One of my favorite quotes is from Marianne Williamson:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
And this is where I shall begin....my very first blog post. Ha! I'm doing it! I love to write. What do you love to do? I want to write. What do you want to do? I can't count the times I have heard people say, "I always wanted to do _____________." I want to shout at them, "So, what's stopping you? Do it!" Yet, from my own experience, I know there are things that hold me back sometimes - usually my own negative thoughts or beliefs about myself, not enough time, or fear.
I was taught to be modest, not to brag or boast, nor show off. Perhaps somewhere hidden in some crevice of my brain, is a memory of being scolded for showing off a cartwheel or bragging about a good grade. As a result, I learned to downplay my God-given talents and abilities, preventing myself from achieving or accomplishing the very things I most desired to do. In essence, I learned that it was more important to be liked and to get along with others than to be all that I was meant to be, especially if it meant I was better than someone else.
So, I went through most of the first half of my life this way, giving more credence to my relationships than to my own talents and desires, until one day I realized I didn't know who I was anymore. I defined myself based on who I was to someone else. I'm my daughter's mother. I'm my husband's wife. I'm so-in-so's counselor. But, who was I without these people? Who was I, Me, Myself? A wise yogi asked me, "Well, what is it you desire?" I didn't even know how to answer this question at the time. I was so used to denying myself and looking to please others. I began to realize what a disservice this was - not only to myself but to the world.
Even though I didn't know the answer to this question, "What is it I desire?" I could fairly easily idenitfy what I didn't desire. I started there. Then I watched and listened to the world around me and waited to discover what tickled my spirit. Luckily, I was reminded of just how ticklish I am! Slowly in time, I began to recognize the desires of my heart again. And, naturally what followed were my strengths and abilities. We so naturally love to do what we are good at. It seems so simple doesn't it?
So, what is it I love to do? Write. Move my body. Run. Ride my bike. Play. Hike. Read. Listen to music. Sing. Travel. As I have reclaimed these parts of myself I no longer fear judgement or rejection from others. I have changed some of the negative beliefs that were holding me back. I am going to do what I love and love what I do. I'm not going to worry about what someone else thinks of me. I'm not going to hold back my gifts to the world. My friends will love me even if I'm better than them at something. They're bound to be better than me at something as well. We all have our strengths and everyone's are different. Let us encourage one another to shine our light into the world!
As far as not having the time.....I came to recognize that as an excuse. We can hide behind that excuse when we are afraid or don't believe we can really do it. But, if you really want to do something, you will find the time. Make it a priority. Then take that first step. I did. And, here I am.