Contributed by: Ashley Erickson
GENthusiasts gather at Vessel Coworking for an uplifting workshop.
On a Wednesday evening, members of the GENthusiast Society gathered for a workshop with the theme, #FindingYourPower. The focus of the workshop was covering one’s individual power and how one can actively make choices that will make us feel more powerful. Presenting this workshop was Lauren Russo, a GENthusiast member who is a professional life coach (1).
Lauren D. Russo, presenting the workshop.
“What do you think of when you think of power?”
As the workshop began, Russo asked GENthusiasts what came to mind when they thought of power. There were many different answers where someone said they thought of “money”; more money, more power. While, someone else correlated it with one’s position in a job. When you read this, you probably thought of different associations as well. So, how do we find our power when it is associated with different meanings? Well, Russo said that although there are various identifiers of the word, there are a few categories power can fall under: strength, capacity, and influence.
Russo demonstrating how our bodies are weak when we feel powerless.
“Our bodies contain information on what is right or wrong for us… it is your body’s way of showing you are powerless in a situation.”
Let’s look at strength. The best way to think about strength is the association with our bodies. In the picture above, Russo asked GENthusiast member one thing that is true and then something that is false. As the GENthusiast told her one truth, she was able to resist the force of Russo pushing down her arm. On the other hand, when having to share something that was false, her arm wasn’t able to resist. In Russo’s words, “Our bodies actually get weaker when they are experiencing a lie… they have a warning system for us.” What is the association with power? “Our bodies contain information on what is right or wrong for us… it is [our] body’s way of showing [us that we] are powerless in a situation,” stated Russo.
Seeing that our bodies are such an important source of communication, what does this mean for women? Russo says “It’s hard to stick up for [ourselves] because we are socialized to be nice. The reaction that you have is fine when people are coming at you.” The “we” she refers to is women; we are taught to be considerate of others feelings even when someone is not being considerate of our own.
Think about a situation that made you feel powerless, and then one that made you feel powerful. As we were doing this exercise, Russo said that it is normal to be able to come up with more powerless situations than powerful. This is a human trait, to remember more negative occurrences than positive ones as a part of our survival instincts. Since instincts are a bit difficult to send away, we have to actively search for our powerful situations and remind ourselves of them.
So, what is something that makes you feel powerless and one thing that make you feel powerful? One GENthusiast shared what made her feel powerless: “What stops me from feeling powerful is time. If I had infinite time, I would feel a lot more powerful because I could get more done.” Another GENthusiast shared what made her feel powerful: “I feel powerful when I compliment someone.” Russo said that if we say these things are important, and they make us feel good and strong, we have to make it a priority.
A GENerous hug to close out an empowering evening.
“[We] have a shared human experience [and] others would probably love to hear [your situation] and help you through it.”
Overall, the workshop offered an uplifting message with resources to take action in finding power in one’s life. As Russo put it, “The more people you have, the more powerful you are.” This is not so much how many friends you have, more so, the type of connections one has to others and their community, the better. Russo closed the night with some valuable advice to remember, “ [We] have a shared human experience [and] others would probably love to hear [your situation] and help you through it.”
We hope this was useful and wish you the best on #findingyourpower!
Photography provided by GENthusiast member, Leandra Blei.