Where's your spotlight?

by Sara Marchessault

On a recent trip to the playground my daughter quickly made friends with two other girls, sisters, one my daughter’s age and one a little older, and they were building the most magnificent sandcastle city. While they were busy building, my daughter also shared a lengthy and detailed story about what was happening in “sandcastle city” which is a sand neighborhood inside “the walls of Tallahassee.”  No more waiting for the spotlight...it's time to shine from within

She was really getting into it. Street names. Families that lived in different houses. The jobs the daddies and mommies had (mostly in lollypop factories, which my child has been telling people her daddy does for a living since she was able to speak and learned about the wonders of a Dum Dum – he is actually a network guy – way less cool than lollypop maker). Kids that go to school…you get the picture.

The other girls continued to build sandcastles and once in a while would chime in a detail. “I’m building the king’s castle” or “this is where the queen’s grandma lives.”

There were two other parents also hovering on the fringes of this building excursion and as my daughter got more and more into her story, we were more and more on the edges of our park benches.

At one point my daughter paused and one of the mom’s jumped in. “Wow, you are a really smart girl!”

“Yes, I live at 4025 Forsythe Way and I am the smartest person in my family.

All of us moms laughed. As construction continued the smartest person in my family held me captivated along with a series of adjectives that floated to the surface in my mind.

Inspired and Inspiring.

Like many of our daughters, mine has been a ray of light since birth. She is bright. It’s so natural and easy for her.

She doesn’t leave the house in the morning wondering where she is going to get attention. She creates it in herself and people are drawn to her.

Marianne Williamson said this wonderful line: “The reason so many of us are obsessed with becoming stars is we are not yet starring n our own lives. The cosmic spotlight isn’t pointed at you, it radiates from within you.”

My daughter will turn five this summer. Watching her and other children, we can see this in action.

The spotlight shines forth from them when they make a new friend on the playground with the ease of seasoned networker.

Each time they get a chance to create and then share it with us, they are glowing from within.

When they beg us to watch them as they run, jump, swim, dive, dance, they are asking us to see because the spotlight from inside is so special, they can’t help but share it.

When was the last time you walked up to a complete stranger with confidence and invited them to play?

What have you taken the time to create lately just because you love to create?

And who was the last person you asked to watch you, not out of any sort of need for approval or jealousy, but because you sincerely and honestly were just so excited about what you were doing that it needed to be shared?

My mommy mission is to keep her spotlight shining from within. My biggest fear as her parent is that she will start to value the light of the approval of others more than she values her own light.

My journal preserves the memories of this time in her life. I use it to document the funny things she says and does, the insights she finds on her own, and the revelations her very existence has created for me.

Journal writing has been the technique I use to capture a description of her spirit from the time of birth. Evidence of the cosmic spotlight lies in the pages of the letters I write to her.

Damn right my daughter is the smartest person in my family. She hasn’t been tainted yet by the demands of a culture and a society that might try to teach her to fit in. That it’s better to blend in than to be noticed. And that you can’t trust people  you don’t know – so definitely don’t run up and invite strangers to play!

The lessons I learn as I keep a journal for my daughter inspire me to be the kind of mother I think she deserves. One who is strong enough to let her shine.

One that will not try to force her to blend so that I’m more comfortable.

Keeping my journal is teaching me these lessons and giving me hope that if I can help her keep her cosmic spotlight shining, she will pass the torch, and someday the planet will be covered with beacons of light, shining to make the world a better place.

A little cheesy, right?

Can’t help it, I’m a mom.

And what about us? What can you and I do to fire up our own cosmic spotlights and give these kids great role models? Leave a comment in the space below!

Like this article? Please feel free to use it on your own blog or newsletter. I simply ask that you please include this blurb: Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, teacher, and mom who helps busy women use journaling to create more space in their life for being productive without feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit joyfulbydesign.com or saramarchessault.com.

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