The purpose of this newsletter is to help people connect more deeply with their spiritual selves. A primary way to do this is to recognize the learned emotional blockages which prevent this connection. In the past, I've written about anger, guilt, and other conditions. In this issue I take up the question of power, perhaps one of the most troublesome for spiritual people.
We know that when humans use their power the results aren't always innocent. On global and societal levels we've seen what has happened when power has been concentrated in the hands of a few. On the personal level we may have had parents, bosses, spouses, or partners who tried to dominate or manipulate us.
We may think that power means dishonesty, greed, egocentric and/or egomaniacal behavior, and manipulation. We see it as being used for the benefit of one or a few people and to the detriment of the well-being of others. It is the opposite of spirituality.
In our personal relationships or our observations of others each of us can come up with examples of power being used for personal gain. Most often we think of individuals who need to dominate others and do so with force or coercion.
If we are kind we say that such people are insecure, that they feel threatened when they can't control others. We often don't see that each of us in our own ways may be equally determined to protect ourselves. This may not make us dictators, but it can prevent us from connecting to spirit.
The self I am speaking of here is not the spiritual self, but something I call an identity. An identity is who we think we are and the strategies we've assembled for our psychic survival. We may identify ourselves with material prosperity, success, recognition, approval, and our strategies are designed to keep whatever we think of as the good stuff coming.
Initially our strategies aren't so elaborate. We first develop them when we are very young and recognize that there are other people in the world, and that they can either assist or threaten our chances of survival.
A baby's strategy to survive, for example, is to cry when hungry. Young children may continue the strategy of crying to get attention and love or learn from their parents' behavior what to do to get positive attention. They may also pick up a few of their parents' own survival techniques. As they grow older and enter the larger world of playmates, teachers and schoolmates, and influential people in the adult world, they may modify our strategies or develop additional ones.
In this context the dominant and coercive use of power can be seen as an extreme example of what one does to preserve one's boundaries and protect one's identity. Below are some other methods.
Since these and countless other strategies are designed for survival, whenever we use them we are unconsciously affirming that survival is a problem, that the world is a threatening place. This in turn reinforces the conviction that we need to keep those boundaries in place.
Our spiritual selves have a very different understanding of life. I can best illustrate with an example from Reiki. Often students are initially worried because they think it's up to them to do the healing, and they don't feel capable. This falls under the category of incompetence, and the protective message is, "I already said that I don't think I can do this, so don't blame me if I can't." Their identities are trying to avoid failure.
Usually the first attunement releases some of those concerns. Students often laugh or cry as they feel boundaries and separation begin to dissolve, and once they get into hands-on Reiki their faces are no longer the ones they walked in with. As they channel universal healing energy their sense of self may expand; they may become attuned to a more expansive purpose for being; they may experience, even if briefly, the unlimited possibility they are.
This is working with power on a different level, and can be experienced as well in meditating, especially with crystals, in a moment of true communion with another being, through generosity and true kindness. Such occasions give us an awareness that life can be so much more than than the struggle to defend the limitations of identity, that it can be a loving exploration of using our unique powers and talents in order to be all that we can be--for each other.
The first and most elementary step we can take in changing our power source is to recognize when we're running on limited fuel. Our protective strategies become a problem when we don't recognize them, when we say, "But I really do have trouble adding and subtracting," or "Well, they SHOULD feel guilty." When we become accustomed to expressing ourselves in terms of our strategies we begin to think they are who we are.
A second step is to recognize that only fully realized beings operate entirely on soul power. The rest of us will slip more than occasionally; this is simply part of being human, and when we are able to recognize that we are imprisoning ourselves within the cell of identity, the key in the lock begins to turn.
Finally, we will find ourselves more and more in the soul space when we go there intentionally. Learning and practicing Reiki, Ta'i Chi, yoga, and other spiritual forms, meditating with and in other ways making the spiritual and healing energy of crystals part of one's life, devoting a portion of one's hours to serving others are all ways of putting oneself in that space.
As all crystals have energy that absolutely lacks ego or personal identity any stone can be a power stone. Map out the boundaries of your particular identity, and think about the strategies you use. For example, for someone who hides fear by being hostile, charoite and rose quartz would be helpful, as will the Bach Flower Remedies Mimulus and Holly.
In general, when it comes to loosening and dissolving boundaries I most favor the members of the quartz family: smoky quartz, citrine, rose quartz, aventurine, aqua aura (clear quartz coated with gold), amethyst and clear quartz. Add a carnelian (this is an agate, and agate is a form of quartz), and you can do a chakra balancing layout.
Another possibility is the Star of David layout, in which you put clear quartz points at the head, feet, shoulders, and hips.
Vine (Bach) is the most recommended essence for those of a dictatorial bent. Before you say, "Not me," remember that not all dictators are famous or working a full-time job as tyrants. If there's any area in your life in which you think you might require your own way, or if you find yourself resisting the impulse to lay down the law, Vine may be helpful.
Centaury (Bach) is for Vine's opposite, the willing servant. While wholehearted service is a beautiful way of being, if you don't think it's your path that you're following consider this essence.
A number of Celtic clans believed that they were descended from certain animals: seals, wolves, cats, etc. The Druids were reputed to be able to change into animal form, a gift also attributed to Native American shamans. The possibilities that open up when we can see ourselves as more than human are endless. Thus, any Wild Earth Animal Essence to which you feel drawn may be of value.
Specifically, Butterfly and Frog both relate to animals who experience a number of different physical forms, and we can learn to shift our boundaries from them. Bear in mind also the ugly duckling who turned into a swan. Eagle, the bird whose energy can help us to bridge Earth and Sky, is another possible choice.