This series first appeared in 2015. Stop playing small. Part 1.

All week this thought has been resonating in my heart, my soul and my spirit. As we finalize editorial plans for 2016, there is something that won’t leave…a fire so deep in my soul, it simply will not die.

I can’t let go of this. I don’t want to let go of this. It matters too much. Our collective destinies lie in the balance.

Stop playing small.

As a designer, there is a process of going into something and seeing what could be.

From as early as I can remember, my vision for you and your life has been bigger than what you can see and are currently living.

When I was little, I saw my walls as they should be. My parents, not so much.

My vision? Mixed Media Art, they call it today. Their vision? White. All plain and boring as far as I was concerned. Let’s just say dad and I had a few rounds of parent-child back and forth over my Mixed Media Art.

My father finally asked me, why I would not stop. I could see it, you see. The vision, on the walls, that was bigger than you could see. Let’s make it alive you and me! Can’t you see?

We came to a truce. He promised paper on the walls. When the paper didn’t show, I did it again. There was an artist in him that could see….the paper, was never for me.

He had counted the cost to bring what I could see, to be. He gave up on keeping me small. Thank you Dad. There is so much of you in me. I knew you could see.

You see, I have a vision for you and your life that is bigger than what you can see, and it simply must be.

As a Designer, we cue the gathering when the vision downloads: people, resources, things, more people, and then, we cook the gathering into something solid to be lived in, with and through.

Sometimes it’s a simmer. Sometimes a stew or even a hot broil until something creatively beautiful is generated from what months prior was a mere thought. A vision birthed into form from an idea, a seed.

Down the 25 plus year road from my “only a designer” days, my heart and soul turned to pouring into others those visions I would see that were bigger for others than they could see for themselves.

Here’s the thing: You cannot play small and do anything well.

Stop playing small.

The small ones who long to be Big Ones need your Mixed Media Art. They need your Lead, with a capital L.

I die without your Mixed Media Art. I fail to thrive when you aren’t the best you. You owe me your risk, your hope, your dream, your failure, your real. You are my sister, my brother, my friend.

Cue the years.

I waddled into leading leaders who didn’t know they were leaders yet. Stumbled and fell on a few, with humor so big their laughter catapulted me back to a standing pose. We tripped, danced and tried again. Fewer bruises from falling this time.

Did I tell you, The Designer in me has always had a bigger vision for you than you had for yourself?

Stop playing small.

There is more to come….I heard a wise man say once, how you do one thing is how you do everything.

Stop playing small.

(This post is continued in Parts 2 & 3 linked below:

Part 2 is here, Part 3 is here



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