We can’t always change situations. Although we may be able to influence others to some extent, we cannot change other people. The only thing we can change is our self.
Our eight powers are always available to help us in every situation that we will face in life. As we build them and balance them effectively, we grow and develop. We find that we can resolve both inner and outer challenges with ever increasing effectiveness.
The power to withdraw
Is the ability to step back from our surroundings and centre our awareness within our self
The power to withdraw is about perspective and also can be described as ‘becoming an observer’ of the situation or ‘creating inner space’ from the situation. It gives clarity and coolness, as well as the ability to change a situation. To withdraw is to detach or step back from whatever the current situation is, be it strong feelings, emotions, anger, or confusion.
It is the power to become a pure point of consciousness, the real self - the being who plays the part, detached from the scene, from the role being played, from the body. It does not require us to leave the world but be beyond its influence - connected to the true self.
The power to pack up
Is the ability to bring things to a close and to stop wasteful thinking.
This is the power to cut away everything that is useless and wasteful. It is the Power to LET GO and hold nothing of the past in the heart, or anything negative about the future in my mind. It is the strength to say ‘no’ to negativity.
Letting go requires courage, forgiveness, trust and wisdom. When we can pack up and let go of all waste and limited thoughts, we gain a lot of inner space and time. We also have greater understanding and compassion for the self and others.
The power to accommodate or adjust
Is the ability to accept the presence, ideas and desires of others. It also means I can be flexible when situations are not what I expect them to be.
This is the power to provide comfort where no comfort exists. Its foundation is a constant connection with inner truth and an openness & regard for others. To accommodate does not mean to compromise... it means to maintain one’s own integrity and the integrity of others with a commitment to truth, and faith in the self.
The power to accommodate requires deep understanding and acceptance, so that what is needed in any situation becomes present. With this power, a deep contentment is experienced that is beyond the impact of the prevailing conditions.
The power to discern
Is the subtle ability to separate what is true from what is false.
The power to discern is the art of becoming still and clear inside to understand truth and falsehood, right and wrong, reality and illusion, benefit and loss. When we can see beyond the present moment to the future implications of any choice, when we are free of emotional reactions, free of insecurities, when we no longer hold limited beliefs of others, and ourselves, we gain the power to discern. It requires trust, even in the face of opposing opinions, and listening to what is known deep within.
The power of decision-making
Is the ability to assess the quality of choices, decisions and actions in yourself and in others.
The power to decide is intrinsically connected to the power to discern and takes much of its clarity from that power. I can often discern the best course of action, but without the power to decide, I am unable to follow what I have discerned.
This power to decide requires me to be completely free from any attachment to the outcome of my decision. Any expectations about the result can create worry, doubt, confusion and, ultimately disappointment. I must also understand that whatever decision I make is accurate - I will always learn and benefit from it.
The power to face
Is the ability to be honest and resolve external and internal obstacles, tests and challenges.
The main attributes of this power are courage and honesty. The power to face is balanced with love and understanding. This means we can take responsibility for our own mistakes and have the courage to act based on our values.
The power to co-operate
Is the ability to give attention, time, experience and wisdom in the service of others and to work alongside them.
In many ways, the power to co-operate is the culmination of all the powers. It requires us to be free from weaknesses such as ego, jealousy, attachment, desires, anger, and greed – from anything that distracts from being an instrument for a task. When the attitude is detached, the innate sense of knowing accurately what is needed, plus the ability to be flexible and able to adjust to all situations and types of people, enables us to be benevolent.
To completely achieve this power means that we are full inside and beyond any need to be praised or acknowledged. Self-respect and complete contentment come as a result of this inner ‘fulness’, and from this state of fullness, giving freely and unconditionally is natural.
The power to tolerate
Is the ability to respond to external and internal events positively, and not be affected by them.
When there is genuine love and acceptance for the true self there is natural tolerance of failures and the ability to see beyond all limitations. It also means I can look at others and see beyond the limits of their current behaviors and hold their highest potential. Seeing with this vision I have more understanding, and less reaction to their behavior and can offer them positivity, instead of negativity in my responses.
As we use our powers, they become stronger in us. We develop the skill of applying the right power at the right time and in the right situation.
Reflection on my eight inner powers
1. Which of the eight inner powers is my strongest one? What do I gain for myself having this power? What do others gain when I express this power?
2. Which of the eight inner powers do I feel I most need to strengthen?
"Now I imagine for a few minutes that I have already strengthened this power...
I feel myself having this power inside very strongly and clearly…
I see myself expressing this power in situations at work... at home... this power is already strongly within me... and clearly expressed by me."
3. What do I gain for myself having this power? What do others gain from my having this power?
Story: "I know this lady that has great power of tolerance and cooperation and readily cooperates with almost everyone. If people ask her for her time, she gives it. If people are feeling lazy and ask her to help with their responsibilities, and she again kindly agrees to do so, even if it means she does not have time for her own work or rest. If people ask her for her money, she gives it. Even if they misuse her money, she continues to give it kindly to them with the very best of care and generosity.
This lady has the powers of tolerance and cooperation, yet what powers is she lacking that mean her wonderful powers of tolerance and cooperation allow others to take advantage of her and really in essence, create negative karma for themselves?
She is lacking the powers to discern and face. If she balances her beautiful powers of tolerance and cooperation with these two powers of discerning and facing, then she will live her life so effectively and support others without making them dependent on her."
Do I know other such stories? Or do I have my own story? It seems to be rather common that we have one or two wonderful powers but they need to be balanced with another power to make us greatly more effective in our lives.
4. Now I return to the first power I chose in question one.
5. In stillness, I reflect if I feel this power is expressed in me effectively all the time… I see myself expressing it with my colleagues… with my family… Within the community.
6. If there is another power or two that I feel I could balance this original one with… I see myself with this additional power or two and watch myself expressing it or them in my life… What do I see?
We can also take up the eight inner powers as themes for our Meditation which gives us a wonderful opportunity to experience them in silence.
Meditation on my eight inner powers
Audio "Meditation on my eight inner powers"
"I allow my body to be comfortable… and begin by taking some deep breaths in… and out… in my own time I breathe in... and out... checking I’m filling my lungs with air fully... feeling my stomach rise as I inhale... and my stomach fall as I exhale... I check it all the muscles in my body are relaxed... and loose... I gently withdraw my awareness inside myself... concentrating my attention within the centre of my forehead... This is the power to withdraw... to become an observer of my surroundings and myself... this is the starting point... it gives me perspective and clarity... I feel the value of this power... and I move to the power to pack-up... I gently, yet very firmly put a stop to any unnecessary thoughts... with love for myself, I let go... let go of any resentments that create waste or negative thoughts... I pack up these thoughts and let them out of the door of my mind... This power to pack-up gives me inner space... and now I move on... I move to the power to discern– this is the power to understand what is real and what is imagined… to know the difference between my inner fears and insecurities and reality... this is my power to discern... I feel it... I enjoy the wisdom it gives me... and after discerning... I need the power to decide... decisions often require courage... courage to carry through what I have discerned... knowing that once I have discerned, if I do not act I may create loss for myself and others... I move to my power to tolerate which allows me to understand the weaknesses both within myself and others... our idiosyncrasies... to remain calm... and open... to continue to give... I now see my power to cooperate... with this I gain freedom from my ego... I can surrender my ideas for the good of the whole... sometimes cooperation hurts... yet its fruit is such a sweet inner contentment it is worth a little pain for the gain... I move on to the power to adjust... to hold clearly my goals... yet lightly and easily adjust my path according to the events and the changes in front of me... while never losing sight of my goal... finally my power to face... to own up to what I am responsible for when there is a mistake... to be honest and not fudge things my way... to not overstate my role in tasks... and to be able to hold onto my values even when others think differently... these are my eight inner powers and when I use them effectively, with the right balance they bring incredible quality of life..."
"Muscles strengthen by using them. My inner powers are the SAME."