What Does It Mean to Be Empowered?
Part 1 of 2
Happy Tuesday 🙂
This week I’m talking about what it means to live an empowered life.
The word empowerment is used everywhere from cars to computers to nutrition supplements. It’s one of those arbitrary words that aren’t really defined, since their meaning is so broad and all-encompassing.
At the same time, I believe being empowered is a powerful state and I wanted to take some time to talk about what I mean when I use it.
Being empowered is recognizing that you DO have the power to affect your life.
It is recognizing that your choices matter and you do have an element of control on what happens to you. The biggest problem I see is when people dis-empower themselves.
The fastest way to dis-empower yourself is making an excuse or blame shifting your problem on something else, or giving up your power to a teacher, guru, or philosophy instead of listening and consulting with the guidance within you—the home of the true and wise teacher.
You see excuses and blaming is the easy way to dissolve responsibility from yourself. Likewise, placing all the power into a guru, coach, teacher, or philosophy is an easy way to absolve yourself from responsibility. In essence it is the cowardly way out.
It’s often easier to be told what to do than to decide for yourself.
For example, it’s often easier to hear a firm instruction than an instruction that leaves room for you to make up your own decision.
For example, when a yoga teacher says to us “Put your right hand on your right big toe.”
Even if that is an impossible order it’s easier than hearing “Place your hand where it feels right, You might try your thigh, your toes, you decide”
Often when people are asked to do what feels rights, it can feel scary and confusing, since we are so often told what to do. However, the heart of living an empowered life entails making your OWN decision. When you make a conscious choice, you get to live in deeper freedom and deeper responsibility. It is taking on this responsibility that often scares people from living a truly empowered life.
It is only when we take full responsibility that we can live in freedom and deep personal power.
I hate to say it but some of the disasters in history came from people who were just “following orders.” It takes a lot of courage to make your own decision about something and decide for yourself what is the best course of action, and then to take full responsibility for your actions.
How many patients have died due to medical staff who were just “following orders” and didn’t listen to their gut that something was wrong with the written order? This is at the root of most malpractice suits.
How many Nazis took responsibility? How many were just following orders?
How many people from the Jonestown Massacre (who drank the Kool-aid) were making their own intelligent decision versus following their guru that led to the greatest tragic mass suicide?
How many yoga scandals have been uncovered from students who gave up their personal power and relied on their teacher to the point where they were taken advantage of sexually, financially, and emotionally?
These examples are here to illustrate an important truth. Don’t take anybody’s word for it. Always inquire. Always ask for further clarity. Always trust your intuition and always retain your freedom to disagree—even if that means disagreeing with someone you deeply respect such as a teacher, doctor, clergy or someone you look up to highly.
There is a sacred truth to the words “No one above and no one below”
Living an empowered life can be scary, it requires courage to accept responsibility for your actions.
It also brings you freedom, greater health and deeper fulfillment to know that your choices matter, and you always have a choice.
Even when there are outside circumstances beyond your control. We all encounter outside circumstances we cannot control in our life. However, within the confines of your circumstances, there are always choices. It is these choices that determine your degree of power in creating your life—from your health, level of fulfillment and attaining your goals and dreams.
When you take responsibility and work through and beyond whatever circumstances come your way, you empower your life on a new level. You take the power into yourself and instead of allowing the outward circumstance to dictate your destiny; you take it upon yourself to rule your destiny.
This is what empowerment is all about.
Next week I’ll go into more detail about ways you can empower your heath
And, my new book Eat Think & Live Rich (free preview by clicking here) is all about living an empowered life—through taking control of your health, your mind and living a fulfilled life.
P.S Do you Live in Vancouver BC Canada?
SAVE THE DATE: Thursday November 7th from 7-9 pm is the Official Book Launch Party for my new book: Eat, Think & Live Rich.
The Party’s At: The People’s Co-Op Bookstore on 1391 Commercial Drive
Join me for a fun night with great people, and a chance to get a signed copy of the book 🙂 I hope to see you there!