Hi my dear friends,
There is so much of life that can make us feel powerless or out of control. I think this is the nature and ultimately the goal of life: to understand that there is so much that we can’t control, and learn to surrender, and focus on the things that we can change. I’ve learned time and time again that the biggest source of control and intentional action comes from ourselves and managing our reactions to the things that are uncontrollable. My mom taught me at a very young that we will never be able to control or predict the things that happen to us externally, but we can always strive to manage our reactions and responses to it.
One of the biggest areas of my life, where I tend to get triggered and feel powerless is in relationships. Historically, I’m a people pleaser, I tend to go with the flow, hold back when I don’t agree with something, and put the needs and wants of others first. While I’ll always think it’s crucial to have compassion and empathy, this way of living is draining, frustrating, and ultimately makes you feel resentful….and a huge waste of life.
This past year I’ve learned a lot about myself and how I show up in my relationships. I don’t wish to be that energetic doormat or a victim to other people’s behaviors, not even when they are doing something “wrong”, but because it feels so much better to stand in my own power, truth, needs, and strength.
Often times when we realize that a power dynamic is off, in a circumstance or a relationship, it’s hard to know where to start to create balance within ourselves. Below are five practices I’ve used to help me get clarity, find peace, and know how to step into my own power. I hope these are helpful for you to.
1. Take space to get clear. Often times I feel out of my power when I’m quick to react, and ultimately do and say things that I wish I hadn’t. I always find that when I take a few moments and create space, I find clarity and a knowing of how I truly wish to proceed.
2. Write down and release what you really need to say. In relationships it can feel hard to tell people how we really feel or especially if we’ve been hurt, so we keep it all bottled up inside of us. A great way to release this, is to write a letter or journal about what you’d like to say to that person and describe how you’re feeling, with the understanding that you don’t even have to share it with them. The simple act of taking the thoughts and feelings stored inside ourselves, and giving them a new home on paper, can bring a huge relief.
3. Know your boundaries and communicate them clearly. As human beings we grow, change, and transform, and so will our desires and needs. It’s important to really know what you will and will not accept, to understand your limits, and to honor and communicate them clearly. The people in our lives aren’t mind readers, it can be extremely helpful to let them know (in a kind way), when you need to make a change.
4. Release the things that are no longer aligned. Nothing in our life stays the same. Being mindful, present, and aware to our own lives can help us know when we need to let something go for the sake of our own best interest. While change can feel scary and challenging, it often will provide us with beautiful new experiences, growth, and opportunity. Know that it’s okay to remove things in your life that are no longer aligned with who you are, to create space for the things that are.
5. Try not to obsess about outcomes and results. This of course is easier said than done, but anytime I’ve ended a relationship of any sort, it’s been easy for me to get caught up in wondering whether or not that person is sad and upset about it. The whole point of standing in, and owning your power, is taking the action that you know is necessary and moving forward with grace, ease, and certainty. Falling back into a space of wondering or even checking in on people or circumstances that you’ve released (especially on social media) just creates confusion and chaos for ourselves. When you speak up for yourself and take that aligned action, trust that you are doing the right thing, there lies your true power.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org