Thriving With a Big Heart

When seeking guidance, don’t ever listen to the tiny-hearted.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés in Women Who Run With the Wolves

“If you’ve ever been called defiant, incorrigible, forward, cunning, insurgent, unruly, rebellious,” writes Clarissa Pinkola Estés in Women Who Run With the Wolves, “you’re on the right track. Wild Woman is close by.”

Phew.

Wild Woman is close by.

I’ve been excavating lately, as part of rewriting my life story, looking in the nooks and crannies of my psyche to find the noxious notions that rob my spirit of its nourishment the way a tumor steals nourishment away from the body.

I’m rewriting my story so that thriving is the theme, not surviving. I’ve been an excellent survivor my whole life. There is definitely a certain kind of toughness you get from surviving, but toughness is just for getting you through the thorns.

DSCN0162Thriving is what happens when you get past the thorns. The place where the Wild Woman dances an ecstatic dance in celebration of being alive.

I mentioned a few blogs back that a tree in our yard had died. At the same time, I noticed that the birds weren’t singing in the morning. I was afraid that birds had abandoned me.

Then this morning, before I headed out to my Writing Shed, the yard was filled with birds, including a kind I don’t think I’d ever seen before. As I watched from the window, they feasted on the grapes hanging from the arbor and bathed in the fountain. DSCN0168

I’ve always thought of Fall as the beginning of the year. I wondered if that’s what this was about. Are the birds returning because it’s the beginning of a new year? Or have they been here and I haven’t noticed them?

Whatever, stopping to watch the birds be birds brought me a much needed sense of calm.

For the past few days, I’ve been making my way through the emotional fallout from an epiphany I woke up to on Monday morning. The epiphany being: I believe there is enough (talent, love, life) to go around; I live in a local culture that is terrified that there isn’t enough – so terrified that even the possibility of there being enough is terrifying.

That’s what keeps a heart tiny. Fear that there isn’t enough. It inhibits grace and generosity and enables solipsism.

That’s why one should not seek advice from the tiny hearted.

What’s the emotional fallout from the epiphany? Letting go of being able to change the landscape. Giving up all hope that I can fit in with a tribe whose bond is based on the agreement to keep the heart tiny.

It’s a bit scary to give up that hope.

Fortunately, Wild Woman is close by.

More to follow . . .
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3 thoughts on “Thriving With a Big Heart

  1. “I’ve been excavating lately, as part of rewriting my life story, looking in the nooks and crannies of my psyche to find the noxious notions that rob my spirit of its nourishment the way a tumor steals nourishment away from the body.”

    And incredibly beautifully expressed thought.

    The epiphany you had was magnanimous. I am so glad that you are expressing your thoughts publicly. You can never know who is listening, who is reading, who is watching.

    But know that your words will be an inspiration to others, even if they never let you know about it.

    Change is scary, but change for the betterment of oneself and the upliftment of oneself is even scarier. The tiny hearts will try and bring you “back down to earth”.

    Resist. Better yet, deny them the opportunity from preventing your light to shine.

    One of my most favorite quotes in the world is this, and it applies to anyone. I repeated it for 30days, 3 times a day, morn, noon, night (@ night I read it aloud). Powerful quote (i changed all of the “our” and “we” to “me” and “my”, etc):

    “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.”
    —Marianne Williamson

    Michael
    P.S. Great post!!!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Imagining with a Big Heart « Writing Shed

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