There’s a lot of chatter about personal empowerment. But what is it and why does it matter? Personal empowerment is the practice of living your life and making your choices and decisions from your intuition, your inner guidance system and position of strength, rather than one of doubt or weakness, yielding to what others want for you, or being a victim to someone else’s whims and desires. Do you operate from your position of power regularly? If so, bravo! If you’re not sure, read on.
Clarify What You Want
When I get into conversations with people about their lives, many times they struggle to specify what they really want, while clearly expressing what they don’t want. They also deflect focusing on themselves and indicate what they don’t like about other people. Sometimes they reflect on what they perceive other people are doing to them. Here are some questions to consider.
- How do you feel on a regular basis? Are you happy?
- Do you jump out of bed each morning eager for what lies ahead?
- Are you satisfied with your life and the choices you make?
- Do you find yourself envious of other people’s lives or what they have?
- Do and wish you had more or that you have some of what they have?
- Do you wish your life were different?
- If so, what would you like?
Beginning with what you don’t want is a great place to start. Take a sheet of paper and fold it in half lengthwise. At the top write “What I Don’t Want” in the left column. On the right side at the top write: “What I Want.” Next, list everything that comes to mind about what you don’t want. Include what’s not working for you. Add items or situations you want to change or things you want to be different. You might do this over a few days. Once you start writing, more and more will come to the surface.
Then, as you read over what you don’t want line by line, in the right-hand column, write what you do want, specifying your replacement for your “don’t want.” It may take a few days to do this as well. It can be anything you want to Be, Do, or Have. Think big!
Add Details About What You Want and Why Your Want It
Next, take a clean sheet of paper. At the top write: “What I Want and Why I Want It.” Then, read the right-hand column of the previous paper indicating what you want and reflect on why you want these things. Again, this can be anything that you want to Be, Do or Have. They can be feelings, relationships, and experiences, as well as physical items. Explore the possibility of really having what you want and what it would feel like to have or experience it. As you write about what you want, dream about having it. Really feel it. Or explore, “I wonder what it would be like to …” Curiosity allows you to open up and go deeper. Would these things and experiences make you happy and bring you joy? If not, do you really want them? Or are you settling for less because deep down you feel that you don’t deserve what you want and therefore will never have it?
Believe In Your Dreams
Believing you can have what you want is essential. If you don’t believe you can have it, you won’t. It’s a simple as that. Your beliefs, thoughts and emotions drive your experiences. The good news is that you can shift, and it doesn’t matter where or how you begin. Specifying what you want and why you want it can motivate you to take inspired action.
Shift the Energy of Your Space
When you change the energy of the space around you, you begin to shift on the inside. If you begin by changing your thoughts or doing emotional release work, you’ll eventually want to adjust your surroundings too. The changes might be very subtle at first. Then they accelerate and before long you’re bringing your inner and outer selves into alignment with your intentions and desires.
One of the premises of feng shui is that your physical space reflects your inner self. Visible clutter and blocks in your environment indicate similar blocks and clutter at unseen levels: your emotional, mental, and spiritual fields. If you begin with your home, focus on your space, not other people’s. It’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on other people (remember the mirror aspect of feng shui!), blaming them for clutter and disarray. To avoid this, get your bedroom, kitchen, and common spaces in tip top shape. Clear out items that you no longer new, use or love. Dig into your clothes and closets. Evaluate your kitchen and bathroom items, food and spices, personal care products, books, games, arts and crafts, and knick-knacks. Touch everything. Keep what you use or love. Thin out the rest. It frees your energy and more than likely, you won’t miss it. If you do, it will return to you in one way or another.
Break Large Projects into Smaller Steps
You can break big projects, such as resizing, downsizing, or relocating, into smaller and manageable steps. I have always found that things move along more easily when my environment is neat, clean, and orderly. I used to think that this was my double Virgo influence. Although this may be part of it, I also realize that it’s also my intuition. Your physical environment influences how you feel, what you do, and how life unfolds for you. It’s no wonder that I’ve been drawn to understanding the power of feng shui. Continually thinning out everything that you no longer want, need or use, is a great way to keep your environmental chi fresh and flowing. When your space feels good, chances are you will too.
Look For Hidden Messages
Sometimes the blocks are hidden or are very subtle. Your space can look great on the outside, yet things are stuck on the inside, your inner space. When this happens, go deeper. Everything in your environment contains energy at the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. During a consultation years ago, I asked my clients about a particular piece of furniture. It was a large, beautiful, custom made cabinet prominently placed in the Children, Creativity and Joy gua of this house. The reason the couple called me in was because they wanted to conceive a child.
It turns out that this cabinet was a wedding gift that they never liked, yet they didn’t feel that they could part with it. It was a huge dilemma and an emotional tug of war for them. The cabinet wasn’t their style, yet they deeply cared about the person who made it. So, it sat in their house for ten childless years. They didn’t realize how it was also blocking their deepest desire. The solution turned out to be easier than anticipated. They decided to give the cabinet to another family member who loved and cherished it. Not long after, they had a baby.
Clarify, Believe and Allow
My recommended process for cultivating personal empowerment is CBA … Clarify, Believe, Allow. You can apply this to any desire or intention. First, clarify what you want and why you want it. Second, explore your beliefs and get yourself to the point where you truly believe you can have what you want. Note that this may take some time as you clear physical blocks as well as mental, emotional, and spiritual ruts. Know that every inspired action you take is a step forward. Then, get out of your own way and allow the Universe to deliver your desire. What you want may show if in different or unexpected ways, even better than you anticipate, so be ready for this. Here’s a summary:
A Process for Personal Empowerment
CBA: Clarify, Believe, Allow
- Be clear about what you want.
- Use positive, present tense language. (I am…, I wonder why …)
- Believe you can have it.
- Release doubt, negative language, gossip, etc.
- Take inspired action. Create a supportive environment.
- Let go of time; allow results to come to you.
- Be open to new possibilities. Suspend all disbelief. What you “ask for” may show up differently.
- Find something to be happy about every day!
Bonus exercise: Visualize your desired end result in four 17-second increments daily. This is the Abraham-Hicks 68 second exercise. In my book, Money Is an Energy Game, with Madeline Gerwick, we call it Workshopping. Check it out on page 68 of the paper version or 24% into the Kindle version, around location 1735.