I popped home to the UK in October, and went to visit my very good friend Lizzie : we met on the first day of Uni and were inseperable from that day. We had a super-fantastic and thoroughly awesome day hanging out together, made all the more special by the freaky coincidence that she and her family have just moved across the country to one of the places I grew up. Her children now attend the same primary school my brother and I did, and she lives opposite my first senior school! Whoaaa…a whole flood of memories came racing back standing there outide that High School building. It seems so much smaller and less intinidating than I remember! What a different perspective than my first day there as ‘The New Girl”.

Have you ever been The New Girl? The one hiding at the back keeping quiet? Trying to blend in as you join a new group or class or committee. Hideous feeling isn’t it? I had a lifelong New Girl fear of standing out: fruit of a childhood in numerous different schools trying very hard not to get my head kicked in or pelted with eggs and flour (those were the days!) for my newness.

As a consequence I tried very hard not to offend anyone with anything; to fly under the radar at all times. To dress so I fitted in; to talk about what others wanted to talk about; to like the bands they liked. Constantly trying not to cause a ripple or offence by, (oh! the audacity!) having an opinion of my own.

Not a bad strategy for a bullied 11 year old. But a bad one to take through to adulthood. For me I didn’t even really know anymore what it was I liked or hated! I could no longer hear my own voice and it look a lot of work as an adult to tune back into that and to know that I was okay, just as I was. Now I know that having a diffence of opinion can be a beautiful thing: it’s what makes life interesting. Most of the best and most inspiring work out there today comes from the unconventional and the individual. Unconventional is good!

I love this quote:

“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.”    ―  Marianne Williamson

How beautiful is that?

Living up to our own potential is our responsibility. It is our real work in the world.

It is not, contrary to popular belief, about playing small so we don’t offend anyone else.

A small, safe life does not serve you or mean you are using all the unique gifts you have.

Yes you. I am talking to you!

You are fabulous, and inspirational and talented, unique and special.

Yes you are.

Hiding your light under a bushel does not serve you or the world.

Putting everyone else before yourself does not serve you or the world.

Not speaking up about what matters to you does not serve you or the world.

Pleasing everyone does not serve you or the world.

You have something special to share.

Yes you.

You matter.

Your perspective is uniquely yours.

Not realizing your potential does not serve you or the world.

Playing small does not serve you or the world.

Allow yourself to SHINE!

Celebrate your uniqueness. Celebrate that not everyone approves. Celebrate that you have a point of view. Celebrate your delectable you-ness. You rock. Go out and live your delicious unique life today.