The 5 Superpowers we need to cultivate to rock the shit out of a crisis
The whole world has gone mad. Everyone is talking Corona and it’s hard to not get infected by the virus of fear. I’m sure you, like me and probably every other human with access to the net, have gone through the emotional rollercoaster ride a few times already. (Something along these lines: Shock, Fear, Anger, Laughter, Compassion, Excitement and repeat, maybe?).
The good news is that there is nothing like a crisis to get us into our warrior mode and cultivate our Badass Superpowers. Yep, you heard it! You have Superpowers and this article is to remind you, in case you forgot (which regarding the circumstances could be quite understandable!) To ignite our inner fire to stand up for what we love!
So let’s see what that means for each one of us personally and collectively.
Superpower Nr 1: Be Clear and Know Your Purpose
Every hero needs a foe to understand how powerful they actually are. Our foe right now is mass confusion and with that mass fear. We are being bombarded with different and often contradicting information from all sides, all at the same time, creating a state of overwhelm and confusion which can lead to anxiety. If we don’t know what is real, we don’t know which action to take. That makes us feel unsafe, vulnerable and that can lead to …kneejerk reactions.
But if we know our purpose, it will serve us as a shield and help us use our beautiful brains so well designed for discernment. Now, the important point here is, that we can only practice discernment if we don’t ‘judge’.
As soon as we go into judgment we see the world through a lens of black and white and we will automatically create conflict within ourselves. We will get attached to our ‘perspective’ and we will defend it with all our might as to not feel our own vulnerability and uncertainty.
But if we ask ourselves this simple question right now: what is my purpose? All of that changes. Knowing our purpose becomes like an X-Grade Bullshit detector and a sword against distraction!
For me, it’s this: I’m here to empower people through understanding their own Nervous System (NS) aka learn how to develop their own superpowers.
By mastering our NS we are able to stay cool-headed and clear about where we are going. By mastering our NS we will not be hijacked by fear and will not be puppets of mass hysteria. Instead, we will grow up to our mutual responsibility to stay sane and loving, supporting each other in the process.
So what is your purpose?
Superpower Nr 2: Cultivate Your Inner Presence
So how do you actually do point number one? You do it through learning how to be still and in silence. As amazing as our brains are, we are not designed to digest this much stimuli. Maybe we will evolve into that in some faraway future, but we are certainly not there yet.
Having our brains constantly stimulated and distracted creates restlessness within us, a highly, as I’m sure you agree, uncomfortable feeling. But on top of that, we are not just consuming ‘neutral’ data. We are consuming highly emotionally charged data!
That means each time we get on the phone, or on FB, or Medium even, we ingest information that makes us live through (whether we want to or not) what 500 years ago would have been a lifetime of emotions just in one day! No wonder we feel exhausted and numb.
So the antidote is super simple, even though not always easy: Be still and know. Give yourself a break.
Make time for just being without reading, writing, listening or any other form of engaging your senses. Relax. Breathe. And relax even more.
Let the dust of this nervous mind of yours settle like muddied water and you will be surprised at the crystal clear reflection of its mirror-like quality.
You will be surprised how by not constantly stimulating your mind, you will give your body a chance to relax and your heart a chance to feel lighter, more open and willing.
Of course, if you can, be in nature. But even if right now, you can’t, this stillness is available to you everywhere. Here is a link to some online meditations that I love.
Remember that this may be challenging in the beginning, but that’s ok since it’s in the challenge that superpowers are born. And we are in the business of becoming badasses, right?
Superpower Nr 3: Be authentic
Once still you will be able to access your true feelings. And ‘feeling’ as simple as it sounds IS a Superpower. Here is why:
Becoming a spiritual Badass doesn’t mean to be always positive and only in the light. It means to be authentic. It means knowing what you are actually feeling without spiritualizing or rationalizing it away.
It means having the guts to say that out loud and share it with others. Truth is truth. There are no such things as bad emotions. Anger is not a bad thing (unless it’s suppressed and then it can become toxic!). Only our interpretation of it makes it so. Any time you say no to an emotion, you also say no to a part of yourself and you are back in judgment that means you are back in conflict with yourself.
You don’t argue with the weather, do you? (at least I hope you don’t, that would be kind of crazy!). Why would you argue with your emotions then? They arise and pass away like the weather and only our judgment of them makes them stick.
There is wisdom in our feelings, we need to re-learn how to honor that.
Yesterday, for example, I felt so angry. I was really really not ok with what is happening to the world. By being able to acknowledge that (instead of judging it) and to express it to my friend (after checking in if that was ok first) I was able to let up some steam and access a deeper layer of grief and sadness. That led to me sharing my tears in written form online and that led to others feeling the permission to access their own grief. There was medicine in it.
If your purpose, like mine, therefore is to help each other evolve and collectively awaken our heart intelligence, then becoming still helps us to feel. And feeling is like an internal guidance system that lets us know what is true for us. Only by being connected to what’s true for us are we able to understand what we really need, which guides us to make healthy choices.
Superpower Nr 4: Be Connected and Generous
When you are still you are able to access the feeling of oneness, that common ground that connects all of humanity. You’ve heard it before. ‘We are all one’, but oftentimes that’s really hard to know to be true. Especially if we focus on the mental noise, the different belief systems, and perspectives. When our minds are too busy defending our own perspective we are unable to access our feelings and therefore connect with the intelligence of the heart.
But if we take a breath in and another breath out, we move into stillness, and we come into harmony with what we are actually feeling, something inside each one of us actually starts to soften and become peaceful and loving.
We are one in the sense that each heart has a longing for peace and connection. Each heart has the capacity for it when undisturbed. That’s true for every single body on this earth, even if it doesn’t seem that way, because their NS might be hijacked into a fight and flight response.
They might have unresolved trauma and fear inside of them that does not allow them access to their vulnerability. By mastering this inside yourself, however, you become a safe person, which might eventually allow their NS to unwind also. In my work, I see this happening all the time. When we put our attention onto the heart, miracles truly happen.
You can practice softening and connecting through your heart by literally putting your awareness on the physical sensations around it and allowing it to soften with each breath. (Important to not judge, force or push here). The way you soften when you allow sunshine to stroke your face. Or the way you soften when you look at a kitten or baby.
If you are with people you love, practice appreciating each other by telling them what you love about them. If you are not with people right now, you can write letters or give them a phone call. You can also just do it with nature or a pet. As you watch your cat (or a tree), soften your breathing, your body and pay attention to what you appreciate.
Just noticing what you love starts connecting you with your heart.
Speaking out your love and sharing your appreciation for others is being generous in spirit. The more you practice the more it grows. So I dare you, tell the next person you see, what you love about them!
Superpower Nr 5: Be Heart-driven
If we practice all of the above, the next step is to find out what we really want. We have been so conditioned to disregard the small soft voice of our hearts as ‘naive’, ‘childish’, ‘pipe dreaming’ and ‘immature’ even, that often times we do not trust it. Instead, we cling onto ideas of what we ‘should’ do or what we ‘have-to-do’ because to our minds they make more sense and therefore it’s safer.
In this way, we give up our need for wholeness. And we have done that collectively. We are different people at work and different people at home and sometimes we are very different people in our own minds even.
If we look at the world right now, honestly, how many of us have actually been truly happy? Even those of us who are working on ourselves, have we been actually happy?
I can only answer the question for myself and the answer is NO. I haven’t been because the longing in my heart for peace and connection has been in direct opposition to what I keep thinking I have to do in order to ‘survive’.
I have been probably still much happier than many, as I’m so blessed to live in nature (on an island) with amazing people around me. Yet, the amount of time I spend online because I believe I need to create a career, the amount of time I spend worrying about money, it is not making me happy.
Do I, do you, do we, have the courage to listen to what we truly long for? To what makes us whole beings? For me it’s clear: creative expression, peace, and connection. That means community and nature.
What is it for you?
And the biggest question of all: what is it for us?
Do we really need ever-faster internet and smarter gadgets? Do we really want to consume more and more and more…or like Corona is showing us, do we actually long for the relief of slowing down and having time, that almost forgotten luxury?
Do we long for taking in deep breaths and connect to others in a shared reality of peacefulness and mutual appreciation? Or do we, after this goes back to normal (if it ever does), want to go back to running running running again?
Knowing our answer to this question is important to guide us into this new future that we are co-creating.
All of the above ‘superpowers’ build on each other. You cannot take one away and think the rest will work. They are different facets of the same energy, the energy of heart intelligence.
There has been enough research done in the last two decades about the heart to show that it is not just a pump like believed for a long time. The heart has its own ‘brain’ and its own language. A language that we all need to learn and become proficient in if we want to create a world in which we can thrive and not just survive.
If in fact, we want to use this crisis we have found ourselves in, to not only wake up but to grow up as humanity.
Which in my world means we become simply Badass.
May you become the superhero you always wanted to be.
(Author’s note: The above Superpowers I’ve adopted from Tej Steiner’s book ‘waking up with everyone around us’. He calls them the ‘five ways of being’ and presents them as social agreements that create environments conducive to heart awakening. I highly recommend his work.)
Kasia Patzelt is an artist and works also as an Embodiment Coach, helping individuals to let go of trauma and co-create an authentic human reality. She lives with her cat Miss Smokey in Ibiza, Spain, where she also organizes one-on-one retreats.