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She’s Not Living Up To Her Potential

From the Flower Dreamworlds project, photography by Mikhaila Stettler

“She’s not living up to her potential,” was a common refrain on my high school report cards, frequently followed by, “Does not think the rules apply to her.”

Why did my teachers at that boarding school think they knew anything about my potential, even my academic potential? They had no idea what excited or motivated me, what I was truly capable of, because supporting the expression of students’ uniqueness was not a value in the educational system.

If I was interested in a topic, I delivered high quality work, but the more I felt oppressed by restrictive rules, boring busy work assignments or sexist science and math teachers, the less likely I was to give them what they wanted. It was too easy for me to skate by with a bare minimum effort and deliver B+ work.

As adults, restrictive rules still stifle our expression, only now they’re mostly imposed from the inside - in the form of limiting constructs and protective defense survival mechanisms we adopted in younger years, our way to make sense of and cope with the world around us.

The truth is that even I don’t know the full scope of my creative potential and you don't know yours either. The more I work with core essence and soul purpose in my art practice, the more I realize there are no limits to our soul’s potential. The more we express it, the more there is to express. Our potential is not a fixed quantity but an ever-growing, expanding, unfolding of our Beingness.

Rather than thinking about it as living up to my potential, it feels so much more supportive and expansive to think of it as living into my potential.

I celebrate the unlimited potential within you!


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