The myth of "too much"

One of my very favorite parts of coaching is helping clients tap into the innate gifts.

Looking at their natural talents, preferences, values, and deep desires.

Many times, especially with the women I work with, their calling is deeply linked to their wounding and the ways that they dimmed their own light in order to be safe and/or loved and/or accepted.

Much of our time together is spent shedding these false beliefs around identity and only then is it possible to truly align energy and actions with a sustainable business based on our own healing.  I see so much beauty and light in the women I work with - it is HUGELY amazing to be a part of their unfolding as they step into owning themselves and their stories, fully.

I have a daughter who is six.


She is brilliant and shiny and larger than life. She is bold and talkative and smart and curious about everything.

<-- Here she is, in Paris.

This last weekend, Michele Woodward's daughter babysat for me and I took Clara to Michele's house (which Clara was THRILLED about). Clara practically threw herself from the car as we got to Michele's house -- she could. not. wait. to hang out with Michele's very cool daughter for the evening.

When I came back to pick Clara up, Michele said to me, in the most amazed and loving voice, "That Clara is a pistol! Isn't she the best?"

My first thought was, "OH MY GOD CLARA HAS GOT TO LEARN TO TONE IT DOWN OR NO ONE WILL LOVE HER OR BE NICE TO HER FOREVER AND ALWAYS."

Huh. Do you think that was about Clara?

But I was all up in that story. And not surprisingly, it was incredibly difficult to get Clara to listen to me and put her shoes on -- she was wild. And I was feeling prim and contained and like I needed her to be *really* good so people would love her and she wouldn't be "too much".

We said our goodbye's and I got Clara wound down and into bed. As I sat beside Clara while tucking her in, I felt the contraction in my stomach.

The thought that she is "too much" just made me want to throw up.

Every woman that I've worked with came to mind. The brilliance, the creativity, the intuition, the healing, the strength, the unbelievable gifts... how all of them were told at some point that they were wrong, that it wasn't okay to be them, that they weren't going to be loved if they did their thing one more time.

So they went into hiding.  Until now.

I looked at my daughter with fresh eyes. My daughter is not too much. She is dramatic and smart and beautiful and an energetic ball of love. Her belly laugh brings tears to my eyes with it's depth. Her absolute dedication to being who she is and expressing it just how she wants to is breath-taking in it's honesty. I could go on and on.

I will not be the one to shut her down.

There may be other forces at work in her life that will tell her to stop being who she is, but it won't be me. I will be a fierce advocate of her light. I want her to be happy. And I know from experience that deep-down, in-your-bones, kind of happiness is only possible when all of you is present and accounted for.

It's never too much to be yourself.

In fact, it is exactly what the world needs.

Namasté to you, business yoginis!

54 comments

@Karen: thank YOU for sharing. It is so powerful to stand in our own light, isn't it? How lucky we all are that you are doing what you are doing with such courage and vision. xoxo

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Greenstylemom Mar 2, 2011 06:18am

Love this. Love this. Love this.

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Theresa Robbins Mar 4, 2011 05:42pm

Fabulous post, Nona! I love the power of consciously making day-to-day decisions for the greater good. Clara sounds like a fabulously fabulous lucky little girl! Celebrate her! Theresa

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@Deb: I know your son still has his "muchness" and feels your support of him! Big hugs! @Jodi: Brava for both you, and your daughter!!

@Martha: thank you so much. xoxo

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Jen Trulson Mar 4, 2011 06:40pm

Perfectly said and what timing! I was on vacation with family when I read your article. I found myself on edge wanting the kids to act a certain way while in Papa's house which only created more angst.Being raised told to tone it down and stop talking so much I learned to be a rule follower. At times, I find myself slipping back into old patterns and passing it on to my kids. Cringe. I love how unique each one of my kids are and your articles message was another reminder how pivotal I can be in allowing their individual light to shine. Thanks for sharing. MWAH!

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Nona...in awe. You know what? I am sending this to my son...I did not always have the insight when he was young to just let him be 'too much' - and I squelched it in varying degrees depending on the circumstances. Luckily for him, many times I let him be his alive self. I wised up later, but i'm sure some of his spark was damped down for good. I am going to tell him just that, with this blog as a copy, and hope he can resurrect any of his feel good 'too-muchness' that he wants to earlier in life that I will ever be able too. xoxo

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I really loved this article Nona. Thanks. It makes me think about how I might be censoring myself in an effort to be "accepted."

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What a lovely, lovely post, Nona. Thank you.

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KCLAnderson (Karen) Mar 14, 2011 08:35pm

THANK YOU!! I wept when I read this: "their calling is deeply linked to their wounding and the ways that they dimmed their own light in order to be safe and/or loved and/or accepted."

It's taken me more than 45 years to have to courage to let my light shine and my mother is STILL trying to dim it. I cut ties with her at the end of 2010 (it wasn't something I wanted or planned to do, but something happened...and...well...).

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Absolutely LOVE this. I needed to read it and I am sending it to everyone I know. Thank you! "Beauty is what happens when you are busy being yourself" Beauty here, all round!

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Starla J. King Mar 3, 2011 09:16pm

Nona... beautiful beautiful post. It applies to adults and kids alike -- ANYone who has tried to squelch the "too much" in themselves or someone else. This fear we have of letting ourselves and others shine EXACTLY AS THEY ARE... sigh. Here's to taking the example of Clara and her "dramatic and smart and beautiful and energetic ball of love" self !

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Nona-I love this - just what the mother of a very spirited two year old boy needed to hear today! I'd done the self-coaching to get to the place where I'd identified the painful thought - "What if other people won't love him as much as he deserves?" and was working from there when I happened to see someone post your blog on FB - perfect timing! By the way, your daughter sounds AWESOME! Namaste, Leah

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Jodi Seery Mar 5, 2011 03:55am

Nona...like so many, I definitely abdicated my "muchness" at an early age in order to have approval. Unfortunately early on I was not a great example to my daughter. In the last five years I changed that, and am now leading by example and encouraging her everyday to own her gloriousness! Thank you for this very beautiful reminder of encouragement!

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Wow! This post has me sitting here wondering where I would be if I had been allowed my "muchness" as a child. Tears in my eyes.

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Susan Hyatt Mar 2, 2011 05:08pm

Hi Nona! Love this. My Emily is really going through this at 10.....the traditional classroom setting doesn't appreciate girl "muchness." So, I appreciate the nod to the mamas who are working to cultivate and not suppress such magnificence. You go!

XO S

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Thanks for your post. I can so very much relate to it. Being born in 1961 and raised by a family that was very much into "what will our neighbors think" or "behave, when we visit grandma" I often felt like the black sheep in the family only to find out (much,much later) that being the black sheep meant to be me. Looking back I still feel the hurt and the many times I was reprimanded for my behavior (OK, sometimes I went over the top) but the worst thing that happened was that I doubted myself, that I questioned if I was a lovable person. Don't let that ever happen to your daughter! Stay the course, she can be never too much because she is the way she is, her own true self.

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YogaRestores Mar 3, 2011 02:59am

"She is brilliant and shiny and larger than life. She is bold and talkative and smart and curious about everything."Now Nona, imagine the possibilities for Clara's adult life... WOW!

Yes, if we could all have the kind of upbringing so that we may be as adults all that we could be. How uncluttered our hearts and minds would be, at least from that perspective.

Thank goodness for yogini mom's like you, and thank you for your post. Refreshing! ~ Heather

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Judy Murdoch Mar 2, 2011 06:17pm

Peer pressure gets tough as girls get older ~ around 9 and 10 so your acceptance and support means so much Nona! So much of our work as parents is to prepare our children to step fully into the world as themselves. Not an easy thing to do by a longshot!! You're doing a fantastic job.

Love, Judy

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Stacey Shanks Mar 2, 2011 07:39pm

Nona~I so relate to this with my youngest son, Reid. He is an absolute ball of fire that goes from 0-100 in 10 seconds or less. He loves, loves, loves to whistle. I don't mean regular whistle, he loves to whistle loudly all the time to music or in the shower or just for no reason. I started asking him to stop because it can be so annoying. I had to rethink that as well because I am so blessed he is whistling. I take it to mean he is happy and enjoying life. What is wrong with that? He gets in trouble all the time for drumming on the table or floor. He is a great drummer! Why should I be the one to squelch his wonderful zest? I will not do it,...but I need to remind myself often! Love, love, love this connection! Bring on the WHISTLING! XO Stacey

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Pat Barone CPCC, PCC Mar 18, 2011 04:16pm

I love this post. It reminds me of when my son was in pre-school. I would go to pick him up and, no matter what he was doing, he would stop, stand up, throw his arms wide and scream (I mean SCREAM) MOMMY!!! and he would come running to me. All the other little children would be walking quietly to their coats and parents without eye contact or greeting. The preschool teachers would roll their eyes at him. It was the most incredible time of the day for me. I never told him to stop. Pat Barone, CPCC, PCC "America's Weight Loss Catalyst"

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Dana (Boyle) LaPointe Mar 3, 2011 01:55am

Nona, You made me cry! :) This is exactly how I feel when someone tells me my little niece, Stella, is stubborn or has a mind of her own, or that she "needs to learn" x or y or z. I want to protect the light that shines inside her and the bubbly little piece of heaven that comes out of her with every laugh, smile and skip of her two year old little legs.

I can't imagine how much stronger that must feel when it's your own daughter, but my little nieces can rest assured that I will champion their lights and never be the one to tell them not to do their thing!

Bravo, mama, for recognizing that moment and choosing to let her light shine.

A big hug to you! And to you, Susan Hyatt...after hearing about Emily's drawing at school today.

<3 Dana

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Ursula Philipsen Mar 3, 2011 03:12am

Thanks a lot. Very helpfull for me and my oldest, three year old boy.

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Nona, Clara really is a pistol. A happy, creative ball of joyful ideas. And what could possibly be better than that? Oh, I know something - having a mother who totally allows her to be whomever she needs to be in this moment. And this one. And this. How fortunate that Clara has you. :-)

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Thank you, Nona. This so resonates with me and gives me a hint why I feel so not like myself, not empowered and strong, but your word also encourage me to claim all apects of myself and live fully, without being afraid of being to much! Thank you so much for this reminder!

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Laurie Foley Mar 2, 2011 06:16pm

Oh how I wish every teacher in the world could read this post! (And I wish mine had, too!) But now YOU'RE one of my favorite teachers who is never too much, Nona. Thank you, thank you.

Love how you shared the vulnerable side of parenting, too.

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Fabeku Fatunmise Mar 2, 2011 05:26pm

Yes! The world needs more people like Clara. And like you.

So many people hide their awesome. Ashamed or afraid to let it show for one reason or another.

So this message? So so so important.

I say let the bigness shine.

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Brilliant Nona. Just beautiful. Gorgeous, bright, and super-cute Clara is one lucky girl to have you as a Mom. I especially love the line "It's never too much to be yourself."

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Nona -- Thank you for the gift of your words. My six year old is very similar and so much like me at that age that sometimes it takes my breath away. I have so much to learn from her, and need the reminder to get out of her way as well as my own. Can't wait to see you soon.

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This brought tears to my eyes Nona, it's so true that at one time or another most of us have been shut down because we have been deemed to be too much - I imagine the brilliance that can come forth if this were not to happen. I want to say Clara is very lucky to have you, and also acknowledge that it's her birthright as it is all of ours to live and express our fullness without censorship.x

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Brilliant, Brilliant, BRIL-I-ANT!!! Can you tell I love it. ;)

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Thanks Kristen!! xoxo

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Millie Gormely Mar 3, 2011 05:56pm

I don't have a daughter, but this really resonated with me and I've sent it on to some of the great moms of daughters that I know...thanks for this!

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allison strine Mar 2, 2011 05:22pm

Wow. Nona, you put into words so much of what I've felt in my life without thinking about it. I especially love the Clara analogy - I've realized that SO much of my public parenting is about how I want THEM to perceive me, and not about the child. I love the way you're making me THINK today!

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I really struggle with that when we take Clara to see family, too, Jen. Boy, I'm so glad you are the vibrant talker that you are -- I bet your kids are grateful for that in you, too. Big love, Jen!!!!

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I would imagine that tears mean your muchness was squashed to some degree -- the more important question, to me, is are you allowing yourself your muchness, now?? Love and light! xoxo.n

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It does apply to ALL of us. And it's the essence that we try and squelch that is the one we most need to bring into the world, isn't it?? xoxo

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Thank you so much Helen -- I learn so much from Clara. I'm the lucky one.

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YAY to letting the bigness shine, Fabeku! Thank you so much for commenting -- you are a ninja of SHINE. xoxo

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Amen to all of the above, Nat. xoxo

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I often think about what an amazing adult Clara is going to be -- I especially try to keep that in mind when she is driving me a bit mad. :D xoxo

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I spent many years feeling like you are describing, Martina -- it's so worth it to do the work to become who you are meant to be. Much love to you!!!

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Pat, I LOVE this story! LOVE. IT. I laughed out loud when I read it... absolutely beautiful - thank you for sharing!

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Hi Leah!!! What comes to mind is the "everybody" exercise of Martha's... I bet your two year old is an absolute delight!! xoxo

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Thanks so much Diane!!! xoxo

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Thank you for showing me the way, Michele. xoxo

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Stella is lucky to have an auntie like you!! Thank you so much for sharing your passion to protect the light in your niece. xoxo

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You go, SusanHyatt!! You are one of the best girl-mamas I know and Emily is a STAR!! xo

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I'm so glad that it was helpful Patricia -- I appreciate you sharing the message. xoxo

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Thanks for sharing it, Millie. I'm so glad it resonated with you... xoxo

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Allison - it's almost never about our kids!! LOL! But really, who is more important? The neighbors or the kids? I'm going to choose the kids and I bet you will, too. BIG LOVE!! I got my LadyBirds and they are in the midst of flying all over the country...

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I'm so glad it helps, Ursula. xoxo

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I want to hear what answers you find on our walk this Sunday!! xoxo

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Hi Ashley - our kids really do hold up a mirror don't they? xoxo

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Regine, thanks for sharing this. So many of us grew up with this, "what will the neighbors think??" Isn't it wonderful that we get to change that mind-set and let our kids shine?? xoxo

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