G race is tool of enlightenment, a ‘Spirit Pop’ that your deep self deploys to put you in sync with the universe. Why? So you can access all the knowledge & wisdom you need to live your life to the fullest. This morning’s graceful nudge was an invitation to seek our hidden Words of Power; share their stories with you; and inspire you to engage in a little powerful wordplay of your own.
Lessons Along The WatchTower
Words of Power are not just a writer’s trick, they’re the shapers of the story we live within, and you my dear friend are their author. Think of them as your psychic DNA, the imaginative helix of your unique persona that expresses your truth, and projects it out into the world. We believe in what these words represent and energize them by attaching positive or negative snippets of memory that contain powerful emotional energy. This process links ‘Word to Memory,’ the story as you choose to perceive it – and ‘Idea to Emotion,’ the Story as you choose to feel it.
T he helix I mentioned above also operates on a global scale, linking us to common cultural, religious and philosophical Words of Power that resonate with our personal beliefs. These words bind us to the institutions and social networks that they’ve built, and help us to achieve a sense of ‘belonging’ that serves a larger purpose.
“I turned silences and nights into words. What was unutterable, I wrote down. I made the whirling world stand still.”
― Arthur Rimbaud
“Don’t gobblefunk around with words.”
― Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl was a clever wordplayer, and his warning from ‘The BFG‘ is clear, the Words of Power we live by are not to be ‘gobblefunked’ with. Activate the wrong words at the wrong time and you’re inviting disaster. Words are paths to enormous power, just look at the rise of radicalism across the globe if you need a disturbing example of this, and if they resonate with enough people they can bend the arc of history into a pretzel through the destructive force of their raw energy. The world is a reflection of our shared Words of Power, and our mission is to keep their vibrant energy flowing into kinder & gentler paths.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
― Leo Tolstoy
War & Pieces
It might seem that I’ve strayed a bit from my original exploration of creativity, writing, movies & TV to cover subjects like power, memory and play, but all of these elements are the energetic drivers of consciousness, and the creative grist for every storyteller’s mill. Take Leo Tolstoy, he was a genius of observation, a master of the thoughtful epic, and a deeply intuitive being who understood the the turbulent power of thought, emotion and memory. He was also a social and spiritual visionary who’s passionate desire to help people led him to create works on nonviolent resistance that inspired giants like Gandhi & MLK. Tolstoy expressed his profound love of humanity through his writing, but it was his faith in our ability to change our beliefs and engage in the Quiet Power of peacemaking, that makes his work timeless.
“The mature man lives quietly, does good privately, takes responsibility for his actions, treats others with friendliness and courtesy, finds mischief boring and avoids it. Without the hidden conspiracy of goodwill, society would not endure an hour.”
― Kenneth Rexroth
Peacemaking is a process that starts with making peace with yourself. Have you ever had the experience of observing your own anger? I have, and it was an amazing moment of perceptual hacking. Instead of letting my emotions overwhelm me, I allowed my consciousness to perform a controlled de-escalation. One minute I was in the grip of the seductive energy of Raw Power, and the next, my inner observer flipped the script to reveal the universal process of how deep seated fears use negative Words of Power to create anger. After I sincerely apologized for my over reaction, I was rewarded with this wisdom gift: All storytelling is a path that begins and ends within us, which means every story contains a vital question we must all answer – do our Words of Power nurture us by telling the magnificent story we want to live? If they do, great, keep up the good work, if they don’t, it’s time to invite your observer in to help with a serious re-write.
“There is something in us, as storytellers and as listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands that what falls at least be offered the chance to be restored.”
― Flannery O’Connor
The Amazing Grace of Change
The Harlem Gospel Choir knows how to flow Reverend John Newton’s Words of Power from ‘Amazing Grace,’ and translate their rhythmic longing into pure soul. Newton was a slave ship Captain in the mid eighteenth century who experienced a spiritual crisis that shattered his long held beliefs, and helped him find the courage to slowly reverse his Words of Power. Over the span of three decades the intense guilt he felt as a former slave trader drove him to become a devoted Abolitionist and Clergyman. Newton confessed his sins, repented, and helped William Wilberforce and his allies to abolish slavery in Great Britain. Usually we think of Grace as a vessel of gentle energy, a state of spiritual connection that links the seen to the unseen, and the ordinary to the transcendent, but the flavors of Grace are as numerous as those of us who experience it. So take time to breathe in the harmonic joy of the moment, because each and every sliver of happiness we experience is Amazing Grace in action – even if it’s in protest.
“Butterflies are self propelled flowers.”
― Robert A. Heinlein
M y take on Words of Power is this: Quiet Power nurtures you, and you nurture others, so be sure that your words are aligned to your purpose. Building a great life means living a great story, so open up and let your feelings guide you to the the words you need – then flow each one into your conscious mind to shape a positive belief that nourishes your spirit, and soothes your soul.
A Journey Through Sacred Space
Sacred space is where all our deep commitments to ourselves and each other reside. You carry it within you everywhere you go, and use it to connect to others with each simple act of human kindness you share. Let the healing energy of this this space be your daily shelter from the strong negative emotions that threaten to drive us apart. Everyone wants to be seen and heard, to have their humanity acknowledged and appreciated, and when we fully inhabit the sacred spaces between us, we invite grace to inspire our shared creativity, build positive Words of Power, and affirm our luminous bonds of friendship & understanding.
“All Creativity flows from the conscious center our lives. When we inhabit sacred spaces, we release the love locked inside us, and free it to flow into the moment”
All Words of Power either flow the love, or obscure it, but what is love? To me it’s the purest expression of connected consciousness at work on all levels – so let’s take it out of that heart shaped box and see it as the primal source of awareness that flows through the circuit of our thoughts. Want an example? Call or text a good friend to check in, and observe the flow of your energy and how it makes you feel. Now ask your friend to tell you what they like best about you – can you feel the positive energy spike upward? Now ask your friend to tell you what they like least about you – can you feel the positive energy dim? Love is not an idea, even though we attach ideas to it, love is a connection to what is best in all of us. See it, share it, be it.
“We are not trapped or locked up in these bones. No, no. We are free to change. And love changes us. And if we can love one another, we can break open the sky.”
― Walter Mosley
F or years I suffered from a very specific writer’s block that kept me from expressing the quieter, more tender sides of my characters. After years of struggle I realized that my inability to reveal tenderness was shaped by my fears of judgement and rejection, because boys are taught to be tough, not tender. If you have a similar block in your life or art, look to your words. If they are negative, you are imprisoning your amazing love and tenderness in that old heart shaped box. But if you revise them, they will effortlessly dissolve every block and leave you free to express your magnificent self.
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
― W.B. Yeats
Knowing How to Know
My late mentor, the wild & wooly Sir Kenneth Barrymore Roberts, or ‘Bazz’ to his friends, twisted my brain with this tasty little koan, “It’s not enough to know, you have to know how to know.” After decades of trying to unlock it’s circular wisdom, the meaning finally became clear – thinking you know something solidifies your ideas and turns them into concrete beliefs; but to ‘know how to know,’ is to understand that all knowledge, like life, is fluid, which means knowledge can never be singularly concrete, because as Heisenberg pointed out our observation changes it. So if you want to create a great life, make sure your beliefs are fluid enough to incorporate the graceful interventions of the un-known, and strong enough to anchor your spirit in the eternal now.
“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
― Isaac Asimov
Know Thyself • Your Words of Power drive your behavior & actions, so get to know them! Start by sitting quietly in a comfortable place, taking five deep breaths, and asking your creative consciousness to reveal them to you. Create a sacred space within you by suspending judgement, and write each word or phrase down, positive or negative that shows up. Now separate the words and/or phrases into two lists: The first, with the positive ones that lift you up and serve you. And the second, with the negative ones that tear you down and diminish you.
Reveal, Release & Revise • Take list #2 and focus on the first word or phrase and let your imagination loose, inviting the memory or memories connected to it to play out. Now comes the hard part – feel your feelings – and release the love hidden in the memory by letting your negative feelings drain completely until you see the plain truth of it. If you hit a wall just keep repeating the process until you succeed. We are Stardust my friend, and we have the power to reshape our vision of ourselves at any time. Accept & forgive yourself if you feel the need, and delete all the old negative Words of Power on your list until you feel the weight of those untruths drop, leaving you light footed and free to dance.
Big Picture it! • Move to List #1 and own it! Replay those positive memories and feel the Quiet Power they contain, let it dissolve your fear and fill you with grace and inspiration. As I stated in the ‘Quiet Power’ post, it’s your birthright. Now connect the dots between each word and phrase and let your story reveal an image of your magnificent self as the shining example of humanity that you were born to be. Celebrate it, share it, and keep the image in the forefront of your mind – it will light your way forward if you continue to believe in it.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
My hope is that the Words of Power in these posts help you welcome more creative energy into your lives, and help you unlock the love & wisdom within you. We are all passionate, powerful and wise reflections of human consciousness, and the music of that truth is sweeter when we all sing together.
“Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.”
Thank you for helping fill this sacred space with your graceful presence.
A few of my favorite Works of Power in action:
Photo Credits – Main: Adi Goldstein John WPA: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons; Tolstoy: Nikolai Ge, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons; Thinker WPA: V. Donaghue, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons;Newton: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons; Friends: Roberto Nickson Library: Giammarco Boscaro Lotus: Jay Castor