Your Playing Small Does Not Serve the World

Image c/o: rfduck

A few years ago, I was exploring the Virginia Creeper Trail in Damascus, VA. Along the drive up the curvy road to our drop-off in Whitetop, VA, the driver for our shuttle made idle chitchat about the history of the area, the bike trail and different places to visit. We rounded a particularly sharp curve lined with a healthy abundance of trees. The grass was a lush carpet rolled out along the hills all around us. Cut only by the bike trail that would soon wind us down along the mountain. Few houses were to be seen, but each one was quiet and nestled into the mountains, seeming as natural to the scenery as the trees were.

Our driver pulled to a stop, pointed straight ahead and questioned, “Do you see that oak tree?” We certainly did and its shades of green were turning a lovely hue of autumn red. “It does that every year,” he stated.

I will remind you at this point that it was merely the end of July. Standing out amongst hundreds of its peers in the background, this tree was showing its brilliant color too early. Or was it? Every year he said. Then he pondered out loud, “I wonder if it knows something we don’t.”

I wonder…

  • What are your seasons of bold opportunity?
  • What dreams do you have hidden?
  • How often do you reveal your brilliant colors?

Nobody determines if it is too early, or too late to follow a dream except you. If your heart speaks to you, if your intuition is tugging at you, then let your natural talents show through. Stand out with a stunning preview of what the new season will hold for you.

Are the people who stretch into a vision part of the lucky few who found their purpose or inspiration outside of the typical timeframe? Does this mean they are moremotivated? Are they richer, more blessed or more educated than the next person? Not in my opinion.I think their common bond is that they saw an opportunity and took a risk. They made the choice to live in the moment and set fear aside for a brief time. They didn’t care if they were a season early or a season late. This was an opportunity to shake off their fear, stretch beyond their logical side and grow into an experience that had occupied their dreams. Age, flexibility, endurance…these things should not stop us.

I like to think the tree on that hill did know something we didn’t. I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes. It was shared with me at a time in my life when I was ready to hear it and I feel obligated to pass it on. I hope you are ready to hear it as well:

“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? Your playing small doesn’t 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 that is within us. It is not in some of us, it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”– Marianne Williamson

As you ring in the new year, let your light shine and your true colors boldly display themselves. As Marianne Williamson says…your playing small does not serve the world.

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