Three ways to find light in the darkness

mindset Jun 08, 2020

For the last couple months, my family has been moving around a lot, thanks to Covid. After a few weeks of quarantining in the city, we went to our house in Tuxedo Park, where we’d have more space and more access to nature. But it turned out, we had a little too much access to nature…meaning, we discovered we had a mice infestation. When they started falling from the ceiling (literally), we knew it was time to move again.

First, we went to Georgia for a month, where we hoped to ride out more of the pandemic. But then that rental lease ended, and so we found another rental house on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

When we got here on Sunday, I felt out of sorts, ungrounded. In Georgia, I already felt far from home, and now we’d gone even farther. The house here is beautiful; it’s on the very tip of an island, with water all around us. But instead of feeling like we’d reached some remote paradise, I just felt stuck. Like I’d reached the end.

Even our geographical location seemed symbolic, like it was saying: You’re at the end of the earth. There’s nowhere else go.

For a few days, I spiraled downward. My thoughts revolved around how lost and confused and far-from-home I felt. On top of all the uncertainty in my personal life, I also felt the darkness of current events, watching the protests and feeling so helpless and upset about the injustice in the world.

Then, a few days in, a friend of mine told me about an online meditation she was leading. I decided to join. And although it was hard to focus, I heard one clear message in all the muddle: Get up early tomorrow. Get up at 6a.m.

The next morning, my alarm went off at 6. My sleepy mind debated: Do I really get up now? I could hit snooze…but again, I heard the message: Get up.

So I dragged myself out of bed. I grabbed my journal, which I hadn’t written in lately, and settled in on the deck, looking out over the Gulf of Mexico, watching the sky gradually lighten with its gentle shades of pink and orange and yellow. Then, in the silent, sparkling water, I spotted some manatees, swimming around.

I couldn’t take my eyes off them. They were so innocent-looking and beautiful, so happy, that I was filled with this inexplicable sense that they were “life-driven.” Dolphins swam by in their midst, and in that amazing view, I felt, for the first time, a sense of new possibilities.

I wrote about what I was feeling, and the more I wrote about it, the more I felt that opening, that expansiveness (because, of course, you feel what you focus on). And I realized – or rather I remembered – that it’s so crucial to focus on the light.

Each of us, everywhere, carries our own light. Especially in these dark times, we must find ways to brighten our own light and share it with those around us. That is what will light up the darkness. That is what will lighten up the dark times.

I see that in the protests all around the country. People are speaking out, sharing their voices and their vision. They are letting themselves be seen. They’re shining a light on what needs to change. And that light is spreading.

When we step into our own light, not only do we step into our best selves; we also share that light with others, making the world a better, more life-driven place.

Especially now, when we’re in the “dark” – both about what’s going to happen with the pandemic, and about the injustices happening around our country – the world needs your light.

How can you find your light, if it’s gone dim?

Here are three easy things you can do right now to tap into your light and let it shine:

  • Connect to something that brings you happiness. Whether that’s nature, a child, a pet, some activity you love – whatever it is, spend some time with that person or thing. Even a few minutes will light you up and give you energy that you can bring into the rest of your day.
  • Move your body. Movement does wonders for your body and brain, shaking out the dust from your joints and old thought patterns, and helping you encode new, positive thoughts into your system. Go for a walk, dance around your bedroom, or join me here for an invigorating, 5-minute sun salutation designed to help you tap into your inner light – physically and mentally.
  • Listen for messages. Pay attention to what speaks to you. Messages can come from anywhere: a friend’s comment on the phone, a quote on your Instagram feed, where you mind goes when you journal, or even, I don’t know, what pops into your head while you’re meditating. I promise you, the messages you need are there, and they want to be heard. All you have to do is listen and notice.

What else can you do to share your own personal, beautiful light?

As we say in yoga: the light in me sees, honors, and thanks the light in you.

Go out and shine.


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