“As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson
“Look at her, who does she think she is?”
“He's so full of himself. He's so big headed”
Have you ever heard these types of expressions being used? Have you said them yourself?
Or at least I used to. I was taught to believe that people who shine their light were showing off. That they were brazen and big headed. But what does being full of yourself actually mean? Seriously, what does it mean?
Is it being cocky or could it simply be having confidence in who you are? Is it being arrogant or might it just be saying no to playing small?
Plainly put, being full of yourself is to be brimming over with who you are. How utterly amazing is that? To be full of who you are. Not empty. Not lacking. Full.
Why do we believe that celebrating our greatness is something to be scorned?
We worry that if we let all of our colors blaze brightly, we'll be perceived as being “too much.” We end up trying to throw shade on our most vibrant parts in order to blend in.
Are we supposed to walk some kind of middle line in life? Between shine and shame?
When we purposely set out to dilute who we are, we are denying ourselves our birthright to live in full bloom. Full expression.
When do we ever walk through a garden of gorgeous flowers and wish that they were less vibrant? Less alive? We don't. We marvel at their utter beauty and proud glory. We don't ask them to diminish their splendor. We simply ask them to be all that they are.
If we place ourselves in the shadows then we not only prevent our true light from radiating out, but we're also left feeling envious of those that are basking in their own fabulous glow.
I used to look longingly at other people who I'd see exuding sparkly confidence. I'd yearn to have their self-assuredness and be able to live out loud without apology.
It wasn't until I stopped wistfully wanting what I thought I lacked, and started focusing on what I was already rich with, that everything changed.
I said no to seeking approval. I said no to coveting the lives of others. I said yes to being me.
My life transformed when I stepped onto the stage of my own life, rather than hiding in the wings watching someone else's performance. Every step I've taken since has gifted me farther toward empowerment and farther away from self-doubt.
Do you secretly envy somebody else's life? Do you spend hours obsessing about how amazing they appear to be? What if you took some of that energy and invested it into your most precious stock? Yourself.
Try this simple visualization exercise to get you back on point.
Imagine yourself sitting in front of a mirror illuminated with light bulbs, the ones you see in the dressing rooms that film stars use. Your reflection in the mirror radiates love, happiness, and confidence. The lights are bright and beautiful. So are you. So amazingly beautiful.
Remember this: every single time you waste energy wishing you had somebody else's life, a light in your own life goes out. One of those bulbs dies. Your reflection loses a little bit of its sparkle. Those bulbs need your life force to keep shining. Why are you illuminating someone else's reflection? Why are you giving your energy to their light bulbs?
Light up your life. This is the one time you don't need to be environmentally conscious! Burn those lights, baby! I'm talking Times Square bright. Because otherwise all those lights will lose their will to shine and you'll be fumbling around in the dark trying to find a torch. And that's not the look we're going for here.
So now you've got your own glow going here are a few other ways to keep the spark alive:
1. Get creative.
When we concentrate on our own passions it makes it much more difficult for our minds to stray and worry about what everyone else is doing.
If you feel stuck in a rut and unsure of how to move forward, then getting immersed in a creative project can be an amazing way to shift any stagnant energy. Maybe you want to explore photography; perhaps sketching or sculpting appeal to you. Creativity is a wonderful tool for self-expression and can bring so much joy as well as clarity.
2. Avoid too much toxicity.
It can be hard to feel bright and beautiful when we're in an environment that doesn't feel supportive. Limit time with negative people and spend more time with those who champion you and believe in your abilities. We all need some encouragement from time to time.
Take time to encourage others to shine their light, too—it inspires a domino effect which creates a global glow!
3. Stay present, but look forward.
In the yoga pose Warrior II, one hand reaches forward and the other hand extends back. The head (and mind) are centered.
It's such a wonderful symbol of past, present, and future. The back hand is the past—don't look that way, you're not going in that direction. Stay centered and keep your mind in the present, but focus your gaze on where you're going: forward. Possibility lies ahead.
Shine your light like only you can. And don't apologize for it. The world does not benefit from you living in the shadows. The world does not benefit from you wasting your energy on envy. And the world most certainly does not benefit from you living in shame and fear. It benefits from your incredible, colorful contribution.
Your empowerment carriage awaits. It's time to get in.
Girl on the moon image via Shutterstock