Posted by: Health & Lifestyle Coach Julie | 20/03/2010

Article on Taking Your Power Back

I found the below article inspirational and can be applied to mindful eating and more importantly, mindful LIVING!

By: Stephen Clasper

You may not think of it in these terms, but everyday most of us give away our power
to other people without even realizing it. And you have probably learned to do this,
just as your parents did and their parents before them.
Guilt, blame, anger, frustration and all the other negative emotions that trip us up
represent power that we have given away. Whenever we think, feel or act in a way
that’s different from how we would like, we have given away our power. If I frown as
you’re explaining something and you then worry that you’ve said something silly or
something that upset me, you have moved from one feeling state to one less desirable.
You have handed me the power to influence your mood. In this simple example, there
may be no serious consequences, but that isn’t always the case. We use phrases like
“he made me so angry”. He did no such thing. He may have said or done something
that you didn’t like, but your response to that is entirely of your own making. You’ve
given him your power.
We’ve been conditioned by parents, family members and teachers to believe that
happiness, success and joy will come only when or if something specific happens. We
don’t regard it as our birthright, so we leave our power “out there” somewhere,
believing we don’t deserve happiness or success or we’re not good enough. We learn
these belief systems in childhood and then go through life looking for people or
situations that will confirm them.
If that’s the problem, what’s the solution? Well, as with everything else that we want
to change, the essential starting point is to become aware of what we do to selfsabotage
and then become willing to change. Begin by asking yourself what your
contribution is to your problem. Once you’re aware of that, are you willing to accept
the proposition that you may already be perfect and may already have all the
resources you need to lead a happy, successful life? Instead of looking “out there” for
whatever you think will make you happy, you need to go within.
You may be thinking “that’s OK for you because you probably already know how to
do all this”. Start by reframing or looking at what has just happened from a different
perspective. My frowning at you in the example above may simply mean that I have a
raging headache or I’ve just remembered that I left the gas on at home. It may have
nothing to do with you. And, so what if it does? Surely, as long as you’re satisfied
that you’ve done your best, if I don’t like what you just said that’s my problem. Too
often we react to the other person when there’s no need. Take your power back!
Self-acceptance is key and begins with our willingness to forgive ourselves and others.
Consider the idea that everyone, in every context and at all times is doing the best
they can with the resources available to them. Note the bold type here, because
your next step is to wonder what those resources might be. In your own case, the
resources available to you right now may be the time you have at your disposal, your
enthusiasm for whatever you’re trying to do or how tired you are. Once you look at
your “poor” performance in this new way, you will find yourself feeling more
compassionate toward yourself. You may decide to allow more time in future or only
attempt it when you’re full of energy. But instead of blaming yourself, you’re taking
control ready for the next time.
The same proposition applies to how we react to others who are not behaving as we
would like. Once we consider what resources might be available to them, we find
ourselves being more understanding and less frustrated or angry. Again we are more
likely to maintain balance and be the person we would rather be.
Let’s consider now our over-use of ‘should” and ‘ought’, words we unconsciously
select to meet our need to please someone else or follow someone else’s rules passed
on to us many years ago. As long as we hold on to words of obligation, we will feel
guilt, anger, frustration and be ceding our power ‘out there’ somewhere. Be aware of
using these words and deliberately stop yourself mid-sentence and substitute ‘choose’.
You will soon notice a resurgence of confidence and purpose as your power comes
flooding back.
In short, change how you think and you change the results you get. We worry too
much and take ourselves far too seriously. We would do better to just get on with life.
To quote GK Chesterton: “Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.”

Stephen Clasper is a personal coach and co-founder of Shakti Healing Circle in HK.



  1. GREAT article – thanks Julie!

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