Jan 5, 2016


There’s a powerful quote by Marianne Williamson (often misquoted as Nelson Mandela, who was quoting her):

"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, and 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 will not 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 is not just 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 own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"

The first time I heard this was in a yoga class in Los Angeles. Perhaps a new-age cliché moment, but also immensely touching one. It was the first time I really heard this kind of message inside. It touched a part of me that began to unlock the cave I was hiding in, waiting to come into my Self. In a lot of ways, I had taught myself to play it small, to hide behind my worries, as women often are taught. 

A rabbi I studied with at the time I heard this quote was already helping me to begin to step into my inner strengths. She taught me that what I thought was being humble was actually reverse-narcissism. I was “playing small” because I felt so self-involved that my negative traits became an overarching aspect of my identity. I had trained myself to enjoy the attention I received from explaining why I wasn’t enough. Woah.