Be aware of your thoughts; they are the beginning of your acts.

Lao Tzu

In college, I used to bartend between semesters to make some extra cash. There was one particular bar I worked at that would get pretty busy on the weekends in NYC. On those particular nights, I knew without even having to look up from the bar whether we hired a bouncer to stand outside and filter the appropriate crowd into the bar.

How did I know?

By the vibes I got from the people standing around the bar. Particularly, it would get extremely loud and we’d begin to get a lot of shoving and pushing around the bar area. We’d notice more and more people get acting sloppy even before we’d exchange drinks-cash.

I really didn’t enjoy working those nights. It made my job much more difficult it needed to be, and instead of enjoying my time in verbal exchange with customers, my eyes were always darting around to make sure everything was in order.

Why I am I sharing this story with you? Because I was recently reminded of the importance of standing guard. Not specifically at a bar – but at the door of your own conscious awareness.

It can be quite stifling to suppress everything you want to say, things you want to do, and especially to stuff down who you really want to be on a daily basis.

This usually happens because we grow up wanting to please others. Wanting to placate others. Wanting to earn the love or respect of others.

Along the way, we forget how many different masks we have to wear, and what our faces actually look like if we were to peer at our reflection in a mirror.

If you want to have lived, not just survived – this life, you need to stand guard: identify what’s taking up real-estate in your heart & headspace.

If it’s not your own thought, beliefs, or passion, it doesn’t belong in your vibrations.

Ask yourself: is this mine?

Here are some simple steps to reclaiming your power:

  1. Start with self-awareness. In order to figure out what’s actually taking up real-estate, you have to assess. Throughout your day, jot down the things you find yourself worrying about, day dreaming about, and “shoulding” yourself about (typically, when you say something to the effect of, “I should….” you’re parroting an expectation that was put on you that wasn’t your own). You can also journal – free write for 30 minutes and see what comes up. Sneak in some meditation as well: see what thoughts/passions/desires are buried beneath all of your mind-chatter.
  2. Heal yourself. If you want to reclaim your space in this world, you have to stop hiding. Hiding typically happens when there’s a lot of buried and repressed pain that hasn’t been addressed. Find a good counselor or therapist to help. If you’d like to get started in the meantime, begin with self-healing:

Carve out at least 15-30 minutes of your day; 2. Find a comfortable place to sit. 3. Take a few deep breaths until you can feel yourself sinking quite deeply where you’re sitting. 4. With your dominant hand, stroke/pat your non-dominant hand – like you would a furry pet – and say aloud the following. 4. “I am safe, I am loved, and I am worthy” – any variation of this would work, play with the language.

Repeat, until you have emotions that come up to be cleared. Trust me – they come up (and seemingly out of thin air). Trust the process and roll with it until you’re sure you’ve cleared the emotions.

3.Empower yourself. Do something each day that makes you feel absolutely fantastic – something that makes you feel nothing short of Superman/Superwoman. For me, I love working out (especially boxing) until I know I’ve pushed myself to the limit. By the time I’m done with a workout, I’m soaked in sweat and it feels amazing. I cap my workouts with an ice-cold shower (I need my adrenaline!) and I feel invincible.

Want to reclaim what’s already yours?

Begin with choosing what comes in and stays within your vibrations.

Live with intention. Lead with inspiration.