“Time I get to spend creating with other beautiful minds is time I cherish. The moments bring light to my heart. Relationships that grow based on trust through letting ourselves go. Helping each other expand and explore new paths that may have not been discovered on our own. We all have a divine power to do so together.” - KASS
“Empowerment to me is a feeling. A feeling that fills your heart with excitement and anticipation. I personally feel the most empowered when I’m playing or listening to music. No matter what mood I’m in there’s a always a song I can find that I feel a connection with and that always amplifies whatever I’m feeling. Headphones are a sweet tool because it’s almost like a secret with yourself, people can see me walking with a straight face but inside I’m getting really pumped up. Sometimes you don’t even know when a song is going to hit you in some special way, for example, one day I was feeling particularly down and I was walking and pressed shuffle on my music, Rage against the machine, “killing in the name of”, followed by Black Sabbath “war pigs” and all of a sudden I just felt this burst of energy through my body, and a lightness in my chest that I hadn’t felt for awhile. A very “Aha!” moment for me.
What is is gosh darn beautiful about music is that there’s literally something out there for everyone. You don’t need to be a musician to experience it and there’s so many genres these days that there’s something that can make anyone feel empowered. Playing music is a whole other level, just like anything that someone has a passion doing! It’s so much fun working on a song that you’re really excited about learning, that you feel is perfect for your range and you can just belt out without much thought. Getting to share it with people is special because you get to say “hey I’m proud of this and wanna share it with you.”
I try to help friends feel empowered by just being there and listening. Sometimes people don’t expect you to have all the answers, but just want to unload some thoughts and feelings. I also think compliments can go a long way. You can tell when someone has put effort into something, whether it be a project, work, art, or something with their appearance. When you take time to get out of your head and take in what people are doing and saying around you, and making a meaningful contribution to the conversation or passing on a simple compliment, it can make them smile and feel good about themselves. It’s all about love and realizing that everyone’s just down here trying to navigate the best way they know how, with the tools they’ve learned. Everyone is different so it’s important to always take that into account and try and not judge people, because you’re judging them through your lens and your experience, not theirs. ” -DES
“The best feeling in the world is making someone smile. I feel empowered when I can capture a photo for someone and see how happy they are with the results. It’s so simple, but it’s surprising how a photograph can bring such joy or strength. And knowing I have that ability to create that for someone gives me confidence in my work. I love what I do and if my photographs can bring a little bit of magic in someone’s day. Then that’s all that matters. I feel empowered knowing I’ve done that, that it brought joy to someone’s heart.” - CHRISTINA
“I find strength in overcoming what scares me. I run into varying degrees of fear, frequently, and I don’t want that to be what holds me back. We have such a short amount of time in this life, with only so many opportunities. This inspires me to apply the saying, “feel the fear and do it anyways” to my life. However, I can sometimes get lazy and take the easier, more comfortable path, and when I reflect, those are generally moments where my growth was stunted. It takes vigorous reminding to try and try again. Because it’s challenging, hard, exhausting, and uncomfortable, but once I’ve gone up against what terrifies me, whatever that may be, and come out the other side- it makes it all worth it, without fail.” -BRENDA
When was the last time you listened to what's alive inside of you?
Before we are able to bear witness to and understand what it feels like to be empowered, we must pay attention to what's alive inside of us. To familiarize ourselves with the unexplored life that we've been given and lean deeply into curiosity.
Curiosity encourages the mind to wander, to question, and to think differently than we're used to.
When we use curiosity as a teacher, it leads us to a new place of knowing. This place always feels familiar, like we've visited it before, but somewhere along the way we forgot that it existed. But it's only a matter of time until it calls upon us and tells us to come back home again.
When I was a child, I used to climb out of the window of my second story bedroom onto the roof of our garage. It was a big garage that was slanted on both sides, making it a perfect place to spread out a blanket and lay up against. During the summer nights when the sky was clear and my curiosity was calling me, I'd take my blue Sony discman in one hand and a notebook in the other, and I'd star gaze for hours.
That memory keeps revisiting me as an adult today. It shows up in my day dreams, when I meditate, or in the moments I get lost in heavy thoughts surrounding my existence.
It brings me back home to the place where I discovered what was alive inside of me.
And when I step into that place, free of everything that tries to keep me from it, I find empowerment.
It's a feeling that shows up in many different ways.
When I accept myself for who I am, I'm empowered. When I nurture the gifts I've been given, I'm empowered. When I speak up for what I know is true, I'm empowered.
When I lean deeply into the things I love, I'm empowered. When I listen to what's alive within me, I'm empowered.
We are the creators of our emotions. If we desire a particular feeling, one that enhances the way we live in the world, it's up to us to search the depths of our being to find a place where it can live and exist freely.
Your search for empowerment begins with finding the answer to one question, "What's alive inside of you?"
“Imagine a group of people, standing together in a supportive circle. In this circle, everybody is free of judgement and stereotypes. Each individual has something to offer and each person is willing to listen. A place where open minds support each other and see the uniqueness and beauty in one another. Each person sees themselves as valuable part in that circle, like a piece to a puzzle. Various sexes, styles and skin tones are nothing but a sweet surprise to the eye. As we dig deeper into conversations, and might not quite understand one another, empathy is used to learn from each other and our different paths of life.
This is what I think of when I hear the word EMPOWERMENT. I find it so damn beautiful when I see people supporting each other. Women supporting girls, Men supporting Women, Musicians supporting charities, photographers supporting their models and all vice versa. It can be in such small ways that this support can happen; like even through trying to understand that person, and taking the time to carefully listen to what they have to say. I see complimenting somebodies craft, looks, personality, the way they run their business, whatever, as empowering.
I think what can be most difficult for me (and probably a lot of others) is to empower myself. Its easy to feel down on myself, not feeling like i am where I need to be.. but I try to remember to treat myself as I would a loved friend. Positive self talk has been a huge topic in the convo between mind-chels and inner-chels. Sometimes, I literally ask myself, “would I say what Im saying to myself, to a friend? “and often the answer is hell no, be nicer to yourself. Self empowerment is important, too.
SO YEAH, cheers, instead of being jealous and resentful, lets be grateful and celebrate each others differences (or at least try to).”
Here are the beautiful beings featured in The Empowerment Project. Read where this project all began and the meaning behind it in ‘WORDS’. Have a look at each album to read the lovely messages they have shared around how empowerment shows up in their lives. Their words are truly awe-inspiring and resonating. Enjoy!