Spiritual Power Suit
September 25, 2007
John T. Malloy’s series about 'dressing for success,' included a book for women in the corporate world. This morning, while on my daily sunrise bicycle ride, I saw a woman walking her dog – dressed in the classic red “power suit” Malloy defined. Chuckling to myself as the small terrier pulled at the end of his retractable leash, the woman in red struggled to keep his enthusiasm in check. Arms outstretched and clearly showing signs of trying to assert her dominance over the tiny pooch, I found the irony in this quick visual rather amusing. How often do we suit-up each day, appropriately dressed in couture designed to show the world the importance and power of our very presence, yet allow the littlest of influences control our walk through life?
Power of Confidence
In addition to making an unimpeachable first impression, the power suit conveys a sense of importance to those around you. But the real authority doesn’t lie in the design and cut of the fabric. You true power comes from the self-confidence you feel when you appear in a costume of control. You may walk a little straighter or taller or your gait may take on a strong cadence. The hidden pockets inside the suit jacket allow you to keep certain aspects of yourself private, and carry the most important things along with you, without others privy to your hidden stash of understanding. When you put on the suit coat, you hear the all familiar brush of the satin lining as it meets your cotton shirt, much like the friendly sound of leaves rustling in a light breeze provides us with a sense that our world operates as it should. Cloaked in confidence, we unconsciously attribute that feeling to looking polished and professionally, all the while our true confidence comes from a deeper source of connection with the Infinite.
Your spiritual power suit, designed by you alone, with details and ornamentation, cannot be seen by anyone else. What do you put on each morning that determines your sense of wholeness, belonging to your community, your culture, the world? With a smiling knowing that God is our Source, we find the world less intimidating when we slip into the luxury of peace of mind. Your spiritual suit affects more than you alone - like the Emperor's New Clothes, the power suit alludes to intelligence or capability - yet finds its basis in group-think and group-belief. Your true self shines through the stitches of your spiritual suit and loudly declares your connection to the Infinite by the outer manifestation of success, centeredness and well-being in your life.
Underneath the suit
A friend of mine once told me about a comment her father made about the importance of appearance and one’s choice of clothing. A physician escaping Nazi Germany in 1939, Dr. Love brought his family to America on the last boat out of the area, to thrive and prosper on free soil. His wisdom extended beyond medicine into practicality when he told his young daughter, "When you have $10 to spend on an outfit, spend $9 on the undergarment and $1 on the dress." Heeding his advice, much of my friend’s professional career involved helping to restore the appearance of post-mastectomy patients.
I’m reminded of this insight when I consider how we shroud ourselves in spiritual beliefs. The world sees our outer clothing, yet our spiritual foundation determines how our lives look. When our underlying faith in a higher power wrinkles, the result shows a disheveled life. Everyday we observe examples of others’ lives thriving or failing.
In the instance of my neighbor in her carefully chosen "power wear," her suit of armor, carefully pressed fitted, may compensate for her inadequacies demonstrated by her lack of control over her dog – and to a larger extent, maybe her own life. What’s beneath your power suit? Do you find a sturdy foundation of trust and faith in the Source, or a torn and ragged belief system which doesn’t support your highest potential?
We're born as perfect beings into a beautiful world designed to provide us with all the experiences necessary to spiritually progress. Starting life in complete surrender, our birthday suit reminds us that our nature as limitless, pure potential beings waits before us as we comprehend no rules nor give credence to outer expectations. As infants we start with nothing between us and the world, just as we end our life. The suit we choose to wear in the time between birth and death, displays the designs we selected to blend in with the life we agreed to. Since our birth represents a blank slate much like the tailor’s muslin prototype of a new style, our spiritual suit supports our journey on earth and declares to the Universe, the life we wish to experience.
Dare to stand naked before the Infinite - totally free of the tight seams of doubt, the strained zippers of fear and the frayed hems of hesitation. Most importantly, strip yourself of the need to appear as something you are not - and discover the foundation underneath your clothing - and even your skin - remains your most important expression of the Divine and forms the basis of your true power.
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