Power toxicity

My body feels tired and sore, I am aware of a strong feeling of hopelessness about the world we co-exist in. The hierarchical, power thirsty systems that are ingrained in our DNA and drenched in our visceral realities sometimes look like endless black holes. I have a sickening body reaction when I notice the behaviours of dehumanising self or others. It is time we started to notice and understand the toxicity of Power differential. “I am right, you are wrong”  “My beliefs are truths and you need to look at yourself” are classic scripts that run in our system that creates the rifts, dehumanises and closes all channels of communication. It creates power structures, where A is higher than B. Where B is supposed to strive to become A and is never satisfied with being B. A on the contrary has to continue to maintain its position. Both are chained into the system, and both are constantly involved in power struggle. This struggle shows up in our families, societies and between countries. Our world is constantly engaged in struggles of power all the time, causing domestic violence, social injustice and war. However I don’t think we need to go that far, even if we observe interactions between our fellow human beings, we will notice the power differential. Systems are designed for the more powerful to grow and gain, while the less powerful keep the struggle on until someone in power gives them a hand. Hence everyone runs behind power based on who has more information power, decision making power, Financial power,  network power ( who knows who?) etc.

Definition of an Individual’s Power:

Individual Power can be defined as an individual’s ability and freedom to believe in his/her own resourcefulness and wholeness as a human being. To have freedom in creating an identity, which an individual wishes to create.

Factors impacting individual power:

One of the major factor is individual’s own belief and relationship with Power. This belief is nurtured by prior conditioning of where the individual is coming from and how has this individual being impacted by power. Other factors that influence are the spaces that the individual co-exists in and how these spaces either allow individual power or oppress it.

Power toxicity:

Power by itself is not toxic, it is quite energizing when we can stand in our power. But taking away someone’s power or giving away our power can lead to toxicity in relating with one another. For example; Gopal is Tim’s boss, in his organisation he is more powerful than Tim. He makes most decisions, including when can Tim go on a holiday. Tim on the other hand believes that this is the way the system works and that he has no power. So Tim continues to behave and take instructions from Gopal. Tim is frustrated as he senses oppression but sometimes may not be aware that this is oppression, he lives his life as a powerless cynic. Even though it may look like Gopal has a wonderful life, it is far from his experience. Gopal experiences more pressure to maintain his position of power. He can’t take risks and is constantly under anxiety, he feels hatred towards Tim and his inability to stand in his power and share the burden that Gopal carries on his shoulder. However it is interesting to note that both Tim and Gopal have become comfortable in their relationship with power and questioning it is useless activity for them. Thus this relationship continues to feed power toxicity drenched in hopelessness and can create internal violence, which is equivalent to oppression of a poorer nation by a more advanced one. The only difference is that one is oppressed internally and not visible, whereas the other is more in the face. We can easily dismiss smaller scales of visceral oppression present in the system and hide it under the umbrella of tolerance, often calling people who react to it as imbalanced or too sensitive for the system. We design psychometric tools to measure psychological deviations or reactions that oppressed people may have and then train them to fit into the system. I believe that more we hide power toxicity that is present in traces, the more it grows.

I have here tried to put down a few questions, which can help us become aware of power toxicity in and around us:

1. You exercise your authority to make sure that your employees speaks only when you feel it is necessary and in a manner that is appropriate

2. You make sure that everyone and all tasks are completed on time and targets achieved, even if it means that employees sacrifice their personal time

3. You leave no space for unnecessary personal excuses

4. There is no time for discussions and feedback for self

5. You always make sure that you are in power over the employee

6. You lose your temper when an employee can’t perform as per your expectations

7. You have Freedom of speech

8. You feel the freedom to be sad, joyous, angry, fearful and are able to name it.

9. Is there Freedom to be, without being constantly reprimanded or corrected?

10. Feedback in your system nurtures

11. Are you being subjected to depreciating comments by boss in humor or otherwise?

12. Are you aware of gas lighting, thus creating psychopathological confusion in you?

13. there a sense of smallness experienced by you?

Answering some of these questions helps us find where power toxicity exists.

Oppression that continues can create power toxicity that impacts mind and body and can have psychopathological ramifications in individuals. Over time it creates mutation in the system to heighten tolerance of oppression, thus impacting life choices of individuals. It saps individuals of their vitality as they start believing that system cannot be changed and there is a greater force holding the system. Whereas in reality the power differential system is held deep in our psyche. It’s code is held in the oppression that we impose on ourselves, thus feeding into an oppressive system. We are scared of naming the oppression to the oppressor as there is deep fear of being ostracised from the system. The system is designed to make us feel alone in the oppression, whereas the whole system experiences oppression without awareness. When we oppress parts of ourselves we also do not allow others to express those parts thus creating a pattern of oppression outside from inside. We oppress reactive and sensitive parts of ourselves, which yearn for voice and choice, but our current comfort zone keeps us in denial. So we keep increasing the levels of power toxicity within ourselves as we continue to remain and construct systems of oppression.

Detoxifying Power:

Power with awareness of equity of self and others, is pure power. This power comes from a deep space of respect for self and others irrespective of their caste, creed, race, gender, country, culture or religion. It comes from knowing that each human being is equal and everybody’s  power is connected. However this is easier said than applied. If we practice to develop our sensitivity to Power toxicity and are able to accept it and name it, I think that is where the edge of systemic transformation  exists. Ripples of power toxicity that begin from self have engulfed our world in toxic power dynamics that need observation, attention and transformation.

“Time flies” myth busted!

In this blog we bust the myth of flying Time.

As we all know ‘Time’ is a precious resource, sold as a commodity in a capitalist world. How we spend our time on this planet defines who we are and what we are becoming. Time, prima facie seems like a simple concept to understand and we allow it to run our lives without deeper consciousness about it.

There are two basic belief systems around time, one that says it is finite and the other which says it is infinite. Where the belief of ‘time is finite’ exists, there are structures around time and a sense of hurry and a sense of lack of time. In some other cultures where there are beliefs about re-birth and ‘time is infinite’, the pace is slower and sense of time almost negligible.

Whatever your belief may be, becoming aware of it and how it impacts your pace, your goals, dreams and your life is important. What spaces do you want to spend your life in, so you feel more fulfilled, more satisfied. Feeling that time has been wasted creates much anger, blame and guilt. So to understand how and what impact we want to create in this life depends on, How and what we spend our time on.

There is a simple yet Dynamic tool, that can be used to divide, measure and utilize time, It is the time quadrant. This quadrant holds the essence of time and its relativity to our lives.

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This quadrant says that time can be divided into four categories, and every quadrant has its own energy. Our being in every quadrant is different and a higher consciousness is needed to be in the centre of these quadrants and observe ourselves.

The quadrant of High Importance, High Urgency holds crisis and high pressure energy. These are crisis situations, related to health, death, relationships and breakdowns of all kinds. If we end up spending too much time in firefighting situations, we would be either freaking out or becoming numb to what is happening to us and around us. Health issues like abnormal blood pressure, vertigo, heartburns etc. could arise out of being in this space.
In Low Importance, Low Urgency quadrant, there are activities which are complete time eaters, like gossiping, watching television or spending time playing mindless video games. Too many such activities create a hole in the time bucket. This quadrant holds the energy of inertia, stiffness and heaviness. Too much time spend in this can cause us to detach socially, sometimes it can cause us to put on weight and associated physical and mental health issues.

Low Importance, High Urgency: Activities which are interruptions and need immediate attention. These could be activities which we need to pay attention to but could be someone else’s high priority. Such distractions when increase they start holding energy or frustration and hopelessness. There is anger and a need to create boundaries when the time increases in this quadrant. Any important Goal or objective can never be reached in this Quadrant.

High Importance, Low urgency: These activities are easy to put in the back burner, as they don’t require immediate attention. These could be creating a financial plan, writing down a will, finding time for positive and meaningful networking, getting trained on a new skill, writing your short term and long term goals, spending time with relations, which matter the most, exercising to maintain your body rhythm etc. Being in this quadrant creates much growth and feeling of self-worth. The last quadrant is the one that creates opportunities of growth for us, It gives us time for self awareness and introspection. Infact if you are reading this article you are spending time in this quadrant, become aware of its impact on your awareness and growth. If you are spending less time in this quadrant then your crisis situations would be more as you don’t have time for planning.

The key is to cut down time from any quadrant that is not serving you, and that usually is the Low Importance, Low urgency quadrant. Start putting time saved from this quadrant into the High importance low urgency space and you would see how dramatically the quadrants start working for helping you achieve what you wish for.

These quadrants are very dynamic and alive in nature, any quadrant that you feed would grow. If we had to sit down and list our activities and put them in the four quadrants, we would know what is eating up our time. Everyone in this world has twenty four hours and there is time for everything, we just have to know where we want to put our time and how? Creating time consciousness and giving due time to all the quadrants, with our choice and complete awareness can liberate us. 

10 Mysterious Photos That Cannot Be Explained

Mystery Description: A picture is said to be worth a thousand words, though fact versus fable can be difficult to determine when evidence is limited and theories run wild. Stories associated with these images are not easy to explain or even not at all probable. Since the beginning of time, man has bared witness to the strange and unexplainable. With no cameras or smartphones to capture these moments, the ancients would scribe what they saw on stone. Lucky for us, today we have the technology to see things that the human eye does not. For example… A father takes a photo of his daughter one afternoon while the two were together outside and no one else around. When the picture is developed, you can clearly see a man in a space suit standing a few feet behind the little girl. Where did he come from? What about the mysterious old lady seen calmly taking photographs of the chaos that proceeded the gunshots that fateful day in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, when John F. Kennedy was assassinated? There are pictures to prove her presence but no records of her existence…intrigued yet?

See mind boggling images that even the most skeptical of the skeptics may have a hard time disputing. Everything from the mysterious death of Elisa Lam, pyramids on the moon, sea monsters to unidentified flying objects hovering around our planets atmosphere, are all captured. Check out the video and see for yourself.

Video and Content Courtesy: The Richest