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I Am

from Good to Me by Shannon Curtis

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about

Power within / power with others

The previous stop on this journey revealed how the act of listening is the beginning of unlocking my power. So … what does this power actually look like? What does it mean? How does it feel? How does it work?

What does it mean to me to have power within myself?

What does it feel like, in my mind, my body, my spirit?
How do the choices I make impact my power within?
How does living in harmony with my values impact my power within?
How does doing my work (my internal / spiritual work) impact my power within?

What does it mean to have power with others?

How do we build power with each other?
How might “power with” create a scenario in which circumstances bigger than me can be changed?
How might “power with” upend oppressive systems?
How might “power with” change the world?

How does cultivating the power within myself contribute to the effort of building power with others?

How does building power with others contribute to my effort to cultivate power within myself?

What impact does all of this — building power within and power with others — have on my personal sense of peace?

/////

I know who I am

The following is the stream of consciousness response I wrote in my journal to the questions above.

Standing tall
balanced equally between my two feet
palms open and aiming forward at my sides
head held high
breathing is easy, full, and deep
my eyes are wide open and accepting of all that I see around me
my heartbeat is strong, slow, and steady.

I feel strong, steady.
I know who I am and who I want to be in the world.
I know that I am worthy of love and belonging.
I understand in my core that I have value and that I have valuable contributions to make in the world, in the lives of others, in the experience of the people I love.
I know that nothing — absolutely nothing — that happens to me or around me can diminish in any way my worthiness, my humanity, my wholeness.
I AM.

Every time I choose courage,
and act in ways that protect and nurture my spirit,
act in ways that align with my values,
I add to my power within.
It’s a positive feedback loop, and I never want to get off it.

When I practice acceptance,
when I let go of things out of my power,
when I listen to my spirit and act to meet my needs,
and act in the world according to my values,
and I accept responsibility for
my own existence,
my own experience,
my own choices,
my mistakes,
my own learning and growth,
my own connection with myself and with others —

— when I choose those things,
I pour into myself all the goodness that allows me
to stand tall, breathe deep, and know who I am.

When I can connect to the power within myself, I gain new eyesight with which I can see other people who also are connected to their power within.

I’m drawn to them like a magnet.
My spirit has an undeniable drive to connect itself to their spirit.
It’s like attracting like.
It’s chemistry.

When I know my own worthiness, I can more clearly see other people’s worthiness.
When I know my own power, I can see the power that others embody.

There isn’t any competition or hierarchy in our intersection
— because we’re both standing tall, breathing deeply, knowing and loving ourselves.

HOLY SHIT.

That, in and of itself, is a powerful, paradigm-shifting reality.
We are — in a microscopic, person-to-person way —
DISMANTLING hierarchical systems that oppress, harm, and destroy
when we can approach each other in all the fullness and wholeness of our own realized power within.

Healing ourselves dismantles the hierarchy,
and heals the world.

And all of this is true
before we even begin to talk about
the ways we build power with each other
when we join forces,
strategize together,
act together,
encourage each other,
have each other’s backs,
and do big things together that make
tangible change on big issues in the world.

/////

When I can connect with the power within myself,
I give myself the power to connect with others.
And the power we build with each other contributes …
… to my ability to keep standing in my own power,
… to our effectiveness in changing big things for the better, together,
… to increasing my own sense of peace and purpose and agency
— even when I, we, are still in the midst of difficult circumstances.

I think this may be how we change the world: we heal ourselves.

lyrics

That’s right I’m standing tall
Balanced feet on the ground
Open palms by my side
Shoulders back, head high
Breath is easy, deep
Eyes wide to receive
All of what is — I’m ready
Heart strong, beat steady

I know who I am
I know who I want to be
I know I am worthy
Of love, of belonging
And I know that nothing
That happens to me or around me
Can diminish my worth
My wholeness my humanity

Because I am (Standing, breathing, owning, loving)
I am (Balance, healing. know belonging)
I am (Standing, breathing, owning, loving)
I am (Balance, healing. know belonging)

I have choices
I choose actions that align
With my values, my needs
Which I learned from listening
To the song of my own spirit
Finally my ears could hear it
When I released what was not mine
And I owned up to my own life

I know who I am
I know what is good for me
There is nobody but me
Who can take responsibility
I’m not looking
for the path of least resistance
I do the work for the goodness
That affirms my own existence

Because I am (Standing, breathing, owning, loving)
I am (Balance, healing, know belonging)
I am (Standing, breathing, owning, loving)
I am (Balance, healing, know belonging)

And yeah I see you now
You’re all connected to your own power
And it’s drawing me in
Like water attracts water
There’s no higher or lower
Or competing over resources
‘Cause we know how to love ourselves
We are a flood

And holy shit
Isn’t that a total shift?
In this microcosmic scene
You and I, we are dismantling
The ranked system status quo
That oppresses and harms
We’ll make a whole new world
Because you know who you are
And I know who I am
I know who I am

I know who I am
I am (Standing, breathing, owning, loving)
I am (Balance, healing, know belonging)
I am (Standing, breathing, owning, loving)
I am (Balance, healing, know belonging)
I am

credits

from Good to Me, track released May 27, 2022
written by Shannon Curtis
published by Shannon K (ASCAP)

produced by Jamie Hill
co-produced by Shannon

conceptualized, programmed, arranged, and performed by Shannon additional programming, synthesizers, and sound design by Jamie

mixed and mastered by Jamie
at Department of Energy Management, Tacoma

license

all rights reserved

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about

Shannon Curtis Tacoma, Washington

Shannon Curtis is an artist who works as a songwriter, storyteller, and author. Shannon lives in Tacoma, WA and makes artpop music with her husband, producer / mixer Jamie Hill (deptofenergymgmt.com/work).

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