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Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!Today is Nelson Mandela’s birthday, July 18th. Happy birthday to a man who made a huge difference locally and in the world!

His speech about letting your light shine is one of my all time favorites because it is very empowering. This was actually originally penned by Marianne Williamson in 1992, but he used it in his inaugural speech in 1994. Regardless who wrote it, it is worth repeating again and again.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Be brilliant. Be gorgeous. Be talented. Be fabulous.

It doesn’t take being the President of a country, or a famous author, to let your light shine. And keep in mind that both Nelson and Marianne didn’t start out with those lofty titles. They chose to live and keep living lives that are on purpose and make a difference regularly.

You can do this too! And you don’t have to spend all your free time making a difference either. Here are a few suggestions on what you can do to make a difference in your immediate circles:

  • Smile at strangers.
  • Do service with a better service mindset.
  • Take time for your self each day – with even some simple meditation.
  • Reach out to someone who looks sad and genuinely ask them how they are doing.
  • Etc.

As you can see, there are many great ways to get past your own deepest fears and let your light shine without having to run for political office. But, maybe you want to run for office. Great! Go for it!

How are you letting your light shine?