Playing Small

I had a conversation with a friend this week about dreams, ambitions, goals…

In fact I seem to be having rather a few of these conversations lately – maybe it’s a season I’m coming into.

We talked about some stuff – stuff that makes me think:

1. Like when you think or talk about your dream is it all fantasy or are you putting some foundations to that stuff? Are you preparing for that moment when you get your chance, when you are discovered, when that door opens? Or are you wishing and dreaming without a plan? I am reminded of a story about a man by a healing pool, when the water stirred the first one in got healed. Jesus asked that man ‘Do you want to be healed?’ and he said ‘I can’t get into the pool first, I haven’t got any help’. Makes me think…. if he really wanted it could he have asked some friends? Could he have just lay on the side of the pool ready to roll in the moment the water stirred? He was lying in the area wanting it but was he making himself ready for his moment?

Action AND dreams – both needed.

2. Playing Small – I feel like this is an ultimate in our kiwi culture. Dreaming big looks arrogant. Dreaming big is the opposite of humility. I don’t believe either of these are true but I think they are a cultural norm for kiwis and because of this I’m sure many of us don’t achieve what we could. You know I actually think some of it is pride and fear – if we don’t try too hard and attempt great things then we won’t be embarrassed when we fail. If we don’t give it a try and fail splendidly then we can blame it all on never getting a chance, and anything else – kids, money, age, partner….. but not our own small approach.

Maybe we are afraid people will laugh at us, or assume things about us having ideas above our station.

3. A big journey for me is the thought there isn’t room – the world already has amazing actors, great presenters, gifted speakers… is there room for me? I think we can be held back by that old monster – comparison – that younger, better connected, richer, slimmer, (insert your thing here) woman is already out there doing it, so there is no room for me. Sound familiar?

4. Maybe we are just too tired, too worn down, too disappointed by life to believe in hope anymore. And if we are maybe it’s time to rest and recover and be at peace. Winter doesn’t last forever. Winter is a season and being in the middle of winter with no leaves doesn’t mean that a tree is a failure.

Maybe we are really afraid that we will be weighed in the scales and found wanting….

So what is holding you back from making your dream a step closer?

Are you brave enough to say what that thing is? To risk sharing it?

Will you take a step out of the boat onto the water? Are you dressed for it? Or are you sitting at home on the couch watching the guy step out of the water saying ‘I could do that if only I had a boat.’

No, it isn’t guaranteed. But what do you have to lose? And if that moment presents itself have you done all you can to be ready? And will you open your arms and embrace that beautiful moment or will you hang your head too proud or scared to take a risk?

Me? Well I’d like to be in front of people – all sorts of people. Talking, acting, inspiring, encouraging, bringing hope. I want to be a beacon. I want to shine my light a long way and I want to speak to thousands of people. And I’d like to walk my daily journey as a wise, kind, invested wife, mother and friend and see my boys grow into good men and see my marriage grow into a beautiful, encouraging, laughter-filled life-journey.

I’d like to be salt to season and light to encourage.

Am I trying to fill a gap or find some sense of meaning? No. Absolutely. No. I am already loved, accepted and blessed beyond belief.

Will it happen?

I’m not sure but the time is now for me to stop making excuses and to put my hand in the One I can trust to direct my steps.

If it doesn’t happen?

What have I lost? nothing that matters, but I have gained the satisfaction of investing in the seeds planted in me.

I will not have buried my talent, or dulled my light, I will not have let fear or shame dictate my journey. And, if nothing else that in itself is a success.

Who are you growing up to be? Are you brave enough to share?

This post is linking in with the lovely Widge who I am privileged to hold real conversations with sometimes.

ps – no one ran a marathon who didn’t get off the couch and venture outside, just saying.

currently unlikely to ever run a marathon, just saying that too.

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15 responses

  1. Right on the button Miriam 🙂

  2. These are such touching words. Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement. You have given me much to think

  3. There are so many things I could say about this post but I think Marianne Williamson sums it up better than I can:
    “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.”

  4. Miriam!
    I love this!
    love the inspiration you gave Widge
    I think this is more that a season…there is something happening across the world in way of dreaming/wishing/praying
    we get so stuck on the human/fleshy side of things and don’t …well what it comes down to is trust The Divine…I just posted a video clip about that from Carolyn Myss…we ask The Divine into our lives but we are not willing to take the next step and…step out!
    Anyways keep dreaming, keep inspiring…it is a precious gift to do so.

    Love and Light

  5. AND there you go again. Awesomeness.
    yep number 3 is a biggie for me too!

  6. Everything you say is so true, we are close to embarking on building a adobe/strawbale home, and start the dream my hubby and I have had for many years…. but we realised only recently it isn’t going to happy unless we make a move, it may be our dream, but without us making the changes, it won’t happen.

    Also thankyou for your lovely comment – I prefer your version much better 🙂

  7. Nice post Miriam. ‘We serve noone by playing small’.
    ‘Be-Do-Have’ Nom and I say, not Have-Do-Be.

    BE Great, DO great things, HAVE a great life.
    -Alex

  8. Yay you! Go for it! You have many great talents and much wisdom & love to share. xxxxxx

  9. wow!!I I just found this post via Sammy’s post…loving it, its so where I’m at at the moment too.

  10. Lovely post… and I think if I was being honest I would have to say all of the things you have listed are “excuses” I have used. It must be time to live my dreams and not worry what others think! Thanks heaps!

  11. LOVE this post. Thanks so much for writing it and inspiring me. Big scary dream post will be coming up from me soon.

  12. Wow, what an amazing post. I have learnt so much about myself reading it. Especially about Comparison and being tired.
    Awesome writing Miriam.
    I really hope your dream will become your reality and I will pray for you
    x

  13. Very powerful thoughts Miriam. Love it.

  14. Ahhhh – I so need to write a post on this also… I promised Widge I would!

    I will get there, currently we have guests – but I will mull over it and hope I get some free time SOON to start putting words on paper.

    You ladies are beyond inspiring!

    Thank you!

  15. This is an amazing post and one I can relate to on so many levels…number two hits the nail on the head for me. That was me five years ago before we moved to Australia. I lived in a teeny tiny bubble in the city (WGTN) I was born and raised in and never in my wildest dreams ever imagined a life outside of NZ. Fear of failure was always a big thing for me too but having exposed myself to and experienced a different way of life has certainly removed the blinkers and taught not only me but my hubby that life has so much to offer us if we are willing to take the risk.
    Your time to shine will come 🙂
    x

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