Disempowered? Change Your Story.


“There is a way to deal with everything that arises in our lives. We might have to learn how, but there is a way.”  – Krishna Das

How are you dealing with feeling disempowered in your life because of ___ (you fill in the blank)?

Scrolling your phone instead of getting enough rest or connecting with the actual people in your life?

Overeating comfort food instead of nourishing yourself?

Spiraling your anxiety with complaints and evidence from outside sources that affirm how bad things are instead of tuning into what’s actually right in front of you?

I can relate. I’ll be the first to admit that I reached for a vanilla latte and pumpkin chocolate chip muffin this morning instead of eating a nourishing breakfast! And, I briefly went down the rabbit hole with the disempowering complaint: “Nothing I do matters.”

Then I saw the quote that I opened with above and it reminded me that I have the power to choose an empowering context for what’s happening in my life. The story I tell myself about what’s happening has a greater impact on me than what’s actually happening.

In her new book A Fierce Belief in Miracles: My Journey from Rape to Wholeness and Healing, author and friend Anne Heck, talks about the powerful stand she took for herself and her life. At one point in the book she describes the moment when a woman she had told about her rape exclaimed: “WTF! That’s a sure way to a ruined life.”

When Anne heard those words she decided that wasn’t true for her. She took on the possibility of healing, wholeness and empowerment for herself. That lead her to fiercely believe in miracles and lead to her healing and wholeness.

I had the privilege of sitting in a Womens Healing Circle with Anne and witnessed her declare her powerful intentions and healing work. What blew my mind in those moments was her refusal to view her rape as solely a negative. She chose a powerful story that lead to her healing and wholeness. Was it easy and quick? Absolutely not!

As she writes in her book, and has expressed in interviews, the process was long, challenging and ongoing.

It takes a lot of courage to choose an empowering story. In my experience it’s easier to buy into old stories of disempowerment and fall back on old habit patterns that provide comfort in the short term, but that can also continue the vicious cycle of feeling disempowered.

Here’s the deal, we love to assign meaning to people, things and events in our lives. That’s how we make sense of our world.

Have you ever stopped to consider that the meaning you’re assigning to something isn’t the TRUTH? It’s your view, your story and your meaning, but it’s not the truth.

Take money for example. We have a lot of story around money. It’s printed paper. That’s what it is. There’s no inherent value in money. Cash value is an agreement that we’ve made with each other – a very large and powerful agreement. You have lots of personal stories about money too. I know I do. It’s good or it’s bad. There’s always enough or there’s never enough. Things are cheap or things are expensive. None of that is actually true. I know folks who think money is good and I know folks who think it’s evil. Their relationship to money and how it works in their lives plays out in accordance. I know folks who think $100 for a pair of jeans is expensive and others who think it’s affordable.

The way you think about your kayaking or your SUPing or adventure in general also plays out in your life. Is your view that you’re a great paddler or a bad paddler? Do you view paddling as dangerous or fun? If you’re a strong swimmer kayaking isn’t so intimidating, if you’re a weak swimmer paddling a SUP on flatwater may feel terrifying.

Your life and your choices are playing out based on your view of the world.

So the question is, are you willing to challenge your view, or the view that you’ve accepted from others as truth, and discover something new and empowering for yourself?

Over and over again throughout the day today I’ve challenged myself to choose the empowering view that I can deal with everything that arises in my life. I remember that the only thing I can control is myself and how I am in the world. I choose to be powerfully aligned with my passion, the people in my life and the positive impact that my work can have in the world. And, then I also give myself grace with the comfort food when I want it 🙂 There’s no right or wrong.

So, what are you choosing today?

If you’re struggling with this concept and you want more clarity on how to recognize and choose a powerful view/story/thought, I invite you to join me and Sommerville, a licensed Somatic Experiencing Therapist, for our virtual ReTreat November 13th – 15th. Create a retreat space in your own home, learn how to choose powerfully and build your stress resilience, and enjoy yoga, Ayurvedic cooking and more! CLICK HERE to learn more and register.