words and art by Charlie Mackesy

Thinking about cake

What lights you up? The signs are unmistakable: awakened energy, captivated attention, and a joy that beams through your smile.

Well, that’s easy! Cake! Cake lights me up! Especially angel food cake with raspberries!

Actually…I was talking about what you do that lights you up.

Oh. How about THINKING of cake, then?

It’s the right idea. But when I’m not eating cake (birthday month!), sometimes I need help finding the switch to turn my light on.

To shine ultimately comes down to a simple choice involving will power and my heart’s devotion. But what I do makes that easier.

I’ve learned that I light up when I share inspiration through music and meditation.

How did I find my switch?

I followed my heart.

For as long as I can remember, the cello lit me up. My first teacher, Richard Noyes, came to my elementary school and gave a demonstration that evoked such a powerful response in me that I told my mom when I got home, “I want to play the cello.”

Has it been an easy path

through the years? Absolutely not. My difficulty is that I feel most fulfilled  “outside the box.” I’m driven to explore how to best uplift the consciousness of students and audiences, in addition to just playing notes.

But how about you?

If you agree that the world needs more light, and are willing to join a growing surge of light worldwide, it is absolutely imperative that you find what lights you up.

To shine is a choice

Earlier I said that to shine is a choice. If I found myself working as a lifeguard as I did as a teenager, could I still find a way to shine? Yes, but it would be more difficult (I was always prone to falling asleep).

There are many jobs in which shining would be extremely difficult. If the stress of overcoming a deficient skill set dominates my attention and energy, I have less energy to choose to shine consciously.

Is there one thing that we are “meant” to be doing? In most cases, probably not. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what we do as long as it helps us grow into our highest potential.

It’s directional

Roughly paraphrasing my dear friend Asha, find that activity or service that makes it easier for you to light up. Don’t give up on the search just because there isn’t ONE perfect activity.

Sometimes we get lit up for the external rewards, which is perfectly natural. Use external rewards to get your energy moving. But what lights you up from the outside today won’t be enough to light you up from the outside tomorrow. You’ll want something more. At some point your soul will impel you to find something that lights you up even for less pay.

I have a friend who just made an incredible decision. After so many years, she finally got sick and tired of dealing with the challenges of her job, and decided to make a huge change. “I’ve always loved feeding people,” she said. So she took an entry level job at a bar and grill. She cried her first day from the joy and connection to her heart. Wow.

Your soul was made to experience light. I believe that there are switches all around us to turn on. Like the lights in your house, some will turn on more light than others. In some rooms (or chapters) of life, there may only be a limited choice of switches, but we are never left completely in the dark.  There will always be light to guide our way.

Polestar of My Life – Paramhansa Yogananda

I have made Thee Polestar of my life.
Though my sea is dark, and my stars are gone,
Still I see the path, through Thy mercy.

Be like a little kid in a new home. Learn all the light switches in your life. Get lit up from the depths of your soul.

Switch On (Shine Your Light #3)

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