shining your light + not playing small :: what mark will you leave on the world?

Body: 

How will I be remembered?

It’s a question I’ve pondered many times this year and analyzed, when a close friend died tragically over a decade ago. About a month prior to her death, we were on the phone, at the time she was working through “stuff”, I listened. I had no idea it was the last time we’d ever speak again.  Before saying goodbye, I’ll never forget Dana’s last three words of gratitude for our friendship were, “you inspire me”. That was it. About a month later, I got the devastating news.

This year was tough, the sudden loss of my Grandmother in March- she was “my moon + my stars”, nearly losing our son three days before his high school graduation, due to a freak accident - a clip to the side, while playing flag football, then death of my Aunt in July. I made the decision to take time to go inward… to catch my breath. With memorial services, a family reunion and Shane leaving for college in just over a month, this was the perfect time to self- reflect, re-frame my life and take stock of priorities.

See No Color and my coaching practice, was close to launch, I had worked tirelessly preparing, but was this the right thing, at the right time?

Many of my friends, family and acquaintances had lived through similar circumstances over the last two years.  I wasn’t alone in the myriad of experiences and obstacles that challenge our faith: divorce, finances, jobs, illness, death, or simply just feeling “stuck”.  I accepted quiet solitude and the knowing that I could access family and the dearest of friends, by simply “being” with people and basking in their presence. Life seemed to just “show up” for me in the most unexpected ways, offering renewed confidence, in the life I’d created and a sense of belonging. The idea that adverse circumstances and situations often times are the impetus of reframing our existence is a powerful one.

     During times of personal crisis, it begs the question…

What innate gifts do I possess? How plentiful are my emotional reserves, will I be remembered, am I significant?  When you are conscious in this life, are aware that there is no time to waste, are willing and ready to receive by bravely letting go of fear + realizing your inherent gifts: LIFE PRESENTS ITSELF. 

        Shine on baby.

A quote from author and minister Marianne Williamson, from A Return To Love.  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 is not just in some of us; it is 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.

        And speaking of brilliant, talented + fabulous, WE HAVE WINNERS!

   The See No Color Volunteer + Serve Youth Contest winners! And they are…

Nel Lee :: Honolulu, HI.  Educator. Teaches with love + compassion, goes above and beyond serving the lives of her students while supporting their parents and her community in and outside the classroom.

Robin Fleming :: Seattle, WA.  Public High School R.N. with a Ph.D in Educational Leadership and Contract Studies.  Powerhouse advocate - supports youth healthcare for all children, including immigrant populations.  Her studies and platform emphasize the relationship and importance of proper healthcare through education. Philosophy; one does not exist without the other. Volunteer:  Martinez Foundation, Seattle.

Karin Saldana :: Portside, NJ.  Zen organizer extraordinaire, she kicked my workspace into shape, in the gentlest of ways.  Volunteer: Hoboken Shelter, New Jersey.

Dane Correll :: Seattle, WA.  Sr. Accounts Biotech Manager.  University of Vermont Alumni. Dynamic leader, advocate and supporter of education.  Volunteer:  UVM, ALANA Panel. He discussed his post college career path and the role of diversity + empowerment in the work place with current students and future business leaders.