Year of Empowerment by John Cali by John Cali

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As I’ve mentioned before in this newsletter, I no longer make New Year’s resolutions, or set goals for the next 12 months. However, this past holiday season, I’ve been “taking inventory” of my life. Especially the last several years.

Those years, as we all know, have heralded many changes and challenges, some pretty scary. 2009 promises to be no different.

John Cali

Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I spent a good part of the recent holidays examining my life. I clearly saw the ways I sometimes give my power away.

For example, there’s a prominent author, who shall remain nameless, who’s been harshly critical of my work with Spirit. In the most recent episode she said my work is “criminal.” The details don’t matter. What does matter is my reaction to her.

For about two weeks, I stewed and fretted over her recent remarks. I’d wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. I imagined all kinds of terrible consequences if she decided to continue her relentless criticism. Spirit calls this “OPO syndrome.” More about that later.

Finally, I talked to Spirit about it. (Sometimes it takes me a while of floundering around on my own before I ask for help.)

Spirit gave me a clear, compassionate analysis, from Spirit’s perspective, of this woman’s behavior. Again, the details aren’t important, but I gained a whole new, higher understanding of my critic. I saw her as a hurting human being just lashing out mindlessly at those with whom she disagreed. It had nothing to do with me.

I also saw exactly how I’d been giving my power away to her. I decided to reclaim my power, to make 2009 my year of empowerment.

Here’s Spirit.


First of all, to satisfy those who may be curious, “OPO syndrome” means caving in to other people’s opinions.

That is certainly one of the greatest “bugaboos,” if you will, in your lives.

You have been taught, from time immemorial, to honor others, to always be there for them, to do their bidding, you might say. You have heard this so often from your “authorities” (parents, churches, governments, schools, etc.) that it has become part of your being. It is part of what you call the mass consciousness. You don’t question or doubt it, you just buy into it.

John was certainly doing that when he started stewing about that author’s opinions of him and his work. He had to ask himself why. His internal dialog went something like this:

“Why does it matter to me what she thinks? Why should I give a damn what other people’s opinions of me are? I’m doing work I love. It’s my life’s work, and I can clearly see the positive effects it’s having on my own life and the lives of many others. That’s all that matters to me.”

We would urge all of you to have that same dialog with yourselves.

Are you doing something — anything, maybe everything — in your lives mainly or solely to please others? If so, why?

Most often you’ll discover, if you carry this self-talk far enough, you’re afraid of what others would think if you just did whatever you pleased, if you did only what you loved, if you did only what feels good.

That, friends, is the “bottom line,” the key to reclaiming your power — doing only what feels good.

It’s also the key to all the abundance you’re ever dreamed of — money, health, happy relationships, satisfying work/play, and so on. You will always find joy in doing what’s right for you. And you will always know what’s right for you by the joy it brings you, by how it feels. If it feels good, do it!

Let 2009 be the year you reclaim your birthright, your power, the year you honor yourselves as much as you honor others. Let it be your year of empowerment.


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