Monday, July 16, 2012

Thinking about Power

I just started reading Caroline Myss' book Anatomy of the Spirit.

The forward alone started to make me think, but the guts of the book are really forcing me to examine how I've been feeding my energy. The piece that is really sticking with me today is the understanding that where we find our source of power is where our energy flows. If you want to take the new age approach, our life force flows that way, if you want to take a conventional look  at energy: effort.

I haven't written in a while. I was feeling depressed, anxious, and all around exhausted. I would try to sit down and write something positive about life, but everything was coming out muddled and ridiculous. I was trying to make valid points, but I kept hitting a superficial layer, missing what I really wanted to get to. Two things happened last week that made a difference:

1. My psychologist recommended a book called Self-Compassion by Dr. Kristin Neff. Normally I would say I try to practice self-compassion, but for what ever reason was stuck in a place of self-contempt. I have not read the book, but there is a great deal of information on the website (, including exercises for developing it, and videos that cover a lot of Dr. Neff's findings. Immediately I was reminded how much better I felt when I approached myself with a little bit of caring-concern, versus mental brutality (also, I am going to read the book, probably next).

2. I started reading Anatomy of the Spirit. I immediately realized if I am going to work through this depressive period, I need to figure out what external source is sapping my energy, stealing my focus, and draining my energy. Myss asserts often past experiences are a power symbol for us, or some sort of trigger, imbued with symbols we associate with power. I'm starting to see emotional ties to past experiences and images I hold of myself. I say things like "I want to be the person I was last year, she had it together".

For what ever reason, slowly over the last few months, I started devoting more of my energy and emotional space to the image I hold of myself from a year ago. Of course, I have taken one snapshot of my life last year, and attributed the things I consider to be my best qualities, and given all of those qualities to that one mental image of me. Essentially, I've been screaming "You were perfect last year!" at myself for the last three months, which is so far from the truth it is almost embarrassing.

I'm going to stop fooling myself now. I'm going to practice speaking nicely to myself (haven't I said this before?), having a little more compassion for myself and others, and I'm going to stop remembering how I was perfect last year, when I really was not. I'm going to focus my energy on the things that matter: building a home full of love, making the changes I want to see in me, and enjoying myself in the process. You can't force a butterfly to emerge from a cocoon, but watching the butterfly emerge at its own pace is a beautiful process. I'm going to give myself a power image of a butterfly. It sounds hokey, but I'm in a stage of transition, and I'm going to focus on the beauty that is currently unfolding.


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