ANDREA RUDOLPH Holistic Psychotherapy • Spiritual Healing • Sacred Ceremonies
Bringing It ALL into the Light and Letting your Light shine
November 19, 2016
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*, Andie
*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)