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The Advantages Of Bidding For Power In Unsettled Times

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Here I am going to review a few items from my book “The Power Path” regarding bidding for power. This is a good way to begin our discussion.

  1. Everything in the known physical universe is bidding for power on a regular basis: Trees, mammals, fish, insects, microbes, humans and the list goes on. They are all striving for more light, more food, more space, more opportunity to thrive. This is not egotistical. It is the way of nature.
  2. Bidding for power is the choice to move up the ladder of capability, influence, vitality, strength and what have you in order to become more competent, more powerful.
  3. One can bid for power at any time and any place simply with a choice to do so.
  4. There is no free lunch so bidding for power comes with a price. The price may be your time, your effort and energy, financial costs, and so on but mostly the price is your own comfort zone.
  5. If you choose to bid for power you need to pay attention to the details or risk a brutal failure. Look at the many baby steps needed to get there.
  6. You need to be ready, prepared for the tests and initiations that are sure to come. They are not meant to defeat you, just test you.
  7. You need to be prepared for the physical demands, the psychological demands, the emotional demands et cetera or you will not prevail.
  8. Timing is all-important. There is a right time and a wrong time to bid.
  9. If you fail you will have the opportunity to learn from your mistakes so you can succeed next time.
  10. If you do not learn you will fail again and again until you proceed forward and succeed. Life does not suffer fools for long.
  11. If you succeed, that is just the beginning. Now you have to perform well at the new higher level or you will tumble down the ladder.
  12. The way you continue to succeed is to assist others in their bids for power. This is a community effort.
  13. The younger the soul the more the bids for power will be highly visible.
  14. The older the soul the more the bids for power will be internal and less visible to the world at large.  This we could call shamanic power.

I could go on and on with this list but by now you get the idea. Some people pretend that they are not interested in bidding for power but that is just self-deception. It is in our genes to thrive. All baby sea turtles rush to the sea unless they are dead. All plants stretch for the sun. All humans strive to walk and talk unless they are injured or incapacitated in some way.  Sometimes because of trauma or fear we hide from bidding for power but that never lasts. There may be an occasional lifetime where we are too scared to move forward or where we just give up but that is only a small temporary setback on the inevitable reach for enlightenment, union with Spirit.

Some people reach an age where they retire and play golf every day. That is an acceptable choice for some who have worked very hard and need a little break. However we can often make the biggest bids for power in our lives only when we are mature enough to know how, sometimes in our sixties, seventies, and even eighties and more. There are many who actually achieve self-realization only in the last ten minutes of their lives. Before that, perhaps they just were not ready.

When times are easy and we are very comfortable in our lives, it is much less likely that we will make the sacrifices to bid for power in a big way.  When we have plenty of money rolling in, less responsibility, high living standards and we feel we have it made, why should we make ourselves uncomfortable with a big bid for power? Why not just enjoy the fruits of our labor and hang out? Why would we take on a philanthropic project, adopt children or animals, embark on learning a new language, or any of many personal challenges. It would be easy for us to decide that it’s just too much work. Again, there is no judgment here. This is quite natural in some ways. Just enjoy life, take it easy, have fun. The only problem is that this can get boring after a time. We start looking around to see what else we can do. Can you enjoy life fully without making a contribution of any kind, without being creative, without supporting others. Some perhaps can but most cannot.

Even the people that have a goal of relaxation in this life, people who are not motivated to be ambitious about anything, look around to see how they can help. I know one who devotes himself to supporting endangered species and another who mentors many children. This is easy for them in some ways but it is still a bid for power because they can’t help but get involved with other people similarly wishing to help. They end up training volunteers and making a difference even when they are not motivated to do so.

Unsettled times are perfect for making bids for power. In some ways the rug of comfort has been pulled out from large segments of the population. Suddenly there is motivation to take on projects, take on responsibility, move into distinctly uncomfortable territory, take risks, and stretch. You could say, “Well, I am not interested in bidding for power; I am just trying to keep disaster from happening.” Yes, that may be true, making a bid for power is not foremost on your mind but that is usually true anyway.

When you decide to get married, have a baby, adopt a dog, join a board, volunteer your services, take a new job, you may not be thinking of this as a bid for power but it is, especially on an essence level. On a personality level you may think it is going to be a piece of cake, a lark, but your essence knows this is not true. When a rock band becomes successful and decides to go on tour none of them may realize what they are in for. They may be just thinking sex, drugs, and rock and roll. But in reality they are in for it and often grow up on the road through hard lessons. I know band members who after much success and many years on the road have become philanthropists in a big way, who have non-profits, who take care of huge projects helping to feed and shelter people all over the world. They did not stay in their comfort zones. This is true of many actors and athletes as well. Often the life task work does not actually happen until the glory days are over.

Not all of us are in the position financially to take on such big chunks of work. However with the new wrecking ball administration hundreds of thousands, actually millions of people are stepping up as never before to protect freedoms, support migrants, protect endangered lands and species, and much more. The times are offering the opportunities to bid for power. These millions just can’t sit still any longer and watch hard earned freedoms and protections vanish to greed, ego, and power-plays based on ignorance and selfishness. A new unpredictable world is forming and it takes power to shape it into a livable, sustainable future.

The new administration formed of small children has been given the keys to the family car and crashing it is imminent. That is perhaps one thing that really is predictable. Now the adults are beginning to move toward the car to stop it from being driven away toward an uncontrolled, reckless carnage. There are numerous bids for power at hand. Read over the list at the beginning of this article to get a sense of what is happening. Has this administration approached their bid for power in a prepared way? No. Do they understand the larger consequences of their actions? No. You get the idea. Have all the branches of resistance prepared for their bids for power adequately? No. Have they thought through the consequences? No; Certainly not in every case.

However this is only one example of bidding for power. Your bid for power may take you toward social action or in an entirely different direction. Think it through. Are you ready? Are you actually ready but just self-deprecating and think you are never ready enough? Is the timing good? Are you ready to take action? Have you understood what the initial steps are, the many baby steps that need to be taken to get you going? Are you ready to lay aside your comfort zone for the time being? Are you prepared for the upcoming tests and initiations that might try your soul at times?  Have you checked in with your inner guidance, with your allies and helpers? What have they said? Are they giving you the green light? Well then?

Your hero’s journey will take you through some unfriendly waters. There may be competitors, there may be naysayers and those that would try to dissuade you. There may be those who actively try to stop you. There may even be those who through their ignorance, hate you, condemn you, and say terrible things about you? Ready for that? Don’t worry. There are ancient and good ways to deal with these kinds of problems. Be firm. Be unwavering. Have excellent boundaries and have some tried and true allies from the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom, the animal kingdom, and the pantheon of great saints. Be forgiving and compassionate toward those who are so fearful they would hate you.  Give them many blessings, but become scarce to them. Make it hard for them to find you with their attention points. That is where the cloak of invisibility is quite helpful. Just for them.  My cloak of invisibility is an octahedron with many allies within it, especially tobacco. It makes me impossible to find when I don’t want to be found, but it is always issuing forth blessings.

I have found that some people who are in my same line of work actually help to create some of the biggest obstacles I come across. That is often the case in almost any profession. It is not the outer demons and devils you have to worry about. It can be your colleagues that sometimes do not want you to succeed or get in your way with their negativity. That is where many of the tests and initiations come from. In the end your greatest tests will come from your very own false personality that is programmed to make you suffer. Greed, self-destructiveness, self-deprecation, arrogance, impatience, martyrdom, and stubbornness are truly the greatest obstacles to your bids for power. That is where the big contests are. The external obstacles are child’s play next to these. Have you tackled these yet? Have you made some headway? Are they still in charge of your well-being? If they are, better get to work or your bids for power will be fraught. I recommend the book “Transforming Your Dragons” available on-line which remains the best book on the subject. Being informed is being well armed. Handle your own shit and you will be able to handle any bid for power you make.

Many Blessings.

José Stevens PhD is an international lecturer, corporate team builder and organizational coach, consultant and trainer. A psychologist, licensed clinical social worker and author of more than twenty books and numerous articles, he is also co-editor for A Journal of Contemporary Shamanism and a board member of the Society for Shamanic Practitioners. He is the founder, with his wife Lena, of the Power Path School of Shamanism and The Center for Shamanic Education and Exchange, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating youth in indigenous cultures. He has completed a ten-year apprenticeship with a Huichol Maracame in Mexico and has studied with the Shipibos of the Amazon and the Paqos of the Andes for the last thirty years.


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