being my own hero


My fingers glide effortlessly over the keys. No one in the history of piano — including Ludwig van Beethoven — has ever performed Für Elise quite as  well as I am playing it now.

being my own heroI sit at the piano in our living room, right near our home’s front door, “sniffing the keys” (my piano teacher‘s phrase for playing with emotion). I am certain that a talent scout is about to walk up to our door — maybe he or she masquerades as a phone book deliverer so as to catch me being natural — and hear my piano brilliance, pluck me from my bench in our obscure town and take me to a Big Stage, transforming my life.

I have this thought every time I practice the piano.

I am 10.


As I searched for my Word for 2014 (2012’s was Write and 2013’s was Speak), this memory, long buried under more  than a bit of embarrassment, arose.

And I see that in more subtle ways, I have still been waiting for someone — a hero to my inner helpless and waiting young, small girl — to pluck me from where I am and take me to someplace better, bigger.


I wasn’t a fan of this song when it first came out. In fact, despite its ubiquity on the radio waves late in the summer, I didn’t really pay attention to it until this.

I watched this video over and over after the start of the school year, verklempt with emotions I can’t quite explain (peace, acceptance, harmony? in a high school??) — and not just because Tessa’s birth brother makes an appearance at 3:30.

I began tuning into the song. And, trite as it sounds, I am drawn to the line,

I went from ze-e-ro | To my own he-e-ro.


I have had many heroes and helpers in getting my book published and launching my speaking career. I won’t list them for fear of inadvertently omitting someone. Helpers and heroes in my life, in my passions and pursuits, I have them galore.

My book came out in 2013, which is still a pinch-me thought. It was a long slog to turn me into a published author and a public speaker. In some ways, these accomplishments are a pinnacle of my professional life, achievements of a dream that prior to 2008 I would not have dared dream.

But it happened — pinch me! Against all odds the stars aligned and I now hold a hard copy book in my hands. I now get up on stages to teach people how to parent with a heart that’s open to their child’s yearnings, able to listen to the whispers of that child’s heart.

And yet after these pinnacle accomplishments, my life is much the same — which is not a bad thing. I had a good life before and I have a good life now. But I have not been transformed as a blogger. Things are not easier booking myself as a speaker. I’m not suddenly able to make a living doing what I’m passionate about (but I’m open to that possibility).

I realize that all these years later I’ve still been waiting for someone to pluck me from my corner of the world to a Big Stage. I thought it had happened in getting first an agent and then a publisher. I thought that being plucked in this manner would  transform my life in a big way, much like my childhood fantasies of being discovered on my humble piano bench would magically transport me to Carnegie Hall.

In my heart of hearts I have spent decades waiting for a Hero, a plucker to take me from my little pond to Put Oprah on hold, please. I’m talking to Ellen now and will have to call her back.

Just about as silly a thought as the one about the talent scout/phone book deliverer.

I wish to shift my mindset. In 2014 I acknowledge that I am my own hero. I am all the archetypes, actually. Everything I need I hold within. Everything I need to release I hold within me the power to. Whatever is to come my way shall come because I will realize that in addition to all my very real external heroes (you know who you are), I am my own hero. I am not small and helpless, waiting on a piano bench for someone more powerful to notice me.

I don’t plan to roar, exactly. I desire no big “look at me” moment. Instead, I seek an inner change, a subtle shift in the locus of heroism that has been off-center my entire life. I wish for that little girl on the piano bench and this big girl at her keyboard to further move in to her self-authority.

When that happens, a hero’s roar doesn’t even need to be that loud.

How might you be your own hero in 2014? Have you picked a word for 2014?

Image courtesy vectorolie /

7 thoughts on “Word”

  1. Thank you for this thoughtful, reflective post. I can identify with waiting/yearning/fantasizing. I’ve never had a secret wish for a hero, for someone to rescue me. But I did (and do) dream of what I call “the click” — this magical moment when, suddenly, inexplicably, I start to eat healthy and lose weight, take time for my writing, produce a brilliant book, pay off my student loans, get pregnant, blah blah blah. Although I have had some epiphany moments in the last year and have taken and embraced small shifts, I am still fantasizing about that click, and about how better my life will be once I realize/understand/attain _______. Because that’s what it is, this click, it is the mystery, this something that I don’t have…yet. I’ve never talked about this before…like you, I’m embarrassed, and a part of me recognizes that whatever this mystery is that I’m waiting for, it has to come from inside me. While I think it is good to have dreams, I don’t want to give my power away by fantasizing/living in the future instead of actively working in the present. Hmmm. So much to think about. I do think you are onto something good when you speak of claiming self-authority…that rings true. Here’s to stepping confidently into the center of your life in 2014!

  2. “I have still been waiting for someone — a hero to my inner helpless and waiting young, small girl — to pluck me from where I am and take me to someplace better, bigger.”

    Wow, does this resonate with me! That pretty much sums up my life. I’m going to need to write a blog post about this now, because my comment got way too long.

    I got your book for Christmas. I’m really looking forward to reading it – finally!

  3. YES. I’ve thought this so many times in my life. If only someone would “discover” my blog. If only someone would head hunt me for that job. This is one of those internal/external problems for me … I thrive on praise and external motivation, but have a hard time believing that I can make it happen within myself.

    I love the image of you as a completely self-confident little girl. I wonder, how does that gap between self-confidence and our own power to create our future happen? And is it because our self-confidence isn’t complete somehow? We believe we’re good, but not good enough to sell ourselves? Or is it that we’re taught to be too modest, too shy?

    I see the “Cinderella” you referred to here … waiting for the fairy godmother is awfully tempting. But fairy godmothers aren’t exactly plentiful.

    I’ll be cheering you on, friend. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. (Oh, I think I just realized mine as I was typing that. Yikes. NOW what?) 😉

  4. A great lesson we all learn sooner or later is that we are our own heroes – and though it’s tempting to let fate happen to us, we really must make things happen with our own power.

  5. Beautiful thoughts! It’s definitely inspiring to think that we are our own heroes and choosers of what we want in life. Because while luck plays a huge part in our lives, the other parts are all on us. No prince charming, prince job, prince next big break will save us 🙂

  6. Aaah, but I told you to read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. She perfectly describes that moment when you think everything will change… and it doesn’t. If nothing else, know you’re in good company.

    I like that you are going to be your own hero. I think you can yank yourself up best.

  7. What a wonderful post. Can’t we all identify with that dream of someone claiming we’re a long lost princess? Or won’t we model for them or star in their movie or… And yet, at some point as we age – some call it maturity but who wants that? – we do realize we need to look within for our white knight, we are our own champions.

    I absolutely adore this post. Thank you!

    I think you may like this poem – it’s my favorite – and one I learned of on my great-aunt’s fridge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *