Sometimes the words Higher Power are used as a name for God. The phrase was popularized within Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930s. Today, it’s also used by other 12-Step programs and beyond.
Whatever your beliefs are, aren’t there times when you need a little higher power? A little more physical energy, a little more motivation? More inspiration, or a little more love? And sometimes, a lot more!
I believe it is vitally important for anyone to know how to access higher power. There are times when we are discouraged, frustrated and depleted. When we have run out of good ideas for what to do next. In times like that, it is important to access energy from somewhere so that our life can continue in a good direction.
I still remember when I first began to run track at 12 years old. It was an experience of accessing higher power.
One evening, three of us from the track team got the idea that we could run from my house to Compo Beach, four and a half miles each way.
I’d never run that far before! My friend, Bob Kelly, urged us on and set the pace. And there we were, flying by the houses, trees, and all the musty scents of an early-summer evening along the Saugatuck River.
My mother had driven me down that road to the beach so many times in all the years of my childhood. Now I was going under my own steam—no car, no bike. I was running! I was free!
I had never worked my body like that before. My stride lengthened as I went, my lungs heaved. But it felt effortless. Every in-breath fueled the run. I was sucking in the life force of the Connecticut summer and it was entering my body, carrying me forward.
As we sprinted over the last patch of asphalt and onto the sand, the moon shone over the rocky point while the stars of the summer night kept watch over Long Island Sound.
I had opened to a higher power. Every outbreath was followed by the oxygen I was deeply taking in. With every pumping motion of my thighs I was taking in a new-found exhilaration and inspiration.
I’ve learned that I am accessing higher power when I am relating to what is larger than me—a context that is larger than my immediate human experience. I am accessing higher power when I put myself in position to receive inspiration and energy from that larger context, like breathing in the air of a Connecticut summer night.
No one really knows intellectually where higher power comes from. Sure, you could call it God or Allah or the Tao. You could trace it back to the Big Bang or the forces of evolution. But no intellectual idea is capable of capturing the reality of where the very source of life comes from.
And still, even though the source of higher power is mystical, we can call upon it and it comes. If we can let go of our attempts to control the world, we can accept that our entire human life is held within a reality that we don’t really understand very well, but which has its own rhythm and pattern, intelligence and power. Not only can we see all that at work around us, we can access it. We can be a part of it. It can fuel us and inspire us.
I observe that people can make religion and spirituality so complex. So often, in various religious organizations and spiritual paths, there is so much that is of human concoction that gets in the way of accessing higher power. I believe we all need to access our primal spirituality —the spirituality that we were born with; the built-in spirituality that is intrinsic to how we are made.
When we do, it not only fuels our human engine. It ennobles us. We have the opportunity to experience ourselves as a being who is not separate from the very source of the higher power that is behind everything.
The path of my life is to access primal spirituality for myself and to assist others to do the same. And then to share that experience—to know a connection to the mystical source of higher power with friends, and let it come into the human world in which we live.
This is what my book, Becoming a Sun: Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence for a Happy and Fulfilling Life, is all about. And of course, the workshop based on the book is about the same thing. So is this blog!
I believe that as any person embraces their connection to higher power, they create a door into that experience for anyone else to walk through. And the more people who walk through that door, the bigger it gets.