Empowerment: The Journey of Internal Growth

by Brooke Sullivan

Empowerment is one of my favorite words. To me it feels less like a noun and more like a verb, a journey of internal growth that gives one confidence, stability and happiness in one’s self in the world. No one can empower You, as true empowerment must be self actualized, felt in the gut and to the bone for it to really stick. Although there are definitely situations in life where one’s confidence can be boosted by external means of support (such as someone believing in your talents or giving you money to launch your entrepreneurial dream job) this type of empowerment is as unreliable as the weather, as it relies on an outside source to feel it.

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According to ancient and modern healers, building the power of will is the first step to true empowerment. There are thousands of years of testimonies that claim strengthening and purifying the belly not only helps one feel stronger and healthier, but clears the mind. Toning the belly physically and energetically ignites a belly fire that refines our gut instincts so that each time we choose from our power of will we become more capable of pushing through our blocks. We decide to play in nature instead of being lazy on the couch; we deal with our shadowy insecurities instead of wallowing in negative tendencies; we face our doubts and blast through fears to make ourselves stronger and more in tune to our center, which is whole and empowered.

Getting clear is the next step toward empowerment. Inspired learning helps us move out of sticky mental and emotional places to experience life or people that boost our sense of worth, love for living and connection to other inspired people. Discernment is an awakening that happens from within and fuels actions that lead us to making choices that make us feel stronger, clearer, happier and more aligned with what we want.

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Keeping company with people who are clear, such as teachers, guides, colleagues, good friends and insightful acquaintances also helps foster discernment and strength of will. Wise company also keeps us real and humble so that the journey of empowerment doesn’t go just to the head, but rises up to expand the heart. There is a fine line of ego when empowerment grabs the torch. It is important to have people around to reflect back and help refine one’s claim to power. Educational experiences (such as herbal or yoga courses) offer this kind of journey. The ancients felt that sangha, being in the company of like minds, is key for lifting us out of the confusions and imbalances so pervasive in our world. Sangha helps broaden one’s knowledge and inspires us to be our best, an accelerated journey of growth and empowerment. Good education, reading and researching also help us refine who we really are, what we want in life, and how to get there.

The alchemy of empowerment comes mostly from within. It is a practice of developing will, clarity and heart. Feeling empowered means living life with purpose instead of always doubting or questioning. It is feeling at ease in one’s self, connected to an inner sanctum of stability and having a heart connection to others.

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As Rumi said, “Unfold your own myth.” Becoming aware of where we have come from and where we are heading helps us digest old experiences to make room for new opportunities. Knowing that we have the choice to choose our destiny and align to our soul desire is powerful, and growing the confidence and skills to truly be strong in one’s self in this immense landscape of the world IS empowering.


Brooke SullivanBrooke Sullivan’s passion is to help people find their power and purpose, healing the obstacles, both mental and physical, that block one from getting there. Her offerings revolve around flower essences, homeopathy, yoga psychology/yoga therapy, community connection and lifestyle changes that bring the body and mind into more peace and balance.

 Using guided meditations, botanical remedies, breath and energy work, Brooke helps people deepen their own self knowledge while also accessing tools (both inside and out) for whole healing. Brooke has a wellspring of knowledge from midwifery training to advanced studies with the yoga and Ayurveda masters of the Himalayan Sages. She loves to educate and empower each individual to take charge of their own health — whether for deep healing or expansive transformation.

A regular contributor to Yoga International (articles and videos) she leads retreats, immersion studies programs and offers private consultations. Brooke works at HAALo on Thursdays, or visit her at www.vitalyogi.com or email [email protected].

HAALo has a full roster of herbalism classes for all levels to further your learning… how empowering!

Brooke has these upcoming offerings:

August 9 at Kinfolk Yoga 3-5pm
Free Master Class and Intro to The Sage Apprenticeship's Yoga of Ayurveda

Sept. 14 – Dec. 21, 2015
The Sage Apprenticeship: The Yoga of Ayurveda 100hr. Immersion
The early bird rate ends August 15th (with option for a $300 discount for registering in both Fall/Spring Programs)

Feb 8–18, 2016
India Retreat in Haridwar, India: Tantra Shakti and The Vital Essences: A Yogini Temple Tour and Ayurvedic Cooking Immersion

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