Hello there! We have a new song for you today, but first … man …
… it’s been hard to be a human in america lately. I imagine you’re feeling it, like Jamie and I are feeling it. The agony, the anger, the weight of everything. It feels like it’s all too much, because it is too much.
I hope that you’re finding moments to care for yourself in the midst of all of it; and I hope that all of us who can imagine a better way will be able to figure out how to create that.
Which brings me to the eighth song in the journey of our album project … which happens to be a song that is a bold statement of affirmation about the power we cultivate within ourselves and the power we build with each other when we do our work. And without further ado, here it is:
WATCH the lyric video
STREAM or DOWNLOAD the song
exclusively on Bandcamp.
Come listen, watch, enjoy, and share!
This album project …
… is all about exploring how to realize both serenity and the power to act in difficult circumstances.
To make this album, I’m giving myself a series of journal prompts that help me dive into concepts like coping, powerlessness, acceptance, courage, and agency. My responses to those prompts become the source material for each new song.
(The writing about “I Am” that follows here will make most sense as a sequel to my first seven stops on this journey. If you need to catch up with where we’ve been so far, you’ll find the first 7 entries here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.)
Power within / power with others
The previous stop on this journey revealed how the act of listening is the beginning of unlocking my power. So … what does this power actually look like? What does it mean? How does it feel? How does it work?
Here are questions to guide me:
What does it mean to me to have power within myself?
- What does it feel like, in my mind, my body, my spirit?
- How do the choices I make impact my power within?
- How does living in harmony with my values impact my power within?
- How does doing my work (my internal / spiritual work) impact my power within?
What does it mean to have power with others?
- How do we build power with each other?
- How might “power with” create a scenario in which circumstances bigger than me can be changed?
- How might “power with” upend oppressive systems?
- How might “power with” change the world?
How does cultivating the power within myself contribute to the effort of building power with others?
How does building power with others contribute to my effort to cultivate power within myself?
What impact does all of this — building power within and power with others — have on my personal sense of peace?
I Know Who I Am
The following is the stream of consciousness response I wrote in my journal to the questions above.
balanced equally between my two feet
palms open and aiming forward at my sides
head held high
breathing is easy, full, and deep
my eyes are wide open and accepting of all that I see around me
my heartbeat is strong, slow, and steady.
I feel strong, steady.
I know who I am and who I want to be in the world.
I know that I am worthy of love and belonging.
I understand in my core that I have value and that I have valuable contributions to make in the world, in
the lives of others, in the experience of the people I love.
I know that nothing — absolutely nothing — that happens to me or around me can diminish in any way my worthiness, my humanity, my wholeness.
Every time I choose courage,
and act in ways that protect and nurture my spirit,
act in ways that align with my values,
I add to my power within.
It’s a positive feedback loop, and I never want to get off it.
When I practice acceptance,
when I let go of things out of my power,
when I listen to my spirit and act to meet my needs,
and act in the world according to my values,
and I accept responsibility for
my own existence,
my own experience,
my own choices,
my own learning and growth,
my own connection with myself and with others —
— when I choose those things,
I pour into myself all the goodness that allows me
to stand tall, breathe deep, and know who I am.
When I can connect to the power within myself, I gain new eyesight with which I can see other people who also are connected to their power within.
I’m drawn to them like a magnet.
My spirit has an undeniable drive to connect itself to their spirit.
It’s like attracting like.
When I know my own worthiness,
I can more clearly see other people’s worthiness.
When I know my own power,
I can see the power that others embody.
There isn’t any competition or hierarchy in our intersection
— because we’re both standing tall, breathing deeply, knowing and loving ourselves.
That, in and of itself, is a powerful, paradigm-shifting reality!
We are — in a microscopic, person-to-person way —
DISMANTLING hierarchical systems that oppress, harm, and destroy,
when we can approach each other in all the fullness and wholeness of our own realized power within.
Healing ourselves dismantles the hierarchy,
and heals the world.
And all of this is true
before we even begin to talk about
the ways we build power with each other
when we join forces,
encourage each other,
have each other’s backs,
and do big thing together that make
tangible change on big issues in the world.
When I can connect with the power within myself,
I give myself the power to connect with others.
And the power we build with each other contributes …
… to my ability to keep standing in my own power,
… to our effectiveness in changing big things for the better, together,
… to increasing my own sense of peace and purpose and agency
— even when I, we, are still in the midst of difficult circumstances.
I think this may be how we change the world: we heal ourselves.
Thank you so much for listening to our new song and reading my journal thoughts. This one felt like a risk for me … but I feel happy to have taken the risk.
I’ll be back in a couple-ish weeks with the second-to-last song of this project! See you then. ♥️
Love and standing, breathing, knowing — shannon