Monday, January 12, 2009

Courage to be the Best You Can be

This morning as I drove to work I was bombarded by thoughts of this blogging and new writing kick I have been on. I began to think about how what we really need to do in this world is to have the courage to be the best we can be. I remembered using the analogy of "swimming in the deep end of the pool," when talking with a friend who was frustrated by another friend's willingness to settle for mediocrity in his marriage and his life. In our eventual analysis, we described this person as playing it safe by "staying in the shallow end", occasionally venturing bravely into the deep end of the pool but then hanging onto the side for dear life. He was fairly content to either stay in the shallow end for the duration. To my friend, who cared deeply about him, this option did not make sense.
I'm not sure why today I thought of this analogy. Perhaps I return to it when I step out of my comfort zone. This week I do a presentation at the California Kindergarten Conference, which is a bit challenging! Perhaps I return to it sometimes when I stick my toe into the deep end, wanting desperately to dive in, but afraid that I can't handle it's challenge. This posting on Squidoo, and working on this blog have put me out there for people to evaluate, to judge, to see. I do believe I am up for the challenge. I am diving in.. um.. yeah.. after I get my feet wet.

I think Nelson Mandela's speech, originally written by Marianne Williamson says it all.

"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 doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are 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."

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