Playing Small is No Longer an Option

Image by Catrin Welz-Stein

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” ~ Anais Nin

Home for two weeks.

Only just now do I feel grounded in my life again, instead of dizzy and untethered and uncertain about where I am and what I am doing.

Each day, I unravel the experience in Spain, slowly, bit by bit.

I forced myself so far outside my comfort zone to make that trip.

I stretched and stretched and stretched until I could go no further.

It was painful. Yet, I know it was good for me.

I feel a sense of ease in my daily life now. Is it as though I know what I am capable of and will no longer accept less than what I deserve as a result.

That feels good. That feels right.

I came home realizing I must raise my voice and raise my profile. I must tell my stories and write my books. Not for me. Not for some bullshit, ego-enhancing ‘look at me’ fame.

I must do it to live my mission and be of service to the world.

The days of playing small are behind all of us.

We can’t go back.

This world needs our authenticity and our brains and our beautiful souls and our astonishing dreams. It needs our resolve and steely strength.

We may want to wimp out and sit in sloth at McDonald’s eating GMO fries and drinking cancer in a can, but we can’t.

We can no longer do that if we are awake at all.


“There are two kinds of people in the world: those who are alive and those who are not dead.” ~ Marissa Peer

While in Barcelona I attended a workshop with hypnotherapist and author, Marissa Peer.

She talked about sex.

She talked about it with clarity and resonance.

She said, in her wonderful, crisp Brit accent, “Good sex makes us feel alive.

An undercurrent of her presentation alluded to the fact that many of our societal problems could be solved if all people had strong, lusty, lush connections in their lives. She noted that real intimacy is sorely lacking.

And she mentioned the deadness that results from that.

After her talk, I thought long and hard about the decade of drought in my love life. Ten years.

Nothing for ten years.

I feel indescribable grief about that.

But there’s no time now for a pity party.

Time to get off the pot and heal.

Time to write and dive into life in Northern NM.

Time to stop walking around like a zombie. Time to give my inner child the care she needs so I can allow myself to be loved – deeply and reverently – by another human being (and vice versa).

Barcelona ripped me open.

It taught me that I need to be clear and set boundaries with others.

It revealed it is never too late to be what you might have been.

It illustrated the need to care for my body the way I would care for a small baby. To stop neglecting it and expecting it to serve me even to the point of total exhaustion.

It opened me to savor food and exotic experiences.

It forced me to make friends from everywhere in the world, even when I was a bit scared to do so.

It allowed me to get quiet enough to listen to my inner voice.

It unveiled the value of community and touch and camaraderie.

It showed me I am never as alone as I’ve often felt.

It uncovered my huge, bright, open inner life.


At one point, after a two-hour breath of one workshop, a man I didn’t know embraced me with a kind of warmth I’ve almost never felt.

“I see you. I see who you really are and you are beautiful,” he whispered, as my eyes filled with tears.

He held me for another long moment and said, in parting, “I love you.”

I was gobsmacked by the genuine love of a total stranger.

When I left the site of the conference that night, I felt as though I’d been held by Archangel Michael himself.

As I walked back to the flat in Gracia, the stars came out.

Vines and plants adorned the little balconies on the sides of the old apartment buildings. Birds fluttered and chattered in the trees.

I could smell paella and tapas, garlic and beer.

Yellow taxis honked and people on scooters zipped by.

The world was still the same world.

But I had changed.


Everyone has a book inside of them. Everyone has a story. Wouldn’t you love to share yours with the world? Get your free writer’s toolkit, packed with tricks and tips to get you started. Just do it. Don’t wait. Don’t die with an untold story inside you.

© 2017  Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved

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