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Right Use of Power Institute

Right Use of Power

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Dear <<First Name>>!

Right uses of power still matter. They will always matter. After the divisiveness of United States election and the global ripples and impacts, healing will be dependent on learning more about and using the four dimensions of right use of power: Be Informed, Be Compassionate, Be Connected, Be Skillful. We here at Right Use of Power Institute rededicate ourselves to teaching ethical wisdom and power with heart, and reaching out to support socially responsible uses of power wherever we find them.

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In this issue you will find:


There are six 3 CE hour courses in the new series:

Overview Course (1 CE hour)--Power with Heart;

Dimension 1--Be Informed and Present, the Guided use of power;

Dimension 2--Be compassionate and Aware, the Conscious use of power;

Dimension 3--Be Connected and Accountable, the Responsible use of power;

Dimension 4--Be Skillful and Proactive, the wise use of power;
*This course deals with Leadership and Power Dynamics, Challenges, and Soul Work and World Service

The More Dimension-- Refining your Personal Impact and Becoming Ethically Proactive. 

There is enough new material that you can take the courses again!  Try it out!.

Find out more about the E-courses here.

Workshops & Trainings

Boulder, Colorado

Right Use of Power Workshop & Teacher Training
April 28 - May 1, 2017

Presented by Cedar Barstow, Magi Cooper, Amanda Aguilera
Click here for more information

Boulder, Colorado

Right Use of Power Workshop & Teacher Training
July 22-25, 2017

Presented by Cedar Barstow & Magi Cooper
Click here for more information

Teacher Appreciations from Students of RUP

Danielle, a student of Uri Talmor who teaches RUP Ethics to graduate psychology students at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado says:  "Recognizing one's personal and role power is such a vital awareness that it surprises me that, before Uri, these power roles were never spoken about by my teachers.  I am so appreciative that there are people in this world who do not sit back as others continuously get exploited and disempowered.  When power differentials are not well understood, it is natural to accept having no power and not taking responsibility for the power one does have."
Jeanne, a student of Kathy Ginn who teachers RUP Ethics to massage therapy students in the mid-west wrote: "Thank you again for another grand journey of self-exploration, clarification and validation about ethics and right use of power.  Timely and relevant in so many ways. How do I stand in my power? I appreciate your helping me think more clearly, presenting guideposts, honoring where we each are, and yet stretching us."

The Pledge

We at Right Use of Power Institute are fundraising for several initiatives that will bring right use of power teachings out beyond the original realm of psychotherapists and body workers and into organizations, schools and religious and spiritual groups.  The time is ripe for this expansion. Click here to find out more.
One of the things we can do right now is to support people in making a pledge to own and use their power with wisdom and skill.  These active intentions are core teachings of right use of power.
I will understand power as the ability to have an effect and to have influence rather than as a tool for control, manipulation, and exploitation.
I will own my personal power and take responsibility for my positional power.
I will stay informed and dismiss misinformation disguised as truth.
I will stand in my strength and stay in my heart, infusing my power with compassion.
I will stay connected to myself and to others--even and especially those with whom I differ.
I will not let myself or any of my groups be overtaken by hate and fear.
I will move from my ethical center owning and understanding my influence and impact and   increasing my leadership skills and wisdom.
I will use my power to stand up for diversity and inclusion and to stand with those who are being excluded or wounded by abuses of power.
I will remain involved and take actions that have the goal of healing, repair, and the well-being of all.

Integrity Lost: Election 2016

by John J. Kineman in The Daily Camera

"The end justifies the means" - Niccolo Machiavelli

"As the means, so the ends" - Mahatma Gandhi

The West has been wrong and we are living with the results of our own bad philosophy. The ends do not justify the means. Peace brought about with hatred and disrespect is merely a temporary rest before the next war. A unified country is made by finding common ground.

I'm citing wisdom from ancient India: Means and ends are not two things — they are part of each other. Aldous Huxley, who wrote of this perennial philosophy, also wrote "Ends and Means." He explained: "The end cannot justify the means, for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced."

I hope it is obvious why this relates to the election. I see hardly anyone taking an ethical stand about the methods by which we attempt to "win" for our side. We think it makes sense to persuade someone to vote the way you want them to. But is that really the ethics of democracy? Shouldn't we want everyone's true opinion represented? But no, we disrespect each other and so we justify any means to get the result we want. Both parties are doing that. Disrespect is in the means, so disrespect will be the end. We are a clinically bipolar society.

Is it any wonder that elections trend to 50-50 contests no matter who the candidates are? Hatred, disrespect, ignorance, misinformation, and fear, poured in, mixed up and delivered on blood-thirsty media as "the greatest gladiatorial event since the Roman Coliseum," tends to fill both sides of the stadium. Why shouldn't it? There is nothing real to decide, just desperation for winning and violent fear of losing. Then we wonder at a chaotic and fearful world.

We need ethics. I won't say "morality" because it is misused these days. Morality is above all else humble; but we shout it to condemn instead of employing it for the good it is supposed to be. But how about this: "Do according to the result you want to have."

Caller scripts for getting out the vote are all based on the best research to get the intended results. They ignore the means. But if we're promoting democracy, should we not be empowering and trusting voters, not persuading them? Does either party not promote hatred for the other? Then which is the party of hate? Does either party not employ calculated means of psychological manipulation to get a voter? Then which party is the party of corruption? These are the wrong means, and we are right to feel a unsettled about the future. We're making it bad by our methods. I'll quote Gandhi again: "An eye for an eye, until the whole world is blind."

Read the rest of the article here

Right Use of Power Matters. It still matters. It will always matter.
by Cedar Barstow, M.Ed., C.H.T.

Because right uses of power honor relationships and promote kindness and respect. Power  used without compassionate, strong relationships and ethical values is divisive and destructive. Right uses of power are strong, wise, and grounded actions that heal, resolve and repair relationships and promote the common good. All people and all earth benefit.
Right use of personal and positional power (the ability to have an effect or to have influence) is extremely complex and challenging to learn and practice. It is astonishing that using power well isn't a required course. 
Right use of power is dedicated to teaching and engaging an ethical and socially responsible model of power. This model of power is not naive or hopelessly optimistic, but is strong, resilient, unifying and drives out fear. A peaceful and just world depends on the use of this model. 

Wait on the Edge

By Cedar Barstow

suddenly, a crack ripples through the energetic field. 
the unexpected creates a shock wave.
the rift widens and opens a space
vastly empty and chaotically full.
perception tumbles as if in a slowly revolving dryer
each turn revealing an unfamiliar view.
heart weeping, we grab for solid ground
to help us out of the intolerable chaos
and the fear that all progress is lost
and we are descending into
a time of unbridled hatred and unchecked fear
inner/outer voice booms
do not try to understand too soon for your understanding will be too small
do not try to integrate too soon for your integration will be too shallow
do not try to hope too soon for your hope will be for what has passed away
do not try to act too soon for your action will be too full of desperation
do not emerge too fast for your emergence may be too fragile
do the simplest and most profound of things
go to your depths and curl up awhile
cradling and soothing
take your time
when you are ready
open your eyes
and find another
include the other
remember that you are never alone
find your feet
stand up
know your roots
let your energy
fill your whole body
wave from below
meeting wave from above
in the chamber of the heart
where strength and compassion find common ground
receive the daily bread of belonging
receive the daily bread of kindness
receive the daily bread of dignity
receive the daily bread of beauty
wherever they are offered
start here
you will know what to do

On Fear

by Cedar Barstow

"In my relationship with my wife, whenever I feel afraid I think I don't let myself feel it and I immediately shut down and go to a very emotionally cold and sometimes aggressively angry stance.  It's very confusing and painful for our relationship, " says my client. "Let's see if we can find out more about what makes fear so dangerous to feel." As we explore this fear of fear, Michael remembers being a child and teenager in a country town in Alabama. Both in his family and at school, showing fear led to deep humiliation. Fear became the most important emotion to learn how to avoid feeling.  Unacknowledged fear led to his shutting down or aggressiveness. "And what is it you are so afraid of?"  "Well, I guess the bottom line is that I'm afraid of being physically hurt but underneath that is of rejection and not belonging." Paradoxically,  acknowledging fear and not being gripped by reactivity or disempowerment can help us stay connected and not isolated. 
Fear is an extremely strong and motivating force. Being dominated by fear has disempowering impacts:  a tendency to exaggerate, turning the other into an enemy, aggressive behaviors, paralysis, confusion, inability to discern truth from untruth, agitation. Our better angels, the part of us that is "goodness" is easily overtaken by fear. 
This has been a contentious, expensive, long and fearful election cycle. We are now in a new story that will ask new things of us and will challenge things and systems that we may have taken for granted. It seems that we all continue to be fearful in the chaos of the transition to a new president. These times will require an inner core of strength and strong community connections.
Of fear, be conscious and careful. On a continuum of responses from extreme shut down to extreme aggression, there is a healthy zone between the two extremes--a range where we can find balance. There are two kinds of fear: fear that results in collapse or exaggeration; and fear that results in awe, awakening, and creativity.  There is fear of what could happen to tear our society up: anticipatory fear and fear of something that is actually happening. Fear of what could happen is valuable because it keeps us awake and poised, ready for whatever peaceful action is required. It is a time to gather strength and connections and to think pro-actively. But anticipatory fear may instead harden us to possibilities for unexpected healing and growth. Fear of what is actually happening is powerful because it demands that we use our readiness and our connections with each other and our hearts. It demands that we hold our ground and stand up strong for the good of all. 
Acknowledge fear, discern what kind it is, respond rather than react and use your power well.
Election: Of Hate, Grief, And a New Story

By Charles Eisenstein

Normal is coming unhinged. For the last eight years it has been possible for most people (at least in the relatively privileged classes) to believe that society is sound, that the system, though creaky, basically works, and that the progressive deterioration of everything from ecology to economy is a temporary deviation from the evolutionary imperative of progress.

A Clinton Presidency would have offered four more years of that pretense. A woman President following a black President would have meant to many that things are getting better. It would have obscured the reality of continued neoliberal economics, imperial wars, and resource extraction behind a veil of faux-progressive feminism. Now that we have, in the words of my friend Kelly Brogan, rejected a wolf in sheep’s clothing in favor of a wolf in wolf’s clothing, that illusion will be impossible to maintain.

The wolf, Donald Trump (and I’m not sure he’d be offended by that moniker) will not provide the usual sugarcoating on the poison pills the policy elites have foisted on us for the last forty years. The prison-industrial complex, the endless wars, the surveillance state, the pipelines, the nuclear weapons expansion were easier for liberals to swallow when they came with a dose, albeit grudging, of LGBTQ rights under an African-American President.

Read the rest of the article here.

Own Your Power, Spread the Love

With the intensity of politics in our world today it can be easy to fall into a feeling of powerlessness. Even in our day-to-day lives we can become overwhelmed by misuses of power, unethical decisions, and broken relationships.

The good news: We aren't powerless and there are MANY things we can do to shift power dynamics everywhere we go.

Now is the time.
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