“I am like a falling star who has finally found her place next to another in a lovely constellation, where we will sparkle in the heavens forever.” — Amy Tan
Did you know that even a fairly basic fireworks display requires months of planning, a solid 40 hours just to produce the script (yes, they require those) and, on average, $3,000 to $20,000 worth of equipment and supplies? More energy, time and funds go into advertising, fire insurance and safety measures—and don’t forget all the time and energy folks invest in enjoying the festivities. Chances are, you’re among them.
Indeed, we Americans will go far out for a meaningful sparkle. But what if we didn’t have a reason to celebrate? What if, like our founding fathers and other early Americans, we had to carve out our own?
I’ve been pondering these matters a lot lately as Girl Boner work moves along, new opportunities and challenges arise and publishers take interest in my work. Next week I’ll host my 25th episode of Girl Boner Radio (holy schmoley!). If there’s one thing my show and guests have taught me thus far, it’s this: there’s never a reason to stop striving for authenticity, empowerment, passion-filled lives and the fruition of our wildest (read realistic) dreams. If ever I’m in doubt, all I need to do is listen to that inner sparkle. That which makes our heart dance paves the way. Seriously.
As we gather with loved ones to commemorate our country’s independence, I hope you’ll join me in a little task. Don’t worry—it won’t take much time or money, and there are no fire hazards involved (well, unless that’s your passion—in which case, forget everything I just said! ;)). All it requires is taking a moment to consider your own sparkle. What makes you shine? What are you passionate about? What fills you with giddy butterflies? If your life isn’t chock-full of the answer, what might you do about it?
We’re so blessed to live in a country where we have ample freedom to live and express as ourselves as we see fit—but it’s easy to grow complacent, overly comfy with the comfortable. If we truly want that “something more” kind of life, though, which I suspect many of you do, we’ve got to live with passion.
As I explained on the air this week, it’s so important to be turned on by our lives. When we are, Tan’s quote becomes autobiographical. Every moment won’t fill us with metaphorical fireworks, but some will. Some days we’ll have magnificent, sky-wide displays. Best of all, we’ll be better able to light up others’ skies with our glow. In between, we can dance, play, rest, learn and dream in the clouds, sunshine, rainbows and storms, gratified by the knowledge that we’re living life fully.
An awesome TED talk I watched the other night featured a woman who “faked it until she became it.” After a traumatic brain injury lowered her IQ and confidence during college, Amy Cuddy was encouraged to show up to academic challenges every time she felt afraid. She did, and eventually became the person she aspired to be—a successful grad student and, later, an esteemed professor and researcher at Harvard. When it comes to our inner-sparkle, I think we sometimes have to fake it until we reveal it. In other words, it’s always there. If it goes into hiding or hasn’t yet been revealed, it’s up to us to change that.
What lights your inner-fire? What are you doing about it? What could you do? I love hearing from you! ♥
Wishing you and yours a happy, safe holiday!