Thoughts on Power
By Emily Dickinson
“You had the power all along, my dear.” -Glinda.
I used to be really into an acting technique called Meisner.
For those of you who know it, you know it. For those of you who don’t— basically, you look at your partner, repeat a word or phrase, and let it affect/change you. Blue shirt. Blue shirt. Blue shirt? Blue shirt… Blue Shirt! Blue SHIRT! BLUE SHIRT! BLUE SHIRT. Eventually someone cries.
It sounds insane. It totally is. We love it! I joke, but it’s actually a really fun/ extremely painful and effective way to see what your tendencies are, how you act when faced with emotions, where you’re blocked etc. Essentially, it gets you in touch with all your emotional tools so you know how to access them for acting.
In said acting class— where I spent a lot of time over the course of 3.5 years— I was met with the same note, no matter how much I improved/pushed my boundaries (which was a lot.)
You’re not stepping into your power.
You’ll never get where you want to be until you step into your power.
YOU’RE NOT IN YOUR POWER.
…and so on.
It’s was a hard note to understand. I was a young, vulnerable woman and I was: crying, yelling, saying personal monologues, getting really good and comfortable with my quirks, judging myself way less, showing a group of people my dark/shameful tendencies and still being told I wasn’t in my power.
I genuinely didn’t know what else I could do. I actually felt powerless because I felt like on top of all the emotional bullshit of life, I was destined to be a really bad actor with zero tools in my tool belt.
I haven’t been in that class for a few years, but power is something I think about often. The last few weeks it’s been coming in a lot. I moved to Vancouver for the winter, and with the super-mild weather and breath-taking views, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the woods and at the beach. It’s bringing me so much happiness. After my morning walk, I feel connected and calm and ready to face the day.
Is that being in my power?
I’m certainly brave for going to a new place. I’m really artistic because I paint and write and act (sometimes I do these things well, too!) I’m open, and I’m willing to connect with people always. But I don’t know if I’m in my power because I don’t know what that even really means. Is power confidence? I think I’d have more confidence if I was doing “better” in my career, but I think I need to have that confidence in order to do “better” in my career… it’s just really hard to get this shit right. Very chicken and the egg.
In perfect timing (as I promised Jess a piece by like, yesterday), I was listening to a podcast and something finally clicked into place. Two of my favourite spiritual women— Natalie Miles and Lacey Phillips— were discussing manifesting. Basically, in a nutshell, Lacey (who teaches workshops on manifesting and “up-levelling”) said that manifesting isn’t about vision boards, imagining our dream lives, or speaking our goals out loud. It’s entirely about your subconscious self-worth. Somewhere along the lines, most of us were made to feel either undeserving or unlovable.
Firstly: fuck. I basically spend 80 per cent of my free time making glittery vision boards.
Secondly: I started writing in my journal instantly and asked myself if I felt if I deserved what I was going after.
My entire being started knotting up and pain started manifesting in my heart, my right hip, my head and my jaw (all my pain places). I felt anxious and weepy. I started writing it out. With the help of The Artist’s Way (thank you Julia Cameron!), I began brainstorming people from my past who maybe said something that made me feel that I was undeserving. That my dreams were stupid. That I wouldn’t be able to achieve them.
Things that came up: fear, stupidity, irresponsible, bad odds, waitress for life, too anxious, not good enough. The word undeserving stuck and it stung.
Clear as day I realized that I am not accessing my power, because on a subconscious level (now a conscious one), I don’t believe that I am worthy of what I want in life. I imagine it, I picture it, I work towards it, but if I fundamentally don’t believe I’m actually good enough, the power isn’t exactly flowing in and around me.
I’ll say this: there are things that make me feel Powerful. There are many days I get a little glimmer of feeling like my work and my art will have positive impact on the world and that makes me feel like a woman in her Power. But I think true Power (and if you have it, you’ll maybe agree with me?) comes from the deep knowing that we are:
I’ll continue my journey, and I hope you will too.