The Top 2 Metrics That Expand Your Power

aliveness article articles by larissa burnout coaching framework growth leadership mindfulness at work power rest sensing the future of work transformation vital leadership wayfinding Jan 25, 2023

Common opinions about expanding our power at work often cite things like getting promoted, gaining decision-making power, getting a raise, expanding your network, and becoming recognized as a leader in your field. 

But none of these are foundations of power. They are actually expressions of power.

If you've been here with us at Wayfinding, you'll know we have a more specific, nuanced understanding of power than the average bears out there, and if you're new here—welcome!—and peep that link for your power orientation.

So how do we nurture our foundational power to expand in flow through all our channels of work and life? 

We understand power as the capacity to move energy through systems, so if we're trying to expand that capacity, here are the two most foundational power metrics I've navigated by to heal myself over 11.5 years from a near-fatal accident, simultaneously build Wayfinding, and live a wildly rich life. I've also used these metrics to help leaders around the world expand their power that serves the whole while bringing more meaning and magic into all realms of their lives.

 

Metric #1 // Aliveness

Aliveness is the amount of vital energy (aka life force) in our beings at any given time. 

Here are some notable attributes of aliveness:

1. Our aliveness is one main factor that governs how much we're capable of doing. You know this from times when you're bursting with energy and capable of creating many things or tending to many responsibilities and the other times when you're sick, run-down, or burned out and can't do nearly as much. This is important in regard to power because aliveness represents a flow of energy moving through our beings. 

2. Because we, humans, are nature and, as Janine Benyus the founder of Biomimicry said (and as all indigenous cultures and wisdom traditions know), "Life creates conditions conducive to life." This reveals through aliveness since sensing the aliveness in our bodies and specifically asking our bodies what will give us more aliveness inevitably leads us into greater aliveness. This single truth is the main way I found my way step-by-step through my 11.5-year healing journey. So if you start paying attention to your aliveness and navigating by it — your aliveness will lead you to greater aliveness.

3. The upper limit of our aliveness— the 100% — is relative and can keep getting higher, while the 0% is fixed, since death is just on the other side of it. 

4. There are thresholds on the aliveness spectrum that correspond with our capacity and how to best conduct ourselves to keep our aliveness high. I've seen these reliably demonstrated not only in my 10+ years of personal healing but also in guiding others.

 

Which is to say, these patterns are real. 

I call these the Bands of Aliveness.
These thresholds are based on (at this point, probably tens of) thousands of experiential data points from my own being and the leaders I've worked with.

In each band, we're capable of different things. For example, when we're in the top band from 80-100% we're able to live our lives and be in sustainable energy usage. However, once we dip below 80% and keep conducting ourselves in the same ways — we start burning up our aliveness stores at that same level of output. Aka when we have diminished aliveness below 80%, we pay a price when we keep operating the way we did when we're above 80%. 

And, ps., since most people don't track their aliveness nor honor their limits, most people are driving themselves off the energy cliff over and over again or just consistently drilling deeper into depletion while presenting as "ok." 

For all these reasons and more, aliveness is at the foundation of how we orient in Wayfinding. Aliveness frames the purpose of how to think about your current phase of self-care based on where your energy level is moment-to-moment and the balance of your outward engagement and your inner tending.

This can be revelatory for people when they realize our bodies benefit from different modes of operating that correspond to our levels of aliveness. 

 

Metric #2 // Consciousness Balance

Consciousness balance is the level of clarity or inner swirl that we experience in our awareness and that we bring to situations. 

Simply put, we have the easiest time finding our way and making our best decisions when we feel clear.

Imagine a jar with a lid on that's filled with (1) water and (2) a scoop of soil that is settled and the bottom so the water is clear. This state represents 100% consciousness balance. Here there is stillness, clarity, and the capacity for great distinction. By contrast, if you were to take that imaginary jar and shake it up, the soil would explode into a muddy watery tornado. That state represents 0% consciousness balance with massive turbulence, total lack of visibility, and inability to distinguish what's there. 

 

If aliveness relates to the amount of energy flowing in our beings for us to be able to direct our power, consciousness balance represents the amount of clarity (or interference) present to direct the energy for the greatest effect. 

When we have high consciousness balance, we make better decisions with less effort, feel easily connected to our knowing, and act as wise stewards of our aliveness. 

Translation: our consciousness balance and aliveness are interrelated. For example, when both are high, they tend to feed off each other and lift us higher in both regards. And when both are low, we can have a very difficult time improving either. When one is high and the other is low, we can leverage the higher element (either aliveness or consciousness balance) to fuel choices that raise the one that's low. 

The power we access and amplify through our lives and work by tending these two metrics is immeasurable. 

Feeling more alive, more clear and more peaceful not only makes us better leaders, but it's also just more joyful! They are core to why the journey of power is actually fun and beautiful, as well as being edgy and challenging. 

 

Where to go from here?

If you want to take the next step to dive in and learn more:

  • Check out this YouTube video for a guided experience in how to sense and gauge your aliveness and consciousness balance levels.
  • Once you get your numbers from the guided practice above, return to the bands of aliveness chart and see how it may ring true about the self-care focus you're centering — or if there is another level that feels more fitting for you. 
  • Develop a practice tracking your aliveness and consciousness balance by sensing them at least once a day for 21 days using the guided video until you can do it on your own. Once you get your levels each day then ask your body what's one thing you could do to raise your level for each. 
  • If you want to really center the power of aliveness and consciousness balance in your work, take our Vital Leadership program to design the way you work to work for you. 

 

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