Monday, January 4, 2016

This Little Light of Mine, in 2016

I'm gonna let it shine.
There's a song we used to sing in Sunday school when we were kids. It's a catchy little tune, and one that has stayed with me through the years and I sing it softly to myself from time to time. It might seem odd, but until recently, I hadn't recognized the depth of its meaning for me.

Last year during a yoga workshop, my teacher mentioned this song and how as humans we tend to keep our light dim. We turn our volume down. We mute ourselves. We don't mean to, really. It's just that allowing our light to shine brightly - allowing ourselves to really be seen and heard - wreaks of vulnerability and let's face it, that can be really scary for some of us.

When we allow our light to shine, we invite vulnerability into the mix. When we make ourselves more visible, we invite others to take a good look and - here's where it gets tricky for me - we become a prime target for others to judge our intentions.

What will people think of me? Am I worthy? What if they don't like me? What if I say the wrong thing? Where's that damn dimmer switch?

Maybe it's my generation - plus many generations of women before me - who were raised with our dimmer switch dialed down just a bit. You know the one? The one that teaches us to "Be seen, not heard," "Don't stand out," "Good girls are humble and sweet and quiet and accommodating," "Good girls don't..."

You get the idea. Dim that light, little sister!

Over the past couple of years as I have moved through yoga teacher training, I have been pushed out of my dim little corner (read: comfort zone!!!) many, many times. Funny that for years I had imagined myself leading yoga classes, but when it came down to actually standing up in front of people and doing just that? Scary!!!

But you see, that's the trade off. Dimming my light no longer serves me because if I keep it undercover, it limits my ability to share the benefits of yoga with others. Keeping yoga all to myself is not an option now. I want to shout from the mountaintops how amazing it is!!!

Whoa.

Hold on there... From a mountaintop?!?! That would make me a giant beacon of light and I'm only just now learning how to light up a room. ~sigh~ See there? I almost accidentally shined super bright and then out of habit, I dimmed by the time I typed the next paragraph!

Shining our light is an ongoing process. It's a process of knowing how to shine brightly without blinding others. It's a process of coming to terms with vulnerability and the fact that we will never have control over what others think. It's a process of leading with our hearts and believing that there is value in what we have to share. It's coming to terms with knowing that others might misunderstand us from time to time - that we are human and will trip at times and feel uncomfortably vulnerable. It's a process of striking a match again and again after the winds of vulnerability snuff out our flame. Shining is an ongoing process.

And so in this new year I have chosen SHINE as my word of focus. I'll let my light shine with the deep understanding that it's what I am meant to do in this lifetime. Keeping the dimmer switch dialed down no longer serves me because...

"As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson

Let it shine.
Let it shine.
Let it shine.

11 comments:

Stephanie@LaDolceVita said...

You've always shined to me Deb! Love the word, love the thoughts. Shine bright, my friend, shine bright. xoxo

debs14 said...

A perfect choice for you! You've always been a shiner so keep shining on in 2016 x

Patio Postcards said...

"we become a prime target for others to judge our intentions." WHOA that was a powerful statement.

Great post & wonderful words of wisdom & encouragement to us all - thank you most heartily. I think the word Shine has found in you, such a willing & open partner - together I think you will not only shine but sparkle & dazzle yourself to new heights & depths.

Karen said...

A perfect choice! Although I agree with Deb that you've been shining for some time now!

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a great word Deb!
And so perfect for you because you do have such an inner light that we all benefit from.
By the way, have you thought about doing a mixed media mandala workshop or tutorial or paid online class? I would definitely take it.
Rinda

alexa said...

What a perfect word for you! And a thoughtful post ... Wishing you lots of joy with it too.

Alison said...

A perfect word for you! xx

Kay G. said...

What a wonderful post!
The Queen in her Christmas speech said much of what you have said here! Should I give you a curtsy?
:-)

Audrey said...

Honey, you already are a beacon! LOVE this post. Love. XOXOXO!!!!

Karen said...

It is the perfect word for you this year Debs. I know the feeling, I am embarrassed to post about my blog on Facebook in case people think I am boasting, am reticent to show my work to anyone else other than crafters in case people 'don't get it' and the list goes on. I am going to take a leaf out of your book and 'I'm gonna let it shine' in 2016!

Denise said...

Your words and Karen's really struck a chord with me - let's let those lights shine
in 2016 xx

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