Let There Be Light!

January 1, 2013

There’s only one thought on my mind as I head into 2013. I want to let my light shine.

I spent the holidays alone this year–lots of quiet contemplation interspersed with sappy holiday movies. I didn’t plan on any decorations or hoop-la, but about a week before Christmas, I looked around and thought “I need lights!” I wanted to see them everywhere. Candles, twinkling lights, any kind of light called to me. And so my dearly beloved cactus got a last-minute dress-up. Being home alone with that twinkling tree the last couple of weeks has given me great joy. And I began thinking about my own light.

Let There Be Light!

One of my all-time favorite quotes that I read just this past year is called “Our Deepest Fear” from “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson. I’m making it my motto for 2013.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

Discover your gift and share it with the world. This is your light.

If you’re confused about what that gift is, think back to your childhood and remember what you loved to do. What fed your soul? Nothing is insignificant. When I did this and wrote down the loves of my childhood, here is what I came up with:

  • I loved words. I loved learning to write them in my workbook.
  • I loved books. Especially library books. Usually the same ones, over and over again.
  • I loved crayons (still do!) and pencils and paint. I loved art
  • I loved playing with my little black doctor’s kit (Was it then that my penchant for holistic health began?)
  • I loved playing teacher in our basement with the regulation-size blackboard.
  • I loved playing office with the supplies my dad brought home.
  • I loved doing puzzles.
  • I loved being in a church. I loved the stained glass windows, the statues, the music, and the smell of incense.
  • I loved being outdoors, especially in the park at the end of our street. I loved trees.
  • I loved riding my bike, finding hidden paths and making secret hideouts.

If you know me well as an adult, this list will not surprise you. But sometimes we need to look back to remember just what fed our soul as children so that we can nourish it as adults.

Often we’re so busy getting degrees and certifications for our professions that we lose sight of the things in our life that are our essence. Our light. I believe we brought this light, our loves, our talents, from our past lives to this present one. What made me, as a little four-year-old have such a passion for art? Neither of my parents were particularly drawn to the arts. I have an inkling that I’ve passed through many lifetimes with this love.

Please don’t wait for perfection in what you do before you let your light shine.

I’ve made this mistake many times. I’m a recovering perfectionist (as my friend, Katie, likes to say), and this is the year I plan to let it go.

Jane Fonda once said “perfection is highly overrated” and “the challenge is not to be perfect…it’s to be whole”. Some of the smartest people I know who excel at what they are passionate about, just put themselves out there, and quite often without a degree.

Of course, when we talk about light, we need to acknowledge the dark.

We all have a dark side – our shadow side – but our soul is always seeking the light. So dig deep inside and face your darkest fears and those parts of you that you would rather deny. Write about them, talk about them, scream if you must, or ceremoniously burn them in a fire. Acknowledge the dark and your light will shine even brighter. We need to find our light within before we can shine it for all to see.

A smile is our light manifested.

We can change a life with a smile–I really believe that. Light up your home, light up your workplace, light up your neighborhood with a smile.

My energy healing teacher says that as she looks out on our group, she sees points of light. I always think of fairies when she says that. 🙂 Wouldn’t it be nice to see beams of light everywhere we go? Even on the streets of NYC. It’s possible, you know, if we all start shining our lights.

While writing this post, the song “This Little Light of Mine” kept humming in my head. When I went to find a video to post, lo and behold, I found this one by Odetta, who prefaces her song with the same quote by Marianne Williamson! Synchronicity strikes again.

Thank you all for allowing me to share my words with you this past year.

Happy New Year!
With gratitude and love,


  1. Barbara, thanks for these wise words. I started smiling as soon as I saw you had a fresh newsletter, your Light reaching me just at the thought of you, and your Light is very bright, let me say! Plus I love the picture of you on your tricycle, so determined to make your way, the Pitta I am blessed to call my friend. I look forward to sharing many adventures with you in 2013. Shine on!

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