Lighten Up


It may seem strange to be speaking of “lightness” as we approach Winter Solstice and the darkest night of the year. But I’ve been thinking about this concept of light - both in terms of luminescence and levity - since a conversation with a client a few days ago.

This particular person was lamenting the current state of affairs with her physical body and shared, “I’m just so sick of being a heavy person.”

As you can imagine, my heart went out to her, but at the same time a lightbulb went off in my mind. A totally different way to approach that feeling of heaviness dawned on me.

Yes this wonderful, beautiful, magnanimous woman was frustrated and annoyed. But she had an amazing opportunity to experiment with multiple avenues, multiple perspectives, and multiple ways of lightening up.

In yogic science there’s a belief that we have not one but ten bodies or ten layers. What if we could start thinking of heavy and light in a way that remembers and integrates each of these layers? What if our dense (and yes, heavy) physical bodies, are actually just one small piece of the multi-faceted pie that makes us well, us?

And how - how could this client in a moment of body-frustration - and all of us in a season of heaviness find reprieve?

Over my childhood home pantry hangs a folksy-looking plaque that says, “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” What if there’s some real wisdom in a more sattvic or angelic way of approaching life?

Could we add a little more humor to the day? More chances to laugh at self or situation?

Could we lighten up by taking deeper breaths and actually pulling more air into our being?

Could we take up a lighter pattern of thought or mantra like - “I am the light of the soul, I am bountiful, I am beautiful, I am bliss. I am. I am.”?

Could we add more radiance and glow to our space, lighting candles in the dark evenings?

Could we clear away unnecessary things in our homes or closets (or cars…or purses…) thereby lightening the environmental load?

Could we spend time with children or our own inner child? Finding a more playful approach to the day’s to-do’s or taking time to go for a swing, a skip, or a dance to an old favorite song?

Could we release the heavy grip of control around how things should be and explore the lighter path of enjoying how things actually are?

Could we prioritize the remembering that to be in a body is to be blessed? And that though this physical vehicle is hers for now it is, ultimately a finite but very fortunate gift?

In this season of short light and long stretches of dark, let us remember our own inner power to bring lift and a lightness to the parts of our lives that need it most. We don’t need to feel trapped or burdened by excess heaviness whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional.

With a bit of creativity and connection to that very magical inner child that lives within, we all have the ability to lighten up and enjoy the true gifts of this special time of year.

Here’s to being the light in the times of quiet darkness. For every “lit” moment we have in our own inner joy, has the power ignite and lighten up another.