I’d been camping in the desert for three weeks. The rattlesnake trail to the left of my tent showed up the first morning I woke here, and even now, it was still visible on my left stretching voluptuously into the distance.
Tonight was a new moon. We were camped at 12,000 feet and it could be so dark, that I couldn’t see my own hand waving in front of my face. Tonight’s assignment was to walk into the darkness alone with a question, and return with the answer.
I woke sometime in the middle of the night, stumbled out of my tent and shouldered my small pack. I felt myself pulled in one direction and slowly, followed my feet.
I got to a place that terrified me. Suddenly I didn’t want to go any further. My rational mind knew that I was likely in range of my tent. I’d probably gone 10 little steps.
It was here that I felt my threshold, my crossing point to finding my answer. It was like the gate or the exit door where I knew I couldn’t turn back. It was where all my fear had come to gather – like troops.
I’m sure you know the feeling. When we suddenly question all the intuition that carried us here. Suddenly we’re not sure of anything.
I also saw it like a clay wall, which I’d built personally, as if proud of each brick. While my mind admired each fear, my heart knew there was only one choice. My feet felt like concrete and it took me about 10 shuffles to cross that invisible line, and then I just kept moving.
Some time later, I sat. Amongst the many conversations I had that night with the unknown, with myself and with the ancients, there was one to share now, about a word we tend to shy away from and balk at – Power, and it’s relationship with fear.
Here’s the conversation:
I feel this tremendous power within me and I’m afraid.
Well of course you are. Everyone is. Everyone feels that and fears it. Because it is the Power of Creation – You as Creator – the universe, the surroundings, your existence, your story - it is the power of all that, the power creating all that. You would rather believe you’re but a victim, a cog in the wheel and small receiver of this universe – not – you are the universe.
Your power is your responsibility for how this universe is to you. What you see, what you shape and how you transform.
It sounds like ego. Even thought I get the dream of which you speak.
Ego is being small. Ego is being a small centre with everything operating around you.
This Power is deep connection and boundarylessness with all Creation – with the whole thing.
Seeing the whole thing as you; every ant, every stone, every star, and every bitch; every beautiful place on earth and every ugly place on earth. That is your true power, to identify with it all and see how deeply your power of this life, dream, reality and universe unfolds as you. It’s what you choose to see, and why.
A deer arrives, I hear him approach and see an outline.
I hear cockatoo song in my head, but I’m in America.
Power is in the beholder and nowhere else.
Hold no power and you deny the existence. Be power full and you are a container for the universe, it’s effects and outcomes. You live this with your life and hearts integrity. Power is total humility.
You must surrender to the power that is you. It’s not a paradox. Let go and allow yourself to shine. Power full is letting life move through you and with you, and being responsible with all your processes; to love and relearn them into wholeness, no matter what.
Power is when the ego of self-consciousness steps away and the beam of self-reverence breaks forth. Power is allowing yourself to give of you wholeheartedly, unabashedly, and with a self-determination that respects the why.
Why you live, breathe and stand here, now, part of the whole.
People get caught up in the why, we overthink the why.
It is shown in every moment and not before. It's request of us is to tune in and be in touch with the center of who we are.
To be powerful is to be deeply connected to the you, that is now, and the life, that you are. It is to speak, breathe and walk as that.
There are no mistakes, just returning again and again to the place of power, which does not exist in our minds, or in future thoughts or plans.
The place of power is this moment. Bring yourself to the intersection of you as this moment and you will have all the power ever needed, the river of power flows here. We funnel that surge of energy into clarity.
This was during a month-long intensive training in rites of passage and the vision fast with The School Of Lost Borders and involves a practice I do consistently, around intentional time in nature.
The answer I walked home with from this particular conversation has shown me something remarkable about fear.
Fear can be a godsend. It catapults us into the present. Often when we have to make a decision in the moment (not from turning it over in our minds from the couch) - but at the juncture when it is required of us – when it cannot be put off any longer, we make the best one.
This highlights something KEY.
The difference between real (in the moment) fear and imposed fear: In the first, we are intimate with our power, the second we are estranged from it.
Real, in the moment fear.
Real fear brings us to the immediacy of the present moment with all our senses.
i.e. a tree branch collapses near us.
This is the place of miraculous power, when we must respond and the present moment shows up to guide us. We access the needed energy for the situation. We get out of the way, move, use voice, visually scan what’s around us, we pay heightened attention to now. Even if we tried to prepare for this, we could never respond as well as we do from this place of immediacy.
Even if we freeze, one second can feel like a minute because time is stretched wide from power in the present. Colours can be heightened. We can suddenly be aware of things from different angles without thought. We can sense something right before it starts to move.
Our mind doesn’t function like we’re used to. Thinking is almost void. We are responding, sensing, listening, awakening to all information available, attending at every moment. Nothing is static or permanent – the world moves, and us within it.
Let’s clarify for our brilliant minds one thing: the heavy burden and drain of imposed fear. When we entertain fear, we call it forth –
“Come, help me make a better decision about tomorrow?”
We are entertaining because we also expect a good show.
“Show me what you got. Give me all scenarios!”
In my mind, I’m like an elastic band, pulling away from the origin of power. The further I go, the harder I work to get an answer, the more uncomfortable I become and the greater resistance to what is. It’s unsustainable. With ongoing exertion, I’m likely to snap.
When we invite fear and worry in, there is no access point to knowing, no power.
So, How do we access our power place without fear?
In real fear, adrenaline catapults us back to Now. Sometimes we seek out adrenaline like a drug, to bring us to aliveness. Sometimes we even think stress will bring us here, but cortisol as a drug works very differently.
We don’t require adrenaline to access this. We may in an emergency, because we just aren’t doing it otherwise, but the power place is always available to us. It is more easily available by distilling our energy into the moment.
The present is total aliveness. Tune to this moment. Sometimes when I do this, I feel my heart thrum in my chest. Sometimes I deepen my breath, or slow myself down.
The immediacy of the present is full of stimulation; we heighten sensation simply by attending to it. Pay attention to any one sensation, then another.
The present is intimate – it involves us, it only exists through us.
There’s a river of information within us. How I’m feeling right now and why. What I hope for right now, and where I hold back. Where freedom lives in my body and where tension lies.
When I join the river of power, it awakens me to what is current. It also shows me what's possible, because I can access my wise self here.
We meet ourselves here. The present is beyond time. Sometimes an entire understanding settles within us, in the space of a millisecond. Regardless, it calls us to tend to ourselves. To listen and respond to who we are.
Here we access what is real, alive and true. And that is a Power full capacity that we have and that we are.
In the paradox of life, it is through walking into the darkness that we meet our aliveness and power. It is through what we fear most, that we find the greatest freedom. It is with our biggest struggles in life that we uncover incredible knowledge and unique understanding.
Be not afraid of what shows up. Be curious. For with it, is another great unfolding.