“The Mysticism of Personal Power” with Maskarm Haile

Over 80 people graced AWiB with their presence on the evening of April 5th, ready to experience The Mysticism of Personal Power with Maskarm (Maski) Haile.

Maski, in her serene demeanor which calms, asked us to:

  • Be open
  • Be bold and say what we had to say
  • Be brutally honest with ourselves and with others
  • Be willing to listen to self, body, intention and thoughts
  • To have fun and enjoy the moment

We honored ourselves by exploring, sharing and responding to the question: “how are you feeling today”?

The responses:

energized            excited                 grounded            curious                 tired              happy

confused             hopeful                 in search            proud                   anxious          worried

Maski then asked us to reflect on and share what we the audience think about when we think of personal power?

The responses:

  • Fearlessness as power; “I am not afraid”
  • Power is energy that we can gather
  • To be with myself and be able to travel the path I choose to travel
  • Power related to education, our homes; all to do with resources
  • How much I give and how much I give to others
  • Power is what you get from others to make you feel strong
  • Power is to influence others and have them do what we want them to do
  • Power is being self-sufficient
  • Power is being aware of one’s capabilities
  • Power is how I have satisfied and influenced others
  • Power is one’s authority over self – others don’t tell us what personal power is. We are always powerful regardless of our successes and failures.
  • Power is truth and faith

Having generated a discussion and reflection on our different concepts of what personal power means, Maski shared with us her personal definition of power by walking us through a period of her life which confronted her with the choice of being defeated or being powerful. Four years ago, Maski was confronted to deal with her mother’s illness when she least expected it. Her mother, who she considers her strength, was diagnosed with breast cancer and in hospital in South Africa. Upon this knowledge Maski felt angry and sad with the whole situation. Yet she found herself reflecting on two choices she had. Either to be angry, resentful and sad or make the choice to be happy and enjoy moments left in her mother’s company. She then packed her stuff and moved all the way from Canada to South Africa to do the things that her mother had been putting off from doing till retirement. Maski notes that her mother had done a lot but still had a list of things to do.

In her reflection of reclaiming personal power, Maski notes “I saw my mother take her last breath of life and at that very moment I was asking myself what I wanted to do in life and made a self promise to live the way I wanted to live, yet still questioning what it meant to live my life”.

Two years from her mother’s passing, Maski found herself in Argentina planning to cross the border to Chile. The night before she awoke to a massive earthquake that shook the house she was staying in.  Her host pulled her to sit under a door frame, which is considered the safest part of a house in times of an earthquake. And in the moment of the earth shaking itself and awakening everything around it, Maski was recounting the things she had done in her life that if in that moment it was her last, she would be content with. Yet she notes she realized she had not contributed and did not want to die before contributing. In the safety of a post-earthquake environment, Maski finally crossed over to Chile to begin her contribution by working to help earthquake victims there. And it is that same fervor for contribution and recognition of her personal power to make a difference that brought Maski back to the birth of her country Ethiopia.

Having shared such a profound part of her life, Maski then asked us to take some moments of reflection and ask ourselves the questions which were to help us shape the essence of our personal power. Some of the participant’s responses are captured within as well.

  1. What is your personal power?
  2. Where/when do you feel you are most powerful?
  3. Name three people who naturally express their essence in the world? What is that you admire most about them? Why are people attracted to them? What do these people have in common with each other? What do you have in common with them?
  4. How do you share your personal power?
  5. When and how do you give away your personal power?
  6. What is your relationship/responsibility with personal power?
  7. When do you misuse your personal power?
  8. What prevents you from using your personal power?
  9. Where does power live in your body?

In summary, participants shared that trusting the divine, self knowledge and accomplishments comprised what personal power was for them. Whereas many expressed they felt powerful when they were helping people; experience more in life; when contributing; when getting through a to-do list; when loving self; when giving; when challenged; when sharing knowledge with others; in situations that are in alignment with personal values and when standing for what they believe in.

Doubting, anger, irritation, blaming, not taking responsibility for own life and when in-love defined for others moments when and how they give away their personal power.

The evening ended with a personal love letter from Maski to each participant and a parting note reminding us to choose:

love over hate

service over self-interest

appreciation over ungratefulness

knowledge over ignorance

humility over arrogance

Thank you Maski for a thought provoking evening and thank you to our participants who were bold, open and honest in their participation.

If you want power, you have to make a place for it inside of you” ~ Native American saying


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