Hello My Dear Ones,
There’s a lot I could share and a lot that’s been on my mind this past month (and especially this past week). As we move into Thanksgiving, the darkest time of the year, and the holiday season, I want to focus on the idea and practice of “Letting Your Light Shine.”
Daily challenges and responsibilities (like navigating work, family, friends, finances and more) can dim our enthusiasm and dull our connection to joy. Bigger issues (like illness, death and loss) can cause us to sink into despair. It can feel hard to shine our light when we feel overwhelmed, down, or discouraged. Life doesn’t always go our way. When the embers are burning low, we need some way of fanning the flame of inner peace, joy and optimism. And believe it or not, sometimes the way to get there is by bringing all of the dark out into the open.
For the past couple of months, my sister and I have been in the process of helping to clean out, pack and move my mother from her apartment of 51 years. It’s been an incredible process of discovery – both inner and outer. My mom doesn’t throw anything out. We’ve excavated all sorts of treasures and trash. Treasures: silver dollars from my grandfather, hundreds of family photos from three generations, and a cassette tape of my first lead in a musical at age 10. Trash: dozens of VHS tapes of old TV shows like the “Golden Girls” and “Mash”, random cords to electronic devices like walkmans, and receipts dating back to the 1990s and even earlier. We’re making our way through closets and drawers, under beds and behind dressers while filling bags and bags of items to give or throw away. There’s a tremendous amount of dust, cat fur and memories being stirred up and brought into the light.
Overall, it’s been a fun, interesting project (especially since mom is alive and now feeling better. Thank God!). But it’s also been challenging, draining and unraveling. Sorting through a lifetime or more of belongings brings more than just the item out into the open – we’re revisiting the past and all that’s been lost, forgotten and overlooked. Bringing what’s “lost, forgotten and overlooked” can be eye-opening and sometimes overwhelming. We gain a new perspective looking back from the future: How quickly children grow up. How much we’ve aged. People and belongings long gone. There’s joy and grief as well as enthusiasm and humility. We see how much has been neglected and forgotten. We see how much we’ve taken for-granted. We see how much has been stored away in the dark recesses of our minds and never aired out.
I am reluctant to make any reference to the election since I know it’s a sore subject for many of us. But there’s something potent about bringing what has been hidden into the light. Fear, prejudice, bigotry, and hatred have always been present (on both sides for that matter). How dramatic it is to have it out of the closet in full daylight. We may be forlorn and overwhelmed. We may feel afraid and grief-stricken but perhaps this is a bold opportunity for us all to figure out what to “keep” and what to discard. Maybe this is an opportunity to see how persistent and committed we are to our practice of acceptance, love, kindness and being the change we want to see in the world. How well can we practice lovingkindness and compassion to ALL of our brothers and sisters even if their views are polar opposite from our own? How well can we tune into peace, light and love? How well do we see the Divine in each other?
My prayer is that we’ll find a way to rise above the darkness in our hearts, minds and nation and keep fanning the flame within by committing to our practices that bring Light forth. This is the Light that can transform pain and hatred. This is the Light that unites and aligns with the desire and right for everyone to feel safe, happy, healthy and peaceful. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.
May your heart find peace, well-being and wholeness and may you know that you are not alone.
*Sat Nam means “Truth is my identity”
Suggestions for your own practice:
Meditation for a Calm Heart (offering this one again since it’s easy and effective)
Download Instructions as PDF
Watch the Video
A SPIRITUAL CONSPIRACY
On the surface of our world right now
There is war, violence, and craziness
And things may seem dark.
But calmly and quietly
At the same time
Something is happening underground.
An inner revolution is taking place
And certain individuals
Are being called to a higher light.
It is a silent revolution
From the inside out
From the ground up.
This is a global co-operation
That has sleeper cells in every nation.
It is a planetary Spiritual Conspiracy.
You won't likely see us on T.V.
You won't read about us in the newspaper.
You won't hear from us on the radio.
We don't seek glory.
We don't wear any uniform.
We come in all shapes and sizes, colors and styles.
We are in every country and culture of the world
In cities big and small, mountains and valleys
In farms and villages, tribes and remote islands.
Most of us work anonymously
Seeking not recognition of name
But profound transformation of life.
Working quietly behind the scenes
You could pass by one of us on the street
And not even notice.
We go undercover
Not concerned for who takes the final credit
But simply that the work gets done.
Many of us may seem to have normal jobs.
But behind the external storefront
Is where the deeper work takes a place.
With the individual and collective power
Of our minds and hearts
We spread passion, knowledge, and joy to all.
Some call us the Conscious Army
We co-create a new world.
Our orders come from the Spiritual Intelligence Agency
Instructing us to drop soft, secret love bombs
when no one is looking.
Poems ~ Hugs ~ Music ~ Photography ~ Smiles ~ Kind words
Movies ~ Meditation and prayer ~ Dance ~ Websites
Social activism ~ Blogs ~ Random acts of kindness…
We each express ourselves
In our own unique ways
With our own unique gifts and talents.
"Be the change you want to see in the world"
That is the motto that fills our hearts.
We know this is the path to profound transformation.
We know that quietly and humbly
Individually and collectively
We have the power of all the oceans combined.
At first glance our work is not even visible.
It is slow and meticulous
Like the formation of mountains.
And yet with our combined efforts
Entire tectonic plates
Are being shaped and moved for centuries to come.
Love is the religion we come to share
And you don't need to be highly educated
Or have exceptional knowledge to understand it.
Love arises from the intelligence of the heart
Embedded in the timeless evolutionary pulse
Of all living beings.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Nobody else can do it for you.
Yet don't forget, we are all here supporting you.
We are now recruiting.
Perhaps you will join us
Or already have.
For in this spiritual conspiracy
All are welcome, and all are loved.
The door is always open.
Edited version of Brian Piergrossi's beautiful essay at www.thebigglow.com