Being Big!

View from an airplane window at the wings and flying over a scenic landscape of green hills and rivers

This is Maria. Extraordinary Maria. Maria is the instructor of the aqua-fitness class I take three times per week at the local Jewish Community Center. I have never been a gym-person, a pool- person, an exercise-person but Maria makes it all possible. She is motivating. She is creative. She is highly trained, professional, and a learner herself. And what I notice about Maria–more than anything–is her absolute commitment to each student living a great life by feeling good and exercising with personal rigor.

Today, in class, something happened. Our exercise program was far more psychological than physical (although the physical workout was excellent). Maria wanted each student to be big today… really BIG. She wanted our movements to be intentionally big, wider, longer, deeper. She wanted attention paid to each movement, making them mean something…awareness. Through the entire class, in between shouting instructions and demonstrating techniques, she repeated: “be big…come on, you can do this…get big, get long…think about your movement…you benefit more from big…be big…”

I found myself fixated on my big-ness, my ability to get more from my workout than usual. I heard Maria really pushing me to a bigger place, to a bigger result. It was as though she was diligently pulling each student towards his/her greatest goal. My goal felt possible. My goal was clear. I was going to be BIG.

At times, all we need is someone reminding us we can be big. At times, having someone hold our bigger goal for a bit while we do the hard work is really useful. At times, the geography of being pulled forward is much more powerful than being pushed. Being reminded I can be more, I can be bigger resonates deeply for me. Knowing someone is looking after my whole life, keying into my values and sense of purpose, and holding me bigger than a workout or my day, is incredibly motivating.

Who holds you really big? What does it look like? What does being small look like in your life? Take that smallness and make it big; what do you notice? What would you like someone else to hold for you for a moment so you can do the work of being big? What holds you back from asking? The opposite of big doesn’t have to be small; it can be complacent, bored, unhappy, inefficient, lazy, and a myriad of other things. If you’re not big right now, what are you?

Off to my day…my really BIG day!


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