How do you Play Big when you’re Thinking Small?

I follow Monica Lee’s inspiring blog Smart Creative Women. This morning I listened to this podcast, Lee’s interview with Tara Mohr, author of the book Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message. 51luetxj9LLI don’t have time at present to read this book, but I’ve put it on my wish list on Amazon. Mohr looks like she’s about 18 years old. What does she know about life? She is a wise soul. She talks about two Old Testament ancient Hebrew words for fear: pahad, the fear of imagined or projected events, and yirah, used 3 ways – the feeling that we feel when we suddenly have more energy than we are used to having (such as when we are doing what we really love), the feeling we have when we inhabit a larger space than we are used to (metaphoric or literal), and it’s also used to describe how people feel when they’re in the presence of the divine (accessing a big truth, following a calling, finding your voice).
As a writer, I’ve always heard, “find your voice.” To quote Tara Mohr, women spend most of their lives, “curating and collecting everyone else’s voices”. I believe it takes many years to find one’s voice, and some of us never find our true voice.
Many women around my age come into the shop. I try to converse with everyone. The women my age are usually very easily engaged, and we share our stories. When they ask how long the shop has been open (5 weeks), I share snippets of my story: I signed a lease, quit my job and turned 65 all in the same weekend. Many of these same women who come in give me a high five, or say something very encouraging or even say “You’re doing what I’ve always wanted to do.” Excuses arise. No money. Too many responsibilities. I’ll never be a success at it.
I allow them space to say these things … I continue the conversation with questions, such as what do you like to do, what is your favorite creative endeavor, what gives you energy, etc. The conversations eventually get around to their family of origin, and somewhere there is an origin of an inner critic. Statements like these – My grandmother was an artist, but my parents told me I’d be wasting my time going to art school. My aunt taught me to sew, but my mother never sewed a button on. My ex-husband destroyed all my artwork and I’ve never been able to paint since.
Most of the time, somewhere in their lives was or is a mentor. The grandmother. The aunt. A true friend.  Perhaps that mentor has no idea that they are so inspiring, and maybe you never see them or talk with them. Perhaps your mentor simply lives in such a way that you are inspired to find your own voice, your own passion. One of my inspirations/mentors is an old friend, Adele Crispin. Her advice to me once was, “Always keep learning something new.” And as Mohr says, we do not need a PhD to learn something new!
That is my goal here at the studio at 4610 Magazine St.: to encourage others to learn something new!
I do not know for sure if I have found my voice, but I do know that at least a few people are listening.
Who is your mentor? What do you plan to learn now?

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2 responses to “How do you Play Big when you’re Thinking Small?

  1. Sorry, I missed the dates, this time; but I will be interested to help in any other program, that you may have.

    Like

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