Photo: Brigitte Lacombe
I'm always fascinated by lists of "Most Powerful People," and by the ways they use external things—fame, status, wealth—to define and rank power. It's curious how a person can go from the top of a list one year to unlisted the next—all in the blink of a board meeting. Was that person's power real, or was the power only in the position? We often get the two confused.
For me, there is no real power without spiritual power. A power that comes from the core of who you are and reflects all that you were meant to be. A power that's connected to the source of things. When you see this kind of power shining through someone in all its truth and certainty, it's irresistible, inspiring, elevating. I can feel it in myself sometimes, mostly when I'm sharing an insight that I know will have an impact on someone's life and I can see that they "get it." I get real joy from helping other people experience aha moments. That is where my power lies.
Gary Zukav writes in The Seat of the Soul, "When we align our thoughts, emotions, and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose, and meaning... When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of its soul, that is authentic empowerment." Fulfilling your purpose, with meaning, is what gives you that electrifying "juice" and makes people stand in wonder at how you do it.
The secret is alignment: when you know for sure that you're on course and doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing, fulfilling your soul's intention, your heart's desire, or whatever you choose to call it (they're all the same thing). When your life is on course with its purpose, you are your most powerful. And you may stumble, but you will not fall.
I know for sure that in every challenging experience there's an opportunity to grow, enhance your life, or learn something invaluable about yourself. Every challenge can make you stronger if you allow it. Strength multiplied = power.
Why you have a unique ability to change the work change the world, plus 31 more ways of looking at power
From the September 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!