Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blowing the Lid Off the Small Box.

How does it serve me to play small? As I’ve mentioned before, I’m taking an e-course - the courageous year with Kate Swoboda. One of our recent topics begged me to answer these two questions.

one | how do I use overwhelm to play small?
two | how does playing small serve me? and am I playing small?

I will say that when I ponder both of these thoughts, my eyes fill. And along with the moist eyes comes a smile! Because if I’m having a reaction like that, then I know I’m on my way. We are talking about belief and story, and what stories each of us carry with us through life. Where did you pick them up? And what would happen if you let them go? We’re also discussing the concept of living big vs. living small, and I can honestly say that I have lived small most of my life.

Playing small sort of feels like living in a box. A small box. With just enough room to move around in, it’s not really comfy, but it’s not thaaat uncomfortable – ah but it is grasshopper! I have put myself in a safe little box; one that keeps me contained. The BIG me, the one that wants to stretch and run, and skip and soar. All of my muscles – my creative muscles, my heart, my body are all suffering from atrophy. This small box is not the place for the BIG me, the REAL me.

I can’t play big if I continue to use the word overwhelm - and I do use it on a regular basis. I’m not talking about an overly dramatic, back of the hand over the forehead, and fainting overwhelm. I’m talking about a more subtle version of the word (it’s actually a quite effective, yet subtle tool that’s used to keep the lid on the small box). It just slides easily off my tongue. I use it whenever I am taking on something that is a challenge for me. Or when I’m doing something that I “believe” I am not good at – like when I’m taking on getting organized.

Being unorganized is one of my stories. Because while it’s true that organizing does not come easy to me, it does show up in some areas of my life pretty effortlessly. For instance – my closet is organized by color, category, and from short to long. *Disclaimer - don’t get ahead of yourself and picture a beautiful closet worthy of being photographed, because that it’s not. This example debunks my story right? If I’m organized some of the time, I can’t be unorganized all of the time.

I have so many stories, and beliefs that I hold onto (I'll continue to share them here, as part of my effort to let them go). What’s the point of holding onto something so tightly if it’s not even true? Is it all in an attempt to avoid living/playing BIG? Yes, I think it is. Staying in the small box and playing small has kept me safe from harm, and in a cocoon of sorts. Stepping into my power, and owning my power is scary. What lengths will I go to keep from expanding? I’m at the point where I can no longer stay curled up, living and playing small.

Be guaranteed that I will be looking for all of my stories to show up. I will take note, and do some rewriting. The time is here. Time to shed the cocoon. Time to spread my wings. Time to blow the lid off of this little box! You have served your purpose. I say thank you for your promises of safety and bid you adieu. I will take my crumpled wings, and all of my atrophied muscles and crawl away. I will crawl until I can walk. I will walk until I can skip. I will skip until I can run. I will run until I can take flight and soar.

Is there a belief or story that you hold onto that keeps you playing small? And if so, what is it? How does playing small feel to you?


  1. yes yes yes ... i see so much of myself in this ... i love that you are finding your wings and can't wait until you see yourself soar :-) xoxox

  2. Hi, Danette! I love how you have interpreted Kate's words here. Hearing your perspective has definitely given me something to think about as I journey through the e-course as well.

    I love how you wrote this part: "I will take my crumpled wings, and all of my atrophied muscles and crawl away. I will crawl until I can walk. I will walk until I can skip. I will skip until I can run. I will run until I can take flight and soar."

    So beautiful. I might have to save those words in my journal :)

  3. Darlene I'm so happy to share this journey with you. Here's to letting go of the small stuff and stepping into the BIG. xoxo

    Caiti thank you for the sweet words. I hadn't thought about it, but I think I will put those words in my journal too. Thanks for opening my eyes to that! Looking forward to soaring along with you someday soon.

  4. Aw, Danette, I SO COMPLETELY RELATE! I'm wrestling with these questions to the Nth degree at the moment, and have, like you, done so most of my life. The e-course with which you gifted me kicked my butt and I wasn't thrilled by all I saw of my nature, I must admit. Humbling.

    But I also think we are our worst critics and judge our accomplishments by a barometer with which we would never measure our friends or even our enemies.

    I've just favorited your Etsy shop - the rings are truly delightful and I definitely want to pick your brains about your experience thus far on the site, now that we're part of the same club ;)

    Can't wait to learn what more you uncover throughout this year!

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  6. love what you said about using the word "overwhelm" - love it and take it to heart. and wings? oh, i am picturing your wings, and they are spectacular.

  7. Emma we are our own worst critics most of the time. That is the truth! I am choosing to no longer play that game...I will admit that it's a moment by moment thing though ;) Thanks for favoriting me and being delighted by my rings! I can't wait to watch your success this year. xo

    Jeanne my wings are beautiful aren't they?...they're just a bit crumpled, but I'm feeling good about their future ;)


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