While driving my 5 year-old granddaughter to the mall school shopping, I asked her if she likes wearing dresses or pants to school. “Oh, dresses of course” she said, and went on to say “My friend Mia always wears pink tutus or pretty dresses and I love fancy dresses!” Then I asked her, “Do you like to be fancy”? “Of course grandma, why wouldn’t I?” Well of course, why wouldn’t she?

Those three words “why wouldn’t I” stuck with me that night.

When I look into my granddaughter’s face I see such a pure love for life, her innocence, her ability to shine and be proud of it. She loves being fancy and wears it well! Then I think about myself; what happened to prevent me from being fancy? What happened to the little girl in me who was afraid to shine and does that now mean I can’t shine at age 59?

                                                   OF COURSE IT DOESN’T!

I learned from a young age not to stand out. If I did, bad things happened. I intuitively knew I shouldn’t shine brighter than my mom for I would get frowned upon if I did. From dad, came unwanted attention. My siblings being much older than me, liked to tease and scare me as they would with each other. I was the sensitive one who needed safety, I didn’t thrive on fear. I stayed small, tried to be unnoticed and would disappear. I would watch the chaos in our household and head off into the woods to escape, hoping no one would see me. There, in the woods, I felt free to shine, feeling strong and proud. Unfortunately, only in the woods did I feel safe enough to be me.

We all have times that define who we think we are. We believe other peoples words, we experience trauma, or we inherit family beliefs. Whatever the reason, it impacts how we see ourselves and relate to others. These experiences impact what we create in our life.

Through the years helping others and myself, I have noticed we all have a story. Good, bad or indifferent, we each create our own personal tale that internalizes our experience as “who we are.”

Within that “story” framework, there are five basic needs that humans share which are critical to our growth, our health and even our survival:


  • Safety
  • Acknowledgement
  • Being Valued
  • Unconditional Love
  • Growth


The story that we believe is who we become. What we experienced or what we missed out on shapes our identity. If we lacked any of these five needs, we create emotional and physical symptoms that affect us throughout our life.

Safety was a weak link for me, I felt the only way to be of value was to clean up after everyone and I was frightened of what may happen if I was acknowledged. This impacted me throughout my life, it kept me small and not wanting to take up space (in college I experienced anorexia, no surprise there), I never tried to be fancy or stand out, for me that meant danger!

Others may put on extra weight to feel safe, trying every diet out there, but until they feel safe, their body is not going to become the magnificent vehicle it was meant to be, with the qualities it was meant to have.

Some never felt unconditional love and may become a chronic “people pleaser”, afraid to say no.  We can see this in the outwardly perfect Mom, wearing herself out to please everyone. She runs herself ragged for her spouse, her kids, the in-laws, the PTA, while on the inside, she is exhausted. So she struggles with bloating, PMS, fatigue, constipation and insomnia while never feeling good enough.


What story do you need to unravel, to explore and to grow from? As we change the story, we can change our experiences.

Hearing these three words “why wouldn’t I” brought me back to my story.

Why wouldn’t I want to shine?

Why wouldn’t I want to be fancy?

Why wouldn’t I want to show confidence?

We are all born with a bright light, as you look into the eyes of a child, you can see it. Sadly it often gets dulled from life experiences.

Is it time for your light to shine bright again?

Take some time and answer these important questions:

  • What is the story you keep telling over and over?
  • What is the excuse you are using?
  • Who is keeping you from shining?
  • What do you need in order for you to shine?
  • What steps are you going to take to show your bright light?

My wish for you is to shine the bright magnificent light you came here to be.