Summer has sprung—in all of its brazen, feverish, full-glory.
For months, the sun has been growing stronger and the days longer. The blossoming of brilliant life-force culminates Monday—when the earth will be bathed in the energy of the full moon closest to the Solstice—a time that both sun and the moon are at peak intensity.
It is a time of immense power, blazing vitality, passion and strength.
Power. Try saying the word aloud and seeing what it brings up in your body.
Does the word make you feel uncomfortable—perhaps even inclined to click over to something else? Do you feel a lurch or a deadness in your stomach, your throat or your heart?
Power is a word that many of us in “conscious communities” are resistant to—unless the very next part of the sentence either has to do with the third chakra or solar energy. We’re often more than willing to dive into the difficult work of healing, transformation, being vessels of light and becoming clear.
However, “power” too easily brings up images of corporate CEOs that ravage the world with their greed, monster truck rallies, football teams and other kinds of things that we define ourselves against, not with.
We resist power in favor of authenticity or our true nature. We focus on flexibility and creativity, instead of strength. We cultivate our compassionate and passionate selves, but are afraid of being too determined, driven, or proud.
In our yoga practice, meditation retreats, ecstatic dance sessions and listening to the teachings of wise teachers—we shy away from power because it’s often associated with the ego, selfishness, domination, and control. This is the kind of power I call power-over, that too many of us have been the victims of in many forms of abuse and harm.
There are other voices in this world that tell us not to be “too much,” “too forceful” or “too miraculous.” The entire beauty industry feeds on the shame we feel about our bodies. Rampant consumer culture is dependent on the constant feeling many of us carry of not being or having enough.
New self-help “gurus” emerge every day, promising enlightenment and self-fulfillment if we buy their new program and go on their Costa Rican retreat—implying that without them, somehow we’ll never find our way there.
Sometimes what happens is that the voices of our wise teachers and the fear-mongers become mixed up inside of our minds and hearts—forming an unholy marriage of the parts of us that are wise, visionary, egalitarian and idealistic, with those that struggle with fear, shame, discouragement and a lack of self-worth, because both sides are telling us to be wary of our power.
But by shying away from our power, we lose our ability to cultivate our creative visions and express ourselves with unbridled passion and enthusiasm.
We turn away from our determination to manifest our dreams and act with overwhelming courage. We tone down our brilliance and pull away from the parts of ourselves that are brash, daring, and utterly self-possessed. We give up our power-from-within and the power we experience when working in collaboration with others and with the whole big, beautiful world around us.
The summer sun reminds us that there is a time for being full volume and totally self-expressed. This is the time of year that the cosmos give us complete permission to play full out, and to remember that the root of the word power is poer, which means: the ability to make something happen.
It’s also the perfect time of the year to reclaim our power from the places that we’ve left it—or where it was taken from us—during a traumatic situation, a time of intense transition, or through an on-going power leak in a long-term relationship or situation. When we reclaim our power, we are reclaiming our life force, our vital energy, our eros—which is our power to create, make love, and celebrate.
“You are always in relationship with your life force. Ideally, you want access to your FULL life force. Not just half it because some of your power is on obligation-loan to the needy, or stuck in a past life, or knotted up with the person who did you wrong, or tangled up in dreading the future. Painful events create fissures that your power gets trapped in. You want to empty those pockets and get your gold back.” ~ Danielle LaPorte
The meditation below is one way to reclaim our power, but there are many others. For example: hiking to the top of a mountain, sitting down to journal or paint every morning, planting gardens in vacant lots or dancing beneath the full moon in the desert.
Now more than ever, this world needs those of us who are conscious, compassionate, clear and focused on healing to live and create from a center of grounded, deep, exuberant power-from-within.
Summer Sun Meditation: Reclaim Your Power.
1. Find a place to sit quietly for 15-20 minutes. It’s ideal if it’s somewhere you can be comfortable, beneath the glory of the sun at it’s highest peak—at noon, or at sunset or sunrise—which are all powerful times to connect with the sun and it’s bright, warm energy.
2. Take five minutes to release the goings-on of your day. Perhaps sit and breathe quietly in silence with your eyes closed or open. Let your thoughts drift away while observing something beautiful in nature. Another option is “tree grounding”—sending a thick energetic taproot into the ground beneath you, and let “branches” of energy reach out from the top of your head into the sky.
3. Next, close your eyes and think back to a time that you shied away from your power in some way—maybe with your boss, a partner, a family member—or when you let yourself be pulled away from something you desired to do, because of an old fear or dis-empowering belief.
4. Take a breath and look inside for the place in your body that the experience, fear or belief seems to “live.” Don’t think too much (or at all) about this, but use your feeling sensors to navigate your inner terrain.
5. Put your hand on this part of your body and breathe into it, breathing and touching this spot with love and compassion for at least nine breaths to connect to it and notice the sensations without trying to change them in any way.
6. If there is anything to release here—such as a fear, belief, or an energetic “thread” connecting you to another person—use your breath, movement, sound, or all three to release it. Perhaps make a noise (and it might not be pretty) to move the thing you want to release—to shake or dance it out, or with focus and powerful intention, breathe it out of your body into the ground or into the sun.
7. Now call your power back to this place, knowing that you are calling your power back not only from the specific experience or person that you were thinking of but from all the times in your life where something similar and resonant has occurred. Again, use sound to help you here—by saying or singing what you are calling back to you, a mantra or affirmation, or simply letting non-verbal sounds that come to you in the moment move the energy.
8. Memories or new sensations may pop up as you do this. Allow them to pass through you with your breath, or take a moment to appreciate these older experiences and the sensations moving through you—as hard as they might be, they were teachers for you, and often difficult solutions to the even more difficult problems you found yourself in.
9. Finally, call on the energy of the solstice sun and the full moon to fill you up with power, and guide you in using your reclaimed power with wisdom and for the good of all beings. You can also name other intentions you have for the second half of the year (from now until the winter solstice), and ask the sun to help illuminate, empower, and manifest these intentions.
10. Close with gratitude for yourself, for the sun, moon and earth and any other allies you’ve called on to help you do this potent working.