Let Your Light Shine
It is wonderful that spring warmth returns in Canada, as new buds seem to glow in rooted, vital expansiveness. I send a special greeting to friends in Asia who recently marked New Year celebrations such as Songkran or Vishu, or who are commemorating Ram Navami or spring Navaratri!
On the subject of growing light, my “I Am Light” music video has just crossed 20,000 views! Keep sharing it with your friends and let’s get to 20 million!
With grace, I Am Light has been playing on top 40 radio across Asia. It will reach even more stations when it hits the top 40 charts – which it will do based on sales! So if you don’t yet have your own copy of “I Am Light”, it would mean the world to me if you picked up a copy today.
It is fitting in this time of light and expansion that we talk about what it means to be ready to shine. Are you living your soul voice and shining your inner light? Or are you feeling stuck in struggle or shoulds? I love this inspiring quote from the great modern dancer Martha Graham, said to be like the Picasso of dance:
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. Because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions… You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.”
TUNE INTO YOUR SOUL’S ROAD MAP
Parallel to the growth of my musical work has been the evolution of my spiritual practice, which guides every day of my life. I greet each morning with a long meditation sit that gives me the clarity and insight to meet each moment throughout the day with utmost receptivity.
Meditation to me is like cleaning the windows of my car before going on a road trip. Seeing the road with greater clarity, I can enjoy the ride more fully and avoid potential accidents.
Through art, I explore the art of being. Meditation, then, is the creative source for all of my products, from conscious music and shows like I Am Light, to YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine DVDs and workshops, to my upcoming self-help book Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie. I create, contemplate, reflect upon, am inspired by the very core of life as “beingness”.
Meditation gives us not only a clear window out onto life’s road, but an inward view into our soul-driven guidance, a clear road map of where we are going and what actions are ours to take.
Through my practice, I recently met an aspect of my shadow that caught me by surprise. I realized that I have become accustomed to how much hard work I have put in over the years, and at some level feel overly exposed, vulnerable and raw if that struggle were to disappear. Some part of my ego takes comfort in the idea that “at least I tried hard” should my life not unfold the way I envision. I can take false pride in telling others and myself “how hard I am working”. But to what end? These thoughts only come from me feeling less than, not good enough, somehow divided from life, as though life were happening to me. In these thoughts I resist my potential, my fullness, this moment and life itself! What good can come of such hiding?
Bicycle training wheels eventually come off so that we can ride on bigger streets. The struggle that I have known has given me some form of meaning, a way to identify so that I could cope with life’s challenges and feel self-importance. But struggling has been about playing it small, darting from what I perceived as potentially harmful or scary. It served me at some stage of my life. It may have helped me feel safe at some point in my past, or I would not have chosen it. Now, however, it hinders my growth. I have outgrown this way of relating to the world and to myself. I no longer want to meet life this way. In my hiding and struggling, everyone loses. I resist growth. I block the creative flow that wishes to express itself through me. That light is never born to share with the world, for me to witness and for others to enjoy.
So I meet this day and ask myself, what if my life were to move into effortless flow? Am I willing to meet it? In essence, the question really is, am I willing to be a more open, freer, stronger, more powerful me? In this, there is a letting go, even a death of some aspect of my ego, some way in which I have seen myself. I am reminded of this fabulous Marianne Williamson quote from her book A Return to Love:
“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.”
ARE YOU READY TO SHINE?
My spiritual teacher Amma says that there are three aspects to success in life: time, effort and grace. We can all choose to put in the time and effort to reach our goals. But despite hard work and great products, it takes divine grace to see things flourish. Yet, as Martha Graham suggests, we can also choose to become maximally open and receptive to the flow of grace through us.
Understanding that, I have been asking myself some intimate questions as I move through the various stages of releasing my new song and video “I Am Light” into the world. I share them with you because I feel that I am not alone in learning to find and trust a sense of true ease, joy and effervescence in all that I do. Ask yourself these questions and see if they speak to you. You may discover a way that you have been blocking your flow. If so, that is grace allowing you to understand, witness and release it!
- Has struggle become my identity? That is, have I become so attached to an idea of myself as needing to struggle that I think it is just part of life and who I am?
- What would life be like without struggle?
- Am I ready for my life to be in ease and flow?
- Am I truly open to that idea, even as a possibility?
- Have I become used to complaining or hiding behind “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve”, feeling helpless as I watch my life passing me by?
- Am I ready to wake up each morning and feel inspired, alive, on path, engaged?
- If life were truly effortless for me, would I somehow feel lost, adrift or purposeless?
I saw a BBC interview of a British musician who broke out on the UK scene (where with grace, I will be soon!). The TV show introduction quoted Anaïs Nin, author of avant garde novels in the French surrealistic style. It struck me deeply. May these words inspire you as they did me:
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Until next time,
Love our world.
We are one Earth family.