Who Are You Not to Be?

Has anybody else felt like the first few months of 2019 have gone by in the blink of an eye? The hours, the days, the weeks, the months – I have felt for so long that I have not been able to keep up with the pace of life. We’ve been firmly living the rat race for months now. Honestly, someone tell me – how do you master the balancing act of needing to: have late nights working, quality time with your kids, quality time as a couple, keep the house clean and organized, do the laundry (and put it away!), take care of your body (exercise and healthy eating – what are those?), keep your friendships alive, and find the energy to (heaven forbid!) pursue any sort of personal interests or passions in whatever free time might possibly sneak its way into your schedule? For those of you who have got this figured out, I seriously commend you and would love your secrets!

My life is blessed beyond measure, and yet every day we struggle to find the balance that will work for our family. To focus on the positives instead of the daily challenges or struggles that are just, quite simply, real-life. And the hard truth is that this kind of mindset completely prevents you from being your best self! Lamenting everyday about how tired I am, how busy we are, what a long day it has been – well, that mindset is certainly not helping me muster up the energy to do any of the things I say to myself that I want to accomplish when the day is fresh. Logically, I know this – but in practice, it’s so much harder to overcome. Well, recently at work I was listening to a webinar that was entirely focused on a poem that will probably be familiar, and yet foreign, to many of you, as it was me. You might recognize the first stanza, but it’s the third that really stuck in my mind:

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’s 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’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

Are those powerful words or what? The poem is by Marianne Williamson, and what it says to me is that we should not – cannot – let things hold us down or hold us back. Why can’t I finish my website? Write more blog posts? Learn new skills? Wake up a little earlier each day? Lose those 10 pounds? Why can’t we reach for our “scary” goals, and the never-gonna-happen-for-me dreams that we all hold within our hearts? Why are we constantly playing small?

The only ones standing in our way of living our best lives, and being our best selves, are…ourselves. That doesn’t mean we can be perfect, or do all.of.the.things that we wish we could do – it just means we have to give ourselves the permission to believe in ourselves and in what we can accomplish instead of focusing on what we can’t. I know that each day it will be a struggle for me to remember and embrace this mindset, but I am committing to myself the mantra of these words: you playing small does not serve the world.

So the next time you are looking in the mirror and saying to yourself “who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” – please hear me saying to you – loud and clear! – “Actually, who are you not to be?”.

Angela Isherwood

Hi there! I’m Angela – I recently turned 30 and have determined that this is going to be my year to embrace change and chase new dreams. My husband and I are going on 6 years married this Fall – we grew up not 10 mins from each other (Greendale/New Berlin) but never met until college (Go Badgers!). We have a spunky little girl, and our newest baby boy!. We are brand new member of the Lake Country community and are so excited to start this next chapter of our lives here. I’ve spent the past 8 years working in the tumultuous retail industry which has had major ups, and more recently, major downs. At this moment I am in flux – reflecting and re-evaluating what is best for me and my family as I make a career change. Personally, our lives revolve around family – we are lucky to live close to both of our parents, and adore spending time with our siblings, and nieces & nephews. I love all things Disney and know almost every lyric to every song. I’ll always remind my daughter it’s okay to believe in Magic. I adore a good book, a steaming cup of tea, any bowl of soup, a glass of Red, and putting pen to paper. I enjoy elaborate party planning, and wasting too much time on Pinterest and Instagram. I love eating more than I love cooking, and going out and trying new restaurants is a favorite way to spend our evenings or weekend afternoons. I am passionate about traveling the world, and exploring as much of it as possible together as a family. When I “grow up”, I want to plan incredible trips that excite, inspire and fulfill people’s travel desires. We adventure together as much as we can both near & far. I am honored to be a part of this community, and hope you will join me as I share fun things to do, local places to check out, and travel tips & inspiration for the family on the go! You can follow me on my personal instagram account or at my new, travel-focused account (or both!). Thank you!

We love you, Lake Country!

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