Power with Heart News - October 2014
Right Use of Power Institute

Right Use of Power

power with heart news

October 2014

Dear <<First Name>>!

Wisdom, love and intention: This issue of Power With Heart News addresses the fundamentals of right use of power. Don't forget to check out the upcoming workshops section - Cedar is offering facilitator training on the west coast for the first time in a long time!

Note: Try clicking "View it in your browser" link at the top of the email (above the header image). You will be able to translate the newsletter into various languages, share through Facebook, etc.

In this issue you will find:

Earn CEUs at Home

Would you like to go into more depth with any of the Right Use of Power topics?  Taking a mini-course is a way to get more information and self-reflect.  Each mini-course includes reading material, self-study practices, and some questions to respond to.  If you can't get to a workshop, this is a good way to engage more personally.  Try one.

Featured CEU:
Impact and Intention

Find out more about how your impact can often be different from your intention. Understand multiple reasons for this, how to track for and handle the situation when there is a difference, and how these differences can escalate to ethical grievances. Each mini-course includes reading and self-reflective practices that will help you increase your ability to use your power with wisdom and skill even if you don't need continuing education hours.
There are many other CEU Mini-Courses that you can browse online.

Workshops & Trainings

Portland, Oregon

Right Use of Power Workshop:
December 5-6, 2014 (Saturday/Sunday)

Facilitator's Training:
December 7-8, 2014

Presented by Cedar Barstow, M.Ed., C.H.T.

Contact: Cedar Barstow
$325 for Workshop December 5-6 only 
$350 for Facilitator Training December 7-8
Reminder to Guild Members that you can re-take the training(s) for 50% discount at any time!  Great way to update your skills and increase your confidence. Just register and make the $100 deposit at

Madison, Wisconsin

Ethics as Soul Work
January 30, 2015

Presented by Kathy Ginn, L.M.T., NCTMB
Click here for more information


Featured Guild Members

We are so happy to welcome new RUP Facilitators: Ellen Palme from Hillsborough, Michael Moore from Boulder, Morgan Holford from Santa Fe, Kathleen O'Rourke from East Greenwhich, and Peggy Naumann from Portland. They bring expertise in teaching and enthusiasm for spreading right use of power information in their communities. Michael is particularly interested in focusing programs for couples and for use in business settings. Morgan is a master Hakomi Trainer and the developer of the Hakomi for Bodyworkers training, for which RUP information will be a good addition. 

When Does Power Hurt Romance?

by Amie M. Gordon

First comes love, then comes the realization that we are navigating life’s journey with another person who may have different thoughts, feelings, and beliefs than us. How do we deal with having differing viewpoints from our romantic partners?

To find the answer, I studied power and perspective-taking in relationships.

Perspective-taking is a fundamental social skill that helps us smoothly steer through the many bumps in the road, from picking out a thoughtful anniversary gift to helping us reach a compromise on a contentious issue. When people are able to consider their partner’s point of view, both they and their partners report being more satisfied with their relationship. Although this basic skill is fundamental and beneficial, not everyone is good at perspective-taking, particularly in their romantic relationships.So who is good at perspective-taking and who is lacking? To answer this question, I turned to the research on power. I was curious to find out whether feeling powerful in a romantic relationship might lead people to be better, or worse, perspective-takers.Perspective-taking is a fundamental social skill that helps us smoothly steer through the many bumps in the road, from picking out a thoughtful anniversary gift to helping us reach a compromise on a contentious issue. When people are able to consider their partner’s point of view, both they and their partners report being more satisfied with their relationship. Although this basic skill is fundamental and beneficial, not everyone is good at perspective-taking, particularly in their romantic relationships.

Power affects how people think, feel, and interact with others. Although thinking about powerful people might bring to mind the caricature of a power-hungry CEO, the reality is that power is not just in the workplace, it is part of all of our relationships, shaping how we interact with our parents, friends, and romantic partners.

So how exactly does it shape our relationships? Or, in this case, our ability to step into our partner’s shoes?

Read the rest of the article here

Group Wisdom

by Cedar Barstow, M.Ed.

Each month, RUPI Guild Members get together for a conference call. This month, we had a discussion about what each of us considered the "source" of our power. Since this question can take us into the realm of humanism, spirituality, and/or religion, it is not often brought up in traditional educational settings. In the right use of power program, we easily talk about personal power and distinguishing personal power from positional power, which is an increase in power and influence added-on to personal power. We can define power as "the ability to have an effect or to have influence." But, where does this ability to have an effect come from and how do you experience this source? 

I'd like to share a few responses from our discussion and invite you to reflect on your own experience. Cliff Penwell's (Vashon Island) experience has been that this topic is more about permission to talk than about education. He asked us, "Why do you want this topic to be addressed?" Indeed, why? Terms used to describe source included, the More, Spirit, the Great Life Force, God, the Common Source, the All, sacredness of life, higher Self, morals and traditions, stream of information or guidance, and as a spectrum of agreements. Magi Cooper (Canada) speaks about source in reference to the medicine wheel. "We are physical, mental, emotional, spiritual beings." For her, spirituality is a non-negotiable part of human experience. Cedar mentioned that Barbara Brennan uses the term Universal Energy Field as a "non-religious term that can be used to describe the infinite energy we see in nature. . . . and the consciousness that is greater than our personalities, or the vital life force that sustains us." 

Sherrill Taylor (Australia) described having a strong connection to source and when she is feeling this connection, she feels very excited, in the flow, and deeply grateful. Whatever she turns her hand to in her business flourishes when she feels connected. Others feel that their connection to God exists only outside of themselves. Another said that her connection is still there whether or not she is feeling or embodying the connection. For Cedar, connecting with the More not only offers clear guidance, but also resources and replenishes her. Sherrill linked this discussion to last month's conversation about the shadow effects of power. She quoted Cedar--Whatever your belief [about source] there may be a shadow side if the source of power is exploited or misunderstood, or used with undue influence. Examples come to mind of abuses of power by Kings, Dictators, Priests when they over-identify with their role power and experience themselves either as source or messenger of source.

Kathy Ginn (Wisconsin) found it a relief to be talking openly about this topic and got especially interested in thinking about why we would want to discuss this with our students. Cliff added that he feels this territory lends itself to the kinds of lessons one gains merely by exploring one’s own experience and listening deeply to the sharings of others.

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Love and Power

by Hara Estroff Marano

Power infuses all relationships, but today there’s a new paradigm: Only equally shared power creates happy individuals and satisfying marriages. Increasingly, it is the passport to intimacy. 

As water is to fish, power is to people: It is the medium we swim in. And it is typically just as invisible to us.

Power is not limited to leaders or organizations; it doesn’t require outright acts of domination. It’s a basic force in every social interaction. Power defines the way we relate to each other. It dictates whether you get listened to. It determines whether your needs take priority or get any attention at all.

The problem for romantic partners is that power as normally exercised is a barrier to intimacy. It blunts sensitivity to a partner and precludes emotional connectivity. Yet this connection is what human beings all crave, and need. It satisfies deeply.

But there’s only one path to intimacy. It runs straight through shared power in relationships. Equality is not just ideologically desirable, it has enormous practical consequences. It affects individual and relationship well-being. It fosters mutual responsiveness and attunement. It determines whether you’ll be satisfied or have days (and nights) spiked with resentment and depression. “The ability of couples to withstand stress, respond to change, and enhance each other’s health and well-being depends on their having a relatively equal power balance,” reports Carmen Knudson-Martin of Loma Linda University. Equality, psychologists agree, is the world’s best antidote to isolation. It’s just not easy to attain or to sustain.

The Ascent of Intimacy

Intimacy is nothing new. Seeking support, feeling close, forming strong emotional bonds, and expressing feelings are essential to the human experience. Both physical and psychological well-being, in fact, depend on the ability to do so.

But where we place intimacy in our lives certainly is new. The intensification of individualism and the development of the love match—ultrarecent phenomena on the human timeline—concentrate inti-macy in couplehood. Until the 20th century, says social historian Stephanie Coontz of Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, intimacy was dispersed among wide family and social circles. The closeness mothers and daughters and even mothers and sons enjoyed, as well as siblings and cousins, would be considered enmeshment today. Saying “I love you” to a cousin or even a neighbor was commonplace. So was displacing a husband to spend a night in bed sharing secrets with an old friend come to town. “We have upped our expectations of intimacy but downgraded our definition of from whom it is expected and to whom it is owed,” says Coontz. “We’ve taken all the personal feelings and expectations from other relationships and put them onto the couple relationship.”

Read the rest of the article here

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