Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher


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Are you willing to practice being magnificent?

Years ago, while teaching a self-esteem course at a homeless shelter, I asked the 12 or so men gathered in the room ‘what kind of man do you want to be?’.

Across from me, at the far end of the boardroom table sat a tall, handsome man who had once been forced to become a child soldier in his homeland. “I want to be a proud man,” he said. “But how can that be possible when I have done so many horrible things?” he asked.

“Do you want to keep doing those things or things of which you’re proud?” I asked him.

And he replied, “Of course I want to do things I’m proud of. But I see me only as that bad man.”

“What if I told you I see you as a magnificent human being?”

He flashed me a big smile and said, “I’d say you need better glasses.”

I laughed at his joke and I told him my glasses were okay. What if, it was just the lens through which he was looking at himself that needed adjusting?

The whole class listened intently to our conversation, with several others chiming in that there was no hope that anyone would ever see them as magnificent.

What if the first step isn’t for others to see you as magnificent but rather that you do? I asked.

I invited everyone around the table to close their eyes, for just a moment, and imagine that they truly were magnificent. Sit tall, I encouraged. Breathe into being and feeling and knowing you are magnificent. Be that.

And for a moment, 12 men closed their eyes, sat tall and breathed into their magnificence.

It was trans-formative.

Facial features relaxed. Their breathing slowed. Small smiles of recognition appeared on some of their faces.

After a moment, I invited them to open their eyes and asked, “Could you feel it? Could you feel your magnificence?”

And everyone in that room agreed. Yes they could.

Then it exists within you, I told them.

Now, imagine that we connect through our magnificence. Imagine that our magnificence is the thing we carry out into the world and share.

Would your world be different?

Yes, they all murmured.

Magnificence exists within each of us. It is who we are born as, and to be.

And then, life happens, we forget our birthright and start living in the narrow corridors of the hurtful things we’ve experienced, done, and seen that we tell ourselves define us. Limit us. Are us.

It’s not true.

The things that happened, including the past, does not define us. We do. In the here and now.

And in the here and now is where we can begin to practice letting go of our limiting beliefs and breathing into celebrating our magnificence.

Those beliefs were founded in the past because those were the things we were taught, forced to learn, forced to endure because the world around us didn’t know how to celebrate our magnificence, or its own.

Those are the beliefs that keep us playing into our limitations and living small today.

Just for today, practice breathing into your magnificence. Imagine your entire being is imbued with the beauty and wonder and awe that is you when you let go of living out the learned patterns of mediocrity that have kept you trapped in forgetting the magnificence of who you are born to be.

And in your magnificence, imagine that you are a divine expression of grace. That you are… Love.

Breathe and Be. Breathe and Be.

And so it is.


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How to take God’s breath away.

gods breath copy

The title of this post comes from a post I wrote on April 30th, 2007. The original title was, “You take God’s Breath away.” The phrase comes from a woman I met who when asked, ‘what’s your purpose?’ replied, “I want to show everyone they are so incredible they take God’s breath away.”

I remember hearing her say that and feeling my heart stop in startled recognition of the power of her statement. I remember feeling caught off guard, surprised, and fascinated.

I remember the voice of Love inside me whisper, “It’s true.”

And I remember in the next breath worrying about whether it was true or not. I remember thinking, ‘Is it that easy? I take God’s breath away, just because I am, me?”

Since writing the original post my awareness of and awareness in our human magnificence has grown. My understanding of and compassion for how we all do things to hide from, shy away from, pretend it doesn’t exist and thus run-away from our magnificence, has also grown.

We are all so very human.

We fight the truth.

We ignore it.

We subvert it.

We try to kill it, destroy it, tear it out and rip it up into a thousand pieces.

We try to bomb the hell out of it. Massacre it. Shoot it up and blow it up.

We think it may be true for others, and worry it will never be true for us.

We worry that to be our magnificence will only encourage others to pull us down, and so we hold ourselves down, and back, from being our true selves.

But no matter how hard we try to avoid it or make it not true, there is no avoiding the truth.

We are all magnificent.

We are born that way.

We don’t have to do anything to ‘deserve it’. Earn it. Create it. Make it.

It is not more true for one of us and less for another. It is the same for all of us.

We are born magnificent.

It is our human birthright. Our soulful essence. Our truth.

We are born that way.

Magnificent.

And while we humans may do a lot of things to try to pretend we are not magnificent, or to avoid the truth of our magnificence, or to not be accountable for our magnificence, there is no way to destroy the essence of our soulful truth — We are magnificent.

No matter what God we worship before or not, what belief we hold about our spiritual nature or not, what story of origin we breathe into or not, the truth is — We are magnificent.

Which means, the answer to “How to take God’s breath away” is simple. BE YOU.

Just be you. Because ultimately, no matter what you do, you cannot destroy your soulful magnificence. (and you can’t be anyone else anyway so why not be your magnificent self?)

Which means, it’s time to stop trying to destroy the truth about who you are. It’s time to stop trying to remember ‘why’ you’re magnificent (there is no answer to the ‘why’ – you just are magnificent) and start breathing life into the miracle of all that you are when you accept the truth.

You are magnificent.

And because you are you, you take God’s breath away, just the way you are.

Beginning. Middle. End of the story of your life.

You are magnificent.

Namaste.


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Our brilliance makes a difference

I awoke up this morning, my brilliance shimmering in my mind, words dancing across the refreshed screen of my imagination. I knew exactly what my blog was going to be all about today. Yeah baby. I’m hot today!  🙂

And then…

I make coffee. Feed the cat. Let the dog out. Open my computer…

and an empty wasteland of white space greets my eyes. My mind is as blank as a virgin whiteboard.

Those brilliant thoughts that I awoke to…Blank. Vanished. Gone.  Disappeared. High-tailed it to the otherworld of lost words dangling like participles in an unfinished sentence.

I search my memory banks. Dredge through the sludge of muddy thoughts that cloud my thinking clearly.

No luck. No threads of possibility to tickle my imagination.

Contentment: A mouse pad to sleep on.


Marley, the Great Cat, his stomach filled, leaps up onto the desk and takes up residence on my mouse pad. A sleek black ribbon of contentment, he curls up and falls asleep, one paw resting lightly on my keyboard. I move the mouse. When he lies on it my computer freezes.

Ellie sleeps through it all. She doesn’t care that I have lost the thread of the brilliant ideas that awoke in my mind when I slipped out of slumber. She doesn’t care that I am now typing away in a vain attempt to catch a glimpse of one errant thought that might just lead me back to where I began — brilliantly alive with possibility.

And that’s when the truth shimmers in the morning light.

Those thoughts I awoke with… It’s not the details of the ideas that’s important. What matters is — I knew, felt, breathed into my essential essence at the moment of awakening. In those first wakeful moments, I was my magnificent self. No filter. No voice of doubt or self-denigration interfered with my realization and acceptance of who I am.

I was completely, freely me.

And isn’t that the essence of our existence? To be completely, freely who we are?

I remember when I was in the darkness of a relationship that was killing me. I did not awaken refreshed every morning, excited to leap into my day, to ‘explode minefields’ when I leaped out of bed as Ray Bradbury described his first thoughts upon awakening into his day.

No. In the throes of self-hatred and disgust, my body ached, my mind was sluggish, my emotions dead to feeling joy, happiness, bliss, expectancy, possibility. I wanted to die so much I couldn’t conceive of my magnificence let alone awaken to it.

Now, what matters most is that for those few brief moments this morning, I knew it. I felt it. I was it.

And if I can experience it for a few brief moments every morning, imagine what is possible when I let go of self-doubt, self-limiting beliefs and mind chatter that would have me believe I’ve forgotten the essential essence of my human condition!

We are all born into the miracle of our lives. We are miraculous beings.

And then, we forget. Life happens. The thrust of our drive to survive overrides our memory of the miracle of our birth and we adapt and become the ‘I am’ of our broken dreams and memories of who we are born to be.

Our task, today and everyday, is to reconnect to our magnificence so that the world shines brightly in our light of beauty, truth and love.

I awoke this morning dreaming of what I would write. The words escaped me but the memory of who I am born to be lingers on. It’s not just a forgotten dream. It is the truth that lives deep within my soul.

I am my brilliance. My light. My beauty. My truth. I am all I am meant to be when I let go of believing I need to be anything or anyone else other than my most magnificent self. In my magnificence I create a world of beauty all around. It is in service to the world. An act of grace for humanity.

We are all magnificent. We are all lights of beauty, truth and love.

It’s up to each of us to shine as brightly as possible so that others can see in our brilliance, the reflection of their truth shining brightly.

And when we do. When we shine as brightly as we possibly can, we make a difference for all the world to see!