26 June 2019

‘Progress’, I find the word thrown around quite a lot in the fitness and yoga world. Slimmer bodies, bigger biceps and toes to head in scorpion pose etc. If you engage at all in social media, you know. I think it’s great we have so many people sharing their ‘progress’ and more power to anyone who is on the path of self development. However progress comes in many forms and is not always a linear process or measurable.

Particularly in the yoga world, depth of asana is seen as progress or finally balancing on your hands can be seen as the end goal or as in my before and after pictures standing splits is the end goal. This was my attitude for a long time projecting towards a picture and end goal until injury really inconveniently got in the way. The good thing about pain is that it forces you to be present and really pay attention to what is happening internally rather than externally.

As my photos show, my practice of asana is now completely different. Rather than jamming my way into poses and then breathing, I now breathe my way into asana and use the asana as an exploration of breath in the pose. As soon as breath becomes restricted, I am backing off or I am taking a break which is a lot kinder than my old attitude of I’ll sit down when I faint! I’m not saying either approach is right or wrong or that I have mastered any pose but I do now find myself in a much more harmonious place with my practice with the second approach.

I have learned to be kinder to myself, I have learned not to get so pissed off at others and I have learned to accept myself and others as they are in the moment. I may be a little cuddlier than I used to be and my asana may not be as deep on the surface but man I am the happiest I have ever been and I understand how to look after my body more than ever and I hope to inspire and help others do the same.

This is what progress is to me now, knowing where to be in a pose. A student becoming consistent with yoga practice is progress even if you never hold an arm balance. Being kinder to yourself and to strangers is progress. Being more conscience about the food you eat and thinking of the journey of your meal to your plate is progress. Asana is one part of the practice and for many like myself is the way in but what you do with your practice off the mat is also deepening your practice. This does not mean we are never pissed off or that nothing will ever steal your peace again but perhaps on the journey, we learn more about ourselves and can use the experience to become better at being human….Please share your progress x

Injury Rehabilitation

1 October 2018

So, anyone who’s been in my class or seen me on social media the past 2 years has probably heard me whinge about my injury. Those closest to me I’ve probably done more than whinge to you, you know who you are and thank you I love you!

When I first started practicing yoga it made me feel invincible. Yoga was the best thing I’d ever done and my body felt amazing. Like a lot of yogis new to the journey, I was very much in the physical Asana & Pranayama and my job in social service was satisfying the Yama’s & Niyama’s. I hadn’t felt so good in years so I just wanted to share with everyone. I started to teach a few years later and back then I used to believe that yoga would fix everything and I would have gone as far to say that yoga would prevent everything….. It’s the cure for our disconnected world.

To become a yoga teacher I gave up a reasonably well paid steady job, drifted from my social circle and ended up selling my house in the process to follow my heart and spread the joy and magic of yoga. I worked for years on my practice and body trying achieve the most difficult and ‘glamorous’ poses and felt pretty proud of myself. This was my Dharana (my focus as I’m not materialistic and felt right to become better at being in my body than accruing money or objects). Naturally like most yogis a non physical side of practice opened up to me; Dhyana or the meditation practice and the shamanic path of remembering my relationship with nature and feeling that deeper connection. Life is pretty blissful sometimes and I went about sharing this bliss of an experience whenever I had the opportunity. I made time for injuries in my teaching experience but never really gave them any value other than learning the modifications I needed to hand out incase of an injured student.

So like all cycles my bliss bubble burst a bit, well a lot. Fast forward 7 years and then the accrued pressure on my relatively straight lumbar from all those years of heavy squats, deep backbends mixed with a lot of push push push harder harder harder manifested itself in 2 slipped discs. If you’ve ever felt the pain of slipped discs you know that there is no appreciation of nature happening when you have back pain and some days literally no getting out of bed until the tramadol and diazepam kicks in because no friggin tumeric is going to shift this inflammation and spasms (but turmeric is great as a daily supplement). Physical asanas were not possible more than the 1st degree of motion. So, I was gifted with this pause and my concentration was no longer on the physical but looking for the energetic lesson in it all and a deeper understanding than the surface. Pain is a great teacher in being present. I really had to learn to be in the moment without the distraction of asana, not saying asana is a distraction for everyone but like a lot of people I got into projection and ambition and was not pausing much in poses and more in the future than the now. I really really had to learn how to actually listen to my body and I really really really had to learn how to move my body in a more natural and aligned way and not make my body fit into postures but fit the postures to my body. Basically walk the walk and find a deeper connection to my body.

Often I hear students saying I’ve got a long way to go or that they feel like they have been doing it wrong. Well is it really about that? Not to me, it’s called yoga practice not yoga perfect for a reason. You are already there on your yoga journey, there is nowhere to go. Just more and more of yourself to discover. I went through it myself thinking I must have got it all wrong to be in this much pain. I remember a particular moment teaching trying to demonstrate a cobra and taking what felt like 5 minutes to get down then only being able to move my neck in what should be an even back bend, fortunately the class had good imagination. Again it’s a path and in my path I had to learn through injury how to be kinder to my body and listen on a deeper level and not try to go somewhere.

Yoga is still so magical to me because even though my practice is not what it was, man do I feel more in poses at much less a depth than before. I truly have learned to appreciate to be in the moment and do what my body can in that very moment and not try to achieve a pose. This is my yoga now and I completely appreciate someone else’s practice is totally different and neither of us are right or wrong about what yoga is we are all on a path. It would be so easy to shift the responsibility off myself and my practice and say my teachers never taught me well or my PT made me lift too heavy but ultimately I made the decisions I made and I attracted the people who helped me along my chosen path.

I cannot remember who said this originally but I remember Jason Crandell saying it and now I really understand it: ‘Don’t practice yoga to get good at yoga, practice yoga to get good at living’.

So often when we are injured, we take that into our practice we either stop because we are demotivated or have been advised to and a story develops, ‘I have a bad back, I’m old, what’s the point in practicing anymore’ STOP there with that story (I’ve done that) you have a body and you can breathe right? Recognise what you are feeling now is the experience now. There will be a class you can go to or there will be something you can do in your own time. Yoga has really helped me to understand my injuries and how they came about and how to heal them. As long as we take the projection out of it and be in the experience of your breath and body we will get the lesson or the increase of energy to the injured area. It may not be fun but we are here to experience polarities.

So my tips if you are injured –

  • Don’t be attached to your injury, you don’t need to tell the teacher at every class you are injured. Let that story go, get on the mat and practice what you can in a mindful and loving way. Beginners of course chat to instructor before class if you need to.
  • Often when we are injured we want to fix it straight away, well do you know why it’s happened? Is your body trying to tell you something? Sit with your injury and just allow your breath to flow there. Injury is telling your body to stop, listen and feel
  • Take time to focus on the parts of your body that are not in pain.
  • Get help!!! Physical help like Osteo, massage, bodywork. Emotional help from talking with your friends, a paid professional, your family.
  • Make a new story, injuries have a great way of making us look at our lives with a new perspective use the time to re-prioritise and maybe get a new routine of self care or a creative hobby in place.
  • REST if you live in London or any big city the pace is fast even when you are a yogi you may slow down for the 60/75 or 90 minutes you practice but then you are back in the race for the showers, train home or getting the dinner ready so take time to rest with your injury.

You are Powerful

30 September 2018

Do you believe this statement? Its true.

I believe current circumstances and beliefs we find ourselves in are because we do not get told this statement often enough and are instead numbed out with chasing our tails all the time with our thoughts, bombarded with news and getting around from one thing to the next then worrying about the future but feeling powerless to be able to do anything about it. Lets take a deep breath and take a moment just to feel..

In the past I have myself believed that Im too insignificant to make a difference and have looked to and worked for institutions like charities, local authorities and senior yoga teachers and shamans I thought powerful to help them make a difference. Whether we made a difference to people lives in the long run I do not know but I did learn that no one can help you but you. I know that sounds extremely negative but it is the flip side to the statement in the title you are powerful and capable of doing what you dream. It is my life affirmation to be of service whenever I can and I do believe we all need a bit of help sometimes and there is a power in accepting that but ultimately you are in charge and if we all took responsibility for our own lives and happiness then everyone would be happy. As Gandi said ‘be the change you want to see in the world’. Take for example if you are scared of approaching a particular class or pose take a breath and try what can happen? Or fixating on a pose in yoga and you think its not happening for you and you begin to judge yourself for it if you fall or don’t achieve a perfect expression, if you dwell on this you are disempowering yourself and missing the point you are on the mat and trying that’s all that matters, if you go to a shaman constantly to be healed, you are disempowering yourself and giving your power away, if you are constantly going to the doctor to give you cover up meds you are giving your power away. You are powerful and you can change your life, one act at a time will change the vibration and energy and this is what yoga and shamanism is what I believe for (again though I have been fixated on poses and also had beautiful healings in shamanic circles but ultimately I was showing up and doing the work). As Ive said before at best a good yoga teacher or shaman is holding a space for you to be in your process and discover your own power.

A lot of the spiritual teachers these days say that the thing that has disconnected us westerners from our natural connection and power is the thinking mind. We have let the thoughts take over. You are powerful beyond measure and to get that connection to your strength you just have to come back to you! Dropout of the thinking mind and take a deep breath and just feel your body, go to yoga, meditate, walk in nature, hug whenever you can. Taking that one step to getting on your mat or taking 5 minutes just to sit with yourself can be life changing and in time maybe you will change the world around you.

There are some aspects of life that we have no power over of course but if we just start to take our power back over our own lives and how we react to the world around us and treat ourselves then that surely is a step in the right direction.

To quote from Inner Worlds Outer Worlds:

‘U are the U in universe
The true crisis in the world in consciousness is the inability to experience our true selves…….’

You are powerful!

Standing in your own Power

29 September 2018

Initially, I set out to write this blog I was going to share my experience recently about not putting People on Pedestals and stepping into your own power!

I started experiencing what I think they call ‘writer’s block’, I just couldn’t flow. The reason is another realisation, we can read about others’ experiences and probably get a good grasp of the subject and maybe see warning signs in our own journey, but do you know what….nothing can beat experiencing lessons yourself. I have lately had what is perceived by my mind as not so good experiences with teachers. I think of myself as an eternal student of life and always seek people to look up to in the yoga world and in general life and it has only led to disappointment. However, through these experiences I have learned how to step into my own power and yes some experiences are not perceived as good but what we learn and take away from that can only enrich our future experiences.

I’ve been aware since before becoming a yoga teacher that I need to keep my ego in check because so often students put teachers on a pedestal like I did. I thought I could keep my ego in check if I remained humble and kept my self open to learn and keep SEEKING to look up to someone to learn from. I’m sure a psychologist could break this down as a confidence issue or a need for parenting or validation and it’s probably all accurate in some way for me and the teacher on the pedestal. Point being, we are all human and have flaws in some way and how boring would it be if we wasn’t, how else would we learn and I guess this is the point. Follow who you are going to follow and believe what you are going to believe, with your intention you will get there, maybe not how you think you will but YOU WILL in your own beautiful way.

So here comes the season to make resolutions and new beginnings etc. I’m starting now, I will continue to be a student of life but I will view everyone equally instead of looking up to people. We are all great teachers and can learn something about ourselves from each other. I will keep my ego in check by becoming friends with it rather than trying to get rid of it with body mind integration and my chosen method of expansive movement, yoga and meditation.

Most people don’t come to yoga looking for anything like body-mind integration (certainly I didn’t, I loved the challenge and fitness required) but sooner or later, we often experience it anyway. I remember the first time this happened to me in Camel pose in a Bikram class, I was following instructions; hands on hips, lift chest, hips forward, look up and then BOOM emotions from 5 years ago (first ever human heartbreak) came right up like I was reliving the moment again! I had no clue that asana could unlock such strong feelings but it can and often does and remember it’s not the teacher, its you! At best the teacher is creating the space for you to feel.
As John Burras puts it in his book Return to Nature; “while head consciousness (e.g. ego & rationality) has no direct connection with the unconscious, body consciousness does.” That’s why when people talk about yoga as a body-mind-spirit practice, it’s not just some abstract, airy-fairy idea. Rather, it’s a way of conceptualizing how we are wired. Deeply buried emotions unavailable to the conscious mind are imprinted in our bodies. An effective expansive movement like yoga practice can loosen these imprints and allow deeply buried memories, thoughts, and feelings to come into our conscious experience.
It’s easy to look to others but the answers all lay within.
In psychological terms, this could be called a shift toward the integration of the unconscious and conscious minds. In more traditional yogic terms, it could be called a movement toward burning off karma. It’s natural to attribute these feelings to the teacher and/or their class/teaching. Such dynamics can put yoga teachers into a fraught interpersonal space. You may be a great asana teacher and know how to give students the tools to link body, mind, and breath in a way that opens them up to deep and potentially transformative experiences. That doesn’t mean that you necessarily have any real insight into what they’re experiencing or know how best to work with whatever emotional forces may have come up in their practice.

I have witnessed senior teachers indulging in this pedestal adulation in various ways. I’ve definitely seen yoga teachers showered with the rock star-like adulation. Particularly with more high profile teachers, it’s not uncommon to see students and teachers hanging on their every word like they’re the embodiment of some divine oracle. I’ve seen students treat them with a level of deference that might be appropriate for the Dalai Lama, I didn’t go that far by the way, that never felt right to me but like I said at the beginning, I’ve put some of my teachers on pedestals as well and I’m glad I did because of that experience, I can now see these teachers eye to eye rather than looking up.

We are all great teachers with a unique gift to share and believe the best way to help the world is by becoming the best version of you in whatever expression you choose. Here’s to more experiences in 2017 and the best advice (if I may) I have from 2016 is be open, do what you feel, don’t shy away from things that scare you. Treat yourself and everything on your journey with loving kindness.

Thank you to teachers past, present and future for being part of my journey.

In gratitude

Living in Heart Space

28 September 2018

A ‘hippy’ term for something I think is relevant now more than ever.

Releasing from your head space and leaping into your heart space is one of the most freeing, liberating and rewarding steps you can take on the spiritual journey that we are all on.

I feel it’s so important now to really connect with ourselves and each other.

‘If we all took responsibility for our own happiness the world would be a much greater place’ Stacey Moroney (Love you sister)!

Lets first establish what its like to be ruled by the mind. When you observe your thoughts, is there a constant chatter that is limiting, loathing, critical, denying, worrisome and insecure? Is it projecting fear or judgement? Is it deceptively soothing or empathetic in a way that is blaming someone else for how you are feeling.


It’s ok. It is a natural result of our childhood conditioning and learned responses to challenges and adversities; our habitual patterns of how we respond, interpret, react and perceive the world in relationship to our viewpoint of who we are.

Living in your head space means your self image is determined by what others think of you; therefore it is constantly changing to adapt to other peoples opinions of you.

Your sense of Self is made up of all the things others have told you with regards to who they think you are and who you are not. If it feels constraining or limiting as you try to mould yourself into an image that others will like, then it’s not the truth of who you are. The truth is not limiting or constraining, that is why it sets you free.

What does living in your heart space mean?

It is an inner knowing. A knowing that cannot be explained, but felt. You feel light, free, expansive and alive. You don’t question why you are doing what you are doing, but you feel pulled to do it. Living from your heart space means listening to your feelings and understanding what they are telling you. It feels just right and aligned to whom you are. It feels authentic. This is where yoga is such a fantastic practice to get us out of the mind and into the feeling.

All Yogi’s will understand that feeling you get after class that we cannot quite describe but it just makes you go “mmmmmm’, that satisfaction that comes with stretching the body and going internal for an hour focusing on breath. In todays society there is always more and more to let go of to get to our natural state, which I believe is bliss.

When we take the time to acknowledge and feel our feelings, we can learn to make better decisions that are for our highest good. Heart energy is always loving, supportive and empowering. When we live from our heart space we are self-compassionate. True healing is in total acceptance of who we are. As acceptance becomes the foundation for our growth and self-improvement, we no longer judge or condemn our Being. Instead, we begin to honour and celebrate it.

So ask yourself: How can I celebrate myself? How can I honor myself? In celebrating and honouring myself I live from my heart space. Practicing yoga, walking in the park, complimenting others, hugging and being compassionate are all ways to honour yourself.

I’m not naïve. I don’t think we can live in a busy city like London and live from the heart all the time. My heart is not going to tell me how to get through the front door or press the stop button on the bus or remember my passport when I’m travelling. But it will help me to understand the frustrated student in class or empathize with a stressed out commuter that barges past me, pulling out my headphones playing my lovely dolphin sounds and not lose my peace. I believe there is a time and a place for both.

For too long I let my mind inform my heart now I allow my heart to inform my mind.

Yoga was not the only discipline that got me here but it played a big part in it. I believe Yoga helps us to be still, clearing out the body and mind so we can feel.

Be the change you want to see in the world – Ghandi

I know, I know, the title appears to be fairly unoriginal. But it really isn’t. Although yoga is over 6,000 years old, every individual who embarks on a yoga adventure has an original experience. This is mine. These days there are so many styles of yoga around, some pretty extreme and some pretty out there. Whatever works. Personally, I like a challenging class taught compassionately, with a focus on breath and listening to your own body and inner voice. Noticing subtleties in energy and curiosity of the internal process, for me, started quite young, primary school in fact. I was 7 years old and fascinated with the world, how did the birds fly and how did that feel? How do trees grow from seeds, that little seed into this big strong tree? It sounds clichéd I know but cliché’s become cliché’s for a reason. And yes, lets get it out of the way I am making more vegan choices, I just feel like it (more about that later).

I’m a natural observer and loved observing from a young age, how animals behaved. It wasn’t altogether different from watching how my peers interacted with each other at school and how everyone formed their groups.

As a slightly darker Turkish Cypriot boy who was a little different looking with a double foreign name, Hassan Hassan, I wasn’t a natural fit for any of the groups or even sub-groups. I was still learning to navigate my body and understand the world. I became the subject of ridicule by my peers because of my funny name and being foreign. These experiences shaped me and allowed me to find the positive later in life and taught me equanimity, even though I hadn’t intellectualized the topic yet.

Cut to secondary school, new groups, new start with a tub of gel to straighten out my curls and all the clothes everyone else was wearing like reebok classics to the school gate then loafers with the slammin vinyl record bag, I did everything to look like everyone else. I didn’t want to stand out, quite literally. I walked with my shoulders hunched for years and wore platform shoes and dug out the inside so I could attribute my height to the shoes. I was too afraid to stand tall. I managed to stay under the radar for a year but then I was asked to take some pictures by a model scout for a magazine and then bam! Back on the radar and the teasing and ridicule started again. This time it wasn’t my name or being foreign, my peers shouted “pretty boy”, “ gay” boy and worse. I couldn’t walk into a corridor or have my double name called out in assembly without some sort of derogatory comment or laugh. Getting up for school was a huge challenge and every morning I would have an internal dialogue with myself to get up and face whatever I had to face that day. So yeah that was hurtful and upsetting to be excluded but really it was a hard lesson and a blessing. From a young age I found my inner voice, my centre, a place to retreat to. I quickly developed a sense of self, albeit a sense of self that was dictated by a group of my peers that didn’t quite know how to interact with someone a little different, bless them! I can’t say at the time I was sending out love but now I send nothing but.

Fast forward a few years and I find my self in a yoga class. I don’t have to worry about being singled out or picked on because no one can talk, YES! Finally, some freedom to move around without judgement and without fear that someone is going to say something horrible to me. Actually the teacher said I was pretty good (I didn’t mind a bit of nice judgement and I probably needed to hear that for my confidence)! It didn’t matter how much of the poses I did, it was just great that I showed up and let the breath move me, all while listening to my inner voice and becoming more aware of my breath.

I’d found yoga while at the gym trying to buff up to cover my insecurities. I was pretty buff to be honest, training 5 times a week and protein shaking it everyday. Yoga was a good stretch and a place of retreat, then I decided to not take so much protein and the bulk just dropped off! Two freaking years necking protein shakes and chicken and oats, chicken and eggs, chicken with more chicken, then it all falls off in a couple weeks! I couldn’t even downdog without getting tired yet the older ladies in the room were doing it with ease. I invested a lot of time working on strength but I didn’t have the core to headstand. Or keep my arms over my head for more than 30 seconds without getting tired. I’m not saying the gym is bad for you I still train in the gym but my balance was off for me and my body. I respect anyone who has a discipline and sticks to it, mine just happened to not be so great for me at the time.

I started to practice more yoga and 6 months in I felt some profound changes in myself both physically and mentally. With Yoga, I knew it was going to be a long adventure and one I am grateful I can share with anyone in my private sessions, public classes and retreats. Yoga is one of my main passions in life and every day I count my blessings that I get to call myself a Yoga teacher!

‘Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self” ~ The Bhagavad Gita

Yoga has help me to build confidence to be me, without fear of judgement. It has helped me to build the strength to sometimes step out of certain situations or relationships that are not in alignment with who I am, and where I see myself in the world. Situations that weren’t helping me to grow or evolve and that’s ok, it’s not bad it’s not good it’s just what it is.

Yoga has helped me to accept that.

Sometimes I’ll practice a pose and if I fall, it’s ok I’ll try again, maybe now, maybe tomorrow. Or maybe it will never happen but at least I tried and I’m going to have fun doing it. Yoga has helped me to help my self and help others to help themselves and I am privileged to teach it.

London can be a hard city to live in we are fortunate to have so much opportunity and so much diversity. But sometimes the pace of the city takes over and before you know it you are tired and you have made a cup of tea and either forgotten to drink it or forgotten you made one. It is more important now in the modern world, with so much to do and so much external stimulation, just to slow down and spend a bit of time on yourself, be it through stopping to smell the flowers, a walk in the park, meditation sessions or yoga (get in touch with me for the last 2 if you like).

Just take a bit of time to slow down and appreciate before you jump back on the rollercoaster.

And above all, whatever you’re doing, remember to stand tall, as I do now!

Be a Yogi

10 July 2018

What a wonderful time to be a yogi! So much choice and so many people stepping onto the mat to embark on the journey of self discovery, it’s great. I’m no purist by any stretch, I think whatever gets people onto the mat to take some time for themselves is great. With so many things pulling us out of our bodies these days, coming to the mat to focus on your body and breath in any form is an accomplishment, but where do we draw the line? There seems to be so many variations these days and I wonder if they are centered in the well being of the collective or the creators’ bank balance? I know I know, we all need to make money to get by (in this city anyway) but where do we draw the line? Does it matter which way we face when we practice? Does it matter if it’s fast or slow? Does it matter if the teacher you are practicing with has 200 hours or 500 hours? Well I guess the question we should all ask ourselves is it good for you right now?

I do not think there is only one way for anyone and I will be so bold to say that anyone that still thinks there is should really do some yoga to relax their sphincter muscle and maybe look up. I don’t think it matters what direction I’m facing, I am looking inward. I like it slow, I like to have time to breath. I think you can be a great teacher straight out of TT but I think you become a better teacher by taking feedback, going to a variety of classes, having a steady practice and I don’t think it matters how many ‘hours’ you have been awarded or paid for (I have taught on teacher trainings and in my experience these awarding bodies do not check the quality of the TT or hold anyone accountable you literally just pay for the stamp). I think it matters that you put yourself out there and let all those hours ‘cook’, teach some bodies and get some experience. After all, this discipline is a practice. These are just my thoughts and experience and I appreciate different viewpoints.

One of the greatest gifts yoga has given me is a sense of inner peace and this is what I like to share with other practitioners. That doesn’t mean that I think classes should feel easy and not challenge you, I probably actually lean slightly the other way but if you are always looking for that workout feeling maybe once in a while take yourself to the other end of the spectrum and do some Yin. I believe and have experienced through my own practice beautiful releases and transformations through moments of intensity and times of being damn right peeved at someone and don’t even get me started on pain (maybe another blog and FYI I don’t think a yoga practice should be physically painful). I strongly believe we can learn a lot from each other whatever our preference, consistency is the key to unlocking your mind and body all you have to do is just show up. One of my all time yoga cliché quotes is ‘Yoga is not about learning to stand on your head its about learning to stand on your own two feet’ – Cintra Brown

My recommendation for practice is be consistent with it if you like it safe go to whats been around for a while like Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram, Forrest. There are some lovely newer styles around too I am pleased to be trusted by my friends at Soma house who teach Vinyasa influence by the elements which is rather lovely and the sequences are changed every term. Whichever class you choose to go to don’t expect and quick fix or a miracle moment in handstand these things will happen when you are ready and have put the time in. Not every class is going to be amazing, sometimes the environment won’t be great, sometimes the teacher is not at their best and sometimes it’s just you but it’s all experience and if you are open to learn from the experience, I’m pretty sure you will grow and get in touch with your fear, your strength and your bliss…

“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 Nature. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people wont feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of the universe that is within us. Its not just some of us; its 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.” – Marianne Williamson.