Does the word make you uncomfortable?
Conscious people who’ve done a lot of work on themselves are often uncomfortable with the idea of wielding power. The word has a negative connotation for us – of force, domination, control…
But – as change agents, we have to get comfortable with power. We have to be able to handle power, leadership and influence. However, to create the change we want, we need a different KIND of power – power WITH instead of power OVER.
This is another piece of the new project I’m working on – upgrading the 3rd chakra to handle power in partnership – power WITH, instead of in the old dominator model – power OVER.
I’m really excited about this project, and how it’s coming together. It’s going to be a wonderful new tool for Healing Your Soul’s Voice, which means being able to speak from the Partnership model of power (among other things).
As we shift to the Partnership model of using power, we influence others to do the same, and we begin create transformational systems change.
Here are some of the key differences between Dominator and Partnership power (from The Power of Partnership, by Riane Eisler – one of my mentors).
*Highly authoritarian, with rigid rankings and hierarchies.
*Power is maintained through force, fear, and violence.
*Males are ranked higher than females.
*High valuing of control and conquest of people and nature.
*Social policies designed to maintain the dominator status quo.
*Relations of control and domination are presented as normal, desirable and moral.
*Egalitarian social structures.
*Hierarchies that foster actualization.
*Equal valuing of men and women.
*High valuing of empathy, nonviolence and caregiving in men, women and social policy.
*Mutual trust and low degree of fear and social violence, since these are not required to maintain dominator rankings.
*Relations of partnership and respect are presented as normal, desirable and moral.
Riane talks about a “continuum” from Dominator to Partnership, and that we’re all in various places along that continuum.
As much progress as we have made, you can see that there are still many Dominator ideas and structures in place in our society. We are farther along toward the Partnership end of the continuum than societies that still consider women as men’s property, devalue women and children, and who foster violence as the solution to problems.
To be clear, the Partnership model is not an “us against them” agenda. It’s not about fighting “bad people” but about changing a fundamentally imbalanced system of beliefs, values and relations that makes it impossible to solve the problems in our world.
Partnership also gives us a beautiful lens on spirituality. Many of us are following an eclectic spiritual path these days, taking practices from different spiritual traditions – and rejecting the old Dominator traditions and stories that feel wrong (and are usually perversions of the religion).
We are reweaving our spirituality with an emphasis on awareness, empathy, respect, and a belief in the oneness of all things – with love as the core.
Now, the times are calling us to step into our Partnership Power. Our spirituality needs to be courageous. It’s not enough to sit on our cushions and just work just on ourselves anymore. Spirituality means putting love into action.
When you re-frame and heal your relationship to power by moving further into Partnership, you learn to use power effectively to create positive change.
My new project is going to help you do that. Watch this space!!