Book Review: Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message
About three years ago, my friend Laurel shared a blog post with me about finding your calling. It was a short video clip with a down to earth, approachable woman named Tara Mohr. She had taken the question I had heard many times before, “What’s your calling?” and added a short, but important phrase. Her version of that big question was “What is your calling right now?” I can't find that particular post, but another of Tara's that is similar is this one.
Adding the phrase right now, to the big question shifted two things for me. First, a concept that had been big and theoretical became more manageable in an instant--like I didn’t have to know the answer to the rest of my life, instead, what I needed to do was to pay attention to my life in the present moment, and the rest would follow. The feeling that accompanied the shift was, “Phew, what a relief!” The second thing I noticed was that my energetic focus did a distinct pivot. Instead of looking out down some imaginary path, into a better future where I might or might not ever arrive--I found myself looking inward, checking in with my own instinct about what was needed in my life, right now. From that perspective next steps were more obvious and pragmatic. The feeling that accompanied this second shift was a sense of being anchored to my own inner knowing--when I am tired, I sleep, when my children are hungry, I feed them, when it is time to write, I sit down and write. Ten years of mothering and writing has shown me that this inner knowing, for myself and others, is a steady and reliable guide.
I thought to myself, “This Tara is onto something--her perspective is a little different,” and I started following her blog regularly. She was talking about things that were buzzy and in the news, like confidence and doing work you love, and empowerment. But her approach was a bit slower, had a lot more soul in it, and felt more, I don't know, familiar but in a way I had never seen before. She was on on a mission to advocate for women’s voices from a place of healing and love. And the way she worked her mission fascinated me.
More than any other writer or blogger I knew, Tara was willing to experiment. She posted poetry, videos, letters to her readers. She ran blogging contests, writers workshops, and an online class called Playing Big. That class, became the basis for her book Playing Big: Finding Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message. In it's pages you will find teachings that address:
--managing your inner critic
--listening to your voice of inner wisdom
--relating to fear productively
--learning from feedback
--designing experiments that deepen learning and help you live your calling right now
This is a book that’s bound to be popular, but that’s not why I want you to read it. I want you to read it because it is excellent--a smart, well thought out guide, from a wise woman who believes that what women, regular women, have to say, is a perspective deeply needed on the planet right now, that inside ourselves we carry a brilliance that the world has not yet had the chance to see. I couldn’t agree more.