What is “The PATH Way”?

The PATH Way is a simple yet powerful framework for creating and sustaining high-quality relationships — at home, at work, in school, in love, and in community.

Conventional approaches to relationships, parenting, education, and other social institutions tend to focus on control. But no matter how seemingly benign the control tactics, they are never truly empowering. The PATH Way dispels the illusion of power through control and focuses on four positive pathways to power:

Partnership, Authenticity, Trust, and Heart

Partnership is a pathway to power through connection.

A healthy partnership is a mutually empowering relationship that grows stronger through empathy and creativity. When people feel connected to each other, more power to one is more power to all. The more you give, the more you have. It’s a win/win game. In partnership, you resolve conflicts creatively by focusing on what works for the whole partnership instead of making right/wrong judgments that weaken connections and lead to power struggles. Partnership-oriented people don’t seek power over others because they enjoy being powerful with others.

Authenticity is a pathway to power through alignment.

It’s the quality of being true to yourself, emotionally honest, and aligned with your innermost being. As a child, whenever your elders resisted your authentic expressions, you were compelled to create a false self that would be “acceptable” to society. As an adult, the false self undermines your efforts to create healthy partnerships with others. But when you align your thoughts, words, and actions with your true self, your relationships begin to align, too. When you demonstrate authenticity and support others in being authentic, you inspire their cooperation and respect.

Trust is a pathway to power through understanding.

Lack of trust in yourself or the people around you leads to anxiety, which disconnects you from your power. Understanding restores trust, relieves anxiety, and reconnects you to your power. When you have a clear understanding of human nature, you can trust that people behave in accordance with their innate goodness and their unmet needs, which empowers you to respond compassionately and constructively to people’s “misbehavior.” When you understand your emotions, you can trust them to connect you with your authentic inner guidance. And when you understand that the universe is benevolent, you can let down your defenses and trust life.

Heart is a pathway to power through unconditional love.

When you value the intelligence of your heart, you open the door to an abundance of wisdom and creative possibilities that would otherwise go unnoticed by your rational mind alone. Heart also means courage. It takes courage to keep your heart open even when you have plenty of “good reasons” to close it and stop loving. Unconditional love transcends reason. It’s not something you do because it’s “nice” or because you “should.” When you love unconditionally, you are reclaiming the power that’s rightfully yours: the power to choose love for no reason at all.

The PATH acronym is not merely an easy way to remember these four pathways to authentic power, it’s also a reminder that the journey is the destination. Goals give you direction, but life is what happens on the path, in the ever-present now. Practicing the PATH Way makes you more fully present as all four “power moves” — connection, alignment, understanding, and unconditional love — are aspects of presence.

As you master the art of being fully present, even under the most trying conditions, you become a catalyst for peace, love, and joy for everyone you encounter in life.

Note: This summary is nearly the same as that of PATH Parenting. However, this one describes the concepts in terms of relationships in general.