One day (I was about ten) I found out that someone thought I was a snob.
I found out because they lashed out.
I had no idea. I was shy. We were in a photography class. I was trying a different hairstyle and it was a pain in the ass, so I was constantly pushing my ponytail back over my shoulder. She thought I was tossing my hair.
I was shocked. I was hurt. I couldn’t figure out how anyone could misunderstand me so profoundly.
Almost twenty years later, I found out again. I wasn’t paying attention for a while; the idea that people saw me like that was so far outside my daily experience that I couldn’t even absorb it.
But I was gifted that truth, in a place and time where I was much more able to hear it. And it hit me right in the gut:
When people look up to you, they are granting you power.
When you have power, you have responsibility. You can’t just hide your head in the sand and say, “I don’t believe in it, so I don’t have to act on it.” You have it. You affect people. You affect people whether you like it or not, whether you want to or not, whether you asked for it or not. Here you are.
Step the fuck up.
Owning that power was one of the best and scariest things I ever did.
I had to ask all kinds of hard questions:
What if everyone I thought was rejecting me thought I was rejecting them? What if they thought I was too beautiful or powerful or smart or capable to talk to them? What if they had handed me power, and I had handed them power, and so here we were with the power floating around like a loose cannon?
I was abdicating my responsibility, and giving up the chance to make someone’s day.
A woman named Marla had given me a taste of what it was like to be explicitly included just the day before. I knew what a difference it made to be invited.
So I started inviting people. I decided the power was awesome. It was the power to change the world, starting with people who thought they were being rejected when I had no intention of doing any such thing.
I started reaching out, assuming the best.
It changed me and my world forever.
Claiming your power is an act of joy, of love, of responsibility, of spiritual growth, and of service.
And it changes things. All the things. It changes everything.
If you’re free to come to Boston this weekend, join us at the (last minute! When the spirit say yes, say yes!) Love Your Power retreat Friday night and Saturday. Three seats only. And me. And power. Deets here: leelasinha.com/retreats