There was a powerful poem shared at the presidential inauguration that got a lot of attention. I believe it’s because it resonated with our souls—our souls seeking light in a world full of darkness and chaos. Amanda Gorman, National Youth Poet Laureate, shared: “There is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.”
Be brave with me for a minute. Dig deep and center yourself. Reflect on your inner light and then think of someone you know who is struggling. We all know someone facing a challenge right now. And it’s natural to want to help them. If you can so easily think about someone needing assistance in this very moment, think about how many people are out there, likely struggling through something personal. Everyone has an individual battle they are facing—and your light might just keep them going. Contemplate how you can incorporate these 5 simple suggestions on sharing light.
1. Increase Your Inner Light
If we want to share light with others, we need light to share. An unlit match can’t light a fire. Take time and discover what fuels your spirituality. Evaluate your connections—with others, with God, and with yourself. What spiritual practices do you engage in that fill you with positive energy?
“The best gift you can give to others, really, is your ongoing personal development—getting better, getting stronger, becoming wiser. Self-development enables you to serve, to be more valuable to those around you” (Jim Rohn). Continue to work on your own spirituality. Your example—of happiness, of inner peace, of confidence, of direction—will be the best way to positively influence those around you.
2. Put Your Phone Down
Quarantine has really disconnected us from other people. And in an effort to keep relationships alive, we’ve developed an unhealthy attachment to our phones and counted technology as our biggest blessing. Although I, too, am grateful for a way to stay connected, it’s going to take effort to learn authentic interactions again.
Let’s start with simple steps. Put your phone down and observe the people around you. Maybe you’ll make a new friend in the line of the grocery store or more easily notice when a roommate is having a hard day. Constantly looking at our phones when we’re around other people puts up walls. In our attempt to stay connected online, we’ve disconnected ourselves from the real people around us. Look up. Smile—even if it’s currently covered by a mask. Others will see it in your eyes and feel the light you have to offer.
3. Talk About Spirituality
Another way to easily share your light is to be confident in your spirituality. Talk about what exercises bring you inner peace or help you discover balance. Invite someone to join you in your meditative yoga class. Discuss a new insight you learned while studying sacred text with a roommate. People are seeking for peace and anxiety relief and self-discovery right now. You might just be the key to helping them understand where to find these. The Skylight app offers daily spiritual exercises and a community to assist with spiritual wellness. Your friends are missing out. Don’t be afraid to share.
The more you naturally speak about your spiritual practices, the greater the influence you’ll have on others. And in sharing your light, your own spiritual core is strengthened. Share away, my friend.
4. Find Ways to Serve in Your Community
Wherever you live, wherever you work, wherever you call home, I bet there is a way to reach out and serve. Finding ways to serve in the local community allows you to not only share your light and love, but helps you develop a sense of belonging. A local soup kitchen. Refugee assistance. Donating blood. There’s a different kind of service for everyone. When we each add our light to others and come together to help in a specific way, unity is achieved. And unity is the goal if we want to expand our souls and feel accomplished as a spiritual being.
A great resource to discover local opportunities is justserve.org. Just type in your zip code or city and a list of community service projects is right at your fingertips.
5. Simple Acts of Kindness
Columnist David Brooks shared a powerful insight: “Many of our society’s great problems flow from people not feeling seen and known. There is a core trait that we all have to get better at, and that is the trait of seeing each other deeply and being deeply seen.”
When we can learn to deeply see others, we’ll recognize the importance of kindness. You have a bubble of influence—the people you associate with every day. We either manifest positive or negative energy…and I know who I prefer to be around. Make the intentional decision to be kind and start incorporating small acts of service into your day. Surprise your roommate with breakfast. Smile at work. Hold the door open for an elderly lady. Send a kind text. We’ve been given 24 hours in a day. That’s 1440 minutes. Surely we can take a few of those minutes and spread a little light and kindness.
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” – Unknown