10 Ways You Can Shine Your Inner Light

The dictionary defines a lighthouse as a structure with a powerful light that gives a continuous or intermittent signal to navigators; a beacon. The lighthouse can signal danger or provide a safe harbor for seafarers. While the lighthouse is a timeless symbol of confidence, strength and direction it is also something more personal. It symbolizes illumination, comfort and resilience from within.

“A lighthouse is not interested in who gets its light. It just gives it without thinking. Giving light is its nature.” –Mehmet Murat ildan

I recently volunteered to teach a creative writing class with my local chapter of the Boys and Girls Club of America. It was a 5 week course and it had never been offered before. My class was small and made up of middle school age kids. As it turned out the class was all girls but they were as diverse as you could get. The most amazing thing about this particular group was that no matter what their background seemed to be outside of one another their concerns and issues were the same.

What started out as an outline to help them think more out of the box in terms of creating a story turned into a lesson about communication and how out of the box we can get when we try to reach the people we most want to communicate with.

We all agreed that fiction is a great way to get a point across and communicate an idea without naming names or offending anyone but what they discovered through just open discussion and some guided questions from me was that communicating could take place through many different mediums such as puppet making, pictures only story- telling, facial expressions, picture poetry, charades, etc.

My personal triumph from these short 5 weeks came when I saw each one of the girls discovered their own special gift for how they communicated their creativity and each of them during the course of the 5 weeks inspired one another to expand their own way of reaching out and communicating with one another. I don’t think they all realized just how their inner light shined through to one another but I saw it as plain and bright as the sun.  So the question I was left with was, how can each of us be a beacon, a light house to one another and offer illumination and comfort and resilience to express the idea that it is okay to be ourselves?

In order to become the light for someone to navigate by these characteristics might be helpful:

1-      Don’t be self-absorbed. Show interest in other people, listen intently to what they have to share and say. Make them the focus of your attention.

2-      Don’t be vain. True beauty comes from inside of you. Your beauty lives in your heart, your soul, your hugs, and your sincerity. Spend time learning about what makes you, you, from the inside out, not from the outside in.

3-      Don’t compete. Just be still. Celebrate those people in your life that achieve success. Let them have their time in the spot light. Help them when you can but illuminate in their glow of overcoming their fears and obstacles.

4-      Don’t over estimate your self- worth. It’s not always necessary to be included in every little thing that your friends do. Each of us has our own interests and hobbies. Find and support those friends that share in many of your own interests and hobbies and get over it when other friends go without you. It’s not personal and you haven’t lost a friendship.

5-      Don’t always lead. Sometimes it is a good thing to let other people take the reins for a while. Try to maintain within yourself a level playing field. Everyone is important and everyone matters. Let go of control and just be.

6-      Don’t lie. Always be honest and true to your integrity and about who you are.

7-      Don’t offend. It’s ok to disagree from time to time but it is never ok to be rude or embarrassing to or with your friends. It attracts negative attention for everyone and it is a quick way to lose what you cherish most, friendships, camaraderie, and connection .

8-      Don’t be late. Show up when you say you will, call ahead if you know you are running late, show courtesy as often as possible simply because you would want that same respect. Be someone that others can depend on.

9-      Don’t be a Debbie Downer. Negativity is not attractive. Try practicing gratitude in the moments when you feel a negative wave coming up. What are you grateful for right this minute? Distract yourself from the negative thoughts and find the good in the moment. A really great quote goes like this: Not every day is good but there is good in every day.

10-   Don’t hold back. Go in for the hug. Say “I love you”. Look that friend or special someone directly in the eyes when you speak to them. Be all in with your generosity and kindness and compassion. Who cares if anyone else is looking? All they are feeling as they look on is a bit of shame for not being able to be that open and honest and free. Who on this planet wouldn’t like a real, genuine bear hug?

“When we let ourselves shine, we eclipse the realms of ordinary. This light, this spiritual life-force, effortlessly radiates within us and to those around us, illuminating the potential of our soul’s yearning, which is, in essence, the highest version of ourselves.” – LaShaun Middlebrooks Collier

Call to Action

How do you give of your inner light naturally?

If you could choose just one item from the lighthouse list above, which item would you choose to work on first? Why is that one so important?

What else can you add to this list? Let’s keep it glowing……

Images by bing.com

If you would like to explore more about personal growth, building and strengthening your success characteristics, or discovering what more you have inside of you please call for a free discovery session in my Art of YOU coaching program. You can reach me by calling 203-560-3061 or send an email to: lisa@journeyoncoaching.com.

 

Are you really ready for the new year?

When December 1st hits I feel like every tick of the clock is amplified because with the end of the month comes the end of the year, perhaps the end of a decade or a century. Every day ends, every month ends but the end of December is somehow more significant. Conversely the monumental end of the month of December also brings the enormous beginning of a fresh and hopeful new year, a renewed commitment to old and new goals and old and new resolutions.

Resolutions are in the air. What are resolutions anyway? Promises we try to make to ourselves to do something different or better than ever before. Isn’t that the premise of change?

Whether graduating from school, going off to college, switching career paths, dieting or turning a new age, the word “change” is the main ingredient. For most of us change is very scary and hard to start; goals are hard to set. If we are lucky enough to get started on a change, on obtaining an elusive goal, it is even harder to continue and see it through. For some of us change is exciting, exhilarating. The path toward success with any type of change is our perspective about the change and our attitude throughout the change. The idea of “different” has most of us envious of those who accomplish their changes, meeting their goals and/or running for the hills when thought about in terms of ourselves.

Amy Wrzesniewski, a researcher at Yale University, came up with the term “job crafting” for individuals who completely enjoyed their jobs but they were also making little changes that made their job more enjoyable. In terms of life changes at this time of year I suggest “life crafting”. To put it simply, doing small things, taking baby steps to make your life more rewarding. People can change but at what cost? Change is a shift in identity. We can play with our identities and imagine many possibilities for our lives. Think about someone you know who has made a change, big or small. How did that person seem to behave through the change and as a result of changing? How did you feel in your reaction to that persons change? Now, think about yourself as you are today and in one year from today. If everything about the changes you want to make has gone as well as could be hoped for…

1-      What would the person you hoped to become look like?

2-      What would the changed life feel like?

3-      What is something small that you can do right now to take steps toward that better, resolute, changed life?

Making resolutions, promises to ourselves to change what we don’t like or increase power to what is already working is vital to our well-being. In support for our natural desire to change Robert –Biswas Diener says, “Goals are future-oriented benchmarks that help us organize our behavior. By establishing goals, both large and small, we establish a gauge for success, a guide for making decisions, and a target to move toward. In the absence of goals we tend to flounder.”

According to Jeremy McCarthy of psychologyofwellbeing.com, there are 10 strategies for accomplishing change, goals, and greatness.

1-      Know that change is possible.

2-      Know that change is not easy.

3-      Keep your eye on the prize BUT know that there will be hurdles to overcome.

4-      Don’t focus only on the goal, the change or only on the hurdles. Find a balance of foucs.

5-      Want the changes you seek. For example, “What would make me want to lose weight? “What would make me want to do more exercises? “What would make me want to stick to my goals for change?

6-      What is the smallest, easiest step to take that you know you can’t fail? For example if writing a book is one of your goals, try writing one sentence per day and before you know it you’ll have the makings of your book. It’s a step that there can be no excuses attached to.

7-      Recognize that there will be setbacks and plan for them. For example, IF I want to go to the gym to exercise after work and a colleague asks me to go to happy hour after work THEN I will either meet up with that colleague after my work out or get up early the next morning to go to the gym.

8-      Strengthen your will power. This can be done through meditation or personal challenges to test your resilience.

9-      Dig in and keep going. Persevere. Work hard to achieve your end result.

10-   Know when to let goals go. Sometimes, but rarely, will you realize that the path you are taking toward your change, toward your goal is not the right path. Be flexible enough to recognize that signs of a bad plan and be open enough to change course, change the plan but not give up on the idea of where you want to go.

In this new year that is fast approaching I wish you strength, perseverance and open mindedness toward your changes, your goals and your resolutions. Happy New Year!!!