Lessons from a Square Cloud



I looked up as we were traveling and there it was, this square cloud. I don’t ever remember seeing a cloud with such a pronounced geometric shape, like it jut emerged from a box. Clouds are uncontainable. They do their own thing. Organic by nature, they cannot be bound and know no limits.

I’m the same way. I hate to be bound – by space, by calendars, by clocks and by limits. I may thrive on a routine, but it is by my making. I tend to resent external forces trying to fit me into a prescribed shape, place or time. It’s sorta like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, except this peg has no shape, no edges, and no way to contain it. I just want to flow freely. Or so I think…

If you observed my life – my routines, my actions, my classroom when I teach, my art, you would never in a million years consider that deep down inside I am such a free spirit. (Would you?) I don’t walk the walk, talk the talk or convey it in my style of dress or manner.

You know what it is? There is such unbound energy inside of me that I feel I have to rule it in, to keep it underwraps for fear that if I let my true self become unleashed I wouldn’t know how to handle it, that I could never regain control. I am afraid of what might happen if I let go.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson

And yes, it is fear. I take two steps forward and one step back and ask myself, “What the hell are you doing, Lesley, are you crazy?” But yet I keep taking that next step. Something drives me to do so, something greater than fear. I keep moving forward. I am stronger than my fear (yet it still tugs). I am meant to be unbound, to flow freely and expand. I mean really, that square cloud was SO out of place up there with the rest of the clouds. It’s just not natural to contain yourself in a box.


And another thing about clouds, especially rain clouds. What looks ominous from below, down here on earth, is sheer beauty from above. Change your perspective and you can change your story. Think small and you walk under a dark cloud. Think big and there is nothing but the rest of the universe above you. Clouds know this. I am learning.

How about you? Are you afraid to let go, to be limitless and unbound like the clouds? What say you? Please share a thought or two in the comments.


  1. Another amazingly timely post from you Lesley. This morning here (Sydney) is the most perfect blue, cloudless autumn morning sky. With my wake-up coffee I was marvelling at how huge and limitless the sky, universe, and my opportunities are. And then i read your post. We are who we are and have a responsibility to show that to the world. We have no boundaries except the ones we impose. Thank you as always for speaking so clearly to me…….but if the first cloud today is a square one then that will just be way toooo freaky xx

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Lesley. I’ve seen the quote before, but once again, it is coming at a perfect time for me.

  3. Wanted to share that I’m 7000+ miles into my solo circumnavigation of the US and having a blast.
    Keep on inspiring us with your wonderful words!

  4. Thanks Lesley. I am entering my first competition tomorrow and that is a real stretch beyond my fear. Knowing there are so many talented artists in town is pretty intimidating. I try to just think about how it’s just important to get my work out there. I don’t have to win or worry about what the other artists are doing. I just have to ask myself “is this a good piece in MY estimation” since I am my worst critic. Your blog always inspires me and gets me thinking.

    • Don’t forget that YOU are a talented artist too, Jenny. Our job is to do the work and to worry about what others think. You are way ahead of the crowd just by getting your work out there. Stand tall!