Day 3: Be the Light
For today’s pause I draw inspiration from Amanda Gorman’s poem ‘The Hill We Climb’, which encourages us to find the light in the never-ending shade.
Nature shows us that there’s light in everything. And yet for us, as human beings, there can be moments where everything seems dark – difficult and negative – where our fears might overwhelm us. In those moments, finding the light takes courage. And being the light takes immense courage.
Being compassionately fearless in these moments can help us find the courage we need.
Join me for a 3-minute pause today, to reflect on being the light for yourself and others.
Hello and welcome to Day 3 of 7 Days on the Winter Mountain – a chance for us to pause together for a few minutes.
Today we’re in the hamlet of Le Mont. It’s one of several hamlets which are part of the village of Sixt Fer a Cheval where we live. And it’s the highest of all those hamlets at about 1000 metres. So we’ve climbed up here today and installed ourselves. Behind me is a mountain called La Cathedrale and to my left falling away into the upper Giffre valley is the place from which we filmed Day 1 of this series. You might recognise La Pointe de Sales from that first video.
The thought that I bring with me today into this short video is about light. And it’s inspired by the words of Amanda Gorman, at the inauguration of Joe Biden as the president of the United States, from her phenomenal poem that captured the moment, that was all about seeing the light, wasn’t it? At the beginning of the poem she talked about finding the light in the never-ending shade. And at the end of the poem she said something like “the light is always there if you have the courage to see it, if you have the courage to be it.
Now if we look at nature it’s self-evident isn’t it that the light is always there. Even in those countries like Scandinavia and, in fact, you know having lived in Russia for several years in the north of Russia there are parts of the year where there’s barely any light at all. And yet there is, in the darkness, always a glimmer of light. But sometimes we have to choose to look for it.
It’s very easy sometimes to kind of give in to the dark, isn’t it? To give in to the darkness. To see everything as difficult and negative. Maybe to look even to find a source of blame for what we’re feeling. It’s human, we all do it. But let’s remember, as Amanda Gorman urged us to do, that the light is always there. And nature reminds us of that every day.
So in our pause today, I invite you to think about where the light is in your life at the moment.
Even if, at this moment, for whatever reason it feels dark, remember the light is there. And if you’re lucky enough at the moment to feel you have plenty of light, what part of that light feels most precious to you. So in our pause today I invite you to reflect on that. Where is the light?
And as you do that, again thinking of what Amanda told us, if we have the courage to be the light, we can bring light. We can bring light into the darkness. We don’t need to leave it to others or for our circumstances to change. We can be the light, be the change if you like. We have the power within us to bring that up within us. So the second part of the pause today, after considering where the light is in your life at the moment, is to ask yourself: how can I be the light? How can I bring the light? And that takes courage. There are times when that takes
So not an easy question today and I’d like to pause for a little longer, to give time for us to reflect on that. Me too. But I invite you to at least have a go. And when you ask yourself: where is the light in my life? How can I be the light in my life? Just see what you notice. If you notice resistance, fine. If you notice yourself welcoming it, fine. If you don’t notice anything much at all, fine. Just see what you notice as you reflect on those questions. And let’s do that together.
So, remembering our pause practice: pause – press the pause button around about here (the solar plexus). Place your hands here if it helps. Drop your attention into this space, and as you do that begin to breathe consciously in and out as if your breath were flowing into this space. So breathing in, creating space; breathing out, releasing and letting go.
I’m going to close my eyes. Please close yours if you want to or lower your gaze if that’s more comfortable. Whatever feels best for you. And let’s begin our practice. Breathing in, know that you are breathing into this space, creating space. Breathing out, know that you are breathing out, releasing and letting go. And breathing into the space, ask yourself: where is the light in my life? How can I be the light for me and for others?
And when you’re ready, open your eyes or lift your gaze. And notice how you feel.
Thank you for joining me here today. I look forward to being with you again tomorrow.