A warm cup of warm wassail, a gathering of friends, and a generous dollop of spicey spiritual conversation- it had all the markings of a merry slice of heaven. Bluesy love songs were lacing the air, as the beautiful hostess placed a little affirmative note on each plate. We were rounding the table, sharing the wisdom from our sacred fortune cookies. The woman next to me lifted her card and read it aloud. 

Then, into this circle of sacred sisterhood, where all was well, there crept a tiny mad idea. It was dressed in such distracting promises that it was hard to see it for its sinister ways.  The words lined up innocently enough, “Don’t play small.”

But with three small words, we all suddenly felt a shade irregular as our eyes widened with the pointed reminder that we were not enough. 

Personally, the message chapped my buzz. Plus, I was not sure how to navigate the instructions that felt more like a command. “Your not the boss of me!” my inner spiritual two-year-old wanted to bark back. Maybe I would have responded differently if it read,  “Please, don’t play small.” But the direct shot to my unworthiness was more like a warning, an ominous ghost of Christmas past, pointing to all the ways I had not measured up to my potential. Fuck.

I looked around the table and noticed a slight shifting of weight- a subtle licking of lips and a leaning in, as if cake had just been served, and we were all trying to fit into the same prom dress, two sizes too small.

I imagined myself like Alice in Wonderland, growing to the point of being iconic, leaving all the known rooms and doors, and getting pressed to the ceiling in the discomfort of this bigger self. Was bigger always better? 

In the next moment, I saw myself shrinking and falling through the cracks of my own life. Was playing small such a crime? I was on a shakey see-saw, bouncing back and forth, trying to find my footing. 

“Don’t play small,” echoed around the room, and my mind began to scramble with visions of rockstars and way-showers parading through my head pointing and laughing at my little ways. But before I got too far down the block with my hair on fire, I took a breath and remembered a mantra that I have been using for the past several years.

Don’t do anything that you can’t do in peace.

In the familiar wisdom, I felt a sweet exhale. I had been feasting on a devoted diet of peace, and this poisonous pied piper was not going to seduce me into separateness.  “Just be right here,” I heard my softer self whisper. 

The woman next to me was explaining what “playing bigger” meant to her and how she wanted to share more, that she still had so much to give and that she wanted to help others. She wanted to be more helpful. RIGHT! Helpful! Yes! In that one word, I fully found my balance. 

Helpful does not care what size I am. Helpful comes in holding doors open and speaking before thousands. It can be as bold as an opera singer belting an aria and as subtle as a silent wink sent across a crowded room. 

I don’t want to play it big,

and I don’t want to play it small.

I whispered, but it seemed to gather the attention of the group, as they stared at me in curiosity.

I just want to PLAY.

I confessed sheepishly.  I was happy to find that my admission was met with a grateful swell of laughter. 

Helpfulness will always be the appropriate size in all circumstances.

In love, size does not matter. I am sure you were thinking that title was going to lead you in another direction. 🙂

But seriously, this is all a game, where sometimes you will be called to play big and sometimes it will be better to play small, though most times you will be the exact perfect size, and in that case, all you need do is PLAY. 

As we move into 2019, I wish you peace, perfection and a happy posse of joyful playmates. If you are looking for your tribe, join us in our Spiritual Vixen Facebook group or hop on our live morning miracles coaching calls, or come share your voice at our Sunday Morning gatherings at SpeakEasy, for more love and less fear. 



Maureen Muldoon is a writer, published playwright and author who spent twenty years working in Hollywood as an actress, writer, and director. Appearing in “The Matador”, “Dexter” and “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”, today she shared her stories in print, stage, and sermons. 

She has authored two memoirs, her most recent, The Spiritual Vixen’s Guide to an Unapologetic Life, outlines her journey of finding strength and spiritual fulfillment after her husband left her for Miss Universe. This new-age memoir is perfect for fans of Louise Hay’s work. Her children’s book, The Life Of A Sand Castle, is available on Amazon.

Her plays, Booby Trap, The Very Breast Show In Town and Trans-Parent Love have been produced in Los Angeles and Chicago. Her writing has appeared in The Good Men Project, The Sun, Story Lab, Lit Up, Booby Trap, Story, Actors Access, Voice Box, and Risk. She is a sought-after speaker and teacher and the founder of Voice Box stories, a platform to support storytelling. Maureen is also the founder of SpeakEasy is an organization focused on empowering people to live their most authentic and audacious lives through the use of spiritual truths and creativity. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and children.