Do you know what it is to be a star? You know a star is a concentrated ball of energy? It creates light because light is energy and movement because that’s energy too. And it doesn’t take instructions from anyone. A star shines because that is its nature. It doesn’t have a choice about it. That is what it was created to do. Sharing warmth, light, brilliance, just because.
People are balls of energy too. We shine and bring light and movement. But just like the stars in the sky our light doesn’t burn forever. Every star has its time to shine before it comes to an end. But just because our time is finite doesn’t mean that our energy is wasted.
In physics we learn that energy is never created or destroyed. Energy is transformed and transferred, always continuing to contribute and move through the universe. That’s a beautiful thought. To imagine our energy always moving, never ceasing, constantly in the process of transformation.
When I coach my clients around what they are creating with their businesses, and their gifts, I think often of this idea of a star’s energy.
Find Your Light
Some of us don’t even realize what kind of a star we are. I know I thought I was a dancing star – I wanted to be a ballerina. I thought that was my constellation. But life happens, and sometimes it takes us a while to find ourselves again. By the time I became a coach and speaker, I had travelled quite a few orbits. But remember energy is never destroyed. I had transferred a lot of my energy to other pursuits.
There was a time I was a real estate investor – making all the mistakes I possibly could, skimping on help and insisting on doing it the hard way.
I thought I wanted to open a tutoring business, and so incorporated it but found myself dragging my feet to entice kids to come to test prep classes, irritated with the times I was shorted my fee.
Find Your Energy
And then there was fundraising consulting, and franchise management, and investment advising. Looking back at my career it’s like one big energy bleed isn’t it? Or energy transfusion I should say.
I guess I should be relieved that I found the thing that keeps me refueled. In coaching I find I give it energy and it gives me energy right back. The transfer is not just neutral, but a net positive. I glow brighter, because I have found a renewable energy in my work and the life I get to create from it. Not everyone finds that. Have you?
What gives you energy? Life? Light? How often are you engaging in those activities?
Let it Shine
Some stars find themselves in a dark shadow.
I have always been a star. And I am not saying that to brag, I am saying that to acknowledge that I have innate gifts and abilities. I shine brightly when I get to use words to express ideas. On the page, or dripping from my mouth, I love words and it is often, that people tell me, that I have a powerful voice. I am not a stranger to that. And when I let that light shine I found that not everyone appreciates that brilliance. In fact, some people have tried to dim my light. In Bible class they would tell us “hide it under a bushel? no. I’m going to let it shine”
In work spaces, especially as a Black woman, shining brightly can be a handicap. And in spaces where you are expected to be dull and less than, shining brightly makes you a liability, a risk. I remember being a Director in the NPO sector and being told that I was too assertive, too vocal, too passionate. Sound familiar? Why didn’t they just tell me “You’re too bright, too energetic, too brilliant?” The thing about a bright light, is that it puts the darkness into sharp contrast. I didn’t realize that me being articulate brought shame to those around me, caused them to question ways in which they were not shining.
Too Much Light?
When someone tells you that you are “too much” there is also a part of them saying that they are “not enough.” And us stars, we cannot take that personally. You don’t even have to throw shade when other people are committed to bringing the shadow. They’re shady all by themselves.
If you ever find yourself shining and people encouraging you to be dimmer, it’s time to change spaces.
Time to come out from the shadows and find a new constellation to bless with your presence. That’s what intentional living is, isn’t it? Choosing your constellation? Finding the direction that will guide your life, and allowing yourself to shine there unapologetically? What’s your constellation? Where are you choosing to shine?
And Then The Energy Starts To Burn
Once you find your light and can recognize it, then come the steps of magnifying it, refueling it. Everyone thinks that time management is the secret to a thriving business, but honestly, energy management is the secret to a thriving life. I don’t have to get too woo-woo here to let you know that if you transfer out all of your energy, there will be nothing left for you. You will cease to exist. Transfer complete. The definition of burnout.
How many bright lights do you know who have suffered from adrenal fatigue, a nervous breakdown, a panic attack? This is not healthy. Yes, share your light, share your gifts, but don’t do it at your expense. You have to keep that energy transfer at a net positive.
You have to learn to refuel more than you burn.
Our Sun, here in the Milky Way is a giant star, but even it is not big enough to evade a massive energy depletion. When the sun dies, it will just burn all of its energy away, it’s light and brilliance eventually growing dim until it becomes barren and cold. A red dwarf – a dead star. That’s how most people live their lives – burning their energy indiscriminately, never seeing their own light, or refueling their own energy. A life without boundaries, without direction, energy always moving out and taking pride, a sort of martyrdom, in how much they have given away. Yes, be generous, but always remember yourself.
A Once In A Lifetime Apparition
There are some stars that grow to be so big that they create their own gravitational pull. Their energy doesn’t transfer away. Instead, they hold themselves closer, pull themselves in. They grow so great, and so bright and so luminous that they are attracted to themselves in a way where they start to collide with themselves. Those stars create their own gravitational pull. And each new collision releases more energy, until eventually it all ricochets in a brilliant explosion of energy, and light, magnificent color and beauty.
That’s a supernova.
And we get to see a star like that maybe once every 50,000 years in our galaxy. They are rare, and special. A big light that attracts even more light.
The thought of it makes me want to hold my breath, to gasp, to imagine. An energy so powerful that it creates an explosion all by itself, fueled by its own reinvestment in its energy.
So what now?
We all have an opportunity to choose how we nurture our gifts, our talents, the light we bring to the world. And when we find a place to shine and set our constellation we take the first steps towards testing our brilliance. But it’s only in protecting that energy and learning how to be attracted to ourselves – to love what we give to ourselves more than what we give to others, only then do we have a 1 in 50,000 chance for something truly explosive, and extraordinary.
Yes, I want you to be a bright light. I want you to set your constellation. And when you find your way, invest in caring for your energy. Because that’s what creates a supernova.
If you are curious about discovering your light, shifting your constellation or conserving your energy so you get to shine brighter, please reach out for a Magnify Your Impact call. It would be my honor to support your brilliance.
And if you think you could use a refuel, please join me for the Coaches of Color retreat where we will be pouring back into ourselves greatly.