Written by: Jen Murtagh

Over the past few months, I have found myself retreating. Retreating into my home, into my family, into my mind. And like so many of you, I am growing weary of it.

I yearn for the social connectedness I felt on a regular basis in what feels like a distant life now. I found myself in floods of tears the other night watching Wonder Woman 1984 (spoiler alert), entranced by the closing scene where the world is at peace and at one with itself. As I watched the beauty of people hugging one another, heavy tears silently fell down my face. I had a sudden realization that I have been bottling up the pain of disconnection of the last year. My tears didn’t stop for quite some time and I felt blindsided by them, not even realizing they were just simmering below the surface.

It reminded me of my deep yearning to be at one with others, in connection, and in community. I believe that is part of my purpose in this world – to bring people together to share in our humanity, our suffering, our shared yearnings for fulfilling our deeper potential.

Then the very next day I was reminded again, by a soul-touching email sent to me from a former board member of an organization I served for. A heart-centred leader I admired for too many reasons to list in one short blog post. He shared a sentiment that I felt stirring in my soul just yesterday….what if we didn’t have to live life “safe and small?”

I had a realization that in my retreatment, I have gone back to playing it safe and playing small.

This realization has re-lit a fire that I let smolder some many months ago. I know this as much as anyone, that there is no creativity, no possibility, no expansion when we anchor into lack and scarcity.

So I choose this year to not retreat. I choose to expand. To become conscious of my gifts and to use them to reach people. I choose connection, whether it be in small or big ways.

Today I co-facilitated a workshop for over 45 women on what a meaningful 2021 would look and feel like for them. It was a powerful two hours of deep connection, with self and others.

I have chosen ‘Consciousness’ for my word of 2021. I choose to be conscious of how I am showing up in the world and I am shutting the door on safe and small, leaving it behind in 2020.  Our playing safe and small does not serve the world, as both Marianne Williamson and Nelson Mandela have eloquently reminded us of.

I ask you, where might you be playing it safe and small? How would your expansion more deeply into your strengths, your gifts, and your potentials serve those more deeply around you?

Now what’s stopping you?