By Susan Stone
“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 or 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 enlightening about shrinking so 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.” Nelson Mandela
That’s not the memo I got when I was a kid! Talking like that would have gotten me in big trouble and would have been answered back with; Who do you think you are young lady? You’re getting a little too big for your britches… or by name calling; Showoff!
Many of us were programed to play small…to stay in our ‘place’…even amongst our peers.
A few years ago a friend sent me a video that had gone viral overnight. It was of a woman who appeared on Brittan Loves Talent (the British version of American Idol), her name is Susan Boyle. If you were living under a rock in 2009, let me paint the picture for you.
As with American Idol, the contestants must initially perform a song acapella. On to the stage walked an older woman (not at all the average age of most contestants), wearing a frumpy dress, therapeutic shoes, curly grey hair and sporting a uni-brow. If her appearance wasn’t enough, she also has Asperger’s (a type of Autism). Well, the judges just looked at each other like; is this some kind of joke? Simon Cowell made a ‘face’ and a snarky comment while the audience was snickering. Somehow this woman had the courage to open her mouth and when she did…every jaw in the room hit the floor!
She sang, ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ from Les Miserables, flawlessly. The audience erupted! The look on Simon Cowell’s face was priceless. Overnight she became a sensation and still today is performing worldwide.
This woman’s courage impressed me so much that I consider her one of my hero’s. She knew that she didn’t look the part. She could clearly see her reflection did not match the twenty-something’s image of an ‘Idol’, but she went for it anyway. She stood in front of a huge audience with television camera’s all around, knowing that millions would be watching…and she shined her light a bright as she could. What would happen if you were the biggest YOU you could be for just one day? What would happen if you decided to ‘go for it’? What if you shined your light as bright as you could? You will never know unless you try.
You came in to this world with something special…something so unique that nobody else has ‘it’. There is a burning desire inside of each one of us to show this special ‘light’ to the world, but the old tapes play in our head and we remain silent.
After I saw the video of Susan Boyle, I felt personally challenged. I had been writing a book, but wasn’t sure I should publish it. I didn’t feel like I had the credentials to write such a book. The old tapes in my head began to play; it’s too controversial! What would people say? What would they think? I watched the video again and felt the invitation…this time I took her up on it and ‘We Heard You’ was published in 2012.
So, what are you hiding deep inside of you that is just busting to come out? Here is your invitation…shine
Susan Stone is a Garden Guru and Manager for Outdoor Architecture. You can contact Susan via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.