BIG … That is one of those words that has a lot of baggage associated with it… especially if you are a sensitive creative type.
Big is related to being VISIBLE. To taking up space. To coming out of hiding. To asking for what you want and need.
On the surface these all sound like really great things. We can look at that list and say “OF course that’s what I want! Who wouldn’t?” But when we actually start moving in the direction of BIG we can find ourselves surprised by fear. And nagging feelings of guilt or apprehensiveness.
Thinking about taking up space can lead to a whole cascading chain of worry. “Maybe there’s only so much space to go around? And if that’s the case, does my getting bigger make me a greedy space hog? Does it mean that I will be pushing someone else out? Or that I am taking something away from another person?”
These fears are based on the notion that there is only so much BIGNESS to go around. That not everyone gets to be big. Which stems from the belief that we live in a world of lack and limitation.
When you come from the reality of “not enough”, being big starts to get all mixed up with things like competition. One-up-manship. Hierarchies and being better than someone else. Looking through the scarcity-every-woman-for-herself-lens, being big means that someone else has to be small. That there have to be winners and losers.
And if winning means that someone else has to lose, and you are a heart centered, sensitive type person, that means that winning is no longer very much fun.
Under those circumstances, being big starts to lose its appeal. We certainly don’t want to hurt anyone else. Or to be seen as too much, too self important, too grandiose. So we think that our only other option is to keep ourselves stunted. Hidden. Invisible.
These attitudes and beliefs around getting bigger also make an assumption that it is either or. Either we are part of a tribe, a group, a loving family where everyone is treated fairly but it means we give up our desire to shine. Or we get to be big and visible and shimmering and end up lonely, isolated, excluded from the circle of love and acceptance.
But what if all we have learned about that is just simply wrong? What if we could have it both ways? What if being big meant that we created MORE space for each other? What if our bigness could be an inspiration?
What if our shining provided a light for others to follow?
In my studio I offer high quality paper that is of ample size, but students can tape the sheets together to make even larger paintings. It’s a heady time when a student can let themselves spread out and take up some real space. When they can make a HUGE painting, one that can sometimes cover an entire wall.
Creating a giant painting is a dizzying and terrifying prospect, and most people need lots of encouragement and support to take this step. Which of course is present for them in great abundance at my workshops.
In the past year or so this desire to go big has moved through my studio like a glorious wildfire. More and more folks have caught the big bug and I have watched as paintings have grown to gorgeously stunning and wildly gargantuan proportions. And yes, this HAS meant that I have had to build a few more large easels to accommodate the growth.
But it has been so worth it. Because each time one of my students took the risk to get bigger in this hothouse environment of love and respect and sheer abundance , their longing to spread out has been met with joy and excitement. By everyone. No one has felt at all diminished by someone else’s expansion.
When someone gets BIG in an atmosphere where lack and competition don’t exist it gives permission and creates a sense of possibility for EVERYONE. No one is left out. We all get to shine and shimmer together.
Which is really the way it should be. So I invite you today to take a risk to be BIG …. and SHINE … to TAKE UP SPACE… and ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT.. in the spirit of creating that magnificent space of BIGNESS for us all.