When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of its soul, that is authentic empowerment. – Gary Zukov
I’d heard Oprah say how life-changing this book was for her, and how, after applying principles from this book, and changing the intention of the Oprah Winfrey Show, she won her first Emmy. I thought, I got to get my mits on it.
Judging the book by its cover, I sort of expected it to be about finding your purpose, which was fine by me, because I was still searching for what I’m supposed to do when I first picked it up. After reading Gary Zukov’s Seat of the Soul: An Inspiring Vision of Humanity’s Spiritual Destiny I realised it was more than finding your purpose; it’s about cultivating your authentic power. And when you’re more yourself, and you use your unique abilities for to help others rise, you are authentically powerful. Can you imagine? That being more you can make you more powerful? That’s why Oprah had the most successful TV show in the history of television. So I wrote this post to collect my thoughts on what authentic power is and how you cultivate authentic power. I hope it serves you in some way, too.
Where does your power come from?
According to Zukov, we have two sources of power. External and internal.
External power can be acquired or lost, as in the stock market or an election. It can be bought or stolen, transferred or inherited. One person’s gain of external power is perceived as another person’s loss.
Zukov says external power is based on the physical world, that is, what you can perceive with your senses. And we as flesh-bag humans are excessively focussed on external power. The result? Social structures like: patriarchal, classist, competitive, racist, sexism and polarisation. Which is great for some, so no good for others.
Striving to be powerful externally means you strive to gain power at the expense of others. When you seek power externally, for you to rise, others must fall; for you to win, others must lose. The only way for internet trolls to feel powerful is by bringing someone else down. That’s a pretty grim way to be powerful and definitely not the best way to win friends and influence people!
If you place your sense of self-worth in the hands of others, you have no power.
If external power is about everything you can perceive with your five senses, the external world, internal power is about looking within; it’s about everything you can perceive with your heart, your soul.
People feel lonely, and therefore powerless, because they’re focusing on external power, they’re basing their judgements and experiences on their senses. But if you tap into your inner power, that quiet place where you are limitless, you’ll know we are all connected, and therefore, never alone.
Asking for trouble
The trouble with seeking external power – if it’s not already obvious – you’re asking others to assess your value. You’re saying “I’m worthy because they said so, look, see, I won something.” Or “Look, I just bought this flashy new car, so that means I’m someone, because I’m nobody without it”. And if no one “Likes” your Instagrammed pose of your new car or holiday snaps, you feel unworthy. Or if you haven’t won anything, or see others have stuff and you don’t, you feel unworthy, powerless. So even if you win every award and own lots of blingy things, you are powerless.
Having authentic power means accessing your inner world to know your worthiness, it means paying attention to the stillness that resides within you, and knowing your eternal power.
Now that we have a clearer picture of what authentic power is, how do you begin cultivating it?
Now that we have a clearer picture of what authentic power is, how do you begin cultivating it?
How you grow
Learning is the ultimate act of freewill.
A key pillar that determines whether you cultivate authentic power is based on how you choose to learn, how you chose to grow. According to Gary Zukov, we have two ways to grow, via the personality or via the soul.
If you chose to grow via your personality, you’re dependent on external validation, rewards, awards. Zukav says the foundation of growth for the personality is fear and doubt; it’s what Eckhart Tolle calls the ego. Abraham Maslow, in his Theory of Human Motivation, calls this esteem needs. The personality strives to be better than others to show it’s growing.
The other way of growing and learning is through the growth of the soul, your inner-world.
Every experience that you have and will have upon the Earth encourages the alignment of your personality with your soul. Every circumstance and situation gives you the opportunity to choose this path, to allow your soul to shine through you, to bring into the physical world through you its intending and unfathomable reverence for and love of life.
Foundation of growth for the inner-world is love and wisdom; its realm is unbounded and non-physical. What this means is, to cultivate authentic power, instead of letting the personality rule, which results in selfish gains, it’s about using your personality – your unique gifts, quirks, idiosyncrasies, passions – to serve your soul’s purpose, which is to help humanity grow. Because we are all connected, when you serve your soul you are serving everyone. It’s impossible not to.
Winning is a by-product
You could argue, when you achieve rewards, like, you win your first client, a gold medal for your country, a prize for your service to the community, it means you’re growing, because you have to grow to achieve these accolades. True indeed. There’s nothing wrong with winning and achieving. The distinction is, when cultivating authentic power, winning is not the end-goal, which is the case for the personality. For the soul, winning is a by-product of authentic power.
So far, I get that authentic power is about focusing more on your inner-world than the outer, figure out how to use your personality, unique abilities, serve others, rather than for personal gain and acclaim. How does authentic power work in practise?
How you create your reality
Every action, thought, and feeling is motivated by an intention, and that intention is a cause that exists as one with an effect. If we participate in the cause, it is not possible for us not to participate in the effect. In the most profound way, we are held responsible for our every action, thought and feeling, which is to say for our every intention.
This is where your power can really shift gears. You already know all your actions have consequences. If you don’t, a scientist called Newton said so and the world agrees and he’s never been disproven, it’s called the law of motion, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. These metaphysical laws, or karma, are just like gravity, they don’t pick favourites, even if it’s morally superior. Like, if you throw me and her majesty the Queen in the Thames, we’ll both fall in the river. One of us won’t magically stay suspended in mid-air because one wears a crown and the other doesn’t. Ready or not, whatever you put out there is coming right back ‘atcha, and it all starts with your intention.
What you feel you attract
The question you need to ask yourself is, what am I putting out there?
When you’re all judgey judgey, or obsess about people’s faults, or if you’re greedy and think about yourself all the time, you attract similar lower frequencies. These lower frequencies are associated with the personality and external power. You put poo out there, guess what? You find doo doo everywhere you turn.
But when you emit higher energies, like love, kindness, or focus on people’s highest potential, their strengths and virtues, you attract like forces, events and circumstances. Instead of focussing on selfish needs (which ends up attracting similar lower frequencies) set the intention to be of service. Using the law of intention, karma, has a multiplier effect.
You create your reality with your intentions.
Three tools to cultivate your authentic power
Here are three tools you have at disposal to cultivate your authentic power.
To be authentically powered you need to honour life. If you don’t revere life, you end up taking advantage of others or creating situations that produce winners and losers.
Reverence is not respect. Respect is judgement. It is a response to the perception of qualities that we ourselves admire, or have been taught to admire.
When we create our life’s work, we each have a choice: reverence or greed. Reverence or destruction. Reverence or hate.
You can’t be authentically powered without humility. Truly humble people see the beauty in others, they are strong and certain in there is-ness that they don’t need to assert their authority – which is what the personality seeks to do. Without humility, your sense of self-worth depends on external rewards and recognition. When you stand in humility, you have unwavering strength.
If someone or something bothers you, holding on to it gives your power away, because you’re holding them (people or circumstances) responsible for how you’re feeling. It’s like drinking toilet water hoping the offender feels the yukky taste. Dumb isn’t it? When you forgive, letting go of the negative energy that dims your light allows you radiate more light, elevate your vibration.
Still feel a bit fluffy?
How this book influenced my actions
Since collecting my thoughts in this post, one area where I’ve made conscious changes is while composing a tweet; before clicking send, I get a gentle nudge, “why are you sending this, who is this serving, your ego or your soul”. If I feel it’s a ranting Tweet, or doesn’t serve anyone, I delete it. If it’s informing or serving, I share it. Also, when I’m about to meet someone and be in the company of someone that irritates me, I set my intention purposefully by telling myself, “I intend to have a great evening and uplift everyone I meet.”
Being conscious of my intentions behind decisions and actions helps me ensure I’m attracting positive energy, circumstances and events. It also makes me avoid poisonous feelings of guilt and regret. And if something “negative” comes along, instead of being disheartened, I ask myself, “what is this teaching me?” Asking this question always points to something inside me. So each “negative” event becomes an opportunity to be aware of my shortcomings, which is an opportunity to help you grow.