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I have a question to ask:  Do you play small?  What I mean by that is, do you shrink in life because you are fearful or because you don’t feel worthy?  There are many people who feel this way.  I want to invite those who know their life could be better to shed their chains, throw off the fear blankets, and allow your light to shine.

You’re probably familiar with Marianne Williamson’s quote on letting your light shine:

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. ~Marianne Williamson

Those words are so empowering!  So what would help you to let your light shine?  Because Now is the only moment that is occurring, can you use this moment to feel what it would feel like to shine?  Can you imagine yourself owning how magnificent you really are?  Can you visualize yourself with your light burning brightly?  Where do you feel this in your body–in your mind, your heart, all over?  What would that look like in your life?  Would you behave differently if, say, you knew you only had a month or a year to live?  How would your outlook and attitude toward life change?  Would you feel more alive because you had an end point put on your life span?  Don’t you have one anyway?  You may not know when, but all of us will expire from this earth at some point.  In minutes, days, years…Life is too short to live in fear!  Life is too short to not let our light shine.  When we shine, we naturally affect those around us.  We give our children a wonderful role model.  People want to be around us.  It isn’t selfish to flourish in life, it’s liberating.  It frees us up from the baggage that holds us down.  This freedom, this decision and choice to live in who you are will affect not only your mind and spirit, but your physical body will become healthier as you drop the stress, the anxiety, and the worry and you begin truly living your life.

What are some ways to cultivate this inner light?

  • Give (positively) with no strings attached.  Give from the heart.
  • Meditate.  Get in touch with your inner self and soul.  Take time to shed your worries and stress and reconnect with God/Spirit/Oneness.
  • Go out in nature.  Reconnect with the natural world around you.  Look for the beauty in a leaf, a flower, or a stream.  Look up at the blue sky or starry night and think about the vastness of the universe.  Our problems pale in comparison to the breadth and expanse of what is.
  • Read something positive, motivational, or uplifting.
  • Read or watch something funny.  Laughter is restorative and makes us feel so much lighter.
  • Find something that adds meaning and purpose to your life.  Engage in hobbies or activities that light you up.
  • Get professional help if you feel stuck in your life.  If your past is holding you back, consult a trusted family member, friend, or therapist.  If you’re having trouble imagining a good future for yourself, hire a coach.  Too often people get bogged down in the past or future which dims your light.
  • Forgive.  Let go of the pain, the resentment, the anger, and the feelings of unfairness.
  • Apologize.
  • Practice being in the Now.
  • Dump the drama.
  • Be authentic in your words and behaviors.
  • Do no harm.
  • Focus on love, not fear.
  • Get inspired.  Tap into what inspires you and make an inspiration collage, book, or something that holds ideas of inspiration.  Is it poetry?  Art?  Photography?  A song?  A quote?
  • Surround yourself with people who lift you up.

Have you ever noticed how some people, despite their challenges in life, just seem to thrive in spite of them?  I believe that no matter how many challenges you’ve been through in life, you’re meant to use them as learning opportunities to enhance your life, not detract from it.  Challenging experiences can diminish our light, but it’s a choice we make whether this happens or not.  Choose to fan your flames, to grow your light.  Be around people who lift you up and don’t put you down.  Take care of your light.  Nourish it and protect it.