When was the first time you felt truly powerful? Mine was around five years old, when I first picked up a pencil. I could do anything with a pencil — create my own animals or worlds, reproduce dream sequences in real life (as I often did...on the kitchen walls).

What was five-year-old you into? Was there ever a time when you felt invincible? Many of us experienced that feeling early in life, but lost it as we grew older, took on more responsibilities, or found ourselves blindly following societally-prescribed paths instead of our own.

If you've been stuck in the capitalist framework that envelops us all for long enough, you may have felt disconnected from your personal power for some time now — taking life as it comes, in control of a few things, maybe, but more or less beholden to way more than you were hoping for.

It's easy to feel powerless when you're a teen, or homeless — and at 19, I was both. Think whatever you want about the law of attraction, but the stories you tell yourself matter. When I was sleeping on friend's couches or under overpasses, I often thought to myself, "Everyone says you have to spend money to make money, but all I have is this backpack and student debt, so I guess I'm stuck," or "Someone's going to need to help me out of this mess, because I clearly can't do it on my own."

I spent a ton of time wandering around, looking for other people to help me get my life back on track. But it never worked out. Eventually, I remembered what it was like holding a pencil for the first time, and while I did not magically turn into a self-confident millionaire that day, I did recall how fervently I would create with it, with zero money or material power to speak of. I remembered I had a skill that was valuable, to society and to myself. Then I started drawing (no pun intended) from that power until I was...still not a millionaire, ngl. But definitely safe, confident, housed, happy, and—not EmPoWeReD, but literally powerful and in control of my life. It all starts with inner strength.

If you're looking to access a little (or a lot) more of your personal power, I hope you'll enjoy this simple exercise to help rekindle it.

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