Shine Baby, Shine: Even If the Brightness of Your Light Blinds Them

by candy barone Jun 22, 2024

Ever been told to “dial it down” or to “bring it down a notch”?

Or, worse … that you were “too much”?

I grew up hearing these phrases and more. From the time I could speak, I was given a consistent message that I was “too much” and, that, somehow, I seriously needed to dial it all down. 

Needless to say, I questioned my self-worth on a regular basis. I felt like no matter what I did, I got it wrong. I became hypervigilant in my studies, my achievement, and my accolades always seeking some kind of validation. 

I spent endless amounts of energy trying to prove my value and fighting a battle I could never win. I shut things down, tried to be smaller, only to find myself failing with every attempt. 

My childhood was tumultuous enough with the abuse I faced from my dad, trying to quiet down my energy not be “too much” was an added stress that had my functioning from a highly stressed, fearful state most of my life. 

It took me years of receiving this programming and getting this message pounded into me (sometimes literally), that I finally woke up. 

Defining Moments & Reality Checks

One particular defining moment and wake-up call happened in my late 20s with a friend of mine from high school. 

I was just coming out of a 3-year relationship. I was heartbroken as I honestly thought he was “the one.” In fact I thought I would marry him.

Yet, when I ended this relationship after much soul-searching and reflection, I realized with some prompting from a work colleague of mine, during our time in Singapore, that my needs were not being met.

So, a week after I returned home from that trip, I ended that relationship. 

I felt lost, sad, yet also confident that I had made the right decision. 

I still needed the consolation of my girlfriends, and a safe space to land. 

When I shared this news with a close friend at the time, hoping and expecting her to support me and hold space for my heartache, I was met, instead, with a very different, and rather startling, response. 

Her exact words to me were: “You know, Candy, if you really want to be in a relationship, maybe you should dial it down a notch.”

Shocked, as my jaw hit the floor, I was taken aback and a bit stunned. When I could find my words, I asked, “Dial down what exactly?”

She proceeded to tell me how big my energy was, and that maybe I should try to rein it in. She insisted the only way I could “keep a man” was to deliberately shrink down, hold back, and make myself smaller. 

I was crushed … and, I was pissed. 

I remember the anger building up inside me and the tears started to swell. I felt like I was sucker-punched and I wanted to lash back.

Instead, did the opposite … I dropped. 

I dropped into my truth, in my authenticity, into my own alignment.

Then, my voice got softer, quieter, and gently I said over the phone, 

“There are people that actually seek me out for my energy and the way I inspire them. I honestly don’t understand what it means to ‘dial it down.’ 
And, while this makes me sad to say this, if you truly think I am too much, maybe it’s time for you to choose something else. 
That door is always open and you can choose to walk through at any time. Because, I’m not here to dial anything down, and I really like who I am.”

That was it. We hung up and it was the end of our friendship. 

Later, when I ran into her at a reunion, she asked if I wanted to discuss why we were no longer friends. I simply responded: “ I know full well why. You chose not to see me, and you walked away.”

We haven’t spoken another word to each other since.

Same Scenario, Different Outcome

Now, let’s play this same scenario out a different way, as I reached out to another close friend after that painful phone call.

My heart which was broken into a million pieces, from the breakup with my boyfriend and with one of my best friends, I needed to some truth (and, let’s be honest, a tremendous amount of comfort). 

I told my other friend what had happened.

Man, she lit up like a firecracker, and instantly got super protective of me. 

She proceeded to tell me (with a bit of a raised voice and punch to her), “Dial down what? What the hell is she talking about? Your energy is your fucking magic. Don’t you dare let anyone tell you to dial that down.”

Ah, I felt so seen and just accepted for all of who I was and am. 

Talk about the difference between feeling appreciated for who you truly are versus someone trying to shrink you and your energy down. 

I felt so celebrated … and, so deeply loved. 

Not surprising, I’m sure, that friend is still one of best friends today.

See, we are all here to live out our Soul Curriculum. We each have a piece of the Cosmic Puzzle that we are here to live out. It’s in our innate wiring, and our unique coding. It’s all part of our design, our Human Design.

Human Design: the Lens to See My Truth

For some, like me, my energy is here to provoke, stimulate, challenge, and inspire people to step into their power, redefine leadership, and express the fullness of who they are and their gifts. 

I’m mean, I’m a full vibe. 

Just ask those who truly see me. They would be the first to tell you that I do have big energy, that I am a lot, and that it’s also the reason they love me and want to play in spaces with me. 

The same goes for my clients. In fact I had a former client reach out just a few weeks ago saying she just needed to be in my energy again for inspiration and a little bit of a kick in her ass. 

Where I struggled with this growing up, I learned how to lean into it more about six years ago when my spiritual journey opened wide up. 

After a intense weekend that had me really doing some deep-level soul-searching, I found myself tripping upon the nuances of my own energetic wiring through the lens of Human Design. 

At first glance, I actually felt triggered in what my operating plan had to share with me. It was only after I allowed myself to be okay with my energy that I started to see the truth of my own magic. 

The first thing I realized when I started to explore the depths on my own Human Design was that all of the things I had been told over the course of my life where I was “too much” actually my superpowers and gifts. 

In understanding my type, strategy and authority, I got a better sense of how I move in the world. Add in the flavoring of my profile, and then understanding the nuances of the openness versus definition in my chart, I started to make sense of so much.

Wow, talk about the validation and confirmation I needed. Things that somehow I’ve always known on some deeper level. 

I never felt like I was here to follow the path of another. 

Rather, I have known that I was here to make ways. Even as a child when people would ask me the ridiculous question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” my answer was different than the other kids. 

I would respond, “It doesn’t matter, I’m going to change the world.”

Even at three years old, I knew this.

Of course, most adults didn’t like my response and turn a condescending and patronizing tone on me, “Oh sweetie,” they would say with their sugary sweet saccharine tone, “that’s cute..”

Something deep inside me would feel that energy, and I would stand taller and state back, firmly and with all the power I could muster, “No, you don’t understand … I am going to change the world.” 

Once again, they would coddle (and taunt) me. 

I would then put my hands squarely on my hips, raise my chin in defiance, and declare in all my knowing, truth and mighty power (at three years old), “I am going to change the world AND I am going to write a book.”

My mom still loves to remind me of that. 

The point is, I knew. 

I knew then who I was and why I was here, and after almost 51 years on this earth I can say with authority that I remember what was in that little girl’s vision and heart. 

I am here to help the little girl who still resides in me live that truth and lead her Living Legacy (the experience we create in our every interaction with others and how we show up in the world, shining our unique light). 

For my wiring very clearly illustrates that I am here to march to the beat of my own drum, as many of us are … and, to light a fire under people so they can learn to light the fire within. 

I am a catalyst, tree-shaker, time-bender, and pot stirrer.

There is absolutely nothing small or dialed down about that. 

Addressing our programming and conditioning

As I think about how much conditioning and programming we take in, and how, when we start to come back home to ourselves and allow our true selves to shine through, we will trigger some people in the process.

So, I say, trigger away. 

Because, as I see it we have two choices:

  • We can either own our truth and stand strong in who we are
  • We can shrink ourselves down to fit someone else’s version of who they think we should be to make them comfortable. 

For me, I am not available in any way to shrink down or to twist myself into a pretzel to fit someone else’s agenda or version of who they need me to be. 

As Marianne Williamson so powerfully said in her acclaimed poem: Deepest Fear

“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, fabulous?’ 
Actually, who are you not to be? 
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. 
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. 
We were 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.”


Therefore, in no way, are you meant to shrink, play small, or make yourself less to accomodate or placate someone else’s insecurities or inadequacies.

I can sum this up succinctly with two memes that really drive this home:

“If you think I am too much, go find less.”

and …

“I’m not intimidating, you are intimidated. 
Know the difference.”

Leading Your Living Legacy

So, queen, it’s time to adjust your crown and step into your power. 

Don’t you ever forget that:

  1. Your energy is your magic — don’t dim your light for anyone.
  2. Those who are truly meant to be in your life will see you and celebrate your light, not try to diminish it. In fact, they will help you shine. 
  3. Understanding your unique design and energetic blueprint (through tools like Human Design) can help you embody your true self.

Here are some powerful steps you can take to fully shine your light:

  1. Identify and challenge the negative messages you’ve internalized.
  2. Destroy the NOISE getting in your way and holding you back. 
  3. Find and surround yourself with people who celebrate your energy.
  4. Explore your unique gifts and how you can serve the world with them.
  5. Remind yourself daily of your innate worth, magic, and power.

Let those who are intimidated by your magic, your energy, and your power go find less. Shine so brightly that you light up the world around you.

Keep a supply of sunglasses ready and hand those bad boys out. 

Remember, you’re not here to shrink, conform, or make yourself smaller; rather, you’re here to inspire, influence, and impact.

As you step into your power and lead your Living Legacy, ask yourself: “How can my light inspire others to shine brighter?”

Be the candle lighting the wick of those around you. Because when you shine, you give others permission to do the same.

Crank up the wattage, bring your A game, and let your freak flag fly! 

Ain’t nobody out there that gets to tell you to “dial it down.”

Because “Nobody puts baby in corner.”

Looking for resources to help you quiet down the noise, or address the feelings of imposter syndrome as you let your light shine brighter? 

Here are two free resources to support you in your journey:


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