Sunday, January 3, 2010

Larger Than Life

A version of this article appeared in my New Earth Chronicles blog in June 2008.

Back in October 2006 when I was visiting Toronto, a friend treated me to a ticket to Barbra Streisand's first-ever concert performance in that city. Although we were sitting high in the rafters in a hockey arena that was anything but intimate, I was startled by how fully and personally her energy filled every corner of that venue.

"She's larger than life," I remember gushing to my friend at intermission.

I recalled that experience the first time I listened to the CD recording of the concert tour, some months after my return from Toronto. "That's what I want," I heard myself say at the time and was so startled by what seemed such a profoundly ego-driven thought that I was almost embarrassed.

But it wasn't until some months later that I fully understood both the Streisand experience and my inner voice. What I realized was that "larger than life" isn't about being famous. It simply means living larger than the restrictions and limitations we all carry so willingly through life. I also realized that access to that energy is not limited to the Barbra Streisands of the world, unless we choose for that to be so.

Even as our souls yearn for us to "play big," to discover our passion and live it to the fullest, our fearful self continues to seek out ways to hide and play small.

"Our deepest fear," writes Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love, "is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." Perhaps even deeper than the fear she describes is the fear of experiencing and expressing our power out in the world, of being larger than life, of living beyond the self-imposed walls and barriers we create in the mistaken belief they will keep us safe.

They can't and they won't.

Our only safety resides in living our largest life to its fullest potential, in living our living our passion. In walking through life as though we are though nothing can stop, limit or restrict us.

As I write this, an old Cole Porter lyric keeps running through my head:

Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above, 
Don't fence me in

At a literal level, the song is sung by a cowboy who longs for the endless space of the open range.

Yet it's also the song of every soul deprived of its fullest expression by the fences of a fearful mind, a soul that seeks only the limitlessness of its natural state.

Whatever you think of Barbra Streisand's talent or personality, when you are in her energy field, you touch that limitlessness and your soul cries out, "Me too! That's who I am, too!!"

Here in the Western world, where we have been taught to play small, we transfer all of our natural desire for the fenceless world of a life lived large to our movie stars and sports heroes.

If we can't play out our own passion and power, we play it out through a celebrity cult that's no healthier than any other cult, one we also find in countries with charismatic leaders/dictators, in religions with unapproachable gods and in all situations where we abdicate the expression of our infinite nature to someone or something outside of ourselves.

In my novel, The MoonQuest, very much a metaphor for all our journeys, the main character is destined for a greatness he continues to resist. Yet destiny, as he is constantly reminded, is not cast in stone. There is always a choice.

"Every choice you have ever made, has led to this moment. Your moment. Still, the power to make a different choice remains yours."

The power to choose is always ours. In every moment and through every situation, we're offered the opportunity to choose our greatness, our passion, our light.

It's what we do with each moment and situation that governs our destiny, that decides whether we live in our greatness or in the shadow of someone else's, that determines whether we build fences or tear them down.

In this moment, what do you choose?

Writing/Creativity Coaching Sessions with Mark David

• Let Mark David help you unleash the power of your creative potential!

Mark David's January Events / Albuquerque Area

• Free Talk
Topic: Acts of Surrender: Stepping into the New Year on Faith
Sun, Jan 10 ~ 10:30am ~ East Mountain Unity Center, Edgewood, NM

Mark David's January Workshops / Denver Area

Topic: Birthing Your Book...Even If You Don't Know What It's About
Thursday, Jan 28~ 7pm ~ Bemis Public Library, Littleton, CO

Friday, Jan 29 ~ 6-9pm ~ Colorado Free University, Denver, CO

Saturday, Jan 30 ~ 10am-4:30pm ~ Colorado Free University, Denver, CO

Sunday, Jan 31 ~ 1-5pm ~ Phoenix Healing Center, Longmont, CO

Mark David's January Radio Events

Tuesday, January 12 ~ 4pm ET

• Mark David on MetaMystic Radio
Wednesday, January 13 ~ 9pm ET

• The Muse & You with Mark David Gerson
Special Guest: Cristina M.R. Norcross, author of the upcoming poetry collection Unsung Love Songs
Thursday, Jan 21 ~ 1pm ET

Mark David's February Events / Los Angeles

Conscious Life Expo, LAX Hilton
• Friday, Feb 12 ~ 7pm
Free Talk
• Fri, Feb 12 - Sun, Feb 14
At booth #505, offering discounted coaching sessions, signing books, answering writing questions


Karen Walker said...

You are so lucky you got to see Barbra Streisand in person. It is my dream to be able to do that. What a wonderful way to look at her talent and her energy and know we all have that potential to do the same thing with our own selves. It is a lesson I am working on--owning my own power. Not easy, my friend.

Annie McMahon said...

Great post! Love it. What more can I say?