Watch Season 1 Episode 10 of Conscious Business Leaders TV featuring guest Rachel Alexandria as she speaks on “The Balance of Love and Power in Leadership.”
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Excerpt from The Balance of Love and Power in Leadership
Indigo: Let me start off by asking you about this idea of power and love in leadership. What do you see as the relationship between them? Is it a balancing act between them, or is it more a melding between them?
Rachel: Oh. That is a great question.
Indigo: yeah, we like to start with the…
Rachel: …the big one. Bring the big one…. Okay, so you really want the mind blowing answer. The mind blowing answer is, they’re the same thing.
Indigo: Wow. Okay. So that’s where we have to start then, right? Because that’s the truth. So tell me more about that.
Rachel: They’re the same thing…. I say that because to truly be in your full authentic power with your clear self awareness, and to be in mastery of that, is also to be fully aware of the balance between you and the other, between self and other, between maintenance and task, and that is in act of love. When you’re really strong on your self-respect and self awareness, and also aware where you end and the other begins, that’s such a loving space to be in. You know Brene Brown says that the most open-hearted people she knows are the most boundaried people, and when I read that I was like, that is so true. The more boundaried I am, the easier it is for me to love everybody.
Indigo: And so the way that you’re using “power” here is not how it is sometimes used as power to exert influence over the world. It sounds like I’m hearing a power like “my boundaries … this is my zone of power.” Is that… am I hearing you right?
Rachel: Well that’s part of it. Part of power is about boundaries, but it’s also about when you know what it is you want and then you enable yourself to do it. So that’s also about how you influence the world. How you use your voice, how you speak up, how you influence a team, how you lead an organization. When you’re clear on what’s true in your heart, and what you want and what you don’t want, and then you enable yourself to act about that… you know… act that out, while still maintaining this awareness of honoring other people and their self respect and their boundaries at the same time. That’s how you wield huge influence.
Indigo: So it’s like you are saying that you can’t really be in your power if you are not really loving yourself. That’s how they’re one and the same.
Indigo: … That self-love automatically leads to your having boundaries and feeling like you have permission to want to exert influence in the world, and pursuing that influence.
Indigo: Now, do you find the ideas we’re talking about now… Do you see any patterns in the in the kinds of people who struggle with seeing power and love as part of the same thing?
Rachel: Yes, I mean it’s actually reminding me, as we’re talking about it, of what I learned when I was on my money journey. You know, really understanding that money is love was a huge game changer for me. It’s the same thing. Anytime people see things as a binary, right, as like exclusive: power is not love, money is not love; then that’s an illusion. And they are going to be suffering under that illusion. Whenever people think, “The way that I have to love people is by putting them and not me first.” That’s going to cause harm, you know.
Rachel: Anytime people think, you know, “Whatever it is I have to say or contribute isn’t as important as what other people have to say.” That’s not self-love and that’s not really loving and trusting the system that you are in either. It’s not trusting spirit, so yeah, when you don’t get to fully be in your power is the most self-loving and system-loving thing that you can do. You know, you are suffering from a limiting belief.
Indigo: So when you are an entrepreneur, I can really get how you could be working with this every single day in what you do, because you are the boss; and so you’re only as limited as you limit yourself. But what about when you’re an employee … You know, a lot of workplaces, their attitude is, “You’re here to make us money. This is our power place and you are here for this purpose only. We’re not interested in your desire for what your influence would be that’s not … unless it contributes to that.” How do people work with this in that… when they are spending fifty hours a week in that environment?
Rachel: I can’t say it any other way other than be radical. Don’t work for companies like that. I mean, if you do you are selling a part of your soul in exchange for that money and I don’t personally think that it’s worth it. I say this as somebody who’s definitely had to scrape and struggle financially. But my higher commitment is to my soul and my heart and serving with my full greatness, whether it’s as an employee or as an entrepreneur. I can’t personally be in a system that isn’t willing to listen to me. That doesn’t care or just wants me to shut up and I think those are unhealthy systems, so if we all stopped participating in them, they would stop being there.
Indigo: So in the short run, where it’s just the individual agent who’s having a power over their own life and not necessarily contributing to any change knowingly. They’re one more pebble on a stack that’s growing as more people add to it and so that’s where the longer term influence. But just in that one person’s life, there seems like there’s another element here, and the word that i’m thinking is “trust,” because for what you are saying you did, and you are saying there are times when you struggled, if you didn’t trust that the decision you were making out of self-love and in personal empowerment was somehow supported by life … Is this something where people can just kind of jump out of desperation and it works out, or does there have to be trust there first?
Rachel: Well, that’s kind of like you can’t get the job without the experience, but you can’t get the experience without the job. You have to find a way to build that trust, to build that faith. My faith didn’t come all at once, it wasn’t just like I said “I’m just going to do whatever I want and be totally successful.” That’s not what happened.
Indigo: [laughter] Sounds like a plan. I mean if that’s on the shelf, I’ll take that one.
Rachel: Well that’s spiritual bypass… you know what i mean. You have to do the psychological work in addition to the spiritual work, and for me what I teach people is, you make small or medium sized efforts of risk, and then you see what the results are and you learn from it. How could I do this differently? How could I do it better? Am I doing it with the wrong people? Am I doing it with the wrong place? Is it the wrong timing? How do I hone the skill that I have so that I can trust me more? How do I listen better so I can really know that I am supported? So it’s a building.
Indigo: When you work with clients, do you have like… what you said like it makes me think of an experiment. When you work with clients, do have them do experiments with their life?
Rachel: Sure, absolutely. I just had someone here for a VIP intensive and a lot of my work is about being embodied. You can’t get this information just by sitting and thinking. That’s a part of it, but you have to get it from your full energy system. The way that, in my experience, the universe communicates and that our intuition and our instinct communicate, have a lot to do with how we are in our bodies. So all the time I am having people try stuff out. Like here’s a representative, you know, here I’m going to put this on the floor and it’s a representative for your full expression of power, and I want you to stand here. How does it feel like when you get closer? What’s happening with your body? How do you feel? What do you know? You know, what if we do this? What if we do that? So the VIP client that I just had we did an experiment just like that having to do with the balance of masculine and feminine power for him. When that piece of work was complete then came to a close, we were walking some place and I’m like, “See how you are with boundaries, with every person that we pass by. How do you feel in your body? What do you notice about them? What do you notice about you”
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