Friday, November 3, 2017


Forty-four days after Hurricane María swept through Puerto Rico, the power came back on in our apartment. We haven't seen it. For the last few weeks we have been staying at my parents' house. At some point today we will swing by our home and make sure it is still on. Electricity is being reconnected to very few places on the island, but the system is so fragile that power comes and goes. It will be like this for a while. Meanwhile, life here is still in shambles. We have felt and feel powerless.

Power can be a confusing word. We use it in reference to electricity, to a machine's capability and to force. We talk about too much power or too little. And we confuse it with force, especially in reference to personal power.

We tend to think that personal power does something to us, that we become something different–good or bad. Some people obtain a position of leadership or influence and change. Just as some people lose such a position and they change as well. Yet, it is not that we change with power. Our personalities rise up to meet us where we are. We exercise power at our level of consciousness–or unconsciousness. Once we are in a place or position to exert influence, authority, direction, control, or guidance, we demonstrate how powerful we truly are. We help or hinder, we lift or cripple, we inspire or discourage, we share or self-serve, we can be generous or miserly, we generate aid or we ignore the needs of the people, we promote progress with words, actions and policy, or we politicize, we lead kindly or we begrudge.

The truth is, we don't have to be in a position of leadership to exercise power. Power is a subtle force that moves us spiritually, mentally, and physically to exert a version of ourselves that shines through. It does in the service of the highest and best good. It regenerates itself with each thought and action that serves our highest purpose. Yet, days like today, power may be difficult for us to summon. So days like today are good days to connect with silence and allow good thoughts to rise. Let that be our moving force today. Let's tap into who we really are and power ourselves up that we may help others power themselves up. May we light the way.

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