Tuesday, December 10, 2019


‘Shine’, 2014

I created this artwork with my pregnant wife as an offering to our not-yet born son. I designed it with the question in my mind of how I could encode a wisdom that would always offer guidance, regardless of (most any) circumstance. What simple message could I impart to him that would always offer perspective?

In this design there is a circle with a flower motif with many other circles ‘floating’ around it. From the circle with the flower emanates streaming rays, which are spreading out amongst the surrounding circles.

The flower in the circle represents one’s own individual spirit, encapsulated within a sense of self-ness. The rays coming from it is the light that the spirit is casting. This light is permeating the world around it, shining upon and illuminating everything it touches.

Each surrounding circle also has its own flower within (not represented in the design). These circles are the people in the world around us. It can be inferred that these circles are also casting their own light, which is shining upon and illuminating all around them as well.

The message of this artwork is: “Shine your light.”

It is a message of encouragement, a message of permission. Perhaps even a commandment, for the whole world benefits from receiving our light. And we benefit from receiving the light of others. When we shine our light, even our own light seems to get even brighter. It’s a multi-layered positivity feedback loop.

The central message points towards a question which can be a very effective prompt to guide action and make decisions.

The question is: “How is the quality of my light?”

This came to me many years ago as I struggled with a set of life choices. In my inner turmoil in deciding what to do I asked myself: By what  barometer am I making my choice? What was I making a choice based on?

What does a decision mostly always boil down to? In the end, I say it comes down to: “Does my choice raise my light?”

When I am connected to my spirit’s light, I am also most directly connected to the light of others as well. Our spirit responds to other's light increasing our light increases when our actions elevate the light around us.

In the end, when looking back at an action I have taken, I can’t fault myself for having acted in a way guided by enhancing my light. How else would one possible want to have their lives move towards? The power of positive thought and so forth may not be sufficient to stop life from having its own way, and thus the most well-meaning actions may not bear fruit or even go awry. But in what other way is it worth guiding  this experience of life?

This artwork reminds me to pay attention to the light I am shining.

When an issue arises in which there is conflict, what is the state of my light as I engage the issue? In questions of assessing ourselves, does a particular course of action increase my light? Do the people I am relating with increase my light? Does the food I am eating increase my light? Does the work I do increase my light?

When my light is shining, the light of the world also increases

A print of this image hangs in a place where it is frequently seen by my family. I talk about it occasionally with my son, who is 5. I want him to know that his internal guidance is the most important thing to me. I see my role as helping him come to a place of guiding himself with increasing wisdom. This question of the spirit’s light helps me simplify what I am desiring that he be able to internalize- as part reminder, and perhaps as part instruction, for going the next step in my perspective, we are in this existence precisely in order to develop our capacity to shine our light. Or said another way, the opportunity in this life is to increase our capacity to experience more of our spirit’s potential.

How does it feel when your spirit is lit up and glowing? How can you have more of that in your life?

And going further, how can we support each other in having more of that in each other’s lives? Indeed, it is the highest thing I can offer anyone I ever engage. If a relationship isn’t increasing my light in some way, it is unlikely to last long. As long as people are tending to each other’s light, then whatever resolution that is arrived at can be engaged with compassion and respect.

This is what I want for my son- a life in which he assess his own progress through it by taking readings of the state of his light, in which he values and prioritizes tending to his light and the light of those around him.

May your light shine!

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