Beans & Rice for the Soul

teaching, learning and living around the world

Let’s all play big

I have a very distinct memory of sitting in a cheap college swivel chair, proclaiming to my best friend, “I want to be great.”  I aim to play big for an entire lifetime, knowing that there is an ebb and flow to the things I focus on each day, year, decade. On the scale of work and life, I imagine I will rarely live smack dab in balance.  Always a little to the left, or a little to the right.

Writer and family friend, Brigid Schulte posted on Facebook a while back,

Screen shot 2015-02-01 at 7.00.01 PM

I say all of this, and yet I am so inconsistent in playing big! Sometimes I ooze with confidence and poise while other times I shrink. I recently realized, after a great 360 review with my boss (who is an awesome woman!) that I no longer need to seek out answers for why I do this undercutting thing. I simply need to stop.

I need to stop shrugging my shoulders and claiming “I don’t know,” when in fact I have a very good idea. I need to speak up, knowing that my personal judgement is valuable regardless of whether it’s new or not, insightful or not.

Whenever Anga catches me shrinking, he reminds me to “be sharky!”  

I love this great teaching moment from an article I recently read.

“Are you just going to keep yourself to yourself for the rest of your life? In case you fall? In case you fail? In case you make a fool of yourself? In case we see how imperfect you are? OR: are you going to choose to just be generous anyway? To just take up as much space as you actually take up? To be as big, as graceful, as long, as gorgeous, as enormous as you actually are?”

The teacher stopped, out of breath from her spontaneous explosion, and stood there, staring up at me, tears of wisdom’s fierce love glistening in her eyes.

Read the whole thing here.

What’s playing big for you?
Who or what reminds you to be as enormous as you actually are?

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3 comments on “Let’s all play big

  1. Sally
    February 20, 2015

    I once had a college professor who gave me a B for the semester when I knew I had earned an A. I went to her to inquire, thinking there must be a mistake. Well, my visit with her became quite the eye-opener. She said I had not contributed enough during class discussions and I needed to learn the importance of that, explaining further that my failure to participate had denied others in the class the benefit of my thoughts and opinions. What? It had never even occurred to me that others might be interested in my comments, or learn from them, or that non-participation might even be viewed by someone as a selfish act! Hahaha – that lesson has stuck with me. Good illustration too of the influence of teachers!

  2. Lonnie Rich (Dad)
    February 20, 2015

    Keep these blogs coming! I enjoy them all.

  3. Pingback: The Softball Story | Beans & Rice for the Soul

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This entry was posted on February 20, 2015 by in feminism, humanities, inspiration.
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