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Your Responsibility to Shine

When thinking about writing and responsibility, let’s not forget this part.

Your responsibility to shine. To lift the lid off.  To write your most brilliant, sparkling stuff.

To move mountains, and soften hearts.

To write the words that’ll make the difference.

To toot, sweetly.

To join the ranks of the fire breathing writing dragons.

In the words of Marianne Williamson*:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. 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. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. 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.

Or, to go from the sublime to the ridiculous, in the words of Take That:

Stop being so hard on yourself It’s not good for your health I know that you can change So clear your head and come round You only have to open your eyes You might just get a big surprise And it may feel good and you might want to smile, smile, smile.

(Oh go on, here it is: you know it’s best played so you can sing along too!) What happens to your words when you lift the lid off - and how can you tell when you do? If you know there’s more and you’re wanting to prise off that lid: what one thing can you do today (read, write, listen to, sing) that will give you the courage to shine? ~~~ This piece is a the final contribution to writing with responsibility.  It’s also the 500th post at Confident Writing!  Seems like a good one for that milestone :-) * Marianne Williamson quote from A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”.  Used in a speech by Mandela, and often attributed to him.

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  1. Brad Shorr says:

    Congratulations on 500! I agree this post is a fitting celebration. Can’t wait for your next 500, Joanna. When you started your blog, did you even think of reaching 500 posts? How has your blog turned out so far compared to your expectations when you began?

    Brad Shorrs last blog post..The Cure for Our Economy

  2. Karen Swim
    Twitter: karenswim

    Joanna,CONGRATULATIONS!!! This is quite a fitting post for such a great milestone. The Marianne Williamson excerpt really spoke to me. How true that what we fear is the light not the darkness. I sell myself short all the time. I am trying to work on changing that internal language to be kinder with myself and to try to own my value. I am coming to realize that it is a disservice to God and others to devalue your worth in this world. Your post (as they all do) comes at just the right moment when I need to have a lesson reinforced. I am so glad Joanna to count you as coach and friend. Yay for the past 500! I am so looking forward to the next 500 posts!

    Karen Swims last blog post..Winner in Book Giveaway!

  3. Authentically Authentic « cara donahue’s blurst blog ever says:

    [...] the other side of the spectrum, I read a post by Joanna Young quoting an excerpt from Marianne Williamson in her book Return to [...]

  4. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Brad, pretty much like yourself I had no plans or expectations when I started. I have learned, wondered, made new plans, changed directions at each step along the way. Maybe there’s a post in here I could write as part of my November theme. Thanks for the question!

    karen, what can I say. Your comment moved me deeply, and I’ve e-mailed you separately so I don’t go too emotional in the comment box! Shine on girl, shine on.

  5. SpaceAgeSage -- Lori says:

    Kudos on 500! Time to do the Happy Dance, yes?

    You write in ways that make a difference. Thanks for being a voice that “shines” in the blogging world and beyond.

    SpaceAgeSage — Loris last blog post..What rattles you?

  6. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Lori, thanks so much! What a lovely thing for you to say. Thanks for making me smile


  7. Karen Wallace says:

    500 posts? Really? Wow!

    I’ll join Space Age Sage in doing the Happy Dance…

    That quote from Marianne Williamson is one of my favourite of all time. But reading it here, today, is definitely heaven sent. It’s exactly what I needed to hear. And hearing it from you, my dear friend, is a blessing indeed. Your presence liberates me.

    I look forward with glee to the next 500 posts… you are ‘brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous’!

    Karen Wallaces last blog post..Two birthdays and an adventure…

  8. Ulla Hennig
    Twitter: ullahe

    Congratulations, Joanna!
    Your posts are great posts to learn from. “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure” - that gives me a lot to think about. Thanks for sharing!

    Ulla Hennigs last blog post..Checkpoint Charlie

  9. wilson says:

    Oh, I saw the MV before in somewhere else and now I see it again here!

    By the way, congratulation to your 500th posts, Joanna and don’t forget to bring more great posts to us :)

    wilsons last blog post..Your Home Should Be a Comfortable Living Place!

  10. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Karen, thank you so much. Isn’t it wonderful when words arrive just at the right time?

    Ulla, thank you. I think those lines make most of us stop and think - it’s as if she tapped right into the heart of something we all secretly knew but weren’t consciously aware of

    Wilson, thanks, and for your loyal support. I’ll do my best to come up with 500 more! Of course that’s a completely terrifying idea, so I’ll just focus on the next two or three and see what happens :-)

  11. Tumblemoose says:

    Well, Joanna first let me say congrats on the 500th post. That is quite a milestone, did you ever think you would make it this far?

    Thanks for the reminder to always put the best foot forward. Pry off the lid and shine, shine, shine.



    Tumblemooses last blog post..NaNoWriMo - Less than 3 days! Get Busy

  12. Punam says:

    Hello Joanna,
    Your blog is really informative, and a boon for upcoming writers. I have given your blog an award. Do visit me to check it out.

    Punams last blog post..Yippee!! I got an award for my blog!!

  13. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    George, thank you. To be honest I didn’t really think about where I was going when I started this blog! Maybe in retrospect it was just as well - I’ve just been learning and experimenting (and having fun) all the way along

    Punam, thanks very much for the award and the feedback on my blog. Much appreciated

  14. SOB Business Cafe 11-07-08 - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You’re only a stranger once. says:

    [...] Your Responsibility to Shine [...]

  15. Giovanna Garcia says:

    Dear Joanna

    Wow, to be able to write in such a way to move mountains, and soften hearts…

    Fo me, I am just happy that I got started and stepped up to write. I know that if I just keep writing, some day I will able to “Lift the lid off” in my own way :-)

    Congratulations on your 500 post :-)

    Giovanna Garcia

    Giovanna Garcias last blog post..What is your passion in life?

  16. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Giovanna, hello, and thank you for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment.

    Getting started and stepping up to write is the only way I know to find your writing voice - which is when you’ll start to shine. That sounds like an example of imperfect action to me :-)


  17. Punctuality Rules! » Blog Archive » Ooh, Shiny! says:

    [...] Joanna wants all of us to Shine and live up to our fabulous [...]

  18. --Deb says:

    Okay, Joanna … it took me a few days, but my nice, shiny post is up!

    -Debs last blog post..Celebrate!

  19. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    -Deb, it’s great, and adds an important dimension: remember to focus so you don’t diffuse your light.

    Thanks very much