It’s understandable if you feel things are out of control at the moment. Powerless.
Please don’t misconstrue my empathy as permission to shrug with indifference or molding s into the couch out of apathy or helplessness. Or roll over and let chaos prevail because it’s just too overwhelmingly big. Or to imply we are just too small to make a difference.
I’d like to see quite the opposite happen . But first we have to call it as we see it.
Awareness is the first step
It’s more powerful to take an unfiltered look. To see beyond the illusion of control. We’ve never had control over anything as individuals. It just felt that way while the status quo was humming along – serving some, and taking away from many.
It’s been uncomfortable since the beginning of 2020, the year of “clear vision.” It’s like the Universe answered our invocation with, “Oh, you want to see clearly, do you? Take a look at this!”
- You can’t take good health or health systems for granted.
- Global pandemics don’t just happen in movies!
- You are not always open for business.
- Your freedom of movement can be suppressed.
- Oh, and by the way, you let yourself be gaslighted again. Racism hasn’t gone anywhere.
What are we to do as responsible humans? As conscious leaders, it’s our mandate to move forward in a more powerful way.
Forget about control. Recognize where you have influence and act on that.
Power vs Force
I recently started to re-read Dr David R Hawkins’ Power vs Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior. Power vs Force is a source document for much of what exists as the modern spiritual movement. Hawkins delineates between the constructive use of power and the destructive use of force.
True power raises consciousness. Force lowers it.
The central premise is outlined in the Map of Consciousness. There are 17 levels of consciousness on the map, each assigned a logarithmic value. Shame resides at the low and near lifeless end at 20, with guilt one step above at 30. Love is assigned 500 and enlightenment tops the scale with a value of 1000. It’s not a linear scale, it’s logarithmic, so each move up the scale is exponentially more powerful than the one that comes before.
Each level is associated with a God-view, a Life View, and a dominant emotion.
The map of consciousness as a tool to find direction.
I can remember three distinct times when my life has intersected with the Map of Consciousness. Each time it has had a distinct and beneficial effect in hindsight. It helped me see when I was overcome with shame and provided a ladder to climb back towards power.
Now I am feeling shame for a different reason. I can no longer tolerate myself as a responsible human being if I do not add my voice to the conversations that need to happen to end systemic racism and imbalances of power of any kind.
I don’t know how to do that.
Today I’m looking at the Map of Consciousness to help determine my role and responsibility as a leader moving forward. It’s the first time I’ve used it this deliberately, pulling it out before making a decision. The levels corresponding with Courage and Willingness jumped off the page.
COURAGE because I know I will make mistakes, and knowing this, I will move forward anyway.
WILLINGNESS because it is associated with intention and a hopeful life view, and I in the same way I share my own story, I can willingly be more intentional with the influence I have. I can use it to amplify other worthy voices.
What can I influence?
Then I wrote “What can I influence?” on a blank page. This came in answer:
- Use my podcast as a platform for interviews with more diverse leadership voices. I need to be more conscious of race when I invite or accept guests.
- Find out why the publishers I have relationships with have only offered me white authors as guests.
- Refuse to play the game of “who can charge the most” for self help and personal development. Find a way to make quality personal growth offerings financially accessible.
- Ramp up my support for leaders in their self care. We are going to need our self care superpower to be resourceful, resilient and relentless for any of our toxic systems to change.
- Be bolder with my own voice and my own experience with systemic failure.
None of these things require a seismic shift of outward effort. The shift is from within. Towards more empathy. More generosity. More conscious awareness.
Uncertainty and fear are the last things that should stand in anyone’s way.
We can’t control most of what’s happening in our fractured society. But we can use our power to have influence. We must adapt. We must get clear. We must strategize, and move forward with focused intention. We must use our talents and skills, to support those who have been suppressed by force.
We must listen, empathize and amplify.
This was always true, but we are being called to be more. Right now. We must cling fiercely to our moral compass when it would be easier to quietly put it away.
Power needs a vessel.
True power always prevails over force, but it doesn’t happen overnight or in a vacuum. Power needs many vessels. “Where can I use my power for good?” is a great place for each of us to begin.
We must become the missing pieces of the puzzle.
We must stop being so…vanilla.