On Being Substantial

When I am older,K'Naan
I will be stronger.
They’ll call me freedom,
Just like a waving flag.
“Wavin’ Flag” – K’naan

It’s been a long winter, the coldest February since the 1880’s. Creative juices seemed to have been consumed by doing life, bringing in firewood, staying close to home and hearth. Now, along with the change of seasons, I find myself somewhat burgeoning with all sorts of ideas, stories, and songs.
Even as I write this blog, I’m aware of all the projects around the outside of our lake home that are calling for attention, like neglected companions wondering why I disappeared for so long. And I’m likewise aware of wanting to be still, read, write. Always that tug of war between inside and outside, intangible and physical.
The intangible, however, even in the midst of the earth itself coming alive again, is speaking more loudly to me. I find myself returning to the silence whenever I have a conscious moment, listening for whatever chooses to present itself. And after seven decades of living on this planet, I’m getting a sense of feeling solid and confident in what I’m to give back and pass on.
Not that I’ve never felt this before, but something is different. It comes with the freedom from having to compare, from needing to worry about what others think. It’s a freedom for more fully arriving, every day, with every encounter. The word that continuously comes to me is substantial.

The chorus from the protest anthem, “Wavin’ Flag”, that I quoted at the start of this blog plays over and over in my head these days. Listening to it during the long ride back from visiting my elderly mother in New York City, I was often close to tears and immediately recognized the feelings. There was a sense of relief, poised at the edge of living out my authenticity more fully. There was also some sadness that this has been such a long time coming. In The Courage to Feel it is what I call “sweet sorrow”.
Marianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson, in A Woman’s Worth, says that we do not serve the world by playing small. Becoming substantial is about really showing up authentically. It is about finding your voice, telling your unarguable Truth, being the Love each of us is. And it is about having the courage to take up space, to live a life “writ large”, as Jean Houston once stated.
Everybody has a story.
Often that story is negative and limiting. Basically, it is a lie, but we’ve come to believe it. I’m not good enough, attractive enough, not something enough. I don’t deserve, I don’t belong, I don’t matter. All lies, but to the extent we believe them, to that extent we move away from being real and substantial. To that extent, we become characters in a false drama that we’ve unconsciously written.
Dismantling that story and stepping out of the suffocating box we’ve created for ourselves demands awareness, vision and a great deal of courage. What is your story? And what would your life look like if you stepped out of the story and stopped playing small?
I would love to hear your story and share your vision. Be in touch.