Denying your power weakens it.
You have superpowers — i.e. woo, intuition, whatever you choose to call it — and if you’re one of my peeps those superpowers probably aren’t entirely mundane in nature.
So often, I see coaching clients with superpowers shrug off their magic like it’s no big deal.
I’ve watched my peeps bat down compliments about everything from their extraordinary singing voice to their artistry with a camera. They’ve fought me about how tripling their income through hard work and new practices is no big deal because they were going for quintupling their income, so their efforts don’t count. I’ve had a friend cure my fever by holding my hand for a few minutes and increasing my body temperature. Like, I shit you not — cure my fever.
The power we collectively possess within us is far more capable of creating better worlds than any single policy on earth, but we pretend it’s no big deal. We minimize ourselves and our talents at every turn.
Owning your woo means refusing to deny your power.
It means allowing yourself to see what you see, feel what you feel, and know what you know. What you see, feel, and know might be different from what others see, feel, and know, which is where courage is required.
Your power will always ask you to speak up. To tell us when you see a better way forward. To make art where there’s now a trash heap or an abandoned lot. To grow plants in the soil where I could only make dandelions grow. To steer us away from energetically volatile humans. To help us enter into peaceful transitions from one phase of our lives to the next. (Yes, doulas, I’m looking at you!)
Here are a few ways to tell if you’ve been denying your power all along.
When talking about anything spiritual, intuitive, or mysterious, do you:
+ offer the disclaimer of ‘this is woo woo’ before you begin?
+ write your power off as something ‘everyone can do?’
+ refuse to share your tenderest, most soulful and ‘weird’ bits with your partner(s) or friend(s)?
+ try to blend in and pretend you don’t know the things you know?
+ mold yourself to others’ societal standards because you’re afraid of using your own?
+ downplay the role of the spiritual in your life and the lives of others?
+ overcorrect for woo in the direction of the ‘logical’ and ‘practical’?
+ squash your intuition and then proceed to slowly die inside?
Let’s stop doing this shit.
“Despair dresses in the costume of reason. However, it forgets the miracles of healing that become available when we enter a broader story.” — Charles Eisenstein
Denying what you know empowers harmful societal systems that are more than happy to take your power away and then sell you the ‘solution.’
First up! Denying your woo benefits the patriarchy in a big way.
“The witch hunts in Europe coincided with the rise of Western medicine as a profit-based and exclusively male profession. The witch hunts coincided, too, with the expansion of European imperialism and the European slave trade in Africa. The more territory European colonists claimed, the more people they enslaved overseas, the more women they publicly murdered at home. Ironically, this whole era in European history is known as ‘The Renaissance.'” — Ariel Gore, We Were Witches
Women were healers and medicine carriers until men of old decided that medicine was their domain, and thus the persecution of witches and wise women was carried out throughout the ages. You will not be burned at the stake for learning plant medicine, for using tools of divination, for helping others heal, or for listening to the guides, spirits, and ancestors who have much to say when you learn to speak the language of energy.
Some part of you — probably the most ancient and wise part — has trouble believing this, but it’s true.
There is no upside to denying the parts of you that are gifted at healing, that know just what to do or say, or that make people feel safe, seen, comfortable, and loved.
It’s safe to know what you know, see what you see, and feel what you feel.
Next up! Denying your woo benefits capitalism in hugely profitable ways.
“There are no grades anymore…sometimes I think you forget that. There are never going to be grades for the rest of your life, so you just have to do what you want to do. Forget about how it looks. Think about what it is.” — Meg Wolitzer, The Female Persuasion
When you stifle your inner knowing, it’s much easier to market to you via authority figures who claim to have the solution to your very specific problem. How often have you purchased a product or system, particularly in business, that is being marketed as The Way? When really, there is no One Way. There is no next level. There is only where you are now, and you listening deeply to you, keeping an ear to the ground in order to discern your next right step.
The odds of your next right step being a multi-thousand dollar program that teaches you about Facebook ads — when you haven’t done the deep work of developing your voice, honing your talent, sharing your work, and asking for help — is precisely zero.
Please note that developing your voice, honing your talent, sharing your work, and asking for help are often free or cheap endeavors. Sure, you’ll have to use lots of clay to become a better sculptor, but you aren’t required to spend triple your supply budget on seminars, workshops, and online programs in the name of earning more made-up credentials or selling in ways that hurt your soul.
I’m not asking you to give up on education or to cease attendance at workshops! I’m only asking that you run firmly and quickly in the opposite direction of absolutely anyone who has a one-size-fits-all system that is being touted as The Way. Listen to the voice within you that shies away from an authority figure, even if everyone else is firmly in love with them.
Even when I’m at my most market-y and salesy, I’m happy to turn people away from my offerings because they aren’t a good fit for everyone. Honesty about others’ needs helps keep me fundamentally in alignment with my deepest values, one of which is listening to my inner cues about those who are interested in my work. Sometimes it’s time to work with me, sometimes it isn’t, and I’m happy to tell you when you ask.
Speaking of which, 6 year-long coaching spots open on January 16th for KK on Tap!
You’ll have access to my program and book archives and get free admission to the upcoming Voice workshop this May, as well as have quarterly 1-on-1 and group coaching calls with me. Most peeps make their money back within a few months, and some clients go as far as to increase their income by 450% when working with me. (Yes, I shit you not, 450% increase in income. I can’t promise you’ll have those results, but I can promise you’ll like your business more by the end of our time together than you do right now.) Hit up kristenkalp.com/tap to get details and to get on the waitlist!
Next, we move on to a consequence of denying your woo that you might not have considered.
Denying your woo — i.e. your intuition — denies not only your power, but my power and the collective power we humans wield when we are honest about the workings of the universe.
Denying your superpowers makes those around you question their own, while refusing to accept compliments teaches everyone around you to either stop complimenting you or to deflect praise as well.
To claim our woo is to claim the possibility of a more fulfilling life, starting right now.
When we tap into and fully own our woo — the mystery, the unknowable, and the grace within it — we regain power at a fundamental level.
Power to heal our own bodies. (See: tiny annoying progress.)
Power to tell our doctors that no, they actually don’t know what’s best for us, and fuck you for shaming me about my weight.
Power to claim dominion over all of our emotions, our too-muchness, and our not enough-ness.
Power to be vulnerable and to be deeply human, even when being alive feels like a shit show.
Power to undo our old patterns and beliefs in the name of healing.
Power to be fulfilled by our work when it isn’t making 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 figures — and especially if it never will. By design.
Power to be filled up by music, by shared conversation, by nourishing food, by making love, by books, by learning, and/or by most everything the world has on offer at little cost or within the context of community gifts freely given.
When we fully claim our intuitive nature and our knowing,
we have the power to create a world in which libraries are better funded than prisons,
and in which our fellow humans value kindness to the earth and to others
more deeply than they value buying more cheap shit at Target and then going home to play with it,
The first step toward owning your woo is to acknowledge that it exists. And it’s accurate.
For example. Bear and I had lots of fights about Louis C.K. at the start of our relationship. I would contend that he was a bad person, I could feel it, and Bear would say Louis gave lots of money to charity and that he was dedicated to progressive causes. I know, but he’s gross, I would contend. Bear would grow frustrated that I couldn’t back up my feelings with facts or evidence, and that was that.
Years later, when it was revealed that Louis C.K. was and is a sexual predator, Bear apologized. Lots. There was no way I was going to follow the dude around with a video camera to catch him doing nefarious deeds, but there was also no way I was going to deny my knowing just because dude gives money to charity. I knew he wasn’t to be trusted, even when the facts needed to justify my feelings weren’t obvious to those around me.
You have those powers, too. You know that dude is to be avoided from a thousand yards away, or that woman is going to leave you a 1-star Yelp review no matter what you do, or that teacher isn’t in alignment with what they’re teaching even if they have Oprah’s approval and have sold 43.9 million books this year.
Your instincts are real, and your knowing is real, and the only reason that’s weird is because capitalism and science haven’t yet found ways to make your knowing tangible — and therefore sale-able — to the general public.
You’re drawn to people and programs for ‘no good reason,’ while others leave you with a case of the heebie-jeebies. If we simply stopped buying shit from people who give us the heebie jeebies, we’d be 20% further along as a society than we are right now. Like, if everyone stopped listening to R. Kelly because he’s a serial rapist. If we stopped buying Trump stuff and supporting him in any way because he’s a man without a moral compass. If we stopped investing in big oil because sure, it’s profitable for stock holders, but it’s also killing the planet and all of our lives depend on stopping its reign.
Your overriding your instincts is harmful to you, yes, but also to society in general.
Your instincts whisper things like, ‘Hold people accountable for their actions. Give less funding to shitty corporations wherever you can. Delete the Amazon Prime app from your phone and buy locally more often.’
These are small changes that really do matter. Asshole brain will say they don’t matter, or they’re no big deal, or Amazon is unstoppable, but those things aren’t true when we collectively imagine better futures.
Honor. Your. Knowing.
Is there anything you know is true, but don’t yet have the facts to prove?
When scientists did extensive studies of blue mind and found that humans are happier and healthier when they’re in the presence of large bodies of water like the ocean, we all smacked our foreheads and said, “Of course!” Our inner knowing is often far, far ahead of science.
Do you have any experiences that defy explanation or sound absolutely unbelievable?
During the last breathwork training I attended, I was tending to a woman breathing in front of me. The spirit of her father approached, looked at me, and said, “Isn’t she great!???” with all the love in the world. I nodded, crying, because yes of course she’s great! The fact that I was communicating with a spirit and not a human in this reality was strange to me, but no less true because of its strangeness.
Further, I’ve experienced moments of timelessness, of deep knowing, and of connection while doing breathwork. I’ve met lines of my ancestors stretching back through time. I’ve convened with animal spirits. I’ve been healed by an ancient oracle who lives in another realm. I’ve breathed out anger and hurt and pain and societal installations meant to silence me. I’ve been healed of illness. I’ve seen paths forward through seemingly impossible situations.
Breathwork has helped me to cure both my thyroid and my depression, and to connect more deeply to my inner knowing.
If you’re curious and would like a breathwork 101 class to try out my favorite spiritual practice, The Softness Sessions start soon!
We’ll take six weeks to ease you into the breathwork through the lenses of my biggest life lessons so far. One participant, Joanna, said, “I just love this course. I feel like it should be a prerequisite for adulthood. This isn’t the sort of thing that usually blows up and goes viral, but it should. I can’t think of very many people I know who wouldn’t benefit from your wisdom and this process. Your stories and heart and experiences are so beautiful. The realness is rare and refreshing.” Check it out at thesoft.space now!
Have you ever known you were meant to take a class, attend a workshop, or learn from a person, even though it made no logical sense at the time?
I once got on a plane to attend a workshop for a teacher I’d only seen once in a magazine. Turns out, that workshop and its setting put glorious forces in motion! I fell in love with Laguna Beach, had some of the best days of my life, grew closer to my best friend, reacquainted myself with childhood beliefs I’d left for dead, and cradled myself around my dying spark of aliveness for long enough to take the next step in my life within a few months. (The next step was getting a divorce.)
Did you ever override your instincts about a person, place, or event, only to sorely regret it later?
Which superpower do you regularly deny, ignore, or pretend is no big deal?
Which of your superpowers are you ready to claim as your own, even though it’s scary to do so?
Have you ever passed up an opportunity that others called you crazy for missing, only to find out that you avoided a disaster of epic proportions?
Have you ever received knowing visually or aurally without knowing where it came from?
Do you ever have premonitions that come true?
Each of those questions points to a way of knowing. They aren’t the strictly capitalist, ultra-productive ways that you can download an app and begin using immediately, but they’re no less valid because they aren’t available in the Apple store.
Honor. Your. Knowing.
In the coming weeks, you can consciously:
+ stop offering a disclaimer of ‘this is woo woo’ before you speak about spiritual matters.
+ stop writing your superpowers off as ‘something everyone can do.’
+ share a tender, soulful bit of knowing with someone you love.
+ know the things you know without pretending otherwise.
+ use your own standards of measurement for reaching success, fulfillment, and joy.
+ center the role of the spiritual in your life instead of relegating it to the edges of your existence.
+ give credence to the woo instead of deferring to the ‘logical’ and ‘practical,’ particularly when they lead you in opposite directions.
+ acknowledge and voice your intuitive hits instead of slowly dying inside.
When you speak about your intuition plainly, avoiding the eye darts or hushed tones that often turn up when people talk about spiritual matters, you do each and every one of us a favor.
You honor the ancestors — yours and mine — who knew so much without speaking, and who honored their knowing by caring for the earth and each other with varying degrees of tenderness.
You also honor those who gleaned spiritual meaning from their everyday lives through intuitive means when capitalism, the patriarchy, and a host of other oppressive societal systems kept them from being free. (A short list of the evils that thrive when we override our inner compasses at a societal level: genocide, ecocide, slavery, discrimination, hatred, warfare, and ever-inflating, unstoppable military spending for nuclear proliferation so extensive that is has the ability to wipe our existence from the planet in a matter of seconds.)
Finally, you honor yourself, your interiors, and your truest work when you move in the direction of your inner knowing. The world doesn’t need one more person who’s quieted their knowing and taken up a life of extracting resources from the earth or from one another.
We need those who know, and who honor their knowing.
Who listen, and who act accordingly.
Please listen. And act accordingly.
P.S. The next step from here? Sensing the sparkle.