Summer is almost here. In Miami we are already hitting the 90s, while for most of the U.S. it continues to be an unseasonably warm year so far.
I know little about astrology. Because it lands on my birthday, astrologer friends have alerted me to a significant planetary event this coming week. On the heels of a full moon lunar eclipse on June 3, on June 5 and 6 we will experience an event occurring only every 130 years. For several hours Venus will be seen as she traverses in front of and eclipses the sun. (For more information about this rare celestial event and its significance click here and here.)
What strikes me about it is that the sun's more masculine energies will be filtered by the Venusian energies of love and beauty. As they blend together they create an opportunity to balance masculine and feminine, mind and heart.
How do we balance the masculine and feminine energies in ourselves and in our world? How do we step into power in a way that's heart-based and that doesn't require dominance or control -- for me to squelch you in order to prop myself and feel powerful? These are critical questions for our times.
There is much confusion in the world about power: what it is, who holds it, how it works. We have a conflicted relationship to power, both fearing and coveting it. We suspect that we might abuse it, feel guilty about times when we have, and have been told that it will corrupt us. That is just one of our misconceptions; that only the wealthy, the famous or the politically-connected wield it is another. For women in particular, there is another layer of obstacles, such as the belief that power is not feminine, or that all men are threatened by powerful women. Consequently, too many people -- especially, but certainly not exclusively, women -- shy away from their own power.
To a great extent, this confusion arises because there are basically two kinds of power. In contrast to worldly (or egoic) power, soulful (or spiritual) power guides and inspires rather than dominates, controls or manipulates. It is humble, quiet and unassuming, not abusive, arrogant or self-aggrandizing. Soulful power derives its energy and vitality from internal sources, unlike worldly power, which is fueled by external forces, such as fame and money. It is about authentic self-expression, service and making a difference, while egoic power is agenda-driven, selfish and self-serving. Though all humans have access to both expressions of power, one is traditionally associated with feminine energies, while the other is considered more masculine in its approach. Worldly power is about power over; soulful power is about power with.
Humanity is at a crossroads. We are stuck in tribal consciousness and fear of The Other. In interpersonal relations we walk around in a state of mistrust, guardedness and protection, and as a result feel isolated and alone. What are we protecting against -- the possibility of feeling hurt again? We can only be hurt by another's words and actions if we give them the power to do so. With a strong sense of self we can live in an open -- and empowered -- state of vulnerability, with nothing and no need to defend.
The choice is now clear. Perhaps it has never been clearer. The times demand a fresh approach and new way of expressing and relating to power. In the complex, hyper-militarized and shrinking world in which we live, no longer can we afford to to lead by overwhelming force rather than by inspiration, negotiation and collaboration.
And please don't for one minute think that soulful power is wimpy. Simply consider some of its exemplars and practitioners throughout history: Jesus, Gandhi, Dr. King, Mother Theresa. The effect these "community organizers" have had on the world is immeasurable.
Soulful power is love-based rather than fear-based, inclusive rather than hierarchical. Not needing to exert itself over others, it stands freely on its own. It simply is. And it is mighty.
Will we choose the path of fear, arrogance and violence, or will we choose more soulful -- and powerful -- responses appropriate to the needs of our times, responses that reflect an increasingly multilateral and interconnected world, responses that consider the complex and often contradicting needs of one human family?
The universe awaits humanity's choice with hope, and perhaps, with baited breath.
May our thoughts and actions be imbued with soulful power this summer.
Let's let this be a summer of love!
For more by Christian de la Huerta, click here.
For more on mindfulness, click here.