The Wicked soundtrack is in heavy rotation at
our house right now. Dancing Through Life and
Popular are favorites, but Defying Gravity is the
most requested song.
I have had the luxury of seeing Wicked on
several occasions (I was able to take the girls before it left
Chicago last week) and I have yet to make it through the
Defying Gravity scene without crying.
The song is dramatic, full of emotion, and it's also the first
time that Elphaba, the main character, fully accepts herself.
It's when she declares to the world who she really is.
I don't know if my daughters fully realize this, it's hard to
know how much of the story they understand at such a young age, but
I know they feel the power of this song.
When my six-year-old listens to the song at home she feels the
need to be "up high", standing on a chair or on top of the couch -
she needs to be BIG, because "it doesn't feel right" to sing
Defying Gravity while standing on the floor.
And when the girls sing it in the car, they can't help but get
super loud, they literally sing at the top of their lungs.
Regardless of how much of Elphaba's story they understand, they
fully understand that while singing this song she is BIG.
She is claiming her greatness, and also her mistakes. She
finally realizes and accepts why she is here and what she is meant
It's a defining moment, an emotional declaration that inspires
us to claim our own greatness. But in the real world we don't
get to fly above a stage and realize ourselves through song.
Our option is less dramatic, more everyday life. We get to
take simple steps toward self awareness and self understanding -
everyday choices that help us define who we are.
Like saying no to something we really don't want to do, or fully
admitting a mistake. By paying a heartfelt compliment or
fully accepting one from somebody else. By scheduling time for
ourselves rather than putting everything and everyone else
Or even bigger, saying yes to something that scares us - because
it excites us more.
This looks easy on paper, but these are difficult things to
do. These are the daily decisions - the decisions we often
make on autopilot. But these are the decisions that need a
lot more heart (what we want) and less head (what we think we
Claiming ourselves through the little things is personally
empowering, and it's behavior that our children need to
witness. Role modeling personal awareness and strength of
character is a lot more effective than talking about it.
For ourselves and for our children we can practice self love and
self acceptance rather than self depreciating behaviors. We
can stand up on a chair every now and again and feel what it feels
like to be BIG. Not in an effort to be bigger or better than
others, but in an effort to be fully US.
And if you need help getting started, I know a song that might
be helpful….turn it up, stand on your couch, or sing it loud in
So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky
As someone told me lately
Everyone deserves a chance to fly
And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free
To those who ground me,
Take a message back from me
Tell them how I am defying gravity…..
~lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Cathy Adams is a certified parenting coach, yoga instructor and mother to three girls.
See more of Cathy's stories here.
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