Tag Archive: Mood disorder


Reposted from Tiny Buddha:

 

Why We Don’t Need to Feel Bad About Feeling Bad

Sad Man

“Feelings are just visitors. Let them come and go.” ~Mooji

I once thought that the goal of meditation was to reach a state of constant positivity—a natural euphoria in which a person simply does not get angry or depressed.

I think that a lot of people begin practicing meditation thinking that their teacher has reached this euphoric state of being. I have learned, though, that these negative feelings are never permanently banished from anyone’s mind.

As someone that has been struggling with anxiety and depression disorders since early childhood, I turned to meditation as a teenager as a means of treatment.

I assumed that one day I would master meditation and never feel depressed or overly anxious again. I have been practicing on an off for eight years and have completed a meditation teacher certification course, and guess what—I am still human. I still get angry, depressed, and anxious.

What meditation has taught me is that there is no such thing as a negative feeling. All feelings are natural and necessary, no matter how unpleasant they may be.

Instead of resisting your feelings and the circumstances leading up to them, accept them. Only after you accept your feelings can you let go and move on. Resisting and stifling your feelings only keeps them with you longer.

I realized this after reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

I tried to do everything that the book said to do. Making lists of things that I was grateful for was easy, and so was saying “thank you” all of the time. One thing that I could not agree with though, was the author’s assumption that negative feelings are a result of being ungrateful.

Even on my worst days, I am grateful for the life that I have. I am grateful for who I am and the people around me. My negative feelings are caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain, and listing things that I am grateful for doesn’t help because I already know that my life is good.

For some people, depression comes the same way as a headache would, and accepting the feeling and letting it go is much more effective than trying to stifle, resist it, or act like it isn’t there.            

Look at the Earth, for example. Should the Earth try to resist winter, simply because summer is more pleasant? Wouldn’t it serve the Earth better to accept winter, trusting that summer will come again?

If we weren’t meant to feel anything that is unpleasant, winter would not exist.

Nature is beautiful; think of blue skies, flowers, beaches, and hot summer days. Nature can also be scary. For example, volcanos, hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, thunder and lightning destroy towns and cities and kill thousands of people.

There is good and bad in everything and every person on this planet. You, like the Earth, are a Yin Yang. Do not feel bad about being angry or upset. Instead, celebrate the good things about you.

Accepting your feelings and letting them swallow you whole are two different things, though. That is where meditation comes in.

You sit there and focus on your breath and the sounds around you and the present moment. If feelings of sadness arise, notice them, let them be, but do not attach yourself to the feeling.

Do not think, “I feel sad. I should not feel sad.” Instead, simply let the feeling exist, and before you know it, it will be gone. You are not your thoughts and feelings; they are simply experiences. Just because it is happening in your mind that doesn’t mean that it is a part of you.

Before I came to realize all of this, I felt bad about myself for not being able to reach this superhuman state of constant positivity that a lot of yoga and meditation teachers seem to purposely project in order to glorify their practice and attract new customers.

Your teachers get angry and upset sometimes, too; some of them just don’t want you to know it. The standard of constant positivity that I was trying to reach actually hindered my progress and made me feel worse after a meditation session.

If you are experiencing this, stop trying to be perfectly positive. It’s impossible. There’s no reason to resist your “negative” feelings, or feel bad for having them. You are a Yin Yang, as we all are—and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Photo by David Goehring

Avatar of Andrea Ulrich

About Andrea Ulrich

Andrea is currently working on a novel, getting into blogging, and working at a restaurant. She is certified to teach meditation and believes strongly in minimalism.

Go to original article here 

Read more inspiring articles at http://www.tinybuddha.com

 

RECOVERY FROM BIPOLAR DISORDER IS POSSiBLE.  This is a post from about a year ago. Enjoy!

English: Total Solar eclipse 1999 in France. *...
English: Total Solar eclipse 1999 in France. * Additional noise reduction performed by Diliff. Original image by Luc Viatour. Français : L’éclipse totale de soleil en 1999 faite en France. * Réduction du bruit réalisée par Diliff. Image d’origine Luc Viatour. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Finding Hope

It is very frightening to fall into the abyss of bipolar depression. It is like the eclipse of the sun, plunging us into darkness and chaos. Suddenly nothing seems certain. Our dreams and hopes for the future are shattered. We wonder if we will ever be the same again. We may be so lost that we end up in hospitals and institutions, receiving frightening treatments and medicated to the hilt. We feel like freaks, isolated from society and often rejected and misunderstood by our family and friends. We may even attempt suicide as a way to end our pain. How then can we find hope? How do we make sense of what has happened to us? Read more

 

A little light lunchtime reading...

A little light lunchtime reading… (Photo credit: Austin Kleon)

Hello Peeps! Here is another post from about a year ago for my new followers. I hope you all find it helpful!

Whatever is to give light must endure burning
Viktor Frankl

There is no doubt that as people with bipolar disorder we have suffered greatly, a suffering that most people cannot understand. We have stood on the pinnacle of life and also in the depths of hell. It is not self-pity to recognize where we have come from, but we cannot stay there. Being a helpless victim is a form of living death. We must take the lessons we have learned from our experiences and move forward…Read the rest of the article..

 

Rethink Mental Illness

Rethink Mental Illness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I posted this almost a year ago and after reading this again I feel that it speaks to me as much as anyone else. My challenge has less to do with my bipolar disorder and more to do with the fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue that I experience. I am trying new treatments but there is no guarantee that they will work. So the question on my mind is how do I create new dreams that are both fulfilling and also attainable? Of course everyone who has gone through a serious mental illness or physical illness asks these sort of questions.  To give up and spend the rest of your life watching TV is not what most people want. For me it has been hard not to feel useless and I always do best when I am working a fulfilling job.

This post is designed to stimulate thinking, not provide concrete answers. Ultimately it is up to the person as to how much they think they can handle. But even a little bit of effort can go a long way!

Making New Dreams

Every blade of grass has its’ angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, grow.’ The Talmud

Every one of us has that divine spark of life that strives for fulfillment. Just because we have an illness does not mean that we have to give up our dreams and crawl under the covers. A diagnosis is not a life-sentence. Read  more here…

Bee on flower (female Xylocopa violacea)

Bee on flower (female Xylocopa violacea) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi all! I know I promised a post on the Law of Attraction and how that relates to the buddhist concept of non-attachment but I have gotten a bit derailed by my fibromyalgia.  I’ll get to it soon I promise! If you missed the first article about fear and non-attachment you can read it here.

In the meantime I have an old post that I would like to share. I originally wrote this as part of a book I was planning on daily meditations. I hope you will enjoy it!

Beauty and Pain In Suffering

I found that the nature of life is joyful, that deep within the core of each one of us is the joy that indeed surpasses understanding. This is a joy beyond polarity—a joy that includes sorrow, a hope that embraces despair.

Dorothy Maclean

In the tapestry of our lives there is a poetic theme. Often it is hard to see the beauty behind the pain. For many of us life has often been in a state of constant upheaval due to our illness. It is hard to see a sense of order or the Divine in it…read more

Under the Weather

Helloo!.. Loving the rainy weather...

Helloo!.. Loving the rainy weather… (Photo credit: *SeniHome Photos*)

Hi Peeps!

I want to let everyone know that I am still here, but have taken a few days off due to a really bad sinus infection. Silly me, I tried treating it on my own and got in really bad shape before going to the urgent care. Everytime I get sick it just makes it much harder to recover from my chronic fatigue syndrome/fibromyalgia. Also to those that I have been corresponding with on your blogs, I haven’t forgotten you! I’ll get back to you when I can. In the meantime, I am coming up on my one year anniversery writing this blog so I thought I would share an earlier post. Enjoy!

My Bipolar Disorder: Curse or Blessing? Part One

I have discovered in the course of my journey that life and psychic growth move in cycling spiral rings of descent and ascent. Every new growth in myself has been preceded by a descent of the seed into the dark ground.

Linda Shierse Leonard

I believe that I have been given the experience of having bipolar disorder for a reason. It is here in my life to teach me. Now that doesn’t mean I am a Pollyanna about it. Far from it…read more

 

Drive-By Snarking

Sam saves Emily from drowning herself (2006).

Sam saves Emily from drowning herself (2006). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, it finally happened. I had my first “snark attack” on my blog. Frankly I am surprised that it has taken so long for this to happen since I do post on some controversial topics. Even though it was an unpleasant experience it did spark some thinking on my part. In essence, how do you explain your illness to someone without making it sound like you are making excuses for bad behavior?

In the article in question I made it very clear that having bipolar disorder does not give you a free pass. However what I was focusing on was that there are people who have bipolar disorder who experience a break with reality, including me. Any court in the land would not consider that person to be responsible for her behavior. Now the area gets a little fuzzy when it comes to medication compliance, someone who is not getting treatment may bear some responsibility for getting into the situation in the first place. Unfortunately, I lost a good friendship with a man who has schizophrenia because he stopped taking his medication. I ended up in a very co-dependent relationship with him, which ended badly.

Getting back to this comment she basically was angry with her bipolar husband and so all people who have bipolar disorder are evil and don’t take responsibility for their actions. Furthermore mental illness is not a serious disease, like cancer, so I should just suck it up.

I won’t get into my reply here, but you can read it for yourself.

What she missed was that this article was intended to help those who are perplexed by their loved one’s behavior. To let people know that the strange behavior has nothing to do with them. In other words, I was trying to comfort people who have been deeply hurt to help them understand that they are not at fault and also that most likely the person does not intend to hurt them or anyone else.

One of my deepest regrets is that I have hurt others through my suicide attempts. However I was not doing that to manipulate and punish them, it was to punish me. I felt everyone would be happier without me and that I didn’t deserve to live. At one point I was delusional and I thought God wanted me to kill myself.

When I have told some people this it has been because I want then to feel better, to let them know that I don’t blame them and to ease their minds. While my dad gets that, I have gotten a very negative response from some other people. They just see my well-intended words as excuses and that I had some evil intent to hurt them. I have even been accused of lying about my symptoms in order to get medications, even though they do not make me high and they are non-addictive.

When I get accused of not taking responsibility for my actions, that is not true. I have made changes in my life and I no longer act destructively towards myself or others. I have not made a suicide attempt in 14 years. I think this is the best apology that I can give, which is doing things differently. I didn’t have the skills to manage my illness in the past, now I do.

But I will not admit to having evil motives when I did not. I’ll take responsibility for my actions, but I am not going to roll over and be beaten up for the mistakes I made in my past. The fact is that I want very deeply to reassure them that I do not blame them for my illness, but they won’t accept it.  That means that I am not responsible for their misery, because they are the ones who are choosing to hold onto it.

So what do you guys think? Do people react badly when you try to explain your illness to them? At what point do you think that maybe you were not responsible for your actions? At what point do you think you were? Please share.

Portrait of Sadness

Portrait of Sadness (Photo credit: Paula Abrahão)

I have talked quite a bit here about my conflicts with my sister and brother-in-law. We were not speaking for several weeks, but last week my sister called to let me know that our dad was in the emergency room at the hospital. She gave me a ride which I am very grateful for. It turns out that our dad was not in serious condition, and he was released to go home with a prescription.

When my sister took me home I told her that I was very grateful for her giving me a ride, since I would have had to spend a fortune on cab fare if she hadn’t. Then I broached the topic of why I am having trouble with the local dial-a-service, because part of our argument was that she thought that I had intentionally decided not to use it at our last visit. I think they have cut their services way back because there seems to be a rush going on and when I try to call first thing in the morning I often cannot even get through to them. When I told this to my sister I was under the impression that she accepted my story.

One nice thing that happened was that I was able to take my nephew aside and explain that the conflict between my sister and I had nothing to with him and that I was sorry that this affected him on his birthday. He seemed to be okay with that.

Then I made a big mistake. I thought that since my sister was being so nice that maybe I could write an e-mail to her to explain to her my confusion as far as what happened between us. My basic point was that she cannot expect me to be a mind reader. I did not know that she expected me to pay for part of my nephews birthday lunch. Furthermore I explained that our dad had no idea that he was expected to pay half either, because it was his birthday also! My sister gets mad at me for “tattling” but actually I think that if she claims to speak for our dad that in fact she has already brought him into the situation and I have the perfect right to ask his opinion.

I explained to her that since I had no idea that she expected our dad to pay either, that she came across as insisting that I pay for my nephew’s entire meal. Since I am on disability I do not have a lot of money available. I was planning on paying for my own meal, and also part of our dad’s. It sounded like she was demanding that I shell out a considerable amount of money, meanwhile I did not have a lot of money left for the rest of the month and I had no food in the house.

The most ridiculous part of this whole thing was that she was mad at me for my giving my nephew a gift, instead of paying for his meal! My understanding of birthday etiquette is that I am required to bring a gift only. I gave my nephew what he wanted, not what she wanted and I got kicked out of her house for it!

The reason why she kicked me out according to her was that I would upset our dad, because you see in her mind I was taking advantage of him by not paying my “fair share.”  I pointed out to her that that would have been up to our dad to decide what was fair, not her. Again she does not have the right to speak for someone else. I went to the source and our dad was completely baffled as to why this should be an issue, because he is used to both of us being short on money. Besides he has been paying most of their bills for over two years because her husband refuses to look for a job! He is not completely lazy. He started his own business, which is not a bad thing in itself, however my dad has made it clear that he cannot pay their bills while he is doing that. My brother-in-law apparently thinks that by deciding to try a different career path that gets him out of his wedding vows to take care of his family!

In my letter I did not mention the hypocrisy of her position, although she is well aware of my feelings in that matter. What I mainly focused on is that there was a huge lack of communication on all our parts and that this is what led to this situation, especially since her husband was planning on paying for everybody and did not communicate with her about it at all! I told her that I need clear communication from both her and her husband, and to not expect me to always agree with them. I told her also that I have the right to set certain boundaries on her behavior as well. The ironic thing about this whole thing is that she has set boundaries on me to not yell, scream, and make wild accusations, and yet she does not feel compelled to abide by the same rules herself.  I have not engaged in that kind of behavior for years, which apparently does not matter to them at all.

I also told her that it is very hurtful for her to automatically assume that when I do not do what she expects that I have done this on purpose to hurt her. I gave the example of the dial-a-ride situation that she jumped to the conclusion that I chose not to use their services despite that fact that I had told her very clearly in my e-mail requesting a ride from her that I was unable to get a ride with them. She does this a lot, she does not read what I have said and then attacks me for her misperception. I once sent her an e-mail making a request from her and I specifically said that I did not blame her! Yet she attacked me for “reaming her”, which I did not do. When I told her to look at what I wrote she just came back with the attitude that it was still my fault because of my “abusive” behavior in the past. So let me get this straight. I do something wrong, I get clobbered. But if I do something right I get clobbered twice as much!

It was a big mistake to say I felt hurt by her attitude because I forgot the cardinal rule in our relationship which is that I am not allowed to feel anything. Only they are allowed, not me.

I really do not understand my sister anymore because we used to be able to work out the small stuff and while she has always had a tendency to be controlling, I have never seen it to this extent. I do not know where this rage is coming from at all. This why I thought that it was worth one more shot at resolving this.

She has not responded but I got this “lovely” e-mail from my brother-in-law:

“Mary, our recent experiences are not new or unique. You want to know what we expect of you? Here it is: act like a grownup. Contribute. Don’t expect us to pay your way.

In almost every encounter I’ve had with you (beginning about ten minutes after we met), you complain about something. You take without giving, and argue over the pettiest things. You wallow in self-pity and demand that we rescue you from every jam you get yourself into, but you don’t give a damn about me. Is it any wonder you have no friends?

You mess with my wife, you mess with me. If you can’t be grateful, or at least cordial, please leave us alone.”

This is the last straw with them. They have made it clear that I am simply their whipping post. My feelings don’t count at all. If I am hurt by their behavior I am being “petty” and I am “wallowing in self-pity.” I take without giving? I gave a gift to my nephew. If I hadn’t then they might have cause to complain, but in fact I am a very giving person. I also gave them my car gratis because I knew they needed it. It was in excellent condition and it had low mileage. I could have sold it and gotten several thousand dollars, which considering the fact that I am disabled and live on only a thousand dollars a month, that money would have been a big help to me.

I don’t expect them to pay my way. I was planning on paying for my own meal. Frankly it is them that expect everyone to pay their way. They do that to our dad and now they tried to do that with me!

As far as the “jams” I have gotten myself into? He is talking about my mental breakdowns! And I have never asked them to rescue me from anything! The only thing that I can figure he is talking about is that there have been times when my dad has asked them to help me with moving, because of my mental condition I could not always stay in the same living situation as before. Besides he expects our dad to rescue him from the results of his lousy work-ethic. The entire time I have known him he has never been able to keep a job for very long because he refuses to follow orders! This ‘”man” is in his fifties for god’s sake. Shouldn’t he have learned a thing or two about keeping a job?

The fact is that I try to not ask them for anything! I get dumped on for the one time that I could not get a ride and needed help to go to a family get-together! The only other times I have asked for help is when it was a holiday and the dial-a-ride wasn’t running.

His attitude that I am ungrateful is totally unwarranted. I thanked them both profusely for helping our dad out and for giving me transportation to see him. But if they expect me to be grateful for trying to throw me under the bus, then that is crazy!

The fact is that all of their accusations apply more to them than to me. In the past I have let my entire self-esteem rest on what others think of me. I can’t do that anymore, because that will destroy me.

This is the end for me. I am sad that this has to be this way, but I cannot work with people who won’t at least meet me halfway. I am not their “emotional toilet” that they can just dump on whenever they feel like it. I am a person and I deserve to be treated with the same respect that they ask from me. They want to call me petty? They are the ones being petty for making this into a huge issue. They are the one’s being petty when they will not take any responsibility for their own mistakes. They are the ones being petty for ruining this friendship, placing a dispute about money over a relationship with me. While my brother-in-law may be right that I don’t have many friends, I seem to know more about friendship than they do because I would never treat a friend the way that they have treated me!

Update: 3/28/13

I had my new resolve tested today. Believe it or not my sister actually e-mailed me as if nothing had happened and invited me to a family visit with a cousin. By my sister’s name was a little smiley face. I politely said I was interested as long as she would agree to treat me with the same respect that she would show any other guest in her home. I did not really expect her to respond well, but I thought it needed to be said. She recinded the invitation.

Thinking

Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

 

I came across an interesting article from Natural News that I want to share. Usually I don’t like their articles because they are very anti-medication and anti-psychiatry. However even in the worst places you can always find a gem! This fits in well with my ideas about positive thinking and how we should not force ourselves to think a certain way. It also discusses the fact that we actually need to pay attention to our negative feelings because they are our teachers, not our enemies.

Spiritual, psychological and holistic reasons to  avoid the positive thinking mentality

Monday, March 11, 2013 by: Mike Bundrant

(NaturalNews) Mention a problem to just about anyone and you’ll be inundated  with positive advice. “Things will get better soon. Just keep a positive  outlook. Chin up, my friend! Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining. When  one door closes, another opens. Your attitude determines your altitude. You’ll  be fine. Everything turns out for the best in the end.”
Positive thinking  dominates our conscious minds. When we have a thought we can control, we try to  make it positive. This is a massive problem; it may be humanity’s deadly flaw.  All those negative thoughts you cannot control, therefore, have a basis in unconscious negativity, an area we are motivated to avoid, especially  since the advent of the positive thinking culture.
What is unconscious  originates outside of our awareness. What is outside of our awareness is outside  of our control. To control negativity, we need to be able to see it, focus on  it, confront it, deal with it – NOT avoid it.
The positive side of life  is valid part of the story. Denying the rest of story goes against  ancient spiritual wisdom, psychological evidence, common sense and sets you up  for a lifetime of disappointment and self-sabotage.
Look at the world around you. Look at  your own mind and behavior honestly. It is not all positive. Focusing only on  the positive and denying the negative is a recipe for disaster. The disaster is  in full force all around us. We continue to deny it at our own peril.

We need holistic thinking, not positive thinking.

Positive thinking is  the act of thinking good or affirmative thoughts. Many people engage in positive  thinking to rid themselves of negative thoughts, even though it is the worst way  to get rid of them.
Positive thinking goes against holistic  thinking on so many levels. Holistic thinking embraces all of life, the  positive and the negative, to the point of transcending them. By transcending  them, I don’t mean avoiding negativity, but achieving balance between these  opposing forces that are not going away, no matter how much we pretend  otherwise.
Focusing solely on the positive  empowers the negative, because the negative and the positive are connected. It  works like a teeter-totter. Sit on one side and the other pops up. Put equal  weight on both sides and you can live in balance and harmony.

Lessons from Taoism

Taoism teaches us that the seeming opposites in  life actually give rise to each other. Many natural dualities (such as female  and male, dark and light, low and high, cold and hot, water and fire, life and  death, and so on) are thought of as physical manifestations of the yin-yang  concept.
Christian apologist C.S. Lewis spoke highly of the Tao in  his book, The Abolition of Man: The Tao, which others may  call Natural Law or Traditional Morality or the First Principles of Practical  Reason or the First Platitudes, is not one among a series of possible systems of  value. It is the sole source of all value judgments. If it is rejected, all  value is rejected.
Denying negativity – especially our unconscious  attachments to it – is a flat rejection of the Tao.

The Old Testament lays it out clearly, in Eccelesiates 3: 1-8

There  is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the  heavens:
A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time  to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to  build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,  a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time  to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to  keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be  silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war  and a time for peace.

If a “positive thinker,” as opposed to  (theoretically) King Solomon, had written Ecclesiastes, here is what we might  have gotten:
A time to be born, but you never have to die if you  see the glass as “half-full.”
A time to laugh, but weeping is not  necessary because nothing in life is sad if you have a positive mental  attitude.
A time to search, and never give up regardless of the  evidence.
A time to love, but we’re not comfortable mentioning that other  word.
A time for peace, so let’s pretend there are no bad guys in the  world.

A time to heal, but we’re not comfortable admitting there  is such a thing as killing, or even suffering.
If we are going to  deal with the negative before it swallows us, we need to learn to focus on it,  intentionally. This involves learning how it operates in our own psyche. We need  to face it productively, rather than ignore it. Facing negativity can change  your life for the better in ways you have never imagined.
When you face  negativity – including the natural negativity within you – with open eyes and an  open mind, you naturally put your magnificent intelligence to work to solve  problems, not deny them. Self-sabotage, which results from an unconscious  attachment to negativity, becomes a thing of the past. .

Learn more:  http://www.naturalnews.com/039430_thinking_positive_mentality_holistic.html#ixzz2OTv5q3ua

Thinking

Thinking (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

In my last post. Are Negative Emotions “Unspiritual”?   I talked about how we need to go easy on ourselves when we find that we can’t always think positively, especially in light of the fact that we have a mood disorder. I also questioned the idea that the so-called “negative” emotions are always a bad thing, because they can teach us about ourselves and others.  A good analogy is that of physical pain, if we always ignore it then we would never learn not to touch a hot stove!

So pain is designed to tell us when something is wrong.  With bipolar disorder somehow our emotional pain signals have gotten screwed up. This is not our fault, although the outside world tends to judge us harshly for it. When we feel the pressure to “just think positively’ it is very difficult to get people to understand that there are times when we just can’t!

But does that mean that positive thinking doesn’t have a part in our recovery? No, because even if at a particular moment in time where we cannot actually believe something, just being exposed to a positive affirmation often enough can help change our beliefs. I am not saying permanently, because we are going to have mood swings. But maybe that positive thought can help slow our decent and help us get back on our feet again.

That is why I often put affirmations around my house and read them daily. I can make up my own or find quotes that inspire me. This isn’t about trying to make myself believe something, that would be counter-productive because I can’t do that. It is about planting a seed that (hopefully) will grow in my sub-conscious mind.

I want to share with you all one of my favorite inspirational quotes of all time. I am sure many of you are already aware of this one, but I think it bears repeating over and over. Enjoy!

Our Deepest Fear

by Marianne Williamson from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles *

“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.”

*Note: Many people incorrectly attribute this quote to Nelsen Mandela