It’s Our Nature To Be Stars

Quote of the Week

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”

— Og Mandino

It’s Our Nature To Be Stars

by Nancy Gerber

It’s a curious part of our nature that we have difficulty accepting ourselves in all of our contradictions and complexity. When we’re working, we wish we could take more time to relax. When we’re playing, it’s hard to stop thinking about all the tasks that are waiting for us. In the midst of hectic days, we long for just a little quiet time. Yet, when we actually are able to grab a few precious minutes to sit still and enjoy some peace and calm, we grow restless and fidgety, unable to simply allow ourselves this little bit of space. It seems so difficult for us to accept that we need to experience and express all of these facets — and so many others — in order to be the human beings we are.

The late, great astronomer Carl Sagan (who I’m proud to claim as my second cousin) used to say that we are all made of ‘star stuff’. This is more than just a biological and cosmological truth. All stars experience the pulling, cooling energies of gravity and the pushing energies of heat. Throughout their life, stars continually pulsate and fluctuate between these states of contraction and expansion. They need to do both in order to be viable, functioning entities. So do we.

Imagine what life would be like if, instead of feeling guilty for taking time off, or worrying because revenue is down, or agonizing over needing to be alone and disappointing our loved ones, we accepted our fluctuating states as a normal part of our existence. Think of what might be different if we allowed that sometimes we’re extroverted, sometimes shy; today we want to dance and laugh and tomorrow we’ll want some time to sit and read. What would change if we truly accepted that we’re all creatures of BOTH action and observation, study and creation, reverence and silliness?

We need to tune out the one-dimensional popular cultural notions about what it means to be human. We are so bombarded with these assumptions and expectations that we wind up berating ourselves for simply being true to our natures. There are no simple answers.

We can begin by getting more conscious and paying attention to this ebb and flow, this pushing and pulling within us. Just noticing what we’re about — and the others in our lives — will bring us a good long way down the road towards experiencing the truth about ourselves — and each other. And, perhaps then we can begin to let go of some of that self-berating, self- defeating, guilt provoking tap dancing we all seem to do too well.

Copyright 2007 by Nancy Birnbaum-Gerber. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Nancy Gerber, Professional Certified Coach and President of Stepping Stones can be reached at

Coaching Call to Action

This week consider where you struggle most with the opposite facets of your nature. Spend some time identifying what you could do differently around those facets. How could you look at it from a whole different perspective? Then share your learnings with yourself (during your journaling or quiet time), you spouse or significant other, your friends, and anyone else with whom you are sharing your journey. I, too, would like to hear what you are learning about yourself.