Robust Humility

Isn’t it strange that as you begin to focus on an area in your life, the Universe begins throwing you darts of information, repeatedly asking you to look again as if to say, “Okay, yes, and what else?”

My life seems to have blossomed into a discovery of living fully into myself, noticing how I’ve fallen short of this for a good part of my life.  Today there’s an intentionality of staying aware and living my life with a robustness that throws a middle finger to fear and doubt.  And a passion, as well, to inspire that in others – especially women – to re-awaken this child-like robustness.  To live life with a confidence in knowing our inner light; that life steals in it’s shaping us up to form.

And then, I get messages that send me the opposing message and I’m left questioning.  Wondering.  Trying not to be judgmental about it, but wondering how it all fits in.  At the risk of being redundant with my learning through art, this story helps to conceptualize the issue.

It was the first weekend of Expressive Arts training; quite possibly the first few hours getting to know a handful of various feminine personalities.  We were positioned around a table after having been facilitated in a dance experience.  “Holding on to that movement that calls to you, keep repeating it in air”, she instructed, “then bring it down to the paper.”  My motion was a large infinity sign, wide across my body, my knees bending so that it seemed to envelope all of me.  A robust action, full bodied.  She asked us to keep our eyes closed as we brought color and motion to paper.

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Without vision, I allowed my marks (in my favorite blue color) to reach wide, over and over.  With instruction to then open our eyes, I could see how my lines reached way into my neighbor’s space.  I looked around the paper and could see how respectfully all my classmates were keeping within their boundaries, while my childish and seemingly disrespectful scribbles confined my neighbor to a tiny space.  I was embarrassed and shamed for taking the instruction too literally; that perhaps my repeated motion could be brought to paper in a smaller box.

I find this is where I struggle at this new stage of my life.  As I re-awaken into myself, I can look over my past and see how I’ve shut myself down, repressing myself for the sake of other’s expectations.  I know I’m not alone in that.  We all tend to  sacrifice that delightful, robust child living into her fullness, to the messages of “Simmer down!”  ‘Be respectful!” “Be quiet!”  “Don’t make a spectacle of yourself!”

And then recently, in an e-course, we talked about the ancient sacred teaching of “Humility” and I laughed.  Here we go again!  How does one live robustly yet maintain humility?  Not occupy too much space or overstep boundaries?

I’m powerfully moved by Marianne Williamson’s quote of not doing yourself justice by playing small, as your light shining gives others permission to do the same.  Being robust, living into your fullness offers an opportunity for others to be brave.  So where does humility come in?  How do I let go of old messages to SIMMER DOWN, by loving this robust full colored, full bodied woman….yet be humble?

I don’t know that I have the answer today.  It’s something that I believe the Universe keeps throwing at me so that I keep wondering.  Noticing without judgement.   Right now I believe that humility has to do with a deep respect for others.  Respect for their own talents and inner wisdom.  I think this has evolved from experiencing this from the other side of another’s robustness and being irritated with their over-stepping a boundary.   I think it’s about staying aware that we’re all part of a whole, a Divine Intelligence that sees a bigger picture.  And being confident  enough in the strength of your own light that you don’t have to blare your high beams to prove its shine.  Certainly, as you gaze upon the finished piece our group jointly completed, stepping into one another’s place to add our own unique offering, you can see the Divine bigger picture at play.

Perhaps it’s just the noticing, the wondering that brings us more fully into awareness.  No need for answers, knowing today’s understanding will likely change tomorrow as I integrate my robust child with humble robust womanhood.  Growing in compassion for others who invade my space with their robust shining, giving light and compassion for my own struggle.

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2 thoughts on “Robust Humility

  1. “And being confident enough in the strength of your own light that you don’t have to blare your high beams to prove its shine.” This, Laurie. This. SO good.

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