Force takes. Power gives.

The answers are not out there. Neither is feeling good nor is “the power.”
 
Real power is in here. It’s flowing through me right now. And also through you.
 
It’s popular to talk about people with money or political control as having power. But power to do what? Gain even more money and more political control? That would be force, not power. Force takes. Power gives.
 
There are only two essential body postures; one is the inhale and the other is the exhale.
 
I notice that addictive habits occur for me like an inhale. Examples of these kinds of habits have been marijuana, alcohol, food, buried in hard work, exercise to exhaustion, codependent love and seeking the approval of others. In the addictive mode, I get needy and wanting to fill myself up with something or someone outside of me. It’s like a black hole that must get filled. But, of course, it never can.
 
This is the inhale. I can not get enough. I have needs. Something is missing. I am taking.
 
When I am in the exhale posture, I have an abundance of everything. I don’t need love, I am love. I don’t need strength, I am strength. I don’t need guidance, I am the guide. I am giving.
 
The world of power that we chatter about is a world in which no one can inhale enough. Let me take one more big gulp. I need more. That is the opposite of power.
 
There is movement from strength and there is movement from weakness. For me, my posture of strength is the exhale. But, truth be told, I tend to try to do a lot more inhaling.
 
Everything that I have ever accomplished began with first adopting the proper body posture.
 
Try it for yourself. Is there more power in your inhale or in your exhale?
 
“When you give rise to that which is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not give rise to it, what you do not have will destroy you.” – from the Dead Sea Scrolls

Use it

Are you speaking with your real voice or with a fake voice?
 
That’s been my work, almost forever, this lifetime.
 
When I’m really in my voice, it is deep and open. When I’m not, it comes from a constricted place, tight in my throat. The constricted voice is emotionally dead. The real voice actually travels up out of my groin, through my belly, flowing up my chest and out a wide open throat.
 
I flip back and forth between the real voice and the constricted, dead voice every day. The key is to be aware of it.
 
Not to talk politics, because I’m not, but I observe that as a nation we are sorely lacking strong voices for a positive vision of the future. If you follow “the news”, it’s almost always about what people don’t want, not an inspirational call towards our higher selves. But let’s not worry about that all just yet.
 
Bringing it back home, am I speaking (to myself and others) from a positive, inspiring vision for the future? Or am I speaking from hopelessness, certainty and “knowing” how it already is?
 
There’s an old saying about “as above, so below.” There’s a whole lot of power in that. I don’t need to worry about what “they” are doing or not doing. I don’t need to waste my life force identifying “who is to blame.”
 
Rather, if I want to actually do something about “it” rather than talking about the problem on the sofa, there is something that I can do. I’ve got my own homework.
 
My work is to identify when I am speaking for real from my core and when I am speaking from the emotionally dead, hopeless place.
 
My work is to pay attention and to be aware of when a powerful voice is moving through me and when a constricted voice is playing it safe.
 
The world doesn’t need more people successfully surviving well. The world needs people like me to tap into something deeper than what I already know, what feels safe and what I’ve resigned myself to. The world needs people like me to find my voice and to use it.

The only thing that I really need to do each morning is to get quiet and listen to the silence.

The busyness and noise outside of me is not real or, at least, there is no power in it.

Peace is the greatest power on the planet.

Cultivate power. Cultivate peace.

Just like me

It’s popular to view ourselves and especially others as physical objects making clear choices. But actually we humans appear to be living in an energetic world and a physical world simultaneously.

The energy world and the physical world are two completely different realities. Most of the time, the popular culture talks as if the physical world is the real one.

The talking in the physical world is almost always overrun by the hidden conversation that we are in the energy world. That’s why so many people talk about the money, the relationship, the health, the peace, or the whatever they want to have in life but over and over, they keep getting the same results that are a match for the hidden conversation that they really are.

Groups have their own energy and hidden conversation as well. As a nation, for example, we in the US talk a lot about democracy and freedom but our hidden conversation consistently produces something else.

I am reminded of that quote “I can’t hear a word that you are saying because who you are speaks so loudly.”

Which also reminds me of the quote “in life you don’t get what you want, you get what you are.”

Some people pay a lot of attention to the words coming out of other people’s mouths. I try to listen to the conversation that people are energetically. I’m a feeler so I kind of feel-listen. It’s gotten to the point where I trust my feeling senses a whole lot more than the talking. When I’m feeling really clever, I can catch a glimpse of the conversation that I really am myself.

In our culture, we are trained incessantly to trust our thinking and our talking so much so that we often ignore what is actually showing up in our own lives. It’s also very popular to shame and to blame others for how things are which, again, is the perfect distraction away from taking a good look inside at who we are being energetically.

I can’t do anything about how someone else is being and really it’s none of my business. My business is to own the hidden conversation that I am being.

Maybe that’s a first world problem and privilege but, believe me, living on the California coast places me physically smack at the pinnacle of Maslow’s hierarchy. I may work with my hands more often than most but I also have the luxury to own and explore the world of energy.

In these times of 24/7 blabbering news/noise, I often feel like I am in a foreign world where I don’t speak the language. I have a very deep appreciation for that biblical story about the Tower of Babel.

Which all leads to the matter of trust. Am I willing to trust myself? Will I follow that which I feel to be true? Can I own, not what I think, but rather the conversation that I really am? You know, personal responsibility.

It’s hard work revealing to myself my own hard wiring. Fortunately, the easy part is that the conversation that I actually am shows up consistently in the physical “reality” that I continue to weave around me. All I have to do is to look and see.

And that reminds me of the Aspen trees. When you walk through an Aspen forest, it looks like individual beings. But, actually, the roots are all connected and the entire forest is one unified organism. Just like me.

Like the flowers ever try to catch the sun as it passes on by

In my experience, life comes with repeated opportunities to have your heart broken

My menu of options is to:
(1) feel it fully and grieve
(2) feel it fully and be a victim
(3) numb myself to feeling it, or
(4) box my life in to try to avoid the risk of any other such encounters.

It is counter intuitive and, certainly, counter culture to fully feel the pain of heart break, stand in the feeling and be strong feeling it.

Fortunately, I’ve surrounded myself with teachers and friends who are all about feeling the feelings.

My default is, still, to go all Clint Eastwood, “man up”, and shut myself down. I can tough it out with the best of ’em.

But once you know, then you know.

The flowers never chase after the sun as it passes on by. Neither do they begrudge the winter. Odds are very good that with this rain that we are getting, spring is going to come on strong once again.

Its still just a working theory of mine but I believe that it is possible to live this life with a heart so wide open, so exposed, so undefended that nothing at all can truly harm me.

True, I could get hurt. I eventually will die. But far worse, for me, would be to live half dead.

My own tattoos

Being wounded, I suspect, is a required step along the journey of being human. I can’t think of anyone I know who wasn’t traumatized, abused or separated from others in some way, big or small. Wounding comes with the terrain of living.

For the decades that I was in denial about or numb to my own wounding, I was an active participant in the wounding of others. Unconsciously of course. Maybe I still am.

You know how we automatically say “hi, how are you” to strangers on the street (unless we don’t), sometimes our deep, intimate relationships carry an automatic, unconscious “hi, let me wound you” arrangement to them. The mom, dad, sibling, lover relationships. The deep ones.

Until we can mature enough to own and heal our own wounds, it’s only natural to be unconsciously wounding others. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how much money you’ve got or even if you are president. Being wounded and wounding are, I observe, intrinsic to the human experience.

This is neither good nor bad, right nor wrong. It just comes with the territory called planet earth.

I’ve reached the point where I can mostly see my own wounds, much of the time, and when I am in the process of wounding. Doesn’t mean I don’t live there and do it often, but I have developed enough awareness to where I now get to choose it instead of it choosing me. Or at least I can see it while I am in it.

I could judge that my wounds are bigger or smaller than others. But relative size is irrelevant.

I’ve entered a newer realm within which, slowly, my wounds are no longer wounds but rites of initiation like a tattoo. They are mine. “Who dunnit” is mostly irrelevant (except when I’m deep back into it.)

I would say that I’ve been lucky in that my own tattoos appear to have been easier experiences than what other people go through. Lucky me there. But my tattoos are real to me.

More and more, I can hold my tattoos as necessary steps in the journey to me being who I am and where I am now.

I am not broken. I am whole, complete and beautiful as I am even with these tattoos. There was never anything wrong with me. This is the way it turned out. This is the way I turned out.

And I love that.

To be nobody but yourself

My dad was pretty good at sweet talking the ladies, being somewhat of a charmer. I can remember all the way back how he would go to a fake kind of voice that I can only best call “Harvard academic” when he was trying to impress a woman he liked, someone better educated or a person of financial means.

Deep down, I suppose, my dad was just trying to be good enough. Which makes sense since his father took off when he was eight years old, never to be seen again. Let’s just say that especially when it came to charming women, my dad was a liar.

My mom was 8 months pregnant with me when she got married to my dad. I’ll guess it was more utilitarian than a marriage of love. There’s more to the story but this really isn’t about either mom or dad.

My mom wanted a father for me, a happy family life and to belong. My dad wanted to be a family man himself and to live the American dream.

I was born into a world where the people around me were not telling the truth. They were liars. Being the intuitive little baby that I was, I knew immediately and ongoingly that something was wrong. Obviously, the thing that was wrong was me.

I grew up distrusting my own intuition. I leaned on my mother (and as an adult leaned on other women) to tell me what to do, what to think and who to be. Separately, I had programming to become a self made man.

A young man I currently know in my life is a “super taster” and has some other obvious super genius powers. I am a “super listener”. I have a super power for listening.

However, often, I float off into other worlds – fantasies and day dreams. They are real enough but that’s a different topic. If the teaching is to “be in the world but not of the world,” I guess that I’ve got some more work to do to anchor myself more firmly into the here and now.

I have a bad habit, often, that when people are speaking to me I can only give them my attention for relatively short periods of time. It’s not unusual for me to be snapped out of a day dream by someone who will ask me a question relative to what they have been saying for the past few minutes. I, of course, wasn’t paying attention to any of it as I was busy off in the fantasy world. It’s not that I wasn’t listening but rather I was listening to something else.

But as a super listener, I have “photographic hearing”. Ever heard about someone with a photographic memory? I’ve got that but it is strictly limited to what someone says. I can remember specific things people say from decades gone by.

But back to my bad habit. Snapped out of my daydream and back to the person talking to me, I am now in the awkward position of having to respond to their question or else admit that I wasn’t listening to a thing. Fortunately, with my “photographic hearing”, I can take a moment and play back what they were just saying for the past few minutes and catch myself up on the conversation. Then I can answer their question after a not overly long delay.

I am awkward with my super power even still today.

It’s taken a long time to fully respect and honor my own unique super power. Until recently, I’ve had a strong desire to be an amazing public speaker. I’ve wanted to have important things to say. But more and more I am honoring that I was born into this world because I have important things to listen to.

I think that it is challenging for all of us, during our time here in earth school, to learn to trust our own unique powers. We live in a celebrity culture which is about “gee, wouldn’t it be great if I was just like them!” Of course, the flip side of celebrity culture is shame and blame culture. “Who is to blame?” And “who’s fault is it?”

There is something uniquely human about distracting ourselves from our own super powers by focusing on what other people have and by what other people are doing. I do it all the time. I wake up almost giddy in the morning wanting to know what stupid thing the president said today and if we have blown somebody else up yet. I have a fatal attraction to what somebody else is doing and with knowing who is to blame. It’s so much fun.

For the little newborn baby me, the people out there were “the gods” and they had all the power. Whatever they were saying and doing must be right and whatever I was feeling and knowing must have been wrong. Then the adolescent version decided “they are all wrong” but had not yet owned up to my own light and my own power.

We all have unique super powers. What is yours?

I love this quote by poet e.e. cummings:

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

I forgive myself

The forgiveness work that I have to do is as follows:
 
1) I forgive myself for the perception and belief that “A” ever disrupted my world and interfered with my connection to love.
 
2) I forgive myself for ever pretending that “B” could take something away from me and/or that I needed “B”s companionship, agreement and ongoing affirmation.
 
3) I forgive myself for being a little shit, for pretending that somehow my aliveness had to be muted and that somehow I should have conformed with what I thought “C”s vision was of who I was supposed to be. I forgive myself for using “C” as an excuse to play small in my life.
 
4) I forgive myself for living my life as if I not only needed to prove myself to “D” but that I needed to exceed everything that “D” had achieved in life so that I could be “good enough.”
 
5) I forgive myself for continuing to tell the sad little story about how “E” hurt me and in doing so I have continued to hurt myself to a much greater extent than “E” ever possibly could have.
 
6) I forgive myself for telling myself the lie about how other people held the keys to my own kingdom. I forgive myself for telling myself that somebody else had what I needed.
 
7) I forgive myself for pretending that if I went my own way and lived authentically, vivaciously, outrageously as me then I would be at risk of losing my connection to those close to me. Which, ok, maybe I would have been but in the process I lost connection with myself anyway and, therefore, I really did not have that much to offer to anybody else. I forgive myself for pretending not to know that the most important thing for me to do and to be is the most real, vulnerable and powerful self that I can be.

Teddy Herzog received his training and certification as an Integrative Holistic Coach through the Legacy Training Institute. The 6-month program requires the completion of five weekend Legacy Seminars with a minimum of 1500 coaching hours.

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