Defining Empowerment


The three aspects of becoming conscious and empowered (part 3)


Although I could state that the label empowerment is flawed and that we should focus on other concepts, I personally have to admit that I love empowerment! We named the company The Empowerment Partnership, it drives our mission at the organization and you clearly have a connection with people that you meet that are empowered.


This is the final article that covers the three concepts that need to be focused on to become empowered. This first aspect was Ku`oko`a, which is to be free and independent from the fear that can prevent you in your life. The past baggage must be released first, and then new strategies and approaches must be used to move towards the energy of positive emotions and concepts like courage.


The next aspect talked about in the second article was becoming pono. Techniques such as the one I reached for my degree, Ho`oponopono, help you to become right with yourself and others. There is also a strong need to accept who you are and what you do. The techniques help and self-exploration and understand are valuable here too.


The final concept is Waiwai or Loa`a. Now this is an interesting one, and one that can push some button’s (there is my warning). Please read this in it’s entirety and hear me out. Because you see, Waiwai means wealth and Loa`a means that you have wealth.


Now, I went on a radio show a while back and talked about the fact that you can be spiritual and successful, and that in fact, some of the most spiritual and enlightened people I have met on my path have been wealthy, prosperous and abundant. The big issue is that people read into this and think it means cash.


Again, I will draw on popular culture, and I do this to show you that these teachings are right in front of us. The movies and books that move us discuss and delve into these very important concepts.


My mom loves old movies. And I remember with my son Ethan had watch the movie It’s a Wonderful Life he had so many questions about importance in life. At one point during the conversation, the topic of money came up and the portrayal of the wealthy “bad guy” in the movie raised some questions. I explained to Ethan that one of the many points of the movie was realizing that true wealth and abundance come from more than just money.


Now, please understand, we live in a world that relies on the use of cash. It seems that it will be this way for a while. I teach many trainings on how to set goals and make more in your career to become prosperous. However, I also mention that we each need to define our own wealth based on our own path.


Uncle George Na`ope passed away in 2009, and I was honored to speak at his funeral. And I can tell you that he had so much abundance in his life. He “spread the wealth” like no one I had ever met. Opening hula festivals around the planet and teaching so many about the Hawaiian culture and Hula, and yet when he passed, he had very little $$.


I still see him as wealthy because of the outpouring of love for him there at the end, and because he was able to channel wealth (which is just energy) to create hula festivals, to travel, to teach and to live.


Loa`a doesn’t mean you are the next Bill Gates. Unless of course that is your path, in which case, yes, become the next. What is means is that you, like in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, realize that you are so blessed and that you have so much abundance in your life. I wake up everyday so thankful for the wealth I have. That is physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. My house, the love for my wife and children, the sharing of knowledge with my students, and the connection I have to Higher Self, is my abundance.


Now, again, I hope you can see the connection. Because people who are afraid and/or who are not right with who they are (the first two aspects of empowerment), will sometimes approach wealth in a way that leads to unfulfilled expectations. They will buy too much or they will have envy and jealousy of others.


Two ways to attract the abundance: One, get a great job and keep buying things to you get the “a-ha” and realize what is really important. This could be called the path of Scrooged (yes the one with Bill Murray). Or, you have to work on all three aspects, and as you become pono, you realize what is important and you aim for that with your wealth and prosperity.


I have had so many opportunities to train in the corporate world, and that is where the “big bucks” are. Have I done that? Yes, when the company needed the funds I have; however, I do not enjoy that. I am not pono with that, and it is not what makes me feel abundant. I had to become free from fear, pono with who I am and successful with my personal approach to wealth. These three aspects help you to become empowered.


So, again, to recap: You need to define what wealth is in your life and on your path. Be realistic and make sure you are pono with it. Focus on your own goals and let go of measuring your wealth against others. When you bring this and the other two aspects together, you can begin to truly feel Ho`omana (empowerment).


Mahalo, Matthew B. James, PhD


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