At 16, I was married into the world of mafia, union bosses and government corruption. I saw every which way the deals go down.
What I thought was true about the Red, White and Blue was not reality.
During the first 3 years of this marriage I gave birth to my son and daughter, our home was burned to the ground, and my son was killed the same night.
Late at night when ready to give birth to our second daughter two years later, my husband was sitting up with a shotgun and told me I would have to wait before he could take me to the hospital.
Soon, my daughters and I were hidden in a safe house after receiving calls we would be harmed. Conveniently out of the way, I became like a prisoner.
The FBI would question me about every six months asking if I had information on what my husband was doing.
I started planning my exit. Once I made that decision, I felt a little glimpse of empowerment.
Freedom became my everything. I started hunting - where is my power to do this?
Because, I was clueless.
It took another 3 years to leave. I know what it’s like to be scared, alone, and searching for a way to make sense of circumstances you think are beyond your ability.
After I left, I built my life to become a self-imposed Earth School.
These choices took me worldwide competing in extreme sports, producing ideas and projects, working with masters and seeing the strengths and flaws in all.
I was searching for my truth. I wanted to grow beyond my weaknesses and the feeling that I was insignificant.
I wanted to feel powerful within myself, but not the type of power you get with governments, guns and gangsters. Power is not money manipulators, multi-corporations and war machines. These false displays come and go and form into new ideas of corruption for those who chose to build these trenches.
I began to form my own sense of nonconformity.
I became a master of observation.
Then, I got a glimpse of a roll-model and what I wanted my more powerful self to be.
The Dakota House Party
I was on my way to NYC as part of a team planning the 20-year anniversary of the Woodstock Festival, which was going to take place in Russia.
My friend, the official photographer, picked me up at JFK and said we needed to drop by a birthday party at The Dakota House (where John Lennon had lived).
Ever the shy one with my underlying low self-esteem following me as my shadow, I just sat and observed when arriving at the party.
There was one man I noticed - and I could not take my eyes off of him. He had an incredible presence.
As he visited with others he became absolutely intriguing to me. I watched his every move as he gave his FULL focus and Love to others while talking.
He was not distracted or having third party conversations. His magnetism washed over the person and seemed to give the other person a newfound confidence. You could see this happening.
His dynamic sharing with others is hard to convey. My main observation was how he had this sort of underlying authentic love for each person.
Towards the end of the party as we were leaving I was introduced to him. He gave me the same focused attention asking me all about myself and who I was. All his energy was on me, as if I were the most important person in the world. It felt like a special blessing. I never forgot this experience .
I thought; this is Personal Power. THIS is what I was searching for.
Not just the plain old Ego Power like the government – mob and money people I knew that had no depth.
The heart felt Personal Power is the foundation I wanted to build my presence upon and emanate for the rest of my life. I was all in.
I started trying to practice what he did. It was a huge failure.
I began to see there is no way you can just do this. You have to feel it deep inside from the heart, which I had not developed. My whole fake scene came across as ridiculous.
From years of experiencing so much hurt, trauma, and drama, I had to start learning life again - from a striped down version.
I also had to get rid of all those little judgments that start forming when you first meet someone. I would immediately start thinking; what is their game?
Over the next 20 years, I trained hard for this new design of who I would be. I’m glad to have paid my dues.
It all starts with creating the Potential for what you want
* I found that Personal Power shrinks or expands in proportion to your courage to move into your own significance. That means constantly putting yourself into uncomfortable – out-of-the-box situations so you can grow your depth.
* One important key for me was training in the Taoist energy and martial arts. You train the inside to be more powerful than the outside.
So, if the outside demeanor looks good, let that be an indication of the real power you have on the inside. Personal Power comes from this depth. It becomes your style.
You’ll start moving your body differently and your focus will be apparent.
Notice others posture and how they stand. You start loosing your Personal Power when you loose your posture.
* I lived out-of-the-box and created circumstances that I designed for myself. This way I was always exploring new boundaries, and was enlightened by new potential.
* I found that the ability “to do” is based on your Personal Power – it will show in the eyes. It’s the energy you give. Your Energy (Qi) will become one of your most important tools.
The trap is that most want it fast and easy. I did. But, fast and easy is completely beside the point.
The biggest lesson I had to learn was to be someone you love and understand.
When you can love and choose yourself, your Personal Power can be given as a gift to others as you travel the path – any path – with heart.
I learned later the man at the Dakota House was the former Beatles manager.