The very word Illuminate means to shine light, decorate, clear, or enlighten. So in the midst of all we have going on in our busy lives how the heck do we have time to shine? I’m so glad you asked. Keep reading if you are serious about allowing your own light to illuminate in and around you.
Nearly a year ago I began an amazing adventure with a kickass lady who asked me to help her put together a retreat where professional and business women could go to a camp for the weekend to simply play. Without hesitation I agreed. The weekend arrived and the women were rolling in for a fun weekend of play.
On a sunny afternoon many of the women wanted to partake in the water sports, which was of no interest to me. I could tell the photographer we hired wanted to play in the water so I asked her if she minded if I took some photos with her camera so she would be able to play for a little while. To my surprise she agreed and handed me her baby.
It was love at first sight. I began capturing these moments of women, completely engrossed in fun. I quickly realized that taking photographs was a new creative outlet for me. Something inside clicked and I felt amazing taking photos, really good ones, of nature, and peoples memories. What an honor.
That evening, the photographer asked me if I wanted to go on a night walk to grab a few shots of the location, nature and whatever we came across. I agreed. We walked in the dark, listening to the sounds of nature, capturing moonlit images all around. We lost track of time and when we got back to the rest of the group two hours had elapsed.
You want to know how to illuminate yourself when you don’t have time? It’s simple. If you can’t find 10 minutes of free time, take an hour. We need margin in our lives, time to actually live our life. Coming and going all the time gets old and we miss the point of living.
Say yes. In both of these instances I first said yes. I didn’t wait until I had all the details. I asked a few questions but mostly went on faith and decided to be open to the experience. I didn’t know what the outcome would be in either case, I allowed myself to be present in the moment and I’ve had no regrets since.
Give yourself credit for the work you do. Keep track of your accomplishments, avoid beating yourself up or getting caught in the comparison trap. You don’t compare to anyone else because no one else has walked in your shoes or experienced your life with your perspective. See, no comparison. When you take one tiny baby step forward, celebrate that. It’s growth, it’s action on your part and that my friend is worth illuminating.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, has at least one quality worth illumination. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what expectations have been set for you. The final step to shining your light is to be willing to take risks and be uncomfortable. (In a healthy way, your gut will tell you the difference.) I have been getting better at this over the past two years. I’ve done many things during this time frame that I never thought I would be able to do. It’s been the time of my life, as a result my light has been shining brighter and brighter with each new challenge.
If you are tired of feeling like your life story is being told by someone else then I invite you to join me this November for my birthday celebration. I am partnering with that photographer who will be leading 10 trailblazing women on a hike in Joshua Tree National Park. After a day of nature and connection with new friends, I will be teaching women around a campfire, under the California Stars, how to Illuminate. Join me for this epic trip where you get to take a risk, ground yourself and learn to love the lady looking back at you in the mirror again.