A ship may be safest in harbor, but that is not what ships are for.
– Richard Gunderman writing in The Indianapolis Star
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
– David Whyte (“Sweet Darkness”)
As I write, I’m at 39,000 feet over the North Atlantic Ocean on a flight home from Brussels. Looking out through scattered clouds to the sea below and the distant shores of Nova Scotia, it’s a great perspective from which to reflect on my last couple of weeks of teaching in The Netherlands and Belgium.
It was a very full two weeks – two one-day workshops, the four-day “Manifestation Wheel” workshop, and the five-day “Transformational Presence Leadership and Coach Training” (TPLC). Participants came from five countries and the two big workshops were sold out with 24 participants in each. In every program, there was a palpable sense of eagerness and readiness among the participants to take big steps forward. It made for a dynamic and exciting learning experience for all of us.
A recurring theme, or the “red thread,” as the Dutch and Belgians would say, was fully stepping in to the life and work you’re feeling called to. As participants discovered more and more about the lives they were being called to live and the contributions they were feeling called to make, one after another said, “It’s so big.”
Interestingly, however, it was rarely the size of the project itself that was giving them pause. It was how the project was asking them to show up – who the project was calling them to be. They were being called out of their comfort zones. They were feeling called and inspired to learn, grow, and develop themselves in new and exciting ways. And they recognized that their projects or visions for making a difference in the world were actually the vehicles that could take them toward their own greatest potential. As one of the TPLC participants said in a powerful moment of personal commitment, “Game on!”
Over and again, participants acknowledged, “It’s really scary and it’s really exciting!” When we step up to the next level in how we show up in the world, it is, indeed, both scary and exciting. We don’t make a difference in the world by playing it safe.
The human soul thrives on learning, growth, and new adventures. It wants to know and experience its greatest potential. It won’t invest in anything less. Therefore, when we stay in our comfort or safety zone – when we play small – we cheat ourselves out of experiencing our own greatest aliveness. We cheat ourselves out of our greatest life. And we cheat the people and circumstances around us by not bringing forward the best of who we are and what we have to offer.
So what is calling out to you now, asking you to be visible in a new way or to take on another level of leadership or responsibility? What scares you and excites you at the same time?
To paraphrase Richard Gunderman’s words above, you may feel safest in a familiar and predictable life, but that’s not what your soul came here for. So, “Game on!”
P.S. For more help in taking your next big step, check out my third book, The Manifestation Wheel. It’s also available in digital format. And if you want more personal support, consider the Manifestation Wheel 8-session audio course or a personal coaching package. We’re committed to helping you make the difference you want to make in the world!
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