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TAKING BACK YOUR POWER



Contributor: Bree VanZutphen
Being centered and grounded takes patience, self-work and practice. If you are having difficulty knowing where to start, these practices may help. Take a look inside with the help of yogi Bree VanZutphen, taking you step-by-step into your own self-healing.

Taking back your power is about staying grounded and showing up as your authentic self. It is the ability to move forward from an unshakeable center. In the past, I would look for solutions outside of myself instead of knowing the the answers existed within me. It was after much trial and error that I found practices that would inevitably lead me towards wholeness. 

Being a yoga, meditation and breathwork teacher - I have been fortunate to be surrounded by teachings that are all about recognizing the same undeniable truth - that you are your own best teacher. These practices show us how to hold our own hand as we walk through the fire of life. Each time we engage with ourselves on a deeper level, we fortify our own internal resolve and begin to let the habit of relying on outside sources go.

When we take moments of pause with the intention of really being with ourselves, we feel less frantic and more likely to turn inwards for what we are seeking.

It is important to look at what personal narratives we have around our definition of power. Looking at what or who we give our power to will give us the freedom and strength we truly seek. Is it money? Success? Popularity? We must get clear as to where we stray from our internal path so we can re-route back to ourselves.

Throughout the day, we can notice when we are giving our power away. It can be overloading our day for fear of being perceived as lazy. It can be when we feel something deeply, we mask it with any number of distractions (sugar, alcohol, sex, internet scrolling). It can be when we hold back in conversation for fear of appearing unintelligent. Whatever specific situation applies to you, use your new awareness of it as an instrument of change. 

Realize that you need nothing more than a looking inward. Realize that you can be with yourself and tend to your own wounds. This is true power. 
Below are some of the practices that have helped me...

Self inquiry, whether done pen to paper or just sitting quietly, has been a super beneficial practice for me.

Answer the following questions below.

Inquire

  1. In what ways do I give away my power? 

  2. What are the ways I numb, disassociate, or distract from being with myself?

  3. What are my associations with the word “power” and it’s meaning?

  4. How can I redefine power in a way that is closer to truth?

  5. What are things I can do or shift to take more of my power back?


The breathing practice below is called “kapalabhati” and it helps stimulate our third chakra. This is our connection to ourselves, our personal power and our inner strength.

Breathe

Sit in a comfortable cross legged seated position

Let your palms rest softly on your thighs

Begin short quick exhalations out through the nose

Each inhale is passive

Each exhale draw the navel back towards the spine

Continue for 30 seconds to a minute

Then take a long deep inhale and a slow conscious exhale

Close the eyes, sit with the stillness, and notice what’s shifted


It’s helpful to have little reminders throughout the day of what you are trying embody in your present experience.

Affirm

I am at ease with myself. I look to myself for the answers I seek. 

 

Images by David Rosenblatt

Feature Image by Clifford Usher


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