Vicki McLeod - Personal Power Is Intrinsic

1) Tell us when you first felt power for the first time

What immediately came to mind with this question was a time when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I was standing in the tall grass in the playground outside my neighbourhood school. It was summertime, and I was barefoot. In those days, they didn’t cut the schoolyard grass in summer, so it made a great place to play.

I remember so vividly the feeling of my feet on the cool ground, and the tall grass up to my knees. A feeling of energy ran through my little body and I knew – deep inside - that I was part of everything: the grass, the sun, the breeze, the earth – connected to it all, and it filled me with power.

Something in that moment lasted a lifetime, and I’ve always understood the difference between personal power and positional power. As a result, titles, roles and positions --- while they give us context, structure, and influence, haven’t held as much relevance for me as standing in my own personal power. Positional power can be taken away, but personal power is intrinsic.

In a way, I think that childhood experience made me see myself, and of all of us, as part of a universal force – and that connection gives us an unlimited source of influence at every touch point in our lives.

2) Give us a small insight into Childless by Choice: A Powerful Act of Fulfillment

We live in a time and culture where women are faced with a world of choices, yet there still seems to be an outdated social expectation that all women are destined to be mothers. I just don’t believe that's true. Biologically, perhaps, but we are far beyond making choices based simply on biology - or gender, race, or class for example.

As a woman who chose not to have children, I wanted to lend my voice to a conversation about a woman’s right to choose her own destiny, whether that includes children or not. I also explore the notion of fulfillment as the result of powerful choice-making --- that honouring our deepest truths and living with our truth is a path to being fully human, and therefore fulfilled.

3) When do you feel least powerful? 

There are definitely times when the world gets too big for me. There are big problems to solve, and I can get to feeling pretty small when I fully consider the scope and my possible role or responsibility to help solve them. I’m nearing sixty and I think I believed the world would be in a much different place by the time I got here. I experience a certain sense of frustration when I think that there is still such a long way to go.

And on the more personal side, as I experience my own aging and the inevitable loss of family members and peers, I am reminded (again) that all of life is learning to let go, and that I have no power over these processes or control over the mysteries. I just consider myself lucky to be part of them, having a human journey, making a difference where I can.

Blog Post: Nicole Parmar