After a long period of hiding and feeling shame, I've finally realized what a powerhouse and blazing phoenix I actually am. Here's how I did it and how you can too.
For a long time, I’ve always wondered what the hell the phrase “Step into your power” actually meant. I literally visualized a ring of fire and me stepping into it without getting burned. Power is not something I’ve ever lusted over or yearned for, if I’m being honest. I’ve never been drawn to leadership roles and have always felt more comfortable as a team player. All my life I avoided extra responsibility like the plague and thought part of my purpose was to just be there to follow orders and help uplift others. The funny thing about purpose is that just when you think you’ve discovered it you could be wrong or it can shift to something else. Maybe our purpose isn’t set in stone and it’s meant to evolve, just as we do.
"If you keep your truth bottled in because you don’t want to cause conflict or stir the pot, it will torture you and eat you up inside. If you act with integrity and speak your truth you achieve peace of mind."
Without any intention to do so, I was somehow given the opportunity to jump into a leadership role through being a senior student at my Dojo where I religiously practice Martial Arts (rest assured, given the current climate I now do so over Zoom). I would lead kids classes, adult classes, and Tai Chi classes and I still teach to this day. That’s where I found out that I accidentally have a knack for leading, even though it still consistently triggers anxiety for me. A big heart, empathy, positivity, being uplifting, the ability to think of many options, articulation, intelligence, and intuition are my favorite traits of mine that have come in handy when leading groups.
When I turned thirty in November, I didn’t realize what life-lessons would be the theme for the year to focus on and of course, I had no idea the beast that 2020 would actually turn out to be. Going through my Saturn return at twenty-nine I knew it would be a huge shift. All of a sudden, through facing really uncomfortable emotions and through a lot of meditation I realized that now was finally the time in which I was being called to step into my power. No more going along with what others want just to avoid conflict. No more saying yes to things I hate. No more weak boundaries (though this is one I’ve worked on for a while). No more silencing my thoughts and feelings. No more putting myself last. It’s time to live my authentic truth and ironically, turns out I’m just not meant to be a blind follower. This is also the main reason why I decided to post on my blog again, to stop hiding and to reclaim my power through the medium of using my voice and my words.
I realized stepping into my power meant many things. Thirty is the year that I decided to take a year off from working and to go back to school to discover more passions and to further educate myself. I studied career counseling, the fashion industry and I am currently taking a business course which will be followed by a photography course. Knowledge is power, you see. By deciding to open myself up to learning new skills, I have gained more confidence in myself and my abilities thus feeling more secure with myself. I never really tried in school so having the opportunity to put my best foot forward and give all my effort has resulted in me getting 100-110% on all my assignments and projects and it’s been so empowering.
Now, having this realization is no easy feat. It’s one thing to have an epiphany but it’s another to soak it up and embody it. So how was I going to embody stepping into my own power? Well, one way was harnessing my awareness of it. Another way was remembering that I’m going to make mistakes, fail many times before it becomes a lasting skill for me and that that’s ok. This is the fun part where I also got to come face to face with my tendencies of perfectionism. It’s funny, I’ve found that many people are going through huge transformative things personally while our society is going through enormous change. Coincidence, I think not, though I digress.
Lastly, and the thing that has radically changed my perspective is, placing emphasis on the current moment. A lot of anxiety about not living my truth and being silent and inauthentic in the past has everything to do with just that, living in the past. In my case, I tend to spend a lot of mental energy looking into the future as well and I do a really good job of convincing myself that I’m just trying to plan for a good future and that I’m being useful but relinquishing this concept has really set me free. My massive spikes of anxiety happen when I’m thinking about something in the past and when I’m thinking about something that will happen in the future. They don’t call it “The Power of Now” for no reason and I finally understand why.
Once I realized this, I then started to have thoughts about authenticity and started to unhealthily obsess over it. I’ve been so attached to the person I was and the behavior I had for most of my life that I forgot to take a step back and realize how much I’ve evolved. My anxiety serves a purpose in this respect because it lets me know when I’m behaving according to my own personal values and when I’m behaving according to other people’s personal values. When I act with integrity, when I set my intentions with love, I never feel bad. If I’m ignoring my needs, or stuck in a negative thought pattern my anxiety is the way my body lets me know this.
Furthermore, I’ve noticed that gratitude keeps me rooted in my power. There’s no way to feel strong, confident, and proud of yourself and your body when you are fixated on what you don’t have. When you indulge in the story that you’re a failure and not good enough your personal foundation becomes weak real quick.Noting what you have daily and recognizing your accomplishments daily remind you of all the work you’ve done thus far and help shift a negative mindset into a powerful mindset. I keep a gratitude journal next to my bed and write in it first thing in the morning and right before I go to bed and it’s made a world of a difference!
Of course, I still falter and stray from maintaining my personal power though I have come such a long way in a short amount of time. I’ve seen the freedom and liberation that comes from forcing myself to be uncomfortable and using my voice and my words. Each and every time I catastrophize the situation and it’s never as bad as I made it out to be in my head. There’s an extreme vulnerability to doing this but you learn to realize what you do or don’t do has an extreme effect. If you keep your truth bottled in because you don’t want to cause conflict or stir the pot, it will torture you and eat you up inside. If you act with integrity and speak your truth you achieve peace of mind. Personally, I’ve found that writing down my thoughts and feelings before speaking them is incredibly helpful. Also, being able to use your voice right now is imperative to furthering and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to do the work on myself in order to be able to help.
Working out is another way I've been able to stand in my power. This has definitely been more of a challenge when I was on my medication and now being in quarantine. But skipping work out days makes me feel noticeably sluggish and the endorphins are an absolute necessity right now.
Though I’m nowhere near mastery of this skill, I am appreciative that I have the opportunity to learn this lesson to ultimately make myself happier and to improve all my relationships in my life. Also to be able to improve the world, we have to start with ourselves, right? Knowing these inner nuances and going on the journey of self-discovery isn’t for the weak and it involves many ups and downs. It’s scary and fears flare-up. However, I will continue to dedicate myself to practicing all the skills needed in order to live and act and become my fully realized self.