Take it to the Mat: Shine
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.
We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
Oh, how this poem should be engraved in the heart of every human being – in every mother, parent, spouse, or friend. We are worthy. And in being so, we should shine. When we shine, the reflection of our life energy is vibrantly displayed in all beings along our path.
Think for a moment: How do you best bring your light into the world? What actions must you take to do so? And who might be reflecting your light?
How we care for ourselves reflects in everything. What we think becomes how we feel, how we feel becomes what we do, what we do becomes how we behave, how behave becomes what we create. Are you creating more light? Start your day off with a simple routine to clear away some of the early morning fog.
Say a prayer, set an intention, or spill forth an affirmation. One of my favorite morning prayers is: Wherever I stand, please let me be the soul – bring Spirit – to that place.
Think. Though most of our practice in yoga is dedicated to going beyond the mind, there is an importance in thoughts. There are many things that we could not do without the beauty of mind-body pathways. Allow yourself to be deeply engaged in your intuition, the thoughts birthed not of the man-made mind, but of the Spirit-made mind. These thoughts guide you to your higher purpose. Allow light into these spaces often concealed by shadow.
Give thanks. Emotionally, we need to feel loved in order to best shine. There is always something along the way, on any day, that has given us a ray of light. Bringing a gentle awareness to what makes you feel loved. Yes, you are worthy of that love.
Shake off the dust. Each morning, take a moment to connect to the physical part of your body – and give thanks. Place your hands on your head and welcome loving thoughts into your mind. Bring them to your ears and welcome the ability to listen. To your eyes and welcome seeing. Your lips, welcoming spoken words of truth.
Finally, try a simple Rise & Shine warmup. I call this Sunflower. Take a Standing Forward Bend, either with legs hip distant apart and parallel or in a wider stance if you are pregnant or have lower back pain. Reach down to your toes on the right side. Slowly roll up over your right leg until you are upright. Opening your chest, looking to the sky, and elongating out the fingertips down toward the floor. Roll slowly across your upper back letting your arms follow your movement. Bring your arms to the left of your body, rounding your back as you ease the front of your body down the left leg, hands toward the floor. Repeat 6 times focusing on the breath.
Those with high blood pressure or difficulties of the neck or eyes, should use caution. Alternately, you may take a sitting posture with happy feet, toes pointed to the ceiling and legs long. Paschimottanasana, or Seated Forward Bend, is another introspective way to start the day. Bring life and energy into your pose by reaching behind your hips, fingertips on the earth and chest opening to the sun. Then extend arms long up to the sun, folding forward. Roll down the spine sinking forward from the hips into your lower body. Roll up the spine when you reach for the sun. Repeat. See you, be you.
My you be balanced and open, may you be peaceful and present, may you be full of life-joy, and may you be unconditionally loved.