What does personal power mean to you? Where do you get your power from?
I think that these are good questions to ask. The kind that we often don't think about. As women, there is the obvious way of gaining influence over others- our bodies. Through beauty and our sexuality, we have lured men into a release of control since the beginning of time. But the link between influence and our physical appearances extends beyond a relationship with your desired sexual preference. Thanks to the vast importance that society has placed onto the exterior, it's easy to correlate our outer selves with power.
In the past, I felt the most vibrant and confident when my weight was on the lower side. Once a clothes horse, my body and the ability to express myself through fabrics were closely related. When I looked good, I felt good. And feeling good usually meant I was "skinny." Going out into the world, it seemed that it wasn't just me who felt this way. I garnered the most attention and praise from others when I was smaller. So naturally, my brain created a belief that I was more powerful and lovable as long as I stayed a certain number on the scale.
Over time, my weight fluctuated. My natural shape changed, transforming my figure into one that had curves. Suddenly the things I once wore didn't look the same. This new body required new types of clothing and I wasn't happy about it. Instead of finding things that made me feel beautiful, I renounced fashion as a superficial pursuit. I stopped crafting outfits in the mornings and instead, wore yoga pants ALL THE TIME. While this is totally acceptable in LA, it isn't me. Not everyday, anyway. My attire screamed comfort and yet, I was anything but comfortable in my skin.
Over the years, I have come to realize that we are seen in a similar light to how we see ourselves. Of course, I had heard this a hundred times before. But I never really bought it. If I find this curvaceous bod beautiful, others will, too. As if by some energetic law of belief. Yeah right. It sounded like a new age hoax. Instead of accepting it as true off the bat, I experimented with it for years. And sure enough, it seemed to hold truth. On days that I felt confident, others responded in accordance. I felt magnetic, like I could influence my environment through my presence alone. And when this happened without a good outfit or low weight, I knew that personal power really was an inside job.
So why did I get the most compliments when I was thin? Simply because that is when I felt best. I was projecting out a strong message of how I viewed myself and others picked up on it. My younger self was constantly searching outside for acceptance, turning to the fleeting and superficial to feel whole. And yet, true happiness was always just out of my reach. All I needed was another compliment, another Balenciaga bag, another guy who liked me and then I would be ok. Obviously, this was bullshit. Knowing all of this, I now gain power from things that hold weight- creativity, nature, yoga, breath, high quality food, self expression and self love. I work on creating a self concept that is based around integrity, kindness, service and love. These are the sort of things that really fill me up and the world takes notice.
So today I challenge you to check yourself in regards to where you gain power. Are you needing something from the external to make you feel better? We are all capable of being radiant and magnetic. True power is ours if we can just go within and shape reality from the inside out.
"Nobility is cultivated only when one consciously relates to one's spirit and flow of the soul and one feels the total divinity within. It is a manifestation of divinity. Nobility takes one away from temptation, anger, lust, greed, unvirtuous and unrighteous living. It gives one a qualifying factor to impress everybody without impressing. That is the beauty of nobility. The way one talks, walks, sees, deals, serves, and gets served is a total sum of one's living behavior. There is a tremendous flow of spirit in a noble person. A noble person is a very powerful individual." - Yogi Bhajan