What’s your super power?
You see that question on t-shirts sometimes, usually adding, “I teach, what’s your super power?” Or the occasional shirt on NASA employees that say “Actually, I am a rocket scientist.”
It’s braggy but kind of nice to see people owning their powers, super or not. Because while we don’t usually have heat vision or flight, we do all have unique abilities. For whatever reason, whether it’s genes or fate, we do have weird aptitudes. Some people can perform brain surgery, others dance. Others, like me, regale weary family and friends, again and again, with their amazing musical theater lyrics memory.
We can hone our abilities or not, we can ignore them or stuff them away. But the fact is we do all have powers, which are more or less lucrative or useful or condoned by society.
It’s yet another reason we love super heroes. Sure, it’s wish fulfillment, but it’s also recognition. If you were chased by a lion, the “fight or flight” response would make you stronger. But even if you are chased by irritating friends or family, you find your senses heightened.
Sometimes you feel not chased, but rather intrigued, by something that sparks your super power – aka your muchness, maybe. You see a puzzle in the world, a snag, and your brain prickles until you can unravel it and make it into something new. It might be a math puzzle, an idea for a painting or a story, a machine to build.
That brain prickling might as well be Doctor Strange’s magic circle swirling, or Luke closing his eyes to hone on the Force. You could be Wonder Woman crossing her bracelets and bracing for a fight, or Eleven getting a nose bleed as she concentrates on making bad guys pee themselves.
I try to channel all of them in plank pose – as well as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, of course, who famously planks every night. It’s your basic push up pose, pretty much, but you hold your body up with your hands as your feet stay down. It feels powerful.
Side benefit: you look like Superman flying. Which you are, basically. Your potential is no less limited than theirs. Whatever prickles your brain, hone it and own it. Plank or put it on a t-shirt – do what it takes to remember even at your weakest, you have the spark of a superpower.