A Festival of Lights, beauty everywhere

The light inside

I was sitting in my car on Sunday morning, waiting for it to warm up, and saw this beautiful pattern on the windshield.  At this time of year, we are lighting a lot of lights and candles; celebrating Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, Christmas, but as lovely as these traditions are, they are only “pointers” to what can be happening within us; within our own hearts and minds.

I had a lunch date with my mother a few days ago, and felt less than excited as I drove to the restaurant. I suddenly had the idea to imagine a little white candle burning in my heart, and the glow of it spreading out like loving arms. I drove along with this image, and felt larger and lighter myself. We had a wonderful time. I came home and emailed my brother to tell him about it, not realizing until this morning, that I had written to him, “Mom seemed really good, she was light…” What I was feeling, I saw in her too.

The world is an out-picturing of our inner state. Anais Nin wrote that you don’t see the world the way it is, you see the world the way that you are. If I feel heavy with worry, anger or judgement, the world will supply me with an endless stream of things to feel worse about. I’ll think it is “the world” and forget that it is the state of my mind finding expression in the people, places and things that come into my day.

Today I am going to, on purpose, look for the good; first inside myself…then, I’ll see it everywhere I go. Even on my car windshield, even in the smile of my 84 year old mother.

28 thoughts on “A Festival of Lights, beauty everywhere

  1. Mary, I feel that we all see the world from our own ‘home base’. What else do we have but what’s in our heads and hearts….The hardest thing is to see the world as it is and what is ‘is’. It’s the same as when people say…the truth…what is the truth…who knows…it’s the reality of how things are…something that can’t be argued otherwise. So, this is a good reminder to have an attitude adjustment, which is exactly what I needed to hear this morning after a day spent yesterday feeling down in the dumps about a family relationship that has turned sour….my reality didn’t fit with this person’s reality. It’s not an easy time of year for family relationships that are stressful or strained. Thanks, Mary… glad you had a nice lunch with your mother…mother’s and daughters…not always an easy relationship.

    SandyP in Canada

  2. Beautiful photo Mary…and well said. As always, thank you for your words that make my days start out thinking things I might otherwise not find the time for. Hope today finds you seeing all good things…
    xoxo Marian

  3. Hi Mary, your words are so helpful, especially going into the holiday weekend with our families. I have found myself dreading certain people around Christmas time because of their grumpiness and negativity but you have reminded me that it’s not about those people and how i think they effect me… It’s how I see and think about them and LET them effect me. Great post!

  4. Oh, how I needed this today. Thank you, Mary. I’ve had some deep struggles for a few weeks, but today I woke up happy and said to myself, of which I teach all the time through my special needs dog, Frankie-I hav ea choice to be happy. Funny even when we teach it, we need to be reminded. 🙂
    Your post was just the reminder I needed!

    • Thank you Barbara, and would you please post a link to your wonderful website and blog for us here? Your work with Frankie is so inspiring and a wonderful boost to the spirits of so many.

  5. A beautiful photo and message, Mary, as ever; I am so glad that you had a de-*light*-ful time with your mom. Too often, we can find ourselves gritting our teeth over certain people this time of year….

    Also, may I say how much this blog and the community of White Feather friends have blessed my life? It’s a little gift of inner peace every morning! You are wonderful, insightful folks. I am grateful for all of you.

    Warm wishes for holidays of happy mind & heart to all, K

  6. Such inspiring thoughts…you make me think of all of the wonderful, positive feelings associated with light of all kinds…moonlight, starlight, daylight, sunlight, heartlight…and then I remembered this Neil Diamond verse…

    “Turn on your heartlight
    Let it shine wherever you go
    Let it make a happy glow
    For all the world to see”…

    Your shining light, Mary, guides so many…much love…

    • I just have to let you know, that as I was driving from the lunch with my mother, this very song came on the radio and I didn’t even make the connection until now! Wonderful, wonderful

  7. Thank you Kathye for reminding us of that beautiful Neil Diamond song – I was hearing “This Little Light of Mine” in my head as I was reading your post Mary, and I found a wonderful version of it on youtube by Odetta with a wonderful introduction to the song. (what a voice!) Enjoy all! And let your lil’ lights shine strong today!

    • Aaaahhhh, Susan. The incomparable Odetta! Thank you for sharing this with us….a wonderful moment of connecting.

  8. Once again, thank you Mary! I woke up this morning to issues of caring for my 86 year old mother, a new special needs dog and feeling like the grinch that stole Christmas! Where is that light within me? I do need to keep it going!

  9. Thank you for your timely message, Mary. I have been making a conscious effort to tend my flame within lately. It does take some effort, but is well worth it! It can be especially challenging during the holiday season. I enjoy everyone’s comments. thank you for making us think:)

  10. this little light..such a message! thank you Mary, Susan (I danced to the video), and all. It seems to me that when I am quiet and peaceful inside, I can be an active listener and responder to others. It appears that our little lights of the heart are often times capable of lighting another’s light. Tomorrow is the day Lily (my lab) and I will make our Hospice visit. This person, after giving hugs and I love yous sent me off last time with, “I have the best life!” This person’s little light is shining and inspiring others! Beautiful. Lily also cries w/ excitement as we drive into the driveway of the home. She, too, loves his light! How amazing life is when we are quiet and peaceful inside….

  11. Mary, I’ve said it before but can never say it enough…..what a BLESSING you are to all of us! No matter what your blog is on any given day, it speaks to me and reminds me how to keep myself both in the light and projecting the light. It’s because of you that I make sure to take the time to feel compassion in my heart before I spend time with my mom (who is 94 and feisty). She and I have been having some lighter times lately because of my remembering your words in past posts. Thank you.

  12. As the reality of the ‘family dance of the holidays’ nears the home stretch, the uplift of preparation and planning seems to take a turn towards the heavy side. I myself awoke feeling weighted and detected a similar thread among others here today. We needed to hear the Mary message; we needed to pool our energies into a more illuminating outcome. Old patterns and dramas can be mighty difficult to cast aside, particularly if there’s nothing new to replace them with.
    But that’s what I see as the “Gift of the Mary Christmas”; leading the way with a beacon of light, laughter and humble honesty for a gaggle of dedicated readers who are all sharing a common goal: opening our hearts and minds together. Yes, Suzanne, I can’t say it enough either…what a BLESSING!

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