A Coming Out Story

A Coming Out Story

on Mar 24, 2015 in Livelihood+Financial Liberation | 2 comments

"Tree of Life and Wisdom" yarn painting by Mariano Navarro Valadez

“Tree of Life and Wisdom” yarn painting by Mariano Navarro Valadez

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure… 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.”

~Marianne Williamson


Over the past few years, I’ve been on a treasure hunt. I’ve been looking for the common thread that connects my diverse expressions of work (writer… anthropologist… organizational consultant… Buddhist chaplain… and so much more!). I’m happy to say I’ve found it. Creating space for liberating change is that thread, and this new website represents the end phase of that search.

Space is the secret ingredient that makes change possible – not just any change, but the kind of change that liberates us from fear and opens us to new possibilities for our life and work. Another name for it is “transformation.”

Space is about slowing down enough so that we can reflect on what we are feeling and learning, and that we can feel the deep pulse of interdependence that connects us all. Magic happens when we are in that place.

While on my treasure hunt, the more I looked at what I love to do and do well, the more I saw my capacity for creating this kind of space and making it possible for people to tap into their own wisdom.

For a long time, I couldn’t recognize that as a gift. In our culture, “space” is generally not recognized as something positive. It’s often thought of as a negative thing, as something that needs to be filled. But more and more in our increasingly speedy and busy world, I hear from people who feel a yearning for spaciousness, who are seeking the wisdom that comes from slowing down and getting in touch with our deeper truths.

So now I’m ready to claim it — I have a gift for creating space where transformation can emerge. I’m seeing that kind of “liberating change” happen in the group of people who are currently in “Waking Up to Your Life,” a program that Katya Lesher and I are co-leading. I’ve witnessed it in another course I’ve offered over the past few years: “Fall in Love with Your Work.” And I’ve seen it happen in other spaces as well, from the coaching I’ve done with individuals to facilitating groups of people as they clarify their vision and values in order to do good work in the world.

For years, I’ve been very good at hiding parts of myself and not fully showing up in one spot. That’s probably the reason I’ve had three websites going — one was for my professional self, one for my socially engaged Buddhist self, and one for my writer self. I couldn’t imagine how all those parts of me could be presented as a whole… but now I can. It’s an edge for me to have a website with my name on it, featuring photos of yours truly. The act of stepping forward in this way is a bit terrifying…. and also thrilling.

I have a lot of faith in that quote from Marianne Williamson that appears at the top of this post. I really do believe that it doesn’t serve anyone when we keep ourselves small, and that when we step up and shine, it’s not about ‘us’ but about contributing to the greater good.

How about you? What’s your edge right now, where are you ready to ‘come out’ as more of who you truly are? What is your gift that you want to share with the world? I’d love to hear your story…. please leave a comment below.


I’d love to stay in touch with you! When you sign up for my mailing list, you’ll receive my monthly e-letter with reflections on life and liberation, as well as “9 Keys to a Liberated Life.”



    • Thanks, June!

      Maia Duerr

      March 24, 2015

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