These days we often hear that we should be still and listen inside. For many this is a huge leap. We have so many thoughts, ideas, emotions and feelings running around in our consciousness that we can’t hear our own inner voice. If by chance we can get still enough to hear we frequently don’t trust our own thoughts, feelings and inner messages.
Culturally we have learned to receive affirmation and acknowledgment for what we think and feel from outside of us. This may have been in the form of parents, teachers, children, friends or partners. We require external validation for our internal experiences. This leaves us feeling powerless inside to the outer circumstances in our life. We give our power away to those things external instead of deciding for ourselves.
Beginning to live an empowered life requires you to trust yourself and know who you are. It starts with knowing your preferences, your likes and dislikes, and knowing those things that are important for you and those that are not important. It also requires you to see how you create your life and how you feel in each moment. Most people want to feel joyous, elated, kind and loving yet many times during the day or week they find themselves not feeling that way. Instead feeling frustrated, unhappy, angry or sad. We attribute our feelings, both the ones we like and the ones we don’t like, to our circumstances and often feel like when the “outside” circumstance changes so does the way that we feel.
The truth is you have the power in each moment to feel how you want to feel regardless of outer circumstance. You get to choose. There is no one else in your head doing the choosing. Embodying this is empowerment. It is living congruently to you, to what is important to you and trusting that inner voice that is you. It requires that you focus and refocus and bring to the forefront that which is most important, uplifting and energizing for you. I am not saying that this is an easy process. When things seem to be out of control and not going how we want them to be we often get “hijacked” by our thought and feeling patterns that take us into a downward spiral of feeling less than how we want to be feeling.
This hijacking happens through activating pathways in our nervous system that have been activated over and over again. These engrained patterns are often reactionary in nature unless we consciously begin to change them. These patterns are also bodymind connected, meaning you must address both the mental program and support your body’s physiology. People often tend to do one or the other. They may take a meditation class or repeat affirmations, choosing mental reframing, while other may participate in body-centered work such as massage or yoga but pay less attention to what is happening in their mind. Since the body and mind are integrally intertwined both must be addressed to shift the neurological patterning and programming.
When we support our bodymind and its neurological patterning we begin to be able to hear our inner voice more clearly and trust its messages. Living in an empowered, internally informed state is to live in alignment with what is important to us, not what is important to other people or what we have been taught should be important to us. This is a liberated state where we realize that we have had the power all along.
Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, MS, L.Ac