One of the most meaningful and profound quotes that has touched me to my core is from Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles:
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.
This past year I wrote my first book, A Chocoholic’s Sacred Journey, and it morphed into a story of my search for a spiritual life, and finding my light and letting it shine. What became so clear was how my “perceived” fears throughout my life blocked me from attaining my highest potential and achieving the ultimate life I was born to live.
During my lifetime there were many things I regretted not letting myself experience because of fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of looking like a fool, fear of not being perfect, fear of standing out, and fear of failing were the (false) mantras that held me back and blocked me from a complete and fulfilling life. My monkey mind kept this detrimental golden-oldies-top-five-hit-list playing like a broken record in my sub-conscious for decades and the perpetuation of my “perceived” fears continued.
When I was eighteen years old—a freshman in college—I wanted to take an acting class but when I heard that I’d have to stand up in front of the entire class and sing as one of the very first assignments, I extinguished that desire immediately as if the clothes I was wearing were on fire. Fast-forwarding to today, 28 years later into my current wonderfully expanded life, I share with you how I finally overcame the fear of singing in public from an excerpt from my book A Chocoholic’s Sacred Journey when my beautiful and talented Kirtan singer and friend Daphne Tse, who I met in Bali, later came for a visit to O‘ahu last June. Daphne held several intimate concerts around town and I was able to attend one at Open Space Yoga. I wrote of the facing my fears experience:
After ninety minutes of singing and chanting at the concert, Daphne invited us to sing the song she loved as a young child in church, called “This Little Light of Mine.” Now how appropriate was that! I had been writing about my light and journey over the years and about letting it shine and here was a song that said it all in basically twenty words: “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.” I heard the song before, but never really felt the connection or the truth in the words until that moment! My body started to tingle all over and actually started to vibrate. It was as if the message was PERSONALLY being delivered to me. We all started out by clapping to and singing the simple versus over and over. Then Daphne directed us to get up and move about the room while still singing and clapping our hands. There was so much joy, love and light and all three were powerfully and energetically infused in that room. The unabashed smiles and laughter were contagious and everyone started to spontaneously hug each other. Eventually, we all sat down again and Daphne asked us to each take a round and to sing it by ourselves. She said, “Of course, if you do not want to, turn to your neighbor and tell him or her to let it shine.” I immediately planned to pass to my neighbor and could not believe it when no one passed—they were all rock stars—some people confidently belted it out, others were off beat, and others barely squeaked out the words. No matter what level of talent everyone was at, we all cheered each other on with big hoots of approval. I was inspired—I stepped way out of my box—surrendered to the moment and just let the words flow out. The roof did not cave in and neighboring dogs did not howl and at that moment, I felt as if I sang out loud, by myself, in public all the time. It was completely liberating.
Yes, it took me almost three decades to overcome that fear—I lovingly remind you that you definitely do not need to wait that long and have the perfect opportunity to start eliminating any fears that might be holding you back right now!
2011 is right around the corner and I would like to challenge you to take the time to truly look deep within and shine your inner light on the fears that are hiding out in your emotional basement. Take your time—commit 15 minutes every day toward your self-introspection and write down a list of things that you discover you are afraid of and anything else that might surface as well. One of your fears might very well be doing this exercise, it might be asking your co-worker, who you have had a crush on for years, out on a date, or it might be jumping out of a plane. Just make your list.
There are endless resources to help with overcoming your fears. My last blog on Lynn Morgan and Resonance Repatterning — would be an excellent place to start. There are dozens of books on overcoming your fears like Dr. Gay Hendricks’ book (especially for type A personalities) The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level. You can also find numerous articles on the internet like The Positivity Blog, by Henrik Edberg, which has an article titled “5 life-changing keys to overcoming your fear.”
The key thing to keep in mind when going through this process is the idea of “Baby Steps.” Rome was not built in one day and some of our most latent fears could take five minutes or five years to address, transform, and eliminate from our lives. You might want to start off small—from wearing bold sexy red nail polish to leaping big and quitting the job you have despised all these years and start the search for something that inspires you and makes you want to jump out of bed every morning—anything that moves you forward toward finding your inner light and letting it shine is the goal!
In honor of our facing our fears and stepping out of our comfortable boxes Sacred Journey is hosting another breathtaking giveway to kick off the start of our new lives for 2011! The winner of the drawing receives a jaw-dropping, mind-blowing jump out of a plane with Skydive Hawaii. Talk about stepping out of the box huh? To enter, please submit anything that comes up for you that you are afraid of. All the entries will be put in a drawing and the winning entry will be pulled on December 31, 2010. The prize is transferrable, so if you are not quite ready to literally make the leap, you may gift it to a friend who is ready to take the plunge!
Check out the video to see Kaui help her good friend Kanani face her fears as they hurl from a plane at an altitude of 12,000 feet. As it was Kanani’s birthday, jumping out of a plane was a perfect and auspicious way to start her year-full of new beginnings and a fresh outlook on life.
I wish you happy stepping, jumping, and launching out of your boxes, facing your fears, and finding the fabulous, beautiful, witty, intelligent, compassionate, high-achieving, abundant, strong, loving, and joyful beings you were born to be.