Your Assignment

 “Did you know, you were born as the first, and the last and the best and the only one of your kind, and that eccentricity is the first sign of giftedness?”~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Dr Estes’ words found their way to me twice yesterday, once today. Once would have been enough, but now I’m really listening.

Your Assignment

I assign you to be a beautiful, good, kind, awakened, soulful person, a true work of art as we say, ser humano, a true human being. In a world filled with so much darkness, such a soul shines like gold; can be seen from a far distance; is dramatically different.

Want to help? Show your deepest most divine self to the world. There is nothing more rare, more strange, more needed. Why would you wait? Not worthy? Oh piffle. Not ready? Okay, so when? Next lifetime? Don’t be silly with me about this. Inferiority complex? Okay, let me put it this way to you: you’re not good enough to think you’re not good enough. And you can quote me to yourself whenever you have need… Dr. Estes said so.

Have you forgotten that you made promises to your Beloved before you ever came to earth? The time to fulfill these is truly now. You want to cease feeling helpless, and you want to help the aching world? Serve someone and something. Everyone on earth serves someone and something. This means being your truest self now, fulfilling the promises you made to heaven long ago.

Anything you do from the soulful self will help lighten the burdens of the world. Anything. You have no idea what the smallest word, the tiniest generosity can cause to be set in motion. Be outrageous in forgiving. Be dramatic in reconciling. Mistakes? Back up and make them as right as you can, then move on. Be off the charts in kindness. In whatever you are called to, strive to be devoted to it in all aspects large and small. Fall short? Try again. Mastery is made in increments, not in leaps. Be brave, be fierce, be visionary. Mend the parts of the world that are “within your reach.” To strive to live this way is the most dramatic gift you can ever give to the world.

Consider yourselves assigned.


This song is from the album The Blessed Unrest by Sara Bareilles, one of my favourite singers. I bought it for myself at Christmas after hearing only one track; I’ll share that track with you later, but for now, the universe told me to post this. In Spanish. (I do what I’m told!) It’s my favourite car listening album at the moment, and yesterday I was sent SO many signs along the winding road home through the hills that I’d have posted four songs from the album right there and then if I could have!

I heard this line “Maybe one of these days you can let the light in… and show me how big your brave is…” as the sky looked like this…

and I passed a truck with this Glenfiddich whisky advert on it…


Image result for glenfiddich ad one day you will

Which lines of Dr Estés’ beautiful invocation or Sara Bareilles’ song stand out most brightly for you today?


  1. Nice Read… the song too. Thanks. What a great song to listen to today. Love how we share and then suddenly the sparks hit someone else…and we pass it along. I will pass this along also. Much love. Just beginning my own writings. Its a beautiful outlet and people can plug in as needed. Thanks for your inspiration and spark!

  2. For me: Mend the parts of the world that are “within your reach.” That perspective inspires and orients me, the right size for welcoming myself to be brave, fierce and visionary! For Estes’ lovers, here’s the link to a free audio download or transcript from SoundsTrue where Tami Simon interviewed her, entitled “Untie the Strong Woman.” Their conversation is based on Estes’ work of the same name (subtitled “Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Love for the Wild Soul”) and can be found at

    1. Thanks for the link, Connie, and for your support and generosity. I’m glad I’m “within your reach”.

      I found it so hard to choose a small section of the piece or a line from the song to post or tweet, I ended up including both in their entirety! Such a symptom of anxiety, that need to make sure no one is left behind, that the one person who’s destined to benefit from a thought or a word or a song can be reached. I was the same as a teacher, carefully planning lessons that reached folk who had all kinds of sensory preferences. I cried once when my coaching mentor called my talking too much in early coaching sessions “an embarrassment of riches”; I couldn’t hear the compliment as I’d never come across the phrase before and my inner child just heard “embarrassment”. My inner translator/linguist feeds the process, too; I suppose it’s like writing the same message in many languages and putting all the versions in different kinds of bottles, throwing them from different beaches, off different cliffs. Anxiety clashes with my faith in a universe that, with or without my help, will always get one word, sent at the right time, to the person who needs to hear it most.

      My favourite part – this week at least – is

      Anything you do from the soulful self will help lighten the burdens of the world. Anything. You have no idea what the smallest word, the tiniest generosity can cause to be set in motion.

        1. I do – and I cherish the compliment! I was such an intense, paranoid and anxious wimp back then. (“Was” she says… I think we both know that I’m still as big a softie as I was then!) I also remember feeling ouchy when someone from the USA said with some vehemence “Go figure!” as I’d no idea it just meant “I’ve no idea what that’s all about… some things are just inexplicable to me!”

          Your mentoring changed my life for the better, Barbra and I will always be grateful. Like it or not, I’m part of your life legacy! I wish you’d start coaching again; your membership site created a safe space that calmed and brought out the best in all the folk on those conference calls. It’s no coincidence that some of my most treasured friendships were born in that coaching programme. People’s essence shone through.

  3. Signs are all around us if we look – I love the ones you got. I remember one day noticing for the first time Yahoo saying, in the left margin, ‘you are invisible’, and next to it a button, ‘go visible’, which was – and is – very good advice for me. I’m intrigued by this newly discovered (by me) site Street Wisdom ( which uses the streets and environment around us to answer questions that are important to us. I love this idea and mean to give it a deliberate go one day instead of my usual way of just noticing now and then that something around me is meaningful. It would be fascinating to set out with a question in mind and see if it were answered in a useful way.

    I think Dr Estes words are inspiring on a moderate to good day, but I first read them here on a very bad day and it felt like way too much pressure! I often feel like this with motivational/inspirational writing – most of the time I love it and it helps keep me going but on a down day I want to throw it through the window without opening it first. But the bad days are always the self-pitying days, too, and you have to haul yourself out of it by the bootstraps somehow.

    I resonated more with Susan Bareilles’ words: ‘Nothing’s gonna hurt you, The way that words do, Kept on the inside and no sunlight, Sometimes a shadow wins.’ On days when your brave isn’t very big I guess the trick is to get some light in there somehow, whether it’s metaphorical or real sunlight. I think real sunlight is often enough.

    I hope ‘that one day you will’ – whatever that is!

    1. Hi Gilly,
      Thank you for such a lovely long comment; it’s always very helpful to me to know what ‘lands’ and what doesn’t. Because I’m nicheless, I spend most of my blogging life floundering, then just posting what feels right for me on the day. I suspect that’s why the title of the Bareilles album appealed to me; it’s from one of my favourite Martha Graham quotes:

      There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique… a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others

      I empathise with what you said about overly bright motivational stuff, especially when it’s spouted by attractive young people with very white teeth as if they’d discovered it all. Not so many gushing, happy blogs when their cute, inspiring toddlers turn into turbulent teenagers! The thing I like about Estés is knowing she’s so much older than me; even when I feel she’s urging me out of my comfort zone, there’s a kindness there, a reassurance that recalibrating my authentic expression – even when I’m fumbling – can often be better than curling up and shutting out life after I wake up one day, and find myself asking “Who am I? What now?” I’ve had half empty nest syndrome since my daughter went to uni, but I dread the completely empty nest when my son goes off in September.

      Your mention of the streetwisdom site is really spooky; one of the drafts in my box right now is of a Vimeo music video; it wouldn’t embed, so I just put a link and did a screenshot – of the singer taking a photo of a sign in the street! For me this week, it’s been adverts on trucks as I’m driving home; today’s said “Carry gently”, which intrigued me.

      I agree about the sunlight, and if it can’t reach in deeply enough to drive away the fear and the sadness, there’s a lot to be said for letting the words out so they don’t fester in the dark.

  4. Funny…I’d already highlighted a line that jumped out at me: “Mastery is made in increments, not in leaps.” I love this line. It fits how I feel about my fiction writing. But this said, the rest of “Your assignment” is so special. It reaches into my heart. It’s something be read over and over again because each day a different line will resonate.

    I’ve already commented about Sara Bareilles, but I definitely want to get the album now:~) Thanks for sharing all of this.

    p.s. You know one of the extra benefits of you posting again is reading the comments here. I always gain something from the comments and your replies, as well as from the posts!
    Sara recently posted…Picture QuoteMy Profile

    1. Thank you, Sara! It really doesn’t matter to me how many comments I get because I genuinely believe, with all my heart, that the people who support me and my wee blog are special; it’s no coincidence that the commenters here have always been caring, creative folk who resonate with my attempts – successful or otherwise – to share my life bravely and authentically. The comment boxes are the heart of this blog; they’re the real sharing part. It’s the same on your blog and other friends’ blogs; the people we know don’t just share their thoughts, gifts, talents, encouragement, photos and words…. they share their communities through Comment Luv and links.

      I love hearing you talk about your writing and your passionate engagement with it. I completely understand that there are phases when even the blogging/commenting we both enjoy – the community and fun of it – have to take third place to ‘real’ life and to the time spent creating and communing with characters and scenes coming to life in the mind’s eye (ear?!) and then on the page; births need attention, focus, self-belief, bravery and energy!

      Every time something I post finds a home, it’s like one of those wee increments you mentioned, a step that takes me closer to home, to a place where I can just breathe and be my real self; that’s when I feel free to offer the world the best of what I have to give.

  5. Hi Janice .. I know I haven’t commented, but am always glad to be able to come past your postings and as Sara mentions – the comments really add to the whole – which is, I know, what you enjoy .. that interaction.

    I will read and think in due course .. take care and have a happy Easter – cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted…B is for Bewitching Breeches at Botallack …My Profile

    1. Hi Hilary,
      It’s always good to see you and I especially appreciate you taking the time to visit when you’re in the middle of one of your epic ABC’s. Even though I love when folk do, I never ‘expect’ anyone to comment here, so every comment really is a bonus that I never take for granted. I enjoy engaging conversation wherever it happens – real life, phone calls, emails – but there’s something special about comment boxes, about being able to go back and read whole ‘conversations’.

      I have a series of quotes lined up in my drafts box that were taken from a novel I enjoyed about an artist and her time in Cornwall. The sea and the light were so beautifully described, I wanted to share them. I’ll let you know when I do in case you’re engrossed in limpets or limbs (Ross Poldark’s, hopefully – go Cornwall!! 😉 ) and don’t manage over.

    1. Hi Linda. Sorry for not replying sooner; I took an Easter break and it was a lovely surprise to come back to comments!

      You’re right about those pieces being worth taking to heart. I think it’s the way all bases are covered in them both that appealed to me, the encouragement to just be my brave self. I also like how Estés always reminds me I’m a human being, not a human doing. As long as we’re aware, alert, open and learning, there’s always some element of our just being ourselves that’ll benefit someone, somewhere, often without our even realising it. The world needs every one of our voices, our engagement with what we find beautiful or intriguing or uplifting, our gifts and our humanity, even on the fast-paced days, maybe especially on the fast paced days. I’m looking forward to checking out your latest Quote of the Week when I’m catching up on missed posts. 🙂

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