Wellness Wednesay: SHINE | Model Behaviors

Wellness Wednesday: SHINE

When I look at this quote I can’t stop hearing this song in my head…

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.
Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine.

As is often the case these days, when I’m contemplating how I want handle something moving forward or how I want to continue wholeheartedly on this journey of personal growth, I often think of my two daughters.

With this popular song especially, I find myself singing to it and with it, despite the fact that I’m most definitely tone deaf. The idea of letting your inner light shine is something I so badly want to instill in my daughters, not only by telling them how important that unique part of them is, but by showing them as well—by example.

But it can get a little tricky here because it’s taken me a long time to recognize that not only do I have a strong inner light, but by sharing it and staying true to my authentic self, I can affect those around me. We’ll always encounter situations in life when it’s more challenging to let our inner light shine, or people try to make us believe that our inner light isn’t special or worthy. The only way we can find worth is to conform to their thoughts or ideas, or to just simply let our inner light dim in order to not cast a shadow on theirs.

I’ve come to understand that this says more about them than it does about me, and it’s indicative of the issues they need to work through within themselves. I’ve learned that I’m not responsible for them. I’m only responsible for my reactions to them. But understanding that and putting it into action are two very different things. In the past few years I’ve had to encounter more of these situations than I care to admit. When I was younger, I thought the older I got the less I would have to deal with them. What I’ve come to realize today is that these situations will never go away, but the tools I have to handle them with will be far greater.

In my twenties, I remember reading things like that and thinking, “Well, that’s easier said than done.” Or “How do you trust your gut if you can’t find it?” Thankfully time, hard work, and age have helped me with a lot of it.

Everyone has an inner light, and I often think about how I’ll talk to my daughters as they get older and encounter certain situations. I’ll tell them that we all have something unique and special about us. I’ll tell them…Never be afraid to let that part of you come through. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re not good enough or strong enough. Know that I will always be there to support you, whether I’m physically there with you or not.

So, in the spirit of continuing on this path of enlightenment, I’ve come up with four ways that I’ll teach my daughters (and practice myself) to let their inner light shine through.

Wellness Wednesday: SHINE | Model Behaviors

1. “When they go low, we go high.”

You won’t see me writing too much about politics on this site. I try to follow the old adage of not discussing politics at a dinner party. I prefer not to get into party affiliations in my writing, but there are beautiful words we can take from both parties. In the year of a Presidential election there are always those superstar speakers at the party conventions who stand out and manage to elicit a sense of hope and admiration from those on the convention floor. This year, I was struck by First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the DNC. So much of it was focused on the world she wants to build for her daughters, which is something I think of often. But one line in particular stood out to me. She was talking about how she and the President talk to their daughters about things happening in the country today. She said, “How we explain when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.” In the world we live in today, we’re going to encounter bullies or people who want to suppress our inner light in so many places. Technology has made sure of that. But what I want to impart to my daughters is that taking the high road is the way to go. I don’t mean get steam-rolled by people—creating boundaries is essential in certain situations—but I firmly believe that taking the high road will always lead to more peace, not only in the situation but within ourselves, allowing our inner light to shine through.

2. Have a support system in place.

This is certainly not a new concept, but I do believe it’s essential. It doesn’t have to be fifteen people. It doesn’t even have be three. It’s just one or two people who are there for you, can listen to you, and in many cases remind you of who you are and the inner light that they love about you. Chances are you’ve guided them along the way as well. Whenever you find yourself in a situation where your inner light seems to have retreated, have them on speed dial or speed text and lean on them. Or if it’s not a person, maybe it’s a blog or set of inspiring images you refer to that always seem to lift your spirits.

3. Affirm, affirm, affirm!

There are many different ways to do this: a) say affirmations aloud or keep some handy on Post-its or taped somewhere where they’re highly visible, b) make a list of the things you know you’re good at, c) make a list of things that make you unique and special. Doing one or all of these things, allows your inner light to shine. Remember in my goal-setting piece (recently featured on Huffington Post) where I talked about tackling your goals one at a time and making a list? Well, lists aren’t only good for things we want to improve on, but we can also use them for things we’re already good at. Sometimes we need to love ourselves and remind ourselves about the things that make us unique and special. It may feel silly doing it, but I can promise that these affirmations and lists will help!

4. Never stop learning and growing.

A surefire way to make your inner light brighter is to continue to evolve. Remember those lists above? Are there any items you want to make even stronger? Is there a new skill you want to learn, whether it’s professional or personal? Do you want to start a new hobby, pursue another degree, or just find a way to spend more time with your kids and loved ones? Or maybe you just need some downtime to reenergize and allow that inner light to come back on. Whatever it is, do it! A better you will shine through.

I hope these tips will serve as a reminder that not only is your inner light present, but the flame from which it burns is strong.

If this quote resonates with you, we’ve created desktop and mobile backgrounds for you to download for free! Just click the image of the version you’d prefer. Hand-lettering designed by Allison Hyde.

Wellness Wednesay: SHINE | Model Behaviors
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