© 2014 Marica

Letting our light shine

I have been secretly looking forward to Christmas even though I haven’t expressed this feeling outwardly in any way.

For the first time ever in my adult life I didn’t put up a Christmas tree or decorate our home with any type of Christmas adornment. In the past nothing would have prevented me from doing this. The combination of the colourful decorations and the sparkling lights have always soothed my soul no matter what was going on in my world at that time. When I was weary at the end of the day I would sit beside the tree and soak in the glorious magical droplets of colour and let them work their magic on me. This was something I looked forward to each year. It was a time of being still, of reflecting on what has been and dreaming about what might be. For some reason this hasn’t happened this year.

Normally we would play Christmas music and sing along together. We would watch our favourite feel-good Christmas movies. None of this happened either. Christmas shopping didn’t get done – in fact it wasn’t even thought about.

My work environment was no different – there wasn’t a Christmas decoration in sight anywhere in the entire office. When I walked down the street everyone was rushing and very serious. People weren’t laughing and there seemed very little frivolity or celebrating going on.

Something was different. The Christmas spirit seems to have totally eluded me this year.

Despite all this I have been secretly counting down the days until Christmas because it meant I would be having some time off work! This was the one thing that has kept me going – the thought of having a break from not only my day job but also from routines, from living by the clock, from always rushing around and from feeling so guilty about all the things I planned to do but never managed to get done. I had deadlines I wasn’t able to meet. Endless challenges to navigate through. Unexpected job-related changes. It has been intense and there has been absolutely no slowing down of the demands and expectations placed on me. I am totally exhausted by this last year. For quite some time now I have been operating in auto-pilot and the days have passed by in a blur of endless work of one kind or another.

I feel sad tonight.

My body is exhausted.

My being is exhausted.

My soul is crying out for some attention and nurturing.

The fire within needs fuel.

I crave stillness and time to reflect and create.

I have a need to re-connect with the pleasures and richness associated with the ordinary because this is where extraordinary lives – in the simplicity of every day life.

Whether you believe in Christmas or not, tomorrow is a celebration of the birth of Christ. The birth of any child is a blessed occasion. Giving birth involves the expenditure of a lot of energy (involving pain) to enable new life. Birthing ourselves to be who we want to be is no different.

I am reminded of Nelson Mandela’s words from his 1994 inaugural speech:

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 frightens us most.
We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?”
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you.
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 all of us.
And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

My Christmas wish is that we all find a way to let our light shine.

19. Every day make time for yourself.
22. Every day refine, clarify and simplify.
27. Every day pain is a sign of growing.

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