Illustration: Molly Costello
Illustration: Molly Costello

What are we learning about power dynamics?

CLab Learning Journey_Autumn Season_Power Dynamics

We covered much ground in our autumn power dynamics season and gained so many new insights in the process. We are sharing some of our learnings in progress out loud here, in a purposefully imperfect form, as a means to spark new thoughts about this big, complex topic.

Power is personal:
It feels like a rollercoaster
It is tender
Tending to our power brings us integrity and humility
It allows us to honor ourself
Supports us to make choices and understand our boundaries
Touches the heart of who we are
But today we are so disconnected from our bodies, we don’t always feel the power we have

Power is complex
Power is multilayered, colourful and dynamic
is loaded in our structures
Power is contextual
power gets stuck with one person
but power is fluid and we have to practice to make it flow

Power-with is....
Tough
Can be insidious, oppressive
Want to move away from power over and powerlessness
And we wish for it to be life affirming

Playing with power

How can we cultivate Power Dynamics in ourselves so that we can co-create commons of democracy?

We want to cultivate and create new narratives and practices related to power, as well as to work on the self-awareness of our power and our privileges.

We want to create a new culture of activating our bodies and our bodies’ sensations in order to transform how power is understood, practiced, and performed.

We want to stop the cycle of power-over and trauma, as two sides of the same coin. We recognise that the power of working with grief can help to get us unstuck. Who has the power to end things?

We want to engage in collective healing processes that look at the tragedy of the “interconnectedness of power and trauma”.

We want to create spaces of integrity where our values can be reflected in the way we relate, to one another, to society, to the human and more-than-human world.

We want to explore how to bring this new consciousness of inner powers into groups to activate collective power dynamics and a broader awareness of the body.

We felt a little taste of collective power, yet, it still feels new to do this in a collective. We wonder how can we build this consciousness in groups and what narratives nurture our collective power?

What’s the power of releasing joy in a collective? How can we connect this to the political realm? Where does politics start, if not with us? Recognising how joyful and powerful our collective can be.

Here are some recommended resources for diving deeper into the different dimensions of power

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