Personal Leadership, Happiness and Authenticity

Becoming Your Bigger Self

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Giving You a Piece of my Mind

Maura Sweeney Foundations of Happiness


There is both a familiar you and a bigger, more authentic, you which longs to be fully expressed in the world.

Below is a reprint of an article I wrote awhile back which carries the same title: Becoming Our Bigger Self. With quotes from Marianne Williamson, Desmond Tutu and John C. Maxwell, this article encourages your mind to consider some of concepts about your current identity – and the one you can become.

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

~ Marianne Williamson

Guidance: We can surrender to fears of inadequacy or we can press forward to our greatness.

Do you view yourself as a spec within the cosmos, or the cosmos within a spec?

If you view yourself as the latter, you likely envision a world of possibilities within you.

But if you see your identity as the former, exploring your bigger self can prove a daunting proposition.   

Questions about man’s identity present an ever-growing topic of conversation and debate. With evidence coming from quantum physics and expansive ideas arising from metaphysical minds, we are challenged more than ever to see ourselves through a new — and sometimes revolutionary — lens.

Are we part of the “all” and, therefore, potentially big?

Or are we insignificant particles, accidents of an illogical and foreboding universe?

“The God who existed before any religion counts on you to make the oneness of the human family known and celebrated.”

~ Desmond Tutu

Maura Sweeney in Foundations of Happiness

My earliest notions about man’s identity came from preschool days. Before acquiring religious training which presented an angry God banishing Adam and Eve from the Garden, I envisioned our cosmos as an extension of a Loving Creator.

I saw God as benevolent, a personage equally inclined toward all. We earthlings might be “youngish” or unlearned, but our identity as part of Him was irrevocable.

So was our destiny.

Like most others, I grew up in a world that taught division, smallness and fear.

Several of these “lessons” challenged me, but they failed to vanquish my belief in mankind’s potential bigness. I yearned to see greatness manifest in everyone.

And, as a result, I prodded, promoted and coaxed the bigness to come forth in others. 

Whether functioning as a corporate manager, wife, mother or friend, I’d encouraged those around me to step into their personal greatness – their bigness. I’ve been overjoyed to see some embrace and extend their talents, but I’ve also been frustrated by those whose untapped potential remained dormant.

Why would they deny themselves and the world from seeing their greatness? I wondered.

Surprisingly, I’ve had to confront notions about my own identity and my own willingness to explore my bigger self.

It began nearly a decade ago with a friend’s unexpected admonishment.

“Maura,” she intoned, “you’re not showing your true colors because you’re afraid others won’t like you.”

To a degree, she was correct. I was more comfortable encouraging bigness in others than I cared to express it in myself.

Further, I privately wondered about potential rejection if I allowed all of me to come to the surface. If I extended my inspirational reach from private promptings to public proclamations, would my present circle consider me too uppity — or even conceited?

I was about to find out.

“Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not.

When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it’s almost always due to personal growth.”

~ John C. Maxwell

My journey out of obscurity has been a plodding and deliberate one. The process of  inspiring others has required the un-doing of some of my own well-worn mindsets and forced me out of a number of comfort zones. Yet having to embody, rather than merely report on, my message has proven an energizing and broadening experience, too.

The old order of my cosmos has been upended, but a new one continues to emerge. Several familiar faces have disappeared from my life, but the greater world seems to welcome the bigger version of me.

The other day, my husband yelled up to me from his office while opening emails.

“You’re featured on the conference roster!”

I knew which conference he meant. It’s an international business conference, the fifth and largest venue at which I’ll be speaking during an upcoming, overseas trip.

As storyteller and inspirer, I’ll be encouraging listeners to unbridle their talents, pursue their passions and present something greater — and bigger — to an awaiting world.

Am I happy to be exploring my bigger self? Yes.

I’m no longer frustrated by attempts to convince one person at a time to grow into personal greatness. I’m doing it myself and seeing a world respond to the call.

May you explore your own bigger self and enjoy greater dimensions of personal empowerment, too!

Maura Sweeney in Foundations of Happiness

A video I prepared while traveling through Bucharest, Romania should provide further insights to the idea of perceiving through your mind rather than seeing with mere ocular eyesight.

The Bucharest theater’s impressive lighting provided me with a perfect way to demonstrate what’s become of my mind after having spent decades retraining -- and growing -- my thought life.

Watch the video entitled: Giving You a Piece of My Mind! above.

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You and Your World
  How Do You See?
  Unconditional Love
  Two Videos and Time for Reflection

Backdrops, Thoughts & Intentions
  What is a Backdrop?
  Exercise: Create Your Own Backdrop
  An Audio, a Video and Additional Reflection Time
  Thoughts and Intentions

"Religion," Forgiveness and Debt Relief
  Hearing from a Higher Source
  Video and Exercise
  An Audio and Some Reflections to Consider
  Forgiveness, Personal Debt and a Parable
  Video and Reflections

Reconstruction and Gratitude
  Introduction to Concepts
  Three Videos to Watch and Consider
  From Holocaust to Happiness
  A Video and Time for Reflection
  Introduction to Gratitude
  Finding Gratitude After The Blues
  Reflections on Gratitude
  A Story About the Sun and Reflections

  Introduction to Concepts
  Becoming Captain of Your Own Ship
  Ready to Reflect on Personal Responsibilities
  Awareness, Addictions and Judgment
  Belief, Identity and Bullying Behaviors
  Familiars, Comfort Zones and Minding Our Own Business
  Criticism, Transparency & Acceptance, Pride

  Introduction to Concepts
  An Annie Story Revisited
  Reflections on Hope from Annie's Story
  Introduction to Destiny
  The Inner Voice of Destiny
  Tips and Time for Reflection
  Regina Calcaterra - An Amazing Story of Destiny
  Reflections and Connections
  Accessing Your Personal Wealth
  Reflections on Accessing Your Personal Wealth
  Conclusion and Assignment

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