In Sandra Joseph’s terrific book “Unmasking What Matters Most” I have a favorite excerpt titled, Stand in Your Field of Power. If your “woo-woo” alert is waving a red flag here, calm down. Because Sandra holds the record as the longest-running leading lady in a Broadway show —10 years performing as Christine in “Phantom of the Opera.” In her book she delves into what gets in the way of pique performances and the practical steps we can take to change our mindset and fulfill our potential.

Sandra writes

“Tibetans have a word, wangthang, that means ‘authentic presence.’ It literally translates to ‘field of power.’ In order to ‘bring about authentic presence,’ says Tibetan teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche—in order to occupy your own field of power—’you have to be without clinging.’ He further explains that ‘the cause or the virtue that brings about authentic presence is emptying out and letting go.’

We can practice dropping out drivenness and loosening our fists. Instead of trying to be perfect or to control outcomes, we can bring a quality of surrender and relaxed focus that allows room for grace. The trick is to notice when we’re beginning to cling to our desired outcome. Here are the some signs to look for.

[She goes on to describe the two different states of mind.]

You know you’ve stepped outside your field of power when you are:

  • seeking approval or validation from others
  • overly results-oriented
  • evaluating your worth by external markers (how many dollar signs are in your bank account, how many ‘likes’ you get or Twitter followers you have)
  • always chasing after something bigger and better, spurred by a feeling of not having enough

You’re solidly standing in your field of power when you:

  • seek expressiveness out of love
  • enjoy the process, the craft, of whatever it is you’re doing
  • have a background sense of deliberate action, fueled by creative energy moving through you
  • immerse yourself in doing something for its own sake
  • have the underlying sense that good enough is good enough, independent of external results, reactions, ‘success,’ or ‘failure'”

Thank you, Sandra!

I can’t recommend her book highly enough. You don’t need to be a singer or musical theatre fan to love. She offers stories of her audition “fails” and what it took for her to finally stand in her own light.

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