Word of the Month: Empower

Empowerment is a pathway to feeling accomplished, confident, supported and happy. One of the primary reasons I love what I do so much is because I am gifted a daily opportunity to help empower my students to become stronger, more confident and ultimately more at peace within themselves.

More personally, this chosen word of the month, evokes in me a sincere desire to help empower my children. For instance, I hope my daughter, Nico, grows up and feels empowered by how she’s defined her own self as a young woman. I want her to be able to highlight the way she shows up in the world – her intelligence, strength and responsibility – ahead of her physical looks or the way societal norms suggest that she should be. I additionally hope that my boys feel empowered by their qualities of kindness, intelligence and sense of play and will grow into respectful, loving men.

Leading by example is one of the best ways I know to assist them in living their lives in this way. This became clear to me the other night when I was with my eldest son Julius. I was trying to get him to talk about his feelings, and being a typical teenage boy he was having none of it. I let it go and just started sharing my feelings. He listened, was quiet for quite a while and then slowly all of his feelings came out. I had no idea how much he was holding inside and if I hadn’t created the space I may not have ever learned. It made me realize that my capacity to be vulnerable with him, and share without expectation that he share back, empowered him to find his voice and truly say what he was feeling. I love that with intention of being the example we can all help others feel empowered to be the best version of themselves.

After all, having the ability to empower others is a true gift we’re given. But I do believe that empowerment has to come from within before we can spark it in others.

The more you trust your intuition, the more empowered you become, the stronger you become, and the happier you become. Gisele Bundchen

I love this quote by Gisele because it emphasizes that the Empowerment we inspire others with – is born first from within each one of us. The key is being truly present and trusting ourselves so that we may reach far greater potential than we ever thought possible.

Here are a few ways I work to help empower myself on a daily basis:

  1. To-Do List: I can’t live without this. It keeps me on track for what my priorities are that I hope to accomplish each day, and it also awards me the satisfaction of achieving a goal each time I check something off.  I love achieving goals!
  2. Acknowledging My Strengths: Focusing my energy on the things that I’m good at vs. the things I’m not, lifts me up from the inside. Don’t get me wrong! I will attempt anything and believe in myself as I play my edge in order to grow, but I also acknowledge when I need to delegate something to another individual because it’s not a strength of mine. As I focus my attention on my true talents and am more able to ask for support for the things I find most challenging, I live a happier and more fulfilling life. For some reason, the freed up space this creates, allows me quality time to slowly get better at the things I hope to hone and change within myself.
  3. Mantras: I get a lot of empowerment from different mantras I use in life. One way I’ve found to take this idea past the time when I am meditating or simply through repetition is to make certain passwords motivational mantras. I come up with something that motivates, encourages or inspires me. For instance, a phrase like “I am strong enough!” can uplift me when I am simply typing it into my computer. I get a little bit of self support and belief in myself each time I log in, which for me is often multiple times per day!
  4. Community: I feel most empowered when I’m surrounded by loving and supportive people. I FEEL stronger when I’m with those whom I know support and believe in me. I make a point to make my community of people a priority.
  5. Self care: There is no better way for me to feel a boost of energy or inner empowerment than for me to exercise, eat well, sleep enough and meditate regularly. I may begin my day “a little off” but feel so much more in my power and best self once I have made these simple things priorities.
  6. Optimism: I am an optimist. I am a positive thinker/person and without a doubt, this part of who I am definitely empowers me. I certainly accept that there are overall ups and downs but I always believe and live my life focused on the beautiful light at the end of the tunnel.
  7. Intention to Practice Positive Self-Reflection: I choose to think about things that are positive and make me feel empowered vs. getting caught up in negative messaging either from our own internal or external sources. I take time each day to think about not only what I’m grateful for externally from myself, but also what I’m grateful for or appreciate about myself. As I continue to keep my mind and heart focused in the right direction and approach each day with faith and gratitude, I believe I am  empowered to live my life to the fullest.

Here are a few ways you might practice Empowerment in your own Dailey practice:

  1. Amplify the thoughts in class that make you feel EMPOWERED. So often in life we get caught in our own negative self talk or messaging.  Set an intention of self-empowerment for this next hour! You came here to feel good! Be proud of yourself.
  2. Feel your strength! Be empowered by it everyday! Strength is NOT a given and some days it’s harder to find than others, so take every moment in your classes to feel that empowering sensation of how strong you are right here, right now.
  3. Note one part of a recent class that you found particularly challenging. ONE! Now take three deep breaths welcoming in the empowering feeling of achievement. No matter how difficult the task – YOU DID IT!

Choose to celebrate feeling empowered not defeated. Do this as you leave every one of your upcoming classes, but also as you finish reading these words!

I would love to hear how you empower yourself to live your fullest, happiest life!

Love,

Jill

 

Photos courtesy of Melissa McArdle photography

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