What is empowerment? How do we empower ourselves and others? And how can we create more empowerment in our lives?
Empowerment is about taking action, self leadership, self determination and greater autonomy in your life. Initiating movement from a powerless state to one of realising and claiming personal power. Breaking away from the safe and comfortable. Creating a place of healthy self worth and knowing your worth. Growing into a new and healthier level of inner confidence and strength. Mastering your self belief and in turn redeeming your right to be who you are in the now. In a way becoming a law unto yourself, a free spirit and embracing free will in your life. Learning to paddle your own canoe. Increased autonomy in decision making and personal responsibility. Greater self sufficiency. Enjoying a no holds barred attitude and becoming a true maverick maybe? Accepting compliments, positivity and words of praise in your life. Finding your freedom and power to live life your way and under your own steam. Goodbye to self deprecation, hello to greater self acceptance and more authentic ways of living.
As a reader writing about empowerment it doesn't surprise that I feel drawn to mention 'The Magician' card from the Rider Waite tarot deck. For the simple reason that the Magician is the epitome of personal control and power. Self empowerment, manifestation, action and awareness. A creation channel for making the impossible possible! The tarot cards are a mirror or reflection of our inner selves, so I'm really talking about the magic or self belief within ourselves. The conscious control of our minds in order to manifest our desires or dreams. In this card, the Magician stands next to a table or altar. The Magician holds a white wand in his left hand pointing upwards and another in his right hand pointing downwards, symbolising the receiving of power from above, the Divine and projects it down below 'As above, so it is below'. On the altar are symbols of Earth (Pentacle), Air (Sword), Fire (Wand) and Water (Cup). Believed to be the building blocks of the Universe, symbolic and an indication that all the tools needed in the Universe are at our disposal. The Wands relate to fire, energy, passion, action and the will to create. Cups are water and signify emotions, intuition, creativity, imagination, love and relationships. Pentacles refer to earthly resources, finances, material possessions, health and the physical world. And finally, the Swords symbolise thoughts, words and messages. The battles within you, your challenges, actions, struggles and moral conflicts. The Magician, numbered 1 in the major arcana, is symbolic of initiating, creating and embracing our own personal magic in life. So like the Magician with his tools, through self empowerment, healthy self belief and leadership we can create our own happiness, magic and successes in life. We just need to believe we can!
By empowering ourselves and believing we can manifest what we need in our lives, we give ourselves the authority to take action and initiate change. To learn new skills, collect more resources, create and attract new opportunities and keep ourselves motivated. Be accountable and more focussed with our goals. Learning from our mistakes and how to deal with failure more effectively. Expressing our vulnerabilities thus building on our courage. Overcoming the pitfalls and learning lessons from times of disempowerment. Finding the strength to leave that sense of powerlessness, lack of influence, low self esteem and decreased self worth behind. Instead, recognise and celebrate our talents. Embrace our skills, our gifts, that natural flair and our true callings. Having that sense of empowerment in both ourselves and others, is what creates a schism from scarcity and thus create a successful pathway to a more abundant, stronger and authentic way of living.
Here are 6 simple ideas to promote more empowerment in your life
1) Empowerment Jar
Sometimes we can be so busy dealing with lifes issues we can often forget all the good stuff said to us. Like a boss thanking us for a great presentation, a friend feeling lifted from a catch up or a family member appreciating our help with a difficult task. This exercise encourages you to make a note of all those great words of praise from your boss, friend etc and pop the written note into an empowerment jar. Then on a day you feel like a boost, empty your jar and have a read. You will be surprised how a few kind and thoughtful words can raise your game!
2) Encouragement and commitment
Finding your voice and increasing your visibility using social media. Think of a subject your passionate about e.g politics, the environment, football or maybe spirituality or yoga. Then create a video or record your own podcast. Next commit to the challenge by posting your video or podcast on social media. Promoting yourself and encouraging others to do the same is a great way to empower yourself.
3) New skills and self mastery
Learn a new skill and create a goal for this new talent. It can help you embrace the unknown, encourage self leadership, self direction and self sufficiency. For example book onto a songwriting course. Set a goal to write a song and give yourself a deadline date to complete it. Then publish or post it to the world!
4) Keep a journal
Putting your thoughts down on paper can often help untangle so much overthinking or unnecessary worrying. Writing can often create greater clarity with an issue, giving you time and space to organise and get creative with how to move forward more effectively. You might even get time for a glimpse of how fabulous and inspiring you are! How empowering!
5) Just 'Do it'!
That thing you've always wanted to do or that place you've wanted to go, genuinely not happened due to lack of funds, time or travel issues. Just 'Do it'! Push past blocks of money, time or how. Borrow the money, take annual leave, go with someone or ask someone to take you. It's often resistance that holds us back, breakthrough the resistance as it's what leads us to our own empowerment. Affording yourself the dedication and time is sometimes all it takes.
6) Stand on the shoulders of giants
Visiting a museum or out and about in London, I am constantly reminded of statues celebrating the lives of famous historical greats. To name a few - Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, Florence Nightingale, Emmeline Pankhurst and Winston Churchill et al. My idea might seem leftfield, however run with me here. Just imagine your five years old again! Choose a person in history who resonates, wherever you are in the world, stand next to their statue and meditate. Your only standing by the statue with your eyes closed so no one has to know! Try breathing the energy of this great person. Imagine being them, how does that feel, maybe think about their strengths, resilience, courage, vulnerability and successes? If this is not for you, then try watching a favourite artist in concert like Coldplay, Madonna or Adele, a comedian on tour or read an autobiography of your favourite actor, chef, politician or artist. Let yourself get creative and be inspired. Try standing on the shoulders of giants, rhetorically speaking of course! Sounds really empowering to me!