Become your own leader – taking responsibility for yourself – part 4

In part 4 of Sandra's Empowerment series, she explains how learning to listen carefully, and then take responsibility for expressing yourself in the healthiest and most 'serving' way, can lead to the next level of empowerment.

Become your own leader Sandra Carson

There is a metaphor about yoga that also applies to life in general: it is like a bird. For a bird to fly and reach soaring heights, the bird needs two wings; one wing is Grace, and the other is your own effort.

There is no denying that life brings you all sorts of experiences and determines so much for you. Many, if not most things are out of your immediate control and influence; the family you are born into, the country, culture and time you live in, to name a few. And these circumstances are of extreme importance when it comes to receiving love and nurturing, opportunities for your development and the inherent freedoms you enjoy.  

These circumstances beyond your control are the cards that you are dealt with. To step fully into your power, it is vital to remember there is also your own part in the life you live. And that is your point of interest. That is exactly where your power is. No matter how much you have working in favour or against you, you always have your own power. 

Writer Mark Manson summed it up in this short but empowering sentence: ”It is not your fault, but it is your responsibility.”

This statement can appear to oppose much of what you may have experienced in your life – especially when you have had traumatizing experiences (which we all have to some extent). When you take responsibility for yourself, it doesn’t mean that you deny or downplay what has happened to you. In fact, it means the opposite; to be a leader, to really take care of yourself includes being the “parent” of your pain and acknowledge the moments where you fell victim to people or circumstances. This means to fully accept these important things that have happened in your life and the effects they have had on you. Only from that place of truth can you begin to find your own power. 

Becoming your own leader may create conflict with people around you at first. You may be stuck in relationships where your actions and boundaries are based on getting approval of others or being too focused on pleasing them. You may find yourself saying or doing things out of fear of abandonment. In those moments, you need to remember that it’s not your job to please your mother, your boyfriend or co-worker.

It’s not your job to please your mother, your boyfriend or co-worker. It’s not someone else’s responsibility to save you or make you feel better. Your job is to be your own leader.

At the same time, it is not someone else’s responsibility to save you or make you feel better. Your job is to be your own leader: to love yourself and stay true to yourself. Your job is to practice saying what feels right for you and what doesn’t. To act with integrity and truth. From that place of empowerment, opportunities and solutions to problems will arise in a way that is healthy and balanced. You become more clear, more open and more confident. And as a result, your relationships with others and with life itself will shift, transform and change for the better. 

Take ownership of yourself. Love yourself and see your wholeness. You are a unique person. Your life is yours and no one else’s. Only you determine your boundaries and desires and only you have the freedom to make choices that feel right for you. Take your responsibility, take your power. You are your own leader.

Practice in class

As you fine-tune alignment with your inner landscape of feelings and emotions, you are getting into the driver’s seat of your life. Learning to listen carefully and then taking responsibility for expressing yourself in the healthiest and most ‘serving’ way. This class is an invitation to do just that. We start and end this class with a mudra, do some opening breath work and the asana will give you the opportunity to feel and respond.

Read the rest of Sandra’s Empowerment series articles

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Sandra CarsonWith almost two decades of experience studying the body, mind and heart, Sandra has developed a style of teaching that aims to make yoga a holistic, self-reflective, and spiritual practice.