The Spiritual Hokey Pokey). When I’m in my power center, responding to life as my adult, empowered, capable self, I am in the head space to make conscious decisions based on my life right now. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I can think about what went wrong and how can I make it better next time. Instead of being filled with self-hatred, I am filled with self-love. And when that self-hatred slips through, I love that too.
**This process is from Claire Zammit and Katherine Woodward Thomas’ program Finding Your Feminine Power.
***All photos by Christine Donley Allababedi