Playing small doesn’t serve anyone – learnings from awareness practice

One summer morning, I was doing yoga in the garden.

As I spread my arms into Warrior 2, stretching myself in all directions, lifting my chest and chin, standing proud, I became aware of the FEAR.

The fear waiting for someone to take me down, saying something dismissive, belittling my aspirations. If someone else isn’t doing it, I have the VOICE INSIDE of me doing all the self-bashing, taking myself down, not trusting myself, laughing at my dreams.

I hear that condescending inner voice and instantly the fear is there, trying to protect me. The fear telling me not to take up all that space. STAY SMALL. Hide, beware!

Warrior 2 pose put me into the OPPOSITE: stretching myself out of smallness, showing myself, STANDING PROUD and strong in my power. Shining my inner light, out through my eyes, into my future.

I was burning in the BATTLE. The fear and the automated reaction to hide vs my conscious PRACTICE of yoga, dissolving those learned patterns, becoming who I am.

Not that the fear subsided, entirely. Not that my life totally changed in that instant.

But I was AWARE. I consciously chose to stay in the pose, experiencing the INNER STRUGGLE. I consciously gave myself a new understanding, actually EMPOWERING myself.

And there was CHANGE. As always.

one        small        step        on        the        way

Later that day I felt myself more ANCHORED in my own power. I realised on a deeper level that NO, I’m not gonna take that shit anymore! I won’t accept any more stepping on my dreams! No more stepping on my looks, my behaviour, my choices! Same goes for voices from the outside as from voices within me…

I’m reminded of the words of Marianne Williamson:

“We ask ourselves, WHO AM I TO BE BRILLIANT, GORGEOUS, TALENTED, FABULOUS? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. YOUR PLAYING SMALL DOES NOT SERVE THE WORLD. 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… And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are LIBERATED from our own FEAR, our presence automatically LIBERATES OTHERS.”

A windy summer morning and a few minutes of yoga practice.

The small things that actually counts.


NOW, time for YOU to experiment with body postures.

It doesn’t have to be yoga postures, even if they are great to bring you out of your comfort zone and explore the spaces you might be avoiding.

  • Are there any body postures that make you feel awkward/shameful/scared? Try one you don’t usually use and you’ll find out! How does your body react to those postures? (Become aware of sensations in the body.)
  • Do you know why? Try to find the body-mind connection, what happens in your thoughts and emotions when you put your body in a certain posture?

Feel free to post your comments and insights below!


Photo by basykes

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