Light is everything in personal development.
I'm taking photography lessons from the incomparable Mary Lynn Ashley - a long time professional photographer and neighbor (she even took Clara's baby photos... awww!). Yesterday, we set off for a hike, and a lesson in light.
As Mary Lynn shared her perspective on light and photography, I was struck by the truth of what she said - when a subject is in full sun, it's flat - it looks one dimensional. However, once you find a position where there are shadows, you can see the texture and the depth of the subject - it's a more interesting image.
In the personal development arena, there is a heavy focus on positivity, on being inspired, and taking action toward creating the life you want. I couldn't agree more: these elements of choosing the light are so vital.
However, what seems to happen a fair amount is that when life is challenging or difficult emotions come up, or a need to simply retreat and rest, there is a bent toward shame or, even worse, trying to force the positivity, the light, the upbeat energy. Because... I SHOULDN'T FEEL THIS WAY!! I'm a coach, I'm enlightened, I'm whatever.
Reaching for the light becomes a pathology.
When we believe that we should be perfectly positive all the time, we lose out on an important source of our power: the truth of our nature. The truth is, we are children of the stars and the earth. Just like our host, we have seasons of light and darkness, expansion and contraction. This includes the full range of our emotions (grief, anger and fear being the big three that fall on the more challenging end of the scale that have SO much to teach), the receptive stillness, as well as permission to rest deeply. These are the very elements that feed and nourish creativity, inspired action and lasting change.
Light is most evocative in relationship to shadow.
My experience is that when there is a belief in "all light all the time" then there is a profound feeling of being broken, which is so not the case, sister. You are not broken. Your full, whole, rich, textured and evocative self is alive and well - you simply need to allow your natural cycles to work their powerful magic daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.
As a woman building and growing a business, this can seem counterintuitive - after all, capitalism is based on the very masculine, linear idea that constant growth, constant movement is GOOD and everything else is bad. However, for you, as a woman (and even for men who choose to honor cycles) there are myriad ways to support yourself and your business in honoring and utilizing the powerful rhythms that are innately yours.
Life AND your business are not only more sustainable but more evocative, more compelling and more textured when you can cultivate and revel in these natural cycles of light and dark, action and rest, growth and death.
Here is a visual representation of the nature of these cycles:
Access your innate wealth of resources.
This cycle, innate to you, is powerful. Cultivating these rhythms, trusting them in your life is truth in action. It prevents burnout, connects you to your vast inner resources and supports the creation of a sustainable business and a healthy relationship to your external resources - including your money.
As you look at this diagram, are there places where you resist? Are there places that you constantly find yourself? Are there ways you could consider moving in rhythm with these cycles instead of against?
Tell me everything.