I’ve seen them. These are the ones who seem to give off their own radiance as though the sun and stars shine inside their words and eyes and actions. It doesn’t matter what is happening around them, they engage with an alert curiosity. Everything to them is interesting. When they talk, their passion for life is infectious; by osmosis, it seems, an eagerness for living spreads to anyone nearby. Often, they are the success stories of our culture, but it isn’t the light shined on them by success that drives them. It is that they are lit from within.
And I ask myself what inspired the awakening of the inner light within them?
In our western culture, we are raised to look outward. To build our hopes and dreams based on what we see in the world around us. To measure our successes by the approval of the world around us. To define our worth in comparison to the world around us. But these people who are lit from within…they found another way, another focus, another source for inspiration and desire to find and guide them.
I was in my early teens when I first noticed this phenomenon. I saw it first in young children, and I realized it wasn’t in me anymore. I grieved for what I first thought must be the end of childhood for me as more adult concerns like grades and social ambitions seemed to overtake and diminish my eager curiosity for life. But then I noticed there were adults with a passionate fire within them that over rode the compulsion to seek outward for approval and success. Martin Luther King was the first such adult to make me think it was possible to awaken such a flame within myself.
For many years, I watched and wondered how to ignite such an awakening – how to lift myself into a paradigm shift that fueled my Life from an inner Source of Light rather than from reflections of the world around me. An awakening, if you will. I read many books. A Course in Miracles told me to clear the slate of my mind from pre-conceptions and realize everything outside myself is a perceptual illusion to find the Inner Flame. I read the book cover to cover and did all of the daily exercises three times but couldn’t quite seem to let go of or dismiss the importance of external approval from my personality. Many philosophies I studied, and many philosophies I practiced – all of them with the desire to ignite and awaken a source within to light my way.
Imagine my delight and surprise to discover that I was making the answer hard by “working” at it when all along it was as easy as making time in my day – every day – to engage in an activity that made me as happy as I was as a child making mud pies. In re-discovering the feeling of timeless enjoyment a simple act of imaginative play induces, I found the pathway into my inner source of creative light. With no weight on results, the process unfolded within me and lit the path for me to follow. I found it!
Every flame begins with a spark. And I found the spark in opening to the creative urge. All of us have creative urges. Creativity isn’t confined to the arts. Now, I imagine what the world would be like if all of us allowed the sparks within to ignite into a flame. I imagine all of us giving off our own radiance with the sun and stars sparkling out from our eyes and words and actions. All of us lit from within. I imagine that and it makes me even more eager and alert and curious to live and engage every experience. Can you imagine what that would be like? Join me?
Thank you. I love you.