Wo! Here’s a mind-blowing discovery: all that “empowerment” stuff is basically about taking responsibility for your own actions and reactions to the World around you and the consequences that arise as a result of those actions and reactions.
This doesn’t mean you are responsible for all the crummy things that happen in the world. It just means that the way you walk and the way you dance and all of the things that happen because you do what you do are yours. You have to deal with them. If you mess up, you have to fix them.
Why? Because that’s the only way you can build up your own inner power and stamina so you can keep on doing your dance in the middle of the World which is intent on doing whatever it’s doing.
If you’re looking for some good reading (with lots of helpful exercises and mind-bending thoughts on personal transformation), you might like the classic EMPOWERMENT: The Art of Creating Your Life As You Want It by David Gershon and Gail Straub. It’s now in its eleventh printing. Folks do find it useful….
NOT FOR THE FEARFUL
This “empowerment” thing is a double-edged sword, however. If you’re scared of the Creative, the Unknown, the World, or anything else uncertain, you might be moved to try for control rather than just walking your walk and making sure you are not doing things that cause harm to others.
You might decide that you absolutely need to manipulate and reorganize everything and everyone around you and make the world a safe and secure place for you and everybody and everything you love.
The problem with that one, of course, is that the all-of-everything is way too big for anybody to control. It’s spread out all over the place and trying to organize it all is like trying to do a 20-family garage sale all by yourself.
The chief consequence of that move is that you’re likely to end up crazy on the side of the road. F’r sure, you will not have any time left over for doing your own dance.
NO BLAME GAMES HERE
On the other hand, you can abdicate and throw up your hands and decide that it’s “circumstances” (or other people or the stars or whatever) that are really what’s causing these actions and reactions of yours. That one means you get to blame “circumstances” and “other people” and “retrograde Mercury” or whatever when the 2×4 comes and whaps you upside the head yet again.
What you do to make it work is you grab a big self-adhesive “VICTIM” label and slap it across your forehead and you spend a lot of time whimpering and whining and moaning between getting kicked in the butt yet again. If it gets really bad, you can go sit against a wall and go catatonic.
Neither of these things help you do your dance, but most people seem to alternate between the Control Freak mode and the Victim mode. They seem to prefer it to doing their own dance.
WHAT ARE YOU CHOOSING?
I don’t think you get any other choices: either you choose to be Control Freak and/or Victim, or you get to do your dance. What you choose is made manifest in the actions you take and whether you accept the responsibility for those actions.
Here’s an inspirational YouTube video, “Make Good Art.” It was put together by independent cinematographer Tommy Plesky, who says about it, ” I produced, edited and (for parts) filmed this video in order to inspire the “artists”, the creative, the adventurers, the people who do what they really enjoy doing (and for those who don’t, to keep searching), the creators … the “crazy” ones.”
He tells his fans, “If you want to share this video with the idea of inspiring people. Go ahead….” (Thanks, Tommy!)
And here’s a poem:
FOLLOWING MY DAYS
Following my day leads me to
new ways of seeing, meeting, being.
When I can let go of the marching orders
handed down from Control Central
(that part of me that doesn’t want to
relinquish being General Manager of the Universe),
I can let go of the tugs of other people’s needs
in the welling up of my own little wishes that
pull and push me hither and yon
across familiar landscapes,
leading me to new treasures,
new thoughts, new doings.
It doesn’t often happen.
The imperatives of urgent deadlines,
impeccable paper trails and
aligning picayune details
make a maze I must navigate sharply.
Days spent snarled up in red tape,
hours of blather – talk, talk, talking,
minutes spent puzzling out conundrums
and secret codes. Oh!
When I do slip away from
the crepulous detritus of everyday dailynesses,
the day turns rainbow-shiny.
I am given to giggly fits
and watermelon-slice smiles.
The Kalidasa says it best:
“A day well-lived makes
every yesterday a dream of happiness,
every tomorrow a vision of hope.”
I know this. I tend to forget.
The muddy byways of the daily labyrinth,
dotted with the piles of cow-pies and horse-apples,
inhabited by runaway carriages and mad dogs
will mulch down into compost in my mind.
But I WILL remember the treasures I find
when I followed my days.
By Netta Kanoho
Picture credit: Sword Laying by Tor-Sven Berge via Flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0]
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