I haven't felt well that past two weeks. Exhausted. Grumpy. Headaches. Sore Throat. Low Energy. What's going on? I realized how over-committed and under-rested I am. I'm like a fire running low on fuel. There's no space between the logs for the fire to breath, and I'm running on smoldering embers.
My spiritual director observed that I'm "leaking light". My life energy, the light within me, is leaking out. It is my responsibility to decide when to shine my light, and when to reserve it. My habit has been to shine my light whenever and wherever it's been requested and to feel guilty/selfish/"not enough" when I choose to withhold my light.
How do I become a better steward of my light? My spiritual director recommended that I say "no" to others, so that I can say "yes" to the God dwelling within me, so that my light shines undiminished.
My invitation is to notice which opportunities expand my aliveness and move me to say "yes" from a place of freedom. When I notice that response within, that is where I focus my light.
On the flip side, some opportunities, even good ones, are accompanied by heaviness, obligation, guilt. or an attempt to ease my own discomfort when others are disappointed in me. Those opportunities merit a firm, loving "no".
Those opportunities that are in-between, a nebulous "maybe" in which I feel a mix of excitement and heaviness, those merit a "no". A compulsive, immediate reply of "yes" or a wishy-washy "maybe" keeps the pressure on me to avoid disappointing someone. Upon further reflection, I can always change my "no" to a "yes" and see if the opportunity is still available. Not every important cause or urgent matter requires my life energy. I can leave some needs to God and the other 7 billion people on the planet.
What about you? Are you leaking light? What lovely but non-essential commitments are draining you? How are you not being true to your Inner Light? To whom or what do you need to say "no" in order to say "yes" to the Sacred Light within you?
When we make peace with the discomfort we feel in not being everything to everyone, everywhere, we make space for a wholehearted "yes" to what is most truly our work. We experience a reconciliation as our Inner Light and the external sharing of our light merge into one sustaining radiance. Another word for that way of being is enlightenment.