My Woman’s Diary . . .
. . . always lies open on my desk so I can see the week’s Susan Seddon Boulet painting and the quote that accompanies it.
Last week’s quote was,
If there is faith that can move mountains, it is faith in your own power.
Maria von Ebner Eschenbach
As the week drew to a close, I got to see an example of that faith in action.
Saturday afternoon, I attended a writing workshop. I loved it for several reasons. One, it was right here in my own small town library so I could walk to it. Even with the thermometer hovering in the minus teens it was very sweet not to have to make the usual 2 hour round trip drive for a writing event. Two, the instructor is a friend. Three, I came away with a lot of great information. Four, I got the chance to write and talk about writing with other aspiring writers. And five, I came away inspired by one woman’s faith in her own power. (See quote above.)
Laura and I are part of a writers group. About a year and a half ago, another member moved away and Laura went back to school so the group (which was only made up of four members) took a bit of a hiatus. At some point in the ensuing year, I decided to self-publish my children’s book and started moving slowly toward that goal. Later still, when Laura and I reconnected, I learned that her writing had veered off in an entirely new direction as well.
She had worked for Everyday Fiction, an online magazine, sorting through their slush pile of submissions. She was writing copy for local organizations and offering editing services to other writers. She had a website and was learning how to market herself and her new business.
She was carefully taking one step after another, forging a new path for her life. With each step she got more and more clear about what it was she really loved doing, which was helping other writers to get that elusive first publishing credit. That was when she was blindsided by an even bigger vision. A vision that incorporated everything she most loved about the writing life. And it scared the pants off her.
She shared that vision with me when it was still almost too big to contain with words. Her excitement was contagious and I encouraged her to go for it. Now, my version of “going for it” has been to plod along, step by step, moving slowly enough with tiny enough steps that I can manage the fear that inevitably surfaces. Laura, however, jumped straight into the fire.
Within weeks she had developed some writing workshops, lined up various venues and advertised what she had to offer. It was one of those workshops that I got to attend on Saturday. At one point in the workshop, she shared a bit about the almost debilitating fear that dogged her as she marched toward her vision. If she hadn’t told us that, I never would have guessed it.
It reminded me of another quote I love. I’m sure you’ve heard it or read it at some point in time, but it bears repeating. It is often attributed to Nelson Mandela, but was actually written by Marianne Williamson in her book, 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’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.
Thank you, Laura, for shining your light so generously.