“Don’t be afraid to shine, the world needs your light.” -Gabby Bernstein
I have been truly understanding the concept of getting out of yourself and striving to live from a higher place. I think we get into the habits of being human and caring soo much about what others think that it becomes hard to get out of that trap!
My realization–genuinely started by reading “The Book of Joy” by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. The book is all about finding Joy, living compassion and striving to become better. Such a good read. Highly recommend!! While reading that book, I had a complete stranger notice and acknowledge my spirit, my joy!! It blew me away and I have been trying to live a little higher each day & it has made so much of a difference for my life.
Here are a few examples: yesterday, my husband and I were stuck for thirty minutes in a one-way commuter lane & no way to avoid sitting, stuck in traffic that was not moving. After a few minutes of me and my husband complaining about being stuck because we were going to be very late to pick up our daughter from work, we gave in and began to let go. We could not control or change the situation, so we began to dance in the car. Our spirits began to get happy, so I decided I could do something! I opened my car door, stepped on my side rail of the car & began blowing kisses to the VERY long line of cars behind us. The line wrapped around for miles. As I blew kisses, the guy in the car directly behind us lit up with a huge smile & gave me a huge rock on/love you sign with his hands. It was AWESOME!! I guarantee we all felt a little better sitting in traffic. It was such a fun and memorable moment. I will never forget that guy’s face as he lit up. Priceless.
Another ‘light’er life experience was deciding I was going to do a lantern walk for my community neighborhood. I am not the same religion as everyone who surrounds me, so after living here for nine years & not feeling very connected I have felt a need to do something. So, I told my husband and daughter I was going to create a lantern walk & invite EVERYONE! They both looked at me & thought my family would make fun of me & that no one would show up! With my new feelings of trying to be a spark–I carried on with my plan. I created a website in a day, began ordering paper lanterns, lights, found a four-foot LOVE sign and began planning every detail. I planned Oct. 7th at 7 to have people gather at my home & all walk together down a forest path next to my house. They would walk through branches of hanging paper lanterns, a tree adorned and decorated with flower lights, mason jars of “fairy lights” and paper lanterns with butterflies. My “fairy tree” was especially made for the children. [It is a special tree that I would take my daughter & her cousins to when they were growing up & they would look for fairies who lived there] There were two other decorated trees that had quotes about being a light in the world. People would then cross bridges with lights and a trail of paper bags lit by votives, a four-foot heart on a hill made from light rope and would then end at a small amphitheater where they could take pics with their families at the large “Love” sign. I had it all figured out in my head!! It was going to be a lovely evening made for families.
Weeks passed and I was hoping I would have someone in the community offer lanterns, to help set-up…anything, but I heard nothing. My husband was wondering if anyone was going to show & kept saying, “maybe you need to post more notices or have someone send out something again to let people know about it.” I told him I had two neighborhoods post it multiple times on their email groups, I made a large sign I posted on the forest path & I just kept telling him, “those who are meant to come will be there.” Smile. Smile.
I was popping paper lanterns for days & preparing everything for the big day. My husband and daughter began to see the bigger vision & began to get excited. The morning of Oct. 7th came & my sweet husband had taken the day off of work, knowing I would not be able to pull this all off without him. The crazy thing—it is actually a literal Godsend, was that when I first began to plan this event I just imagined us with ladders in the forest & now I know we would have NEVER finished in time. Just a week after I began planning, my father-in-law passed & in his will he left my husband a side-by-side atv. It was a genuine Godsend. If we would have NOT had this vehicle, the outcome of our lantern walk would have never been finished. We were zipping up and down the forest path all day. My husband was standing on the top of it to reach large branches to hang lanterns, it made the timing so much faster. I kept hoping someone might help us, but the day was ours. It took me and my husband all day & by 7pm, I had not showered, was running to meet anyone who may be at our house & I was in a tank top for any first impressions. It was hilarious. I had my parents man my home & invite anyone who showed up into the backyard. I ran upstairs to change my clothes & found that my husband had locked our bedroom door to ensure no one entered. My husband was still at the park trying to finish set up & laughed as I called him begging to get into our room. I finally made it in [after he told me where the key was & how to open it] & threw a shirt on. I quickly ran to my backyard and found probably a hundred people waiting. My Dad was saying something to everyone & then noticed me, he turned the crowd over to me. I merely said, “What a wonderful surprise!! I told everyone that my husband was still trying to finish up details in the park, so we just wanted to remind everyone to make a memory with their families, to spread some love in their communities & I invited them to take some kindness cards that we had printed up to say kind things & share them with others, kids lockers, a meal to someone in need…to spread some love.” It was short but sweet and heartfelt. I then invited the whole group to head to the forest and it was a beautiful night.
My husband will never forget seeing the huge group of people coming out of the forest, all holding lanterns, walking as a huge community of people. He was happily surprised! Everyone was so grateful for the night. It made my heart so happy to see families taking pictures around the love sign, talking to neighbors, just sitting on a nearby grassy hill watching the night light. It was a lovely time. Definitely a night of Love and Light—just what it was supposed to be.
Even though no one showed up to help, my husband, my daughter & her friend will never forget working so hard to put so much love into something. We did it together and it was a beautiful gift and memory we will always treasure.
All of our family and neighbors kept talking about doing it next year & I kept saying, “We will see.” My husband has been talking about next year ever since. It was a gift to all.
Check out some of the pics below. IF you want to do a lantern walk where you live—-I can help!! Its all about spreading Love and Light. You can also check out my website and click on the Spreading Love link where there are lots of things you can do. There are printable kindness cards and more. Check it out http://www.loveandlightlanternwalk.com
Begin with you. One person can do small things that can spark a little light and love into the world. DON’T let other people stop you. DON’T let other people make you feel small or worry so much about what they think. This is YOUR life. Make it bright!! Make it full of LOVE and LIGHT.
Peace, Love and Light to you today!! -H
PS Smile, say hello or wave at someone today!! Make their day. Be a LIGHT!
Here are some of the quotes I used & hung on trees