(This article was originally published in the February 2017 issue of Best Self Magazine.)
“I don’t need to talk to you. I already know everything about you!” The woman hissed at me – her mouth curled in a sinister smirk, her eyes ablaze with rage. I gazed at her in bewilderment. “How can you say you know everything about me if you haven’t talked to me?” I asked sincerely. The longest we had ever spoken was over coffee 7 years before and only fleetingly in the years since. However, rather than supply my question with an answer, she turned on her heels and stormed off. Had we been standing on a dusty road, she would have kicked up clouds of dust. But, alas, no dust and no road; beneath our feet was just industrial carpet.
I stood there for a moment, baffled by what I had just witnessed. What began as a kind request to speak with her privately had backfired – badly. She launched into a full-blown, misinformed grandstand of accusations, shaming, and raging – the culmination of which was her declaration of omniscience about my life and me.
Her behavior in that moment was, quite frankly, crazy.
My threshold for crazy tends to be pretty high. In 2009, when everything in my life collapsed and my internal Pandora’s Box exploded, I was forced to face every terrifying demon lurking within. By facing them, I learned their truths: who they are, why they exist, and how to return them to a permanent state of peace.
From these revelations came the Drawing Out Process® — a technique I created for my coaching practice that permanently dissolves blocks, triggers, and inner demons in 2 hours or less. Through the Drawing Out Process, I was then guided to discover that at the core of all human struggle are 3 types of inner demons. Together I call these exPowers:
If you recognize one or more of these traits within you, fear not. Everyone has exPowers.
The more I’ve healed my exPowers, the easier it is for me to be calm in situations that used to trigger me. I can be present and observe with clarity and empathy. However, the aforementioned woman’s behavior triggered something in me that I hadn’t felt in years. I was shocked and incensed, baffled and enraged. My honesty and good intentions had been met with denunciations and demonizing. Why?
I knew from my work with the Drawing Out Process that fueling her outburst was probably an inner Defender trying to protect a scared Wounded inside. But, with my own emotional circuits ablaze, I didn’t care. I had zero bandwidth for compassion. I wanted to scream at her, “What the hell is wrong with you? How dare you yell at me when I came to you with kindness and concern!” (A slew of colorful epithets also came to mind, which I will leave to your imagination.)
The original title for this article was supposed to be “How to Be Unf#$%withable in the Midst of Crazy”. However, considering how ‘f#$%withable’ I’d been since the incident, who the hell was I to write about being ‘un’?
I tried writing about it but couldn’t.
Finally, after days of pacing around my office, sipping cups of tea, playing games of solitaire, doing the dishes, organizing the junk drawer, and engaging in countless other non-writing activities, I shouted at the Universe: “What the hell do you want me to say in this article?!”
I shook my head, sighed, and shuffled back to my desk…with yet another cup of tea. A few moments later, a thought occurred to me – one that should have crossed my mind when I first sat down to write but had probably been buried under the weight of my emotions:
“Ask your emPowers.”
In 2011, after a year of working with clients and speaking publicly about exPowers and the Drawing Out Process, one of my own exPowers was suddenly raging inside me. I grabbed my pen, drew her out, and let her vent. For pages and pages, she ranted and raved – at me. She was calling me on the carpet.
“Stop focusing so much on exPowers as weaknesses, and start focusing more on people’s powers! Teach them about their wonderful parts and how to strengthen and clarify them!”
She was guiding me to discover the 3 emPowers:
Our emPowers empower us to be everything we are here to be. They hold the love we crave, the wisdom we need, and the strength we seek. They fuel our productivity, purpose, and pleasure.
If you see a parallel between emPowers and exPowers, well done. exPowers are simply parts of our emPowers that have been distorted by stress, pain, or fear – usually during childhood. When healed by the Drawing Out Process, however, exPowers miraculously change back into loving, supportive emPowers.
Over the years as I’ve learned to honor my emPowers, the results in my business, relationships, and life have been extraordinary. I now travel the world, speaking and teaching others that, “When you honor your emPowers, magic happens”. The fact that it took me several days of chugging oolongs and shuffling around in slippers before I finally thought to ask for their help with this article is, frankly, ridiculous. (And I’m sure they thought so, too, but they’ve learned to be infinitely patient with me.)
Pen in hand, I sat at my desk and asked my emPowers, “What’s your wisdom on this issue with this woman?” I knew that writing the article wouldn’t flow until I’d cleared the emotion. My Free Spirit was the first to chime in. She said very sweetly:
“This woman is scared. She’s a hurt little girl who doesn’t know how to be un-hurt. She doesn’t mean to hurt you. She’s just hurting so much herself. Be very patient with her. Look upon her as you’d look upon a little girl who’s in a fearing place, spinning out of control. She acts proud of her behavior, but she’s actually very ashamed.”
As my Free-Spirit spoke, huge boulders of resistance began crumbling within me.
The tension in my shoulders gave way, rage dissolved into compassion, and I suddenly imagined myself standing before the woman, looking upon her with kindness and gratitude.
Next I asked the Impresario, “What’s your wisdom on this issue?” Her reply was surprisingly curt: “I defer to the Sovereign.” I asked her to elaborate, but she wouldn’t, adding:
“I have no answers for you. This is not my purview. I’m not designed for situations like the one with this woman. To me, she’s crazy, and that’s all there is to it.”
My Impresario doesn’t beat around the bush.
And she’s right. Emotions are not the purview of the analytical Impresario. She knew her own limitations and was wisely choosing not to impede my healing process. So I deferred to the Sovereign, who was gentle, but unequivocal:
“This woman is where she is – working on her issues through you because you’re strong enough to handle her. Her fear is what makes her reject you. Never for a second let her fear keep you from radiating your light. Let her issues be hers – they are not yours. Be who you are on full throttle. Look on her with gratitude for her behavior and the truths it has revealed within you.”
As my Sovereign shared her higher perspective on the situation, the calm within me deepened, and I could see more clearly how much power I’d surrendered to the woman’s rage.
I also became aware that I had been dimming my light in her presence for years, for fear of her feeling threatened.
This is not a new pattern in my life. In fact, it’s a very old one stemming from childhood when shining my light resulted in being criticized, ridiculed, and rejected. I spent decades ingratiating myself with women who would then spread rumors about me, stab me in the back, and have me fired for no apparent reason.
Years later, Marianne Williamson’s words, “There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others don’t feel insecure around you,” hit me like a bolt of lightning. I realized that, whenever I sensed women feeling threatened, I shrank. Rather than shine, I chose to dim.
Their rejection of me reflected my own rejection of myself.
Over the ensuing years, as I healed my exPowers and honored my emPowers, this pattern dissolved, and I no longer attracted those types of relationships. The women with whom I now connect embrace my light as I embrace theirs. No fear, no threat – just gratitude and support for one another.
Now, however, here was this woman suddenly spitting venom and sending me into a spin. Clearly my work was not done. Remnants of the old pattern remained, and my Sovereign was telling me that I needed to disregard her fear, own my own power, and radiate my light on full-throttle.
After asking my emPowers some additional questions, I finally addressed the matter at hand: “What truths need to come through in this article?” They named two things.
The first is empathy.
“When we have empathy, we cannot be in struggle. Empathy is the antidote to fear. Empathy is the currency for peace.”
My Free Spirit helped me not just know intellectually what was beneath the woman’s behavior, but also feel empathy for her Wounded fueling it. I know how it feels to be scared, and I know how it feels to lash out at others from my fear.
This is not to say that I condone her actions. Not at all. No matter what her personal grievances – real or imaginary – venting them the way she did was cruel and wrong, especially in response to my genuine overture. However, gaining a more compassionate perspective helped alleviate my emotional triggers so that, should it happen again, I can respond in the highest, most empowered way possible.
Empathy is the antidote to conflict.
Empathy is the pathway to peace.
The second truth my emPowers requested I convey is this:
“Whatever the issue is, ask your emPowers. Use your emPowers to bring clarity, transformation, and wisdom.”
As it turns out, the whole purpose of this article was to introduce them to you.
Some people know their truth but haven’t fully embraced their power. Some people know their power but haven’t fully embraced their truth. Your emPowers know your truth and your power. By honoring them, you honor your truth and embrace your power.
You have all of the power you need to be everything you are here to be.
The more you honor your emPowers and heal your exPowers, the more you unleash this power within you and become who you are here to be.
My truth is that I am here to heal humanity from the inside out. However, when I received the call two years ago that my mission is to work with world leaders, I scoffed at it. I questioned the judgment of anyone who would choose me for such a lofty purpose. Then one day, as the inner doubters were chattering away in my mind, a sudden peace sliced through the din and said, “You can doubt all you want, Emily. This is who you are.”
With that realization, I finally embraced my mission and began declaring it to others. Six months later, I spoke at the United Nations. A year later, I spoke at the United Nations again. Today, I work with young leaders and executives around the world – freeing them of their blocks and blindspots so they can embrace their truth and become the enlightened leaders they are here to be.
When you stand in your truth, you stand in your power — and miracles happen.
The truth is, you already are who you came here to be. You are simply being revealed. Our life experiences – both rewarding and painful – are designed for this purpose. The challenges we face, the personalities we encounter, the struggles we endure – all are opportunities for us to discover and witness our own power.
Without them, we would neither know nor appreciate how powerful we truly are.
Though I desire authentic connection with the woman who raged at me, the reality is that she may never be capable of it. She may continue to bottle up her emotions and blast them at me unexpectedly. However, my emPowers reminded me that the point of our relationship is not for her to accept me. It is for me to accept me: to embrace my own truth, trust my own power, and shine my own light so that I can be who I am here to be.
Your emPowers’ purpose is to help you be who you are here to be. Listen to them, trust them, and honor them.
When you honor your emPowers, magic happens.
At the request of my emPowers, it’s time to make some magic with your emPowers. The point of the 3 approaches listed below is to tune into your emPowers. Don’t overthink these — have fun!
Honor Your emPowers
Honoring your emPowers is quick, easy, and best done every day, before you officially start your day. My Impresario wants to make sure you have the proper information and instructions for doing so.
Simply ask each emPower individually, “Free-Spirit/Impresario/Sovereign, what’s one small thing I can do today that would feel good for you?” Listen for their answers, write them down, and then do those things before the end of the day. That’s it!
To make it easier, download the How to Honor Your emPowers Guide and Official emPowers & exPowers Postcard HERE. You can also take the one-week, online course How to Honor Your emPowers.
Create emPower Moodboards
A Moodboard is an easy, free, online way to collect and collage images to use as inspiration. (It’s similar to Pinterest but without all of the text and links.) My Free-Spirit wants you to find pretty pictures that resonate with your emPowers and then create a Moodboard for each. Click here to create your first Moodboard!
Some sample Moodboards are here, here, and here. See if you can guess which emPower designed each one…
Discover Who You Are Here to Be
People often wonder why they are here and what their purpose is. These questions are answered by your Sovereign, and mine wants to help you gain clarity on yours. Knowing what kind of presence your emPowers are here to be can help clarify what kind of presence you are here to be – the unique radiance you are here to bring.
Close your eyes, and ask each of your emPowers individually, “Free-Spirit/Impresario/Sovereign, what kind of presence are you here to be in the world?” Write down their answers. Then ask yourself, “Who am I here to be? What kind of presence am I here to be in the world?” Trust what comes, and write it down.
(View original article on Best Self Magazine.)