Expanding Our Vessels: Inner Power for Aligned Outer Power
Recently, I was working with an executive coaching client who got clarity on his calling.
Not just a market opportunity, but rather: what life has been preparing him for to bring forward greater service to the whole that aligns with his gifts and life experiences. He shared about it with excitement, named the trepidation about all the electricity coursing through him, noticed the ways it pulled at his ego, inhabited a visible sense of feeling humbled, then sat breathing deeply and quietly.
Here he was sitting on the threshold of this big beginning, taking it all in.
It was gorgeous to hear and made perfect sense for him from all I’ve know over the last 5 years — the trials and discrimination he’s faced throughout his life, the expertise he has, and how he’s positioned to shift a whole industry toward deeper humanism with this clarity he received.
“How is this all feeling in your body?” I asked.
“It’s a LOT,” he said with a quiet smile.
“Yeah,” I said as I smiled and laughed. The same has certainly been true from my own experience.
“With all that electricity, your vessel will need to evolve to be able to run the amount of current you’re opening up to without getting burned out,” I said. “Your physical vessel is already telling you it needs to evolve to run all the new information and sensation that you’re experiencing. That’s why you’re having the embodied sense of pressure and inspiration. Your energetic and emotional vessels will need to evolve because this is a big bid for power.
Power by my definition is the ability to move energy through systems. So if you want to sustainably move greater energy through external systems, your vessel needs more capacity for experiencing flow internally.
It’s like having a pipe with a fixed diameter and a level of flow going through it that’s not exerting pressure on the pipe. But the more flow you start trying to send through it (which is what we do in a bid for power), the more the pipe feels pressurized. It’s NOT about pushing harder to keep up, but expanding the pipe — expanding our vessels for greater capacity.
Obviously, yes there’s all sorts of things we need to do in our outer work to up-level like create better systems, get team, etc. But the inner work is where we find the greatest leverage and stability in leveling up. This is the growth process, the learning journey in expanding our inner power — we are continually learning to make ourselves more available to life, so that more flow can come through us. Not so that we can push harder and just do more. That approach is a fast-track to overwhelm, burn out, longevity reduction, etc.
In the U.S. and in status quo business culture, we’re immersed in dominant cultures that ignore the wisdom of the body. Most people just PUSH to get to the next level. Just Amp up! Vibe up! Strategy up! Then their aorta and/or their marriage and/or their mental health, etc. blows out. I don’t view this route to power expansion as an actual win. This approach — let’s call it “by will alone” —is unsustainable and extractive, and it’s such a muggle way of working and living.
Another downside in cultures that don’t understand the energetics of being human is not knowing that when we open up and experience greater current by doing the true inner work, we can also face the risk of what wisdom traditions all over the world have culturally-designed to mitigate. We can overload our vessel with greater current than we’re capable of handling via transformational experiences. This experience is what Stanislov Grof called ‘a spiritual emergency.’ It can make you feel mad — truly. But thankfully there are all sorts of practices to help ourselves adjust to greater flow.
To do this, we must practice evolving and actually integrating the evolution, actually landing it in our bodies amidst continuous change, while we constantly learn to expand our vessels. When we do this, we can move more through systems with ever less drag or resistance. The wisdom traditions know this and each approaches it in their own way. This is the power of energetic and spiritual grounding in ourselves and our beings. It’s the true leverage point where we start being able to quite literally move massive things just by aligning ourselves.”
“This makes so much sense and I can feel myself relaxing as you describe all of this,” he said. “I’ve had those times where I tried to run too much beyond what I could handle and none of me wants to do it again. Now, I feel my body deeply relaxing and I feel so much more space stepping into the journey of this calling.”
“That’s right,” I said. “It’s almost like the vessel needs to know it can trust the driver in agreeing to a calling. Because the vessel isn’t very excited about the journey if it’s looking at the way others walk such futures. From that vantage it looks like a cardiac event, burning out, feeling sold out, feeling electrocuted with too much, and more. So when our being knows we’re going to take care of it as we step into this new outer journey through our inner commitment and new practices/life systems to experience greater flow and that we’re not just going to ask more of the vessel — we gain incredible access to our expanded capacity as beings and creators.”