The concept of shining our light onto the world and tapping into sources from within comes from all parts of the world and is in almost every culture and in countless Yoga principles. The essence of the Goddess Saraswati teaches us “when we overlook the spirit of creativity, learning and growth we fracture and distance ourselves from the source of what makes us most luminous and successful.” This is by no means a new concept. Yet presently we are still struggling to let our selves shine. We deny our greatness and are commonly fearful of our full potential. Often times this is expressed by talents that are hidden, desires that are quelled, ideas that are questioned and dreams that are stifled. Much if not most of the time by our own doing. This is ironic because if we were to get out of our own way we would be doing a great service to ourselves and our world. As Marianne Williamson writes; “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…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. ...It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I have noticed during this pandemic that while anxiety, fear, stress and loneliness is experienced there is also awakening. This is hopeful. Creative energies have blossomed and truth has come out of confinement. As I observe this I am inspired to celebrate it. When a soul creates, sings, dances, awakens and breaks open to their true spirit, we all benefit. It shows us all that what we have been waiting for has always been there. “Your personal power is not something that is going to reveal itself at some later date. Your power is a result of your decision to reveal it”- Marianne Williamson. “The soul thrills at the reminder of what we all already know” and it is thrilling when a spirit is set free.
The resistance to shine is something everyone knows about and we all have reasons to keep ourselves from rejection, judgment or the fear that we are not the best. The Yoga teaching of Truthfulness; Satya tells us “In all the ways we package ourselves and protect ourselves, or when we choose the safety of belonging over the inner need to grow, we also dull ourselves.” Contrary to that; “Living the life that cries to be lived from the depth of our being frees up a lot energy and vitality. The juices flow. Everyone around us benefits from the aliveness that we feel. On the other hand, suppressing that life, for whatever reason, takes a lot of our life energy just in the managing of the pretending.” - Deborah Adele.
We do not need to be spectacular to shine, we are simply asked to be real. This may be our greatest obstacle. Instead of trusting who we are and letting ourselves be, we wait for greatness, perfection and applause. The teaching of Truthfulness; Satya tells us “real comes from the center of our unique essence and speaks to the moment from that center. Real has a boldness to it, an essence, a spontaneity. Real asks us to live from a place where there is nothing to defend and nothing to manage... When we don’t know what we want or we don’t have the courage to pursue it, everything everyone else is doing looks tempting to us…we get sidetracked from our own dreams and our own realness. However, when we are focused on our own dreams, we can move forward with dignity.” -Deborah Adele. This teaching come from the Yoga teaching Non stealing; Asteya.
When we resist our own bliss it is a form of theft. We are taking away by staying safe and holding back, we are robbing the world of what we have to offer “…we steal from our own lives. In all the ways we impose an outside image of ourselves onto ourselves, we are stealing from the unfolding of our own uniqueness…All self-sabotage, lack of belief in ourselves, low self-esteem, judgments, criticisms, and demand for perfection are forms of self-abuse in which we destroy the very essence of our vitality." There are countless ways that we block our own path and stagnate. It inspires me that we are asked to do this work. It means our uniqueness is of great worth to our world. Otherwise, there would not be all these teachings. There would be no reason to observe the mind and witness our beliefs and behaviors. But this is exactly what is asked of us so that we may clear the clutter an open our pathways to shine.
Yogiraj takes his young son to the river the son asks if the river is polluted and Yogiraj says “no, the river is only carrying the pollution, the river itself is pure. Our minds are like the river carrying things in it. If we identify with what the mind is carrying-thoughts, stories, beliefs-then we will think we are those things. However, if we identify with the pure river and merely watch the thoughts float by, we will know we are simply carrying the thoughts, stories and beliefs; they are not who we are.”
Joseph Campbell writes “Follow your bliss. Find where it is and don’t be afraid to follow it…if you think ‘oh no, I couldn’t do that!’ that’s the dragon locking you in. But in following your bliss, you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there’s no doubt about it. The world without spirit is a wasteland. People have the notion of saving the world by shifting things around, changing the rules, and who’s on top, and so forth. No, no! Any world is a valid world if it’s alive. The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find your own case where the life is and become alive yourself.” In this time where we need inspiration and something to celebrate we all thank you for shining.