Powerful Reflections




I was feeling particularly uninspired and powerless the other day, looking listlessly out the window, when a cardinal flew onto my fire escape, looked right at me, flared his crest and then flew away. 
I am a firm believer that our spirit (or unconscious) focuses on certain animals when we need a pep talk, or sometimes a kick in butt and I promptly looked up the spiritual meaning of a Cardinal. It was:

Own your Power. Trust your Power. Trust that you know what you want and how to get it.

Whhoooo shivers. Trust and ownership can be quite a challenge!! 

So, what makes us powerful? Simply owning it? Trusting it? …Trusting something…in order to break out of our own paradigms into new levels of thought about what is possible. I think that is one part of being Powerful. It’s where I’m at right now, at least.
I am in Los Angeles as I write this, I suppose proving to myself that I have the power to do something I’ve always wanted to be able to do (i.e., I wish I could be like those people who can just up and go wherever they want last minute. Bi-Coastal people. People who boldly go after what they want. Flying across countries to make an impression. Wow, the money that would take, not to worry about it. I want that. I wish I could do it) …and then I did. I hadn’t connected this with the Cardinal, but yes, perhaps a spark was lit.
I flew out here, from New York City, suddenly, literally in a split-second decision, without any guarantee of anything, buying a plane ticket for the very next day, because I wanted to make an impression. And, as it went this time, I did not get to make that impression, at least not on who I thought I wanted to make it on. 
So here is where fear and regret can creep in. I took this night to really consider what I have done by making this decision:
I have been brought up with many mixed messages about money and the ease of acquiring it, the responsibility and planning required to use it, it’s essentiality to living, and the potential to lose it all unwisely. These are certainly thoughts coming into my head about the money spent “impulsively” on a plane ticket. But when I reflect on how I’ve spent money in the past, I have never regretted it, even when my account had negative numbers in it. Yet I have grown up in society filled with stories of lack, limits, money being lost in careless ways, the need for protection, regrets, and feeling bad about money being spent:  “Oh, they put so much money into it and nothing ever came of it.” …Really? Did nothing ever come of it? Was no lesson learned at least? And why is that heart-breaking? To put money towards something that didn’t work out how we thought or hoped it would? You wanted to explore a possibility. You did. You had the means to. You did what you wanted! The outcomes we want are never guaranteed. It’s about exploring possibilities. “Oh, but now they are broke and depressed.” Why? Now they have no more money… (and implied here is no more access to money?!) The “Once it’s gone, it’s gone” mentality. There’s fear there. Limitation. Only one option. Only one source that could dry up at any moment. I could choose this. I could choose to think about the money lost on a last minute trip to make an impression that never happened.  But I believe that choice is allowing the situation and the need for something outside of myself (money) to break me. And people who choose to view things that way have allowed this upon themselves. That’s all. They don’t serve as an example of what happens when you are “careless” with your money. There is, of course, careless behavior in regards to money that puts people in a bad place, but it’s actually not about the money at all. Money is merely a tool, used well or not. It’s the attitude and behavior, with or without money, that puts people in a bad place. And putting money towards exploring possibilities is not this. Afterall, there’s another school of thought – one must spend money in order to make money.
Thus, I suppose I made an impression on myself. On the Universe, conspiring to deliver me my highest good and best experiences possible. As Richard, the beautiful man in my life, says, the Universe rewards you for being bold. So I made an impression on myself to be able to accept this knowledge on a higher level than I have before. To be able to say to the Universe:  I AM BOLD! I AM POWERFUL! I AM CONSPIRING WITH YOU FOR MY OWN HIGHEST GOOD AND BEST EXPERIENCES POSSIBLE… it’s one step closer to having the idealized life I have in my head of total freedom to do what I see fit to do in any given moment…all the while being taken care of, provided for, and successful. What a great idea!!! And now that I read back what I’ve just written,…I’m not sure I can say that I don’t have that reality…and maybe that’s the trick of doing bold things, risking loss and lack; that we may see things differently and acquire something new (that isn’t material at all).
So, I’m on an edge…even after this bold trip, I can’t clearly see being able to fly anywhere at anytime for any length of time…I can’t clearly see the possibility of endless resources for this…but it’s just beyond the horizon line that I can see, now. And, I think, as I continue to move closer it will come into view. 
But what am I really seeking here? Is it the money? Yes…in a sense. I want money. But not to have…I want it to be able to use it. I want it to be an extension of my own energy and efforts to DO in this world. After all, what is charity and “do-gooding” all about? Giving what you have – and most often, most sought after, this is in the form of money. Giving money is quite an impactful statement. It resonates. The earth can shake with that kind of statement.
Consider the former president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica (who served from 2010-2015), a man who’s ideology I was lucky enough to happen upon recently and can’t quite get enough of! :
He gives 90% of his income to charity!! You may have heard of tithing, which is a spiritual practice of giving 10% of all you have (money or otherwise) to your church or to charity in order to show faith that you are always provided for and always have enough to share. Mr. Mujica is living this law on a level most of us couldn’t fathom! That is POWER. But according to him* :
(* please see the end of the post for links to his interviews!)
“This is a matter of freedom. If you don’t have many possessions then you don’t need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself.”
“Either you’re happy with very little, free of all that extra luggage, because you have happiness inside, or you don’t get anywhere. I am not advocating poverty. I am advocating sobriety. But since we have invented a consumer society, the economy must constantly grow. If it fails to increase it’s a tragedy. We have invented a mountain of superfluous needs. Shopping for the new, discarding the old…that’s a waste of our lives. When I buy something, or when you buy something, you’re not paying money for it,  you’re paying with the hours of life you had to spend earning that money. The difference is that life is one thing money can’t buy. Life only gets shorter and it is pitiful to waste one’s life and freedom that way.”
Freedom. Isn’t that what we all seek underneath it all and believe that money and power will bring to us? 
But here is a powerful reflection – paying for things with the “hours of life you had to spend earning that money.” Within this one can properly start to assess their own sense of values and only put energy towards things they truly do value. And THEN spending money becomes magical, not painful. Things can be done with money that are filled with care.
But to be even more powerful (i.e., Free), I must find the trust within myself that the money (or resources) will come back. That can feel quite heavy. But how I want to view it is this: It will come back because I used it deliberately to better myself, or in ways that make me face what I value, ways that make me feel alive, or realize that what I actually value is myself. And when you value yourself, won’t energy that is of value come to you? Furthermore, when you value yourself, don’t you feel more capable of doing impactful things in this world? That’s what I chose to believe. That is a powerful feeling.
I don’t have a ton of savings. I am not a billionaire. But my life is quite free. And I am working to continue to free it even more. To truly explore just how deeply I value myself. And what is of value to me while I am here on this Earth.  Will this mean flying anywhere at anytime (like a bird perhaps?) I really hope so! But I also have to let that hope go. Freedom can come in any and all forms. And living from this place, I think, is the beginning of true power. 
And so, Thank you, little Cardinal. I believe I got your message. 



* Jose Mujica Links:

Interview Excerpt from HUMAN, a film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

“World’s Poorest President Explains Why We Should Kick Rich People Out Of Politics” (Source: OccupyWallStreet.net)


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