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Posts Tagged ‘Marianne Williamson’

If you are a woman and you are reading this, then there’s a good chance that you are struggling to find the joy in life. Today’s pace, especially for women, is more frenetic than ever.  Many of us are working, maintaining a home for ourselves and others, raising children, and running like crazy. We are often overwhelmed and exhausted. Despite all this, we may still be reasonably happy, or … we may be downright miserable.

I do believe our natural soul state is one of love and joy. And that it easily gets lost in the pace of everyday life. As I am reading Marianne Williamson’s book, A Woman’s Worth, I find myself dwelling on this section where she writes about joy. She writes that joy is what happens when we recognize how good things are, how beautiful and amazingly powerful we are as women. And she adds that we can create joy in our daily life; we can decide to be happy. It may take our attention and some effort to focus on this, but it is possible.

I know, and perhaps you have, too, the feeling of real joy. For me, it is a distinct feeling that all is right in the world; all is well and perfect at that moment. The fact is that we can experience this feeling so much more often by focusing on the good, and on the amazing beings we, as women, are. I want more joy; how about you? Reading A Woman’s Worth is just fueling that desire for joy right now. This might be a book you’d be interested in if you’d like to discover more of your own joy and your own worth in the world.

Without ever getting into a women’s rights kind of attitude, but always staying in the positive and the uplifting, Williamson writes about how women have lost their place and been kept down throughout much of history, and conversely, of all we are and can be.

The passage that I love in this section is as follows. “A joyful woman, merely by being, says it all. The world is terrified of joyful women. Make a stand. Be one anyway.”

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Fear is the antithesis of love. We are in fear when we bemoan our fate that we are not yet published. We are in fear when we relentlessly edit and re-edit and edit yet again something that, in all likelihood, is just fine. We are in fear when we overwork an aspect of our illustration, striving for some elusive perfection. It’s not that uncommon to think and behave this way. Most of us were raised to be good, to be perfect, to be loved conditionally. As were those who raised us.

And what we most need in our lives, our work, is not fear, but love. When we write and illustrate books for children, we always bring forth our best work when it is coming out of love … not anxiety about its success or perfection, or how well we are faring compared to others, or how much recognition we’ll gain. But love. It would seem so easy, but for so many of us it is not.

Below is the quote that I had mentioned in my last post. It is by Marianne Williamson, metaphysical teacher, and from the book A Return to Love, her reflections on  the principles of A Course in Miracles, published in 1975. All of Williamson’s work is focused on growing into our richest selves, letting go of fear and living truly in love. And I believe it has a profound meaning for us as we  venture forth as writers and artists, aspiring to light the way for children.

Everyday Grace

My deepest fear is not that I am inadequate.
My deepest fear is that I am powerful beyond measure.
It is my light, not my darkness, that most frightens me.
I ask myself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who am I not to be? I am a child of God. My playing small
does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around me. I am meant to
shine, as children do. I was born to manifest the glory of God that is within me.
It’s not just in me; it’s in everyone.
And as I let my own light shine, I unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same. As I am liberated from my own fear,
my presence automatically liberates others.

These words struck me so deeply in their undeniable truth. As a writer and illustrator of children’s books, aspiring to bring my gifts to young people, I can soar to heights in joy as I work or tumble to crushing frustration. Fear. All fear. And though living lives through fear in varying degrees is common to so many people on the planet, it seems to almost be the inheritance of all sensitive, creative people. I know there is a better way; I’ve known for a long time, and so, I suspect, have you.

From time to time, books, individuals, ideas, etc.  cross our paths, and usually, at times when we are ready to take the next step out of fear and into grace … into love. This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for about 9 months, and through a mention of the quote above from a friend, I took this book from the shelf. It was time – there are no coincidences.

Living in love, free of fear, is a great challenge. We were not raised that way. Shaman and author Don Miguel Ruiz calls it “domestication.” It is all the same. And what’s so wonderful is that there is never a bad time  to take another step, to let go of fear and our belief that we should be small, to believe instead  in the love and brilliance we are.

I find A Return to Love an amazing book, as is A Woman’s Worth, both by Williamson. Perhaps an inspiration for you, too. Please also know, if it makes a difference to you, that Williamson’s writings do not espouse any specific religious orientation – her writing is of a spiritual nature, and so speaks to us all.

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