The other day I had a complete parental meltdown and blew my stack with my kids about their behavior. If I’d been in my better place, if I’d only taken a breath, if I’d been feeling better, I wouldn’t have yelled at them. If only, if only…
I do realize that I am not perfect, and that holding myself to an impossible standard is, well, impossible. As I process this, I am reminded of something I read by Deepak Chopra:
“Anytime you feel resistance, anytime things are going wrong, anytime you feel frustration, anytime there is too much effort, then you are not connecting with your source, the field of pure potentiality.”
I chose to make things so much more difficult by giving-in to the temptation to control my children, as if that works! How many times do we make our lives more complicated because of a disconnect with our source? That source could be anything – meditation, religious beliefs, whatever it is that helps you center and ground yourself.
I realize that I was completely disconnected, and I need to incorporate Chopra’s message into my daily life in the form of a mantra.
I’ve settled on this: I choose to free myself to reach my potential.
You might wonder where I am going with this and how it relates to empowerment. To get there, I think it’s important to go back to my original idea for this entry, starting with a definition of the word.
“Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social, or economic strength of individuals and communities. It often involves the empowered developing confidence in their own capacities.” (Wikipedia)
The whole definition speaks to me, but that last line really resonates: “…developing confidence in their own capacities.” I believe confidence is the key to true empowerment. Empowerment, in my experience, has come in the form of confidence and belief in myself. More importantly, it has come to me in the form of freedom.
I am not speaking of the kind of freedom we enjoy in a democratic society. I am speaking of a mindset that allows us to release our inhibitions and move forward in life. If we choose to free ourselves from resistance and frustration, we could really accomplish a lot, wouldn’t you agree?
The real trick is finding that freedom. I like to tell my friends and clients to try the following:
Start simple. If you are struggling with confidence, for example, try something like this: “I am strong, confident, capable and successful.” Use your own words and always stay in the positive.
I encourage you to write down an affirmation that you may think is true about yourself, but you need to truly believe. Turn it into an acronym, throw in a few numbers (your age, the year you were born, the year you wish to accomplish that goal, etc.) and you have a great, secure and productive password! Think about how many times a day you use passwords!
Use the acronym affirmation until you believe it, truly, and you are ready to move beyond it. If you really believe the positive message you’ve been telling yourself over and over, you will free yourself from a few negative beliefs, and will empower yourself in that area of life.
It seems so simple, but you’d be surprised how effective this is. In order to change your life, you need to start small (we always hear this about dieting, right?) If you try to completely overhaul your life, you will likely feel overwhelmed and defeated. We all want to feel successful, and success can be measured in small victories, which have an amazing way of spilling-over into so many areas of life.
I wish you the best on your journey, and welcome your feedback as you learn and grow.
Blessings. Gratitude. Love.