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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

It was the perfect afternoon and my friends and I had rented City Bikes on our way to having lunch in Brooklyn. As we rode I started feeling myself and while biking down a hill attempting to do a “no hands” ride on my bike. Minutes later I was dusting myself off and picking up my bike to ensure it had survived the minor impact with the pavement.

Through tears of laughter, my friend explained how I was “hot walking” which caused my demise. “Hot walking”, as my friend explained, is the way, to sum up, the feeling you have when you’ve pulled an Icarus and flew too close to the sun. It’s that overconfidence and invincible feeling we all get from time to time.   

The topic of ‘hotwalking’ quickly took over our conversation. In our conclusion, we decided hot-walking can actually be a good thing. It promotes confidence, boosts a sense of self and helps create the infamous “fake it till you make it” bridge.

Yes, like everything, too much ‘hot walking’ could be a bad thing but overall if you’re mindful of the occasional ‘slip of the bike’ if you will, it's all good. The bigger threat to ego and self is when we embrace the antithesis of hot-walking- when we shrink ourselves to a fragment of who we actually are.  That’s where the real danger lies. When we shrink we begin to believe that we do not need to take up as much space. And I’m not talking about the ‘manspread’ on the train- I’m talking about the space to express ourselves to the fullest.

Marianne Williamson, an author, advocate, and lecturer is dedicated to inspiring others. Her plethora of wisdom and affirmations holds countless of people across the world to reflect and grow. One particular quote from her book A Return to Love that holds me accountable when I begin to feel myself shrink:

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.

We’ve all played small in life. When we hold our tongue instead of speaking our truth, when we play ourselves down so that we conform to a crowd; we are so afraid of haters that we run the farthest we can from hot-walking and become complacent with a mediocre version of our greatness.  

Good thing is, there are ways to find a balance between hot-walking and shrinking. Try the regimen below to reground yourself to dare greatly to be all of who you are.

First, ask yourself;

What makes us shrink? How do we manifest 'shrinking of self'?  

There is a pattern to shrinking. Most times this happens is when we are in emotionally polarizing places. This is where we can feel intimidated and insecure. This could be a plethora of places and events perceived as new or different. Maybe you step into a room where you are reminded of a painful past memory, those jeans that ‘look awesome on everyone’ won’t zip, maybe my idea was dismissed or quickly shot down from my team. The manifestation? Each and every time it was the green-eyed monster of jealousy. Showing itself through comparison, doubt, and nit-picking tomfoolery.  

After you sit with these questions keep the growth going.

Find time in your morning meditation to breath and visualize your day. (Your morning commute is a perfect opportunity!)  Pay close attention to where you feel you will be susceptible to would shrinking instead of shining.

Reflect at the end of your day by asking yourself the following: (The shower is a great place to do this!)

Where are you proud of yourself for shining? How did you make that happen?  

Where did you not meet your visualized expectation for shining, what would you do differently (caution do this without judgment.)?

When do you notice a shift in your shine? How is it manifesting (maybe through becoming insecure or “extra”)?  

Throughout the day when you begin to feel overwhelmed say to yourself; ‘I am enough just as I am’ (Saying this in front of a mirror is extra helpful too- the power of affirmations!).

Find an accountability buddy and connect weekly.

Thank yourself each night for showing up and stepping more into your authentic self.

Know that you are enough, you are brilliant, you are the manifestation of glorious light.  

Now lean into your hot-walking as you handle it.