When Did You Realize You Were Powerful?

We are all so powerful. Sometimes we don’t feel this way – we can feel down and depressed and wonder if we are powerful at all. My intention with this post was to show each of us that feeling empowered is universal, and it comes in so many forms. It’s a feeling we’ve all felt at some point in our lives, and I believe that if we can remember how wonderful we felt when we knew we were powerful and always carry that with us, we will be unstoppable. 


I have had moments of feeling powerful throughout my life, but the moment that made me stop and really own this power was when I consciously brought Dan into my life. I was feeling really down and was trying to make sense of my place in the world – a world that seemed so hardened and cold at times. I wanted someone to share my days with and connect with on a deep level – a soul level. And so I did something that I rarely did at the time: I prayed. I asked the universe for a best friend. And two weeks later, Dan came into my life. That was 10 years ago, and we’ve been inseparable and completely in love ever since that day. When he appeared, I realized how powerful I was. I asked for someone, and there he was. We are all creating our lives every single day, and we may not even be aware of it. I have found that when we align ourselves with the universal energy, we are unstoppable. And that is powerful!

I asked some friends to share their powerful moments here, and their stories are beautiful, touching, and definitely empowered.

Marilyn Tam: By age eleven I had already been shuttled between my parents’ and aunt and uncle’s homes twice, neither wanted another girl in the family; boys were much more valued. I was definitely not feeling powerful. Learning about my classmate Rebecca’s home life that year changed me forever. Rebecca’s family of five lived in a room and shared a bathroom and kitchen with two more families; oftentimes they went to bed hungry. Even with both parents working full time, there was just not enough money to feed, clothe, and pay rent and schooling for the three children. I was filled with outrage. It was not fair or just that Rebecca and others like her had to live that way. I vowed to help.

I resolved that I would one day help right the inequalities in life. That became my life mission, and it burned away my sense of powerlessness. I was now driven with determination to move forward. Leaving home before the end of high school I came to America for college and for opportunities to change the world. My life mission and new sense of personal power kept me going every time I fell down. And I fell down a lot.

Today I am grateful to say that I’ve helped in making a difference in many more lives than I’ve ever dreamed. Helping in changing the labor standards in the apparel industry worldwide and in returning destroyed Amazon forestland to indigenous plants among other things, I am encouraged that indeed I can do something.

And you too are more powerful than you think. When we follow our life mission we are powerful beyond measure. May you live yours fully. You can start now.

Mimi Shannon: I think that I understood in some backhanded way very early in life that I had some kind of power because my mother was always mad at me for some trumped-up misdeed but, more importantly, the big clue was, she constantly punished me for being me. Of course I didn’t see myself as powerful – only flawed, bad, a disappointment, a misfit, someone who didn’t belong or deserve to be treated well.

It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with lupus in my late thirties that I began to understand my power, make peace with it, allow it, and eventually, live it. Somehow I knew that I could beat this devastating disease of self-hatred (no, not the clinical definition but true none-the-less) if I could learn to love myself…so I did.

Over a span of four years, without drugs or modern medical intervention, I put the disease into remission by simply (well with a few twists and turns) learning to love myself. That’s when I discovered what real power is. Loving ALL of myself unconditionally freed me from the fear of being me and released me into my authentic/true self so that I could shine without shame. I was finally aligned with me.

Since then, I have been blessed to understand that this is not only my true power, but it is everyone’s true power. When we can find, love and allow ourselves to be seen in this magical metamorphosis, we access our natural power to radiate this beauty into the world through our very lives.

Leah Griffith: I can’t remember the exact moment when I first came to recognize my own power, but I do remember being around twelve-years-old and engaged in an epic family conflict. It was then that I realized that I could move myself in a different direction from where my mom and stepfather were heading. I could see outside of the cycle of dysfunction enough to know that I needed to find a path—and a people of my own. Ever since then I have kept this power, adding to it the knowledge of a loving God, the power of embracing myself—flaws and all, and how being my authentic self opens the door for my soul’s gifts to flow out to the people in my world.

Christa Gallopoulos: I have a really recent example of stepping into my power – from just a few days ago. 

I’ve hinted at and alluded to a personal history of abuse off and on now for a couple years, on my blog and elsewhere.   While I’ve been able to talk about it in person, one to one, for quite some time, and have been really clear about the fact that what most people would consider to be tragic experiences have  been a gift for me, I had not been able to claim that in print.  Or in front of a large audience.  Not anywhere close.

My power, you see, comes from having seen some of the very darkest parts of life early on, seemingly on unending repeat.  Not just having survived being molested and maligned, emotional and physical beatings, or the later bouts of cancer and brain injuries, but actually facing them and shining a light on the past so that I could find the gifts in what I truly wouldn’t wish on anyone.  And while I’m happy to know where my strengths lie, you can imagine that it’s not the kind of thing you put on your business card and hand out at cocktail parties.  So, for quite a while, I fumbled about.  I helped others to face their own demons in a number of capacities.  I brought beauty to the world through my images and words.  I did good on a lot of fronts. Still, I wasn’t really stepping into my big girl shoes.  Not really.

And then, just this past weekend,  inspired by a fearless speaker and an incredibly brave writer working to bring sexual abuse into the light of day while showing extreme compassion to all involved, I did it.  I came out, on the World Wide Web, and said that I was one of those kids.  And that until we stop making both sides “other” monsters and victims, the “ones who dwell in the dark,” it will not stop.  I did it here, and as you can see, so far, the support has been phenomenal.  And I’ve heard from many others who are ready to tell say “Me, too” – with compassion and without fanning the flames of fear.  I am writing my book and hoping to inspire many to tell their stories, to educate the world, to allow us, as a society, to begin to heal. That feels like power to me.

Elizabeth Hartigan: What a great question, we are all so much more powerful than we think or could even imagine…

I first tapped into my own internal power when a major health challenge appeared to teach me and gift me with a great lesson. In 2001, I found a small lump in my neck and began not feeling so well. After some tests and doctors visits I was told it was likely cancer. I knew that I was not to undertake traditional treatment and internally I knew I had created this lump through my thoughts and feelings, as I was not in a very positive place. I moved from Florida to Arizona and was not feeling too happy about the move. And after going within, I knew I had to make some really big shifts. I had an internal and deep knowing that I was not to go through traditional treatments. And that this was a journey within.

After much prayer I found my direction, it was simply to BE! I took lots of baths, surrounded myself with healing music, removed any trace of news and negativity, and allowed myself to dwell in gratitude.  I literally began immersing myself in gratitude from my head to my toes and realized how much attention I was paying to a pea-sized lump in my body, when the other 99.9% of my body was happy, healthy, and whole!

As I shifted my perspective and perception the lump had disappeared.  When I went back to the doctor to get more tests, the lump was gone along with every trace of imbalance. I thought this experience was just for my own internal healing; I had no idea this moment would lead me to find my purpose and passion. I believe the power of gratitude is the key to opening the door to healing of mind, body, and spirit.

When we come from a space of gratitude it unlocks the door to our dreams and shifts the way we see the world! May you always remember you are more powerful than you could ever imagine!

Julia Fehrenbacher: About three months ago, I took a major leap of faith.  I did something that I was advised not to do, something utterly impractical, something that would be considered stupid and naive to many. Something that I knew was absolutely necessary, critical even, for me.

For months I had known that I wanted to publish a book of my poetry and art…I could close my eyes and envision this book so clearly, almost as if it was already a done deal.  But the money for self-publishing wasn’t there and I didn’t want to wait until someone else decided that my book was worthy of publishing. The longer I waited to make a decision on this, the more I scanned the hundreds of options out there – the more I felt like I was withering inside.  I knew I just needed to move, to allow faith to be my safety net.  So, one morning, after reading a post that just happened to be Jodi Chapman’s, I decided to leap.  I got in the car and drove myself to the investment company where this money was tucked away for some future tomorrow and signed a form that put the abundance into my hands that very day. I then immediately, without allowing my mind to get another word in, purchased a publishing package.

Last week my book was released into the world.  I don’t know what will happen next – what matters is that I decided.  I decided to step forward toward the expanded self I’ve always been able to envision, I decided to listen inside rather than outside, I decided to allow faith to be my guide.  I don’t think there is any way this can’t be life changing.

Amanda Fall: I finally realized: I could say no. Being loving, kind, gentle, patient? It wasn’t an excuse for being a doormat. My heart deserved protecting–even if that meant saying no, temporarily shutting the door on someone very close to me. Even if most people would misunderstand and some would perceive me as cold or unforgiving. My heart, my soul? They were worth standing up for. No matter what. I could finally say yes to me.

Alice Chan: My first reaction to this topic was not how powerful I am, but how powerful God is, and what pivotal event in my life led me to believe in my connection to this power. Ultimately, I am an expression of my God, my Beloved. And, God, to me is Universal Energy, not a deity in the sky.

If I were to identify a single point in time, it would be the moment I saw my lifeless face staring back at me in the bathroom mirror of my hospital room on January 2, 2009. There were staples running all across my head and down to the left side above my ear. There was a big open gash with raw flesh exposed in the top left side of my head. I was practically bald on the right side, with a very blunt cut to my otherwise long hair on the left side, which was the outcome of the Emergency Medical Team cutting my hair along with the seat belt of my wrecked car to save my life. I had sustained severe head trauma in a near-fatal car accident on December 30, 2008, and was unconscious until moments before I saw myself in the mirror three days later. At the sight of my own ghastly reflection, I was at first in shock, and immediately felt my stomach turn. Then, I remembered being held protectively by Divine Love while I was still unconscious, letting me know that I almost died, but that all was right and exactly as it was meant to be. It was also while being cradled by this warm, Unconditional Love that I felt a very strong conviction—I was kept alive because there was more for me to do in this life. As I stared at my sorry state in the mirror, a part of me knew that I’d get well someday. And, when that day came, I’d live the life I was born to live, not the unsatisfying existence I was too afraid to change before I almost got my wish to have the only alternative I knew at the time—death.

It took a good part of 2009 for me to regain my strength, with the recovery itself challenging my resolve to remain in this human life. Yet, what I experienced in the hospital stayed with me, and I knew I had to dig deep in order to get on with what my soul took on a physical body to do in this life. I left my job to become self-employed in the midst of an historic recession, enjoyed a record financial year in 2010, and even took myself on my dream vacation that same year. Even though I could continue to cruise along in that comfortable life, I said “Yes” to my God to write my first book, REACH Your Dreams: Five Steps to be a Conscious Creator in Your Life in 2011, giving up my lucrative livelihood to become the messenger of REACH. Even though I’m still far from successful in this mission, I know in my soul that going back to my old life is not an option. I believe in and embrace the Divine Power seeking to work through and as me to help others rediscover their true selves and love their lives. I’m acting on this belief by surrendering to this segment of my journey that challenges me to shed the old self-preserving need to hide behind objective success, to truly feel and celebrate my Authentic Self as a human expression of Pure Love. Just as I saw myself all banged up in that bathroom mirror but knew that I’d get through that upset to carry out the greater mission awaiting me, I wholeheartedly believe in my path, even if I’m in the part that’s bumpy, and often dark and scary. And, just as I felt that all was well and in right order in my near-death experience, all is well and in right order currently.

Victor Schueller: The most critical point in my life when I realized that I was powerful was the day I decided to commit to getting myself in better shape and losing weight.  Prior to that moment, I was overweight and depressed – I was a victim of circumstance.  I let the events in my life determine my future.  After that point, when I started working out, watching what I ate, and started losing weight, I realized that I was in control of my life, and I came alive.  I never looked back!

Lane Cobb: As a life and empowerment coach for women, I stand for women being free from the conversations that limit them, and living lives that are aligned with their values so that they are free to choose based on what they really want in life.  Of course, embarking on this journey resulted in the illumination of all the places in my own life where I had not been being powerful. The most significant of these was my marriage, which had been absent of passion and largely unsatisfying for 10 years.

Two weeks ago, I informed my husband that I would be moving out of our home at the end of the summer, even though my coaching business was not generating enough income to support my financial independence at the time.  Since making the declaration to leave my marriage, I have doubled my client base!  I am truly in touch with how powerful I am, and how powerful it is when we declare what we want and bring our lives into alignment with that vision.  It truly does serve us all to remember that the universe is our ally, a true source of abundance, and a brilliant partner in our quest for whatever it is that we would have manifest!  Thank you so much for what you are providing for your readers by providing us with this opportunity to be heard.

Now it’s your turn!

Was there a moment in your life when you realized just how powerful you truly were?

  • Maybe you recognized that your thoughts became your reality, and so you decided to stay conscious of your thoughts and created a positive life.
  • It could be that you asked for a promotion because you knew you deserved it.
  • It could be that you listened to that inner voice that had been whispering for you to go after your dreams.
  • Maybe, like Brenda (a wonderful Soul Speak community member and beautiful soul), you realized your power when you were able to grow and evolve after a lifetime of unhealthy relationships. You are getting to know yourself for the first time in your life and setting healthy boundaries.
  • Or possibly, like Laura (another amazing soul) you realized how powerful you were by getting fed up with a difficult situation and creating a new outcome altogether. She wasn’t feeling fulfilled in her local choir and decided to create her own – and the results have been beautiful!
  • Sometimes our power can show up when we stop listening to others and listen to our own inner voice. This is what happened to Ingrid (a beautiful Soul Speak community member). In a moment of feeling utter helplessness, she found her strength and has never let go of it since.

Please to join our conversation and leave a comment below sharing a moment in your life when you feel truly powerful!

Please share this post on Facebook and Twitter, too!





When Did You Realize You Were Powerful? — 29 Comments

  1. Wow – there is so much incredible stuff to absorb here. Thank you all for sharing such meaningful posts about owning one’s own power. As we grow up, we gradually loose so much of our God-given power. As adults, we need to reclaim that power in order to live our best lives. Your stories are inspirational to those who are trying to do just that.

    Lois – A Little Book About recently posted..Accepting What We’re Trying Our Best to Ignore

  2. The first time I discovered I was powerful was in 1976. I was 19 and the previous May I graduated high school. My parents owned a cabin near a bay inland and we were spending time there that August. The family spent the day on the beach, then around 5 they decided to return to the cabin which we reached by a set of stairs, crossing an old highway, walking up another road, then crossing the main highway. So it was quite aways away. I brought a notebook with me to record anything that happened to cross my mind; I said, “I’ll be up in awhile.” I was feeling, no, feeling isn’t quite the word, it was subtler than that. The water was creeping in over the rocks, the sky was pale gray, the seagulls were flying. I stood up and in that moment I felt Oneness. I felt that connection with everything and saw out into the universe at the same time I was aware of those seagulls and the silken water and the evening gray sky. I didn’t share this with anyone; it was realization. What to do with it? It set up a lifelong journey of personal discovery leading me to belief elimination and dissolving my occurrings. Just last night, after a morning of inexplicable(to me)depression, I realized that knowing is the key, not believing. That I am pure consciousness and knowing that I can create a life(took awhile: I’m 55) that supports me and my interests. Also that an occurring and/or belief I held suppressed any aspirations that I had to be a writer. When I dissolve them, I know I can move forward.

    • Hi Lauren,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story here. I love that you had an awakening at such an early age. Knowing that we are all one is such a powerful and also freeing experience. And now that you’ve experienced it, you can always come back to it whenever you’re feeling removed from it in any way. That is power, and you always have it – we all do.
      I’m really glad that you’re writing – the world needs to hear what you have to offer. :)
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..It Doesn’t Have to Make SenseMy Profile

    • Thanks, Elle.
      Yes, it’s so true that it always come back to love. As you know, what we put out comes right back to us. I’m so grateful that this community is filled with love and light. I’m constantly in awe of each of them – and you!
      :) XO
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..It Doesn’t Have to Make SenseMy Profile

  3. What a great topic! Pivotal for me was when I really stepped into my artistic/painting work. Seeing my own energy reflecting back to me through my art, and the process of creating/completing, really brought me in touch with my own essence and power. That’s why I’m so passionate about helping others to experience their own essence too.

    • Thanks for your comment and for sharing your powerful moment!
      I love that you feel powerful through your art – that’s wonderful. Tapping into our own creativity is an endless well of power. And it’s so great that you’re helping others tap into it as well. :)
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..It Doesn’t Have to Make SenseMy Profile

  4. Thank you so much, Jodi, for this labor of love! I know it takes a lot of work to put something like this together. It’s so amazing how you pour so much love into building this community, where all can come and share and be our authentic, vulnerable selves. You are a true gift!

    I’m so grateful and honored to be in such great company of folks who contributed their stories! And, to all of you who shared your comments, the deepest gratitude to you all. I feel like we’re all holding each others’ hands through this journey we call life.

    Much Love and Many Blessings to all, Alice
    Alice Chan recently posted..My WayMy Profile

    • Thanks for your contribution to this beautiful article, Alice!
      And thank you for your kind words. You are such a light in my life, and your words always have a way of lifting me up. :)
      I’m so grateful to be holding your hand as we journey through life together. So much love!
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..It Doesn’t Have to Make SenseMy Profile

  5. Reading these accounts of power and love has been so uplifting Jodi. Thank you for including my little part. I love it when people find their power and then move boldly forward, walking along their authentic path. Your site helps to bring people together so that they can learn how to do that.
    Sending Love!
    Leah recently posted..A Romantic RumorMy Profile

  6. Hi Jodi – so sorry I’ve been away from your lovely site, finally back in the swing of things after my trip.

    Did you put all this together?!?! This is really incredible. The stories are so touching and powerful. It’s amazing to see how through adversity and suffering often transforms someone and develops their power like never before. I know with my mother’s death from ALS, while very difficult, has grounded me in reality in a new way, with a new compassion for those suffering from terrible afflications (and not so terrible to).

    I feel truly powerful when I see inspiring post like this.

    I feel truly powerful when I coach someone out of pure curiousity and wonder, and see them and their lives transform in an instant.

    I feel truly powerful when I haven’t been communicating well with someone I care about, open my heart and speak my truth with compassion.

    Amazing things happen in an instant, when we operate from our true power.

    Much gratitude.
    David Hamilton | Everlution recently posted..The Powerful & Positive Effects of Mindfulness MeditationMy Profile

    • Hi David,
      Thanks for your kind words about this post – it was really inspiring to put it together. I’m in awe of the magic that this community brings me every day.

      I’m really sorry about your mom’s passing, but I’m grateful that you are able to see a light in it and have compassion for others who are facing similar journeys.

      I’m grateful that our paths have crossed, and I look forward to continuing our connection.

      Glad you’re back – hope you had a wonderful time!
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..It Doesn’t Have to Make SenseMy Profile

  7. Jodi, thank you for this heartfelt, soulful reminder that we each have incredible personal power. It’s a gift to read these incredible, empowering stories. You are all amazing – thank you so much for sharing such personal moments of your journey.

    For years I had this nagging feeling that something was “missing” in my life, even though on the surface all was great. The feeling would disappear for awhile, or I’d suppress it under the weight of guilt (after all, how ungrateful was I for not simply appreciating all the amazing aspects of my life?), until finally I could no longer ignore it. What I was missing was meaning – a sense of fulfillment and purpose.

    A huge moment of personal power, for me, was when I finally acknowledged what I was feeling, accepted it, and decided to do something about it. No more pretending that it didn’t matter. I worked with a life coach to uncover my purpose. There’s no looking back now!
    Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) recently posted..My Biggest FearMy Profile

    • Thank you for commenting, Christine!
      I love that you shared your powerful moment here. You really touched on some wonderful things, too. So often, we have thoughts that tell us we shouldn’t be feeling a certain way – don’t we have enough – why should we want for more anyway – why can’t we just be happy with what we already have?
      And yet – even with these voices inside, you knew that you needed to take action and find meaning and purpose. I love that you did something about it and have taken your life into your own hands. Bravo!
      You are an inspiration to all of us! XO
      Jodi – Soul Speak recently posted..It Doesn’t Have to Make SenseMy Profile

  8. Really it was absent in my mind but just now I’ve inspired to realized that I’m a powerful man who can do some thing. Thanks for this nice post.
    Erick Blaine recently posted..elinformedavid.comMy Profile

  9. As a child I was what we call “painfully shy” The pain probably being as much in the observer of the shy person as in the shy person their self. When I was with people I would make myself as invisible as possible and pray to god to let me fly away or make me disappear. When I spoke (rarely) it was in a barely audible voice with my chin tucked into my chest.

    One day when I was 5 years old in kindergarten class in Sunday school, a classmate peed in his pants and the rest of the children laughed at him and teased him. I stood up suddenly empowered and spoke in a deep (for my age) booming voice. “Don’t laugh at him. How would you feel if you peed in your pants?” Everyone stopped, stunned and speechless. I was stunned as well for I felt this intense energy running through my body and I heard a voice come from within me that I didn’t know was even possible.

    From that moment on I knew I was able to transmit power, but it was decades before I had the confidence to shed my shyness and know that my expressing power would not harm anyone.

    • What a beautiful example of owning your power! I love that you stood up for your classmate! And I’m so glad that you carried that empowered feeling with you throughout your entire life. :)