This week I gathered around a fire pit in our garden for Winter Solstice with a group of incredible women as we wrote on scraps of paper (pink of course) what we wished to leave behind as we move into the new season. In some sort of informal ceremony we shared stories with each other about what we were letting go of as we let the pieces of paper fall victim to the flames…allowing them to create light as we let them go with love.
What struck me was the similarity of what we each were letting go. Six women who, aside from myself, had never met one another before. Our age gap spanning nearly two decades. Some of us are married, some of us are not. Some of us have children, some of us not. Women from all different walks of life and careers and yet, still the strong similarities were clear. Each heart was kind and open and non judgemental as they listened to what had brought the other women to the fire as they marked winter solstice by letting go of all that no longer served them.
As we shared our stories words like ‘guilt’, ‘shame’, ‘anxiety’, ‘worry’ and ‘fear’ dropped repeatedly into the flames and I couldn’t help but wonder why so many of us (myself included) carry this burden around with us; this overwhelming preoccupation of worrying about what others think, of wanting to please everyone all of the time at the expense of our own joy and, most importantly, letting society dim the light in our hearts so as to not offend or upset those around us.
The trouble with dimming our light, however, is we stop letting our heart sing, we stop feeling joy and, in doing so, we start to slowly die. At first this is only metaphorical, of course, however the more we switch off to and deny our true self for the sake of ‘fitting in’ the more dis-ease we let into our bodies and into our lives. It is without doubt my belief that denying my true self the opportunity to shine is one of the reasons I developed cancer so young.
The trouble is that so many of us do this. So many of us try to fit in with what society thinks is ‘best’ and ‘right’ and ‘expected’. But what if we all started to follow our hearts. What if one-by-one we let our hopes, and our fears, out into the world for all to see. What if we broke down the walls we had so carefully built around our hearts and let our true self shine. Society would change and no longer would we be expected to dull our light, we would be expected to SHINE!
So, like the fire that burned brightly last night on the fuel of our past, I pledge to open my heart and allow myself to shine as I express completely who I am without worry or fear or anxiety. Help me to shine brighter by allowing yourself to shine too and, maybe, together we can make the world sparkle. 💖💜💖