Power and Control – What’s the difference?

We all know what it’s like to be around a controlling person. Maybe it was your mother or father? Or someone else in your life – perhaps your partner? Maybe people complain about you being control freak yourself? What does it mean to be in control anyway? Of what? And where does the need come from?

What is the difference between being in power and in control? Usually it is those that are not in their power that need to control, so perhaps, if you are the one judged as being a control freak, you could ask the question “How can I adjust the choice I am making to make me feel more solid inside? How can I ask for what I need calmly and clearly?”

If we are in our power there is no need to ‘make’ anyone else do anything. We usually find things go the way we wish without having to manipulate or struggle. We don’t need to win or convince. We can leave others to their own journey, no matter where they are.

If we are in our power we cannot be ‘controlled’. We are not called to react to a controlling statement. We are empowered to simply say ‘That doesn’t work for me’. We don’t have to get in the way of another person’s efforts to control us.

If we are needing to control there is something missing that we are seeking. Usually it’s something inside that we need to fulfill, and instead we are looking outside, trying to get it from someone else. If we are empowered we still have needs, but we are able to fulfill them (or not) without needing someone to comply with our wishes. We can respect them for their choices and not make them wrong because they want something different than us.

If there is a shortcut I would love to know what it is, but I haven’t found one yet. The only choice for me has been to look inside, and answer to myself “Is what I am doing in this moment serving my empowerment or not?” The more empowered I become the more stable I feel, and the less triggered I get when someone tries to control me.

They say the we become the average of the five people we spend the most time with. This bears some uncomfortable reflection! It’s true, after meeting some people I feel enthused, lighter and inspired. And with others I feel heavy, enervated and tired.

What are the choices you can make today that will serve your empowerment? What is the next thing you can do to empower yourself?

Next time you do your breath practice, see if you can connect your inhale with that first breath you ever took, the hugeness, immensity and infinity of it. Give your attention to all the wonder and curiosity it must have contained.

Now consider the last breath of life. The very last one, where it’s back down to zero, nothing to hold on to, everything coming-out, total expiration. Consider that word inspire comes from bringing in spirit, and expiring is the spirit going elsewhere.

Now think of all the breaths you have ever taken without ever thinking of it this way. All of them right?

Each cycle of breath is the repeat of birth and death. With each breath we can ask ourselves what is that needs to go? And what do I want in its stead?

One of my students told me a couple of weeks ago as he sat witness for a breather – “It’s like holding someone at their own birth”. Indeed it is. One of the greatest gifts of being a Breathwork Practitioner is to see the change breathers go through as they give their complete focus to the breath. It is the most empowering thing that they can do, as it develops awareness, compassion, heartfulness and love.

The Breath brings us all to a state of Presence, that place where miracles are normal.


Question: What is the next thing I can do to empower yourself?

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