This year, my intention was to step into my power. By reading this article, you’ll learn from my journey and learn how to step into your power.
For the first part of the year, this effort resembled my previously one-sided view of power: pushing through fear, getting it done, massively up-leveling.
And I have. From December through now, I’ve created three online courses, launched four times, worked to share my blog with new people (5,000 weekly readers as of Sunday! Thank you for being here!), and redesigned my website.
Until March of this year, I was still Modern Yogi. That was the moniker I wrote under because for a long time, I showed up anonymously. I was too scared of what people thought to attach my name and face to my work.
And now here we are. Me to you. No filters.
A lot has happened.
It feels good. I feel good. Empowered.
I also feel tired. To be honest.
The shadow side that develops when you step into your power
Even though I feel like the seedling who’s finally caught a glimpse of the full flower, shooting through layers of soil with reckless abandon, I’ve now seen — again — the shadow side of operating from this masculine place of power.
Burnout. Giving too much. Losing my identity in my work.
The more passionately I feel about my work, the more difficult it becomes to take a break. And the more important taking a break becomes.
A new understanding of power
And so going into these last few months of 2016, I’m opening up to a new understanding of what happens when you step into your power.
Power is learning to receive.
Power is learning to allow.
Power is connection to the universe.
Not sure if you’ve ever surfed, but there’s this magical moment when your power merges with the wave’s power and everything melts into the now.
During this moment of merging, you travel much further than you could alone. All because you’re united with the source of all that is. You feel carried by the universe.
To truly step into your power, you must balance action with surrender.
Like night follows day, we need to fall into passivity after taking action. It’s like during savasana in yoga, when you rest in the awesome energy of the work you’ve done. This is the time to rest, receive and absorb. Consciously.
Creating space is essential if you want to step into your power.
There’s a lot of fear that comes up around receiving, around creating space. We feel like what we do is never enough. We feel like if we create space, nobody will catch us. We’ll fall into failure instead of the flow.
It’s easy to fill space with more list-making, more planning, more doing. This never leads anywhere good. Instead, we dig into our reserves and burnout.
This constant planning often comes not from excitement or passion, but from a deep-seated fear of unworthiness.
When we’re in fear, we’re not in power. This constant doing blocks our ability to receive, which is what we really want.
Constant activity blocks the flow of receptivity.
One part of creating the space to receive, which is necessary to step into your power, is creating boundaries.
Boundaries create space to receive and support you as you step into your power.
This has come up for me in a major way.
My social media presence in particular was feeling way out of balance. I give a ton of free content on social media, and at one point it served my personal journey greatly.
More recently, it felt like an obligation rather than an outpouring of love.
That’s why since October 10, I haven’t posted anything on Instagram or Facebook. I’ll return eventually, but I first need to figure out how to show up in way that feels good. I’ve changed a lot, and I need to greet myself again, figure out who I am right now.
Of course, social media isn’t the cause, but only a symptom of an underlying imbalance. An imbalance within that inspires me to give to the point of burnout without creating space to receive, whether that’s receiving from the universe or from other people.
My journey is now about learning how to create a container for holding energy so it doesn’t flow through me before I absorb it. In a lot of ways, I’m a sieve. An epiphany or exciting insight comes, and immediately I return it into the world.
This has become the way I feel valuable. I’ve realized this sharing doesn’t always come from a place of power. Sometimes I use it as a way to feel seen, and this doesn’t always serve me.
I’m realizing it’s healthier to hold on to the energy for a moment before sharing, and possibly not sharing some things at all.
Creating space to hold energy relates to the amount of power we have because power is energy. A person full of life-force energy is a powerful force.
This relates to other things people desire. How much money can you hold (without hoarding)? How much joy can you contain? How much excitement can you feel without energetically electrocuting yourself?
To create and hold space for all of these things, we must create boundaries.
How to create boundaries (so you can step into your power)
Honor your limits
Yes, we have limits. The energy that fuels us is limitless, but humans have very real limits and we must honor them. Boundaries allow us to create very specific containers to hold this energy so we can direct it in a powerful way.
Of course, toxic social messages like giving is better than receiving easily make people who give too much feel selfish for setting boundaries. (Most people inclined to feeling selfish don’t need to worry about being selfish. Truly selfish people are rarely concerned about this balance.)
In truth, not setting boundaries will only leave you lifeless and powerless, with nothing left for anyone, least of all yourself.
Inquire within: What areas of life feel out of balance?
Journal it out. What will and won’t you accept? What does and doesn’t feel good? What do you need help with? What will you say no to? What do you want more of?
What habits leak your energy? What leaves you feeling depleted? What new habits would you like to create? Change one thing at a time. That makes it easier.
Enforce your boundaries
A lot of times, you’ll be tested on your new path as soon as you set a boundary. It’s a gentle nudge from the universe asking, “Hey! Did you really learn this?”
I experienced this the other day. Someone asked me for guidance through a Facebook message. I responded that I’m not able to give private coaching through Facebook, but might have spots opening soon. And she responded with the Ho’oponopono prayer!
Do you know this prayer? It’s a Hawaiian forgiveness mantra: I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank You. I love you.
This prayer is typically used when someone feels offended by something, but wishes to take responsibility for their part in feeling offended.
At first, I really doubted myself. Was I being greedy by not giving free advice? But then I realized that it’s really not my problem if someone else doesn’t respect my time.
This is my boundary: Nobody is entitled to my time.
I affirmed this to myself. I value myself. I value my energy. I value my time.
Being tested is a good thing. It’s an opportunity to show up for yourself.
It’s fall, a perfect time to shed pieces of you that no longer work. Let it go.
Uplevel. Set boundaries. Enforce those boundaries. Create space to receive.
Share your story!
How do you create space to receive? What boundaries do you have to protect your energy?
Share in the comments below.
Lots of love,
Suzanne Heyn is a spirituality teacher and online course creator. Her life-changing online course experiences and popular blog help people heal their hearts and love who they are. With an online community of more than 20,000 people, Suzanne is known for her practical, authentic take on spirituality that creates space for deep healing and heartfelt connection.
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