The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received: “Be the Light”

Lately my spiritual journey has involved a lot of “Why am I here?”-ness.

Not the classic question of “Why am I here?” like, on the planet, though. Mine has been the other classic question of “Why am I here, ‘stuck’ in this place in life when I feel like I have a higher purpose and no matter how much action I take to try and fulfill that purpose NOTHING SEEMS TO BE HAPPENING, AND SO WHAT THE FUCK, UNIVERSE?

And then last week two of my awesome #SpiritJunkie friends and I had the honor of meeting the wonderful author/spiritual teacher/sassy guru Gabrielle Bernstein, whose new book Miracles Now is (a) like a big ol’ cup of chai tea for your soul, and (b) available here.

The energy in the theater during Gabby’s lecture was, in and of itself, a miracle. It was loving and open and just good and yes, I’m being sappy and trite right now because I can.

When the topic of feeling stuck in one’s current place in life came up, Gabby’s advice changed the game for me. She simply said, “Your job is not to be a [fill in the blank with your professional title]. Your job is to be the light.”

Be. The. Light.

gab1

Girlfriend is walking the walk.

I didn’t realize it until that moment, but this has been my mission statement in my writing (where I ultimately feel a higher calling) since day one. Whether it’s by sharing a funny story, opening up about something that really sucked for me, or simply making a weird/corny pun – the goal is always to inspire/heal/entertain/make someone’s day a little less shitty. In other words, the goal is to be the light.

While Gabby spoke, I realized that I’ve been saving so much of my light for some future moment that involves the title of “Published Author” that I’ve been missing out on opportunities to be the light in the present moment of my day-to-day professional life – because at some point I had declared the corporate/media world I work in to be totally void of meaning (which it kind of is, but that’s a whole other Oprah) and therefore decided that I didn’t need to show up with my best self every day.

But the problem there is that by sitting around thinking, Ugh. I’m destined for something greater than this, I was doing a few sabotage-y things to myself and those around me:

  1. Getting lost in anxiety over the future rather than cultivating gratitude for the present moment.
  2. Focusing on where I’m not rather than accepting where I am.
  3. Forgetting that every second is an opportunity to spread love.

In fewer words, I was basically an asshole.

I’ve learned that being discontented with the present moment is a sure sign that the ego is in control. Rather than setting aside personal concerns and doing whatever you can to enhance the lives of those around you (in other words, creating ripples of good energy, in other words, being the light), you’re focused on your own self-importance (in other words, creating ripples of crappy energy, in other words, being the darkness… and not the good kind).

So. I’ve been putting this whole “be the light” thing into practice since I heard Gabby speak, and I have to say that the change in my energy since has indeed been a miracle. Yes, I’m still working toward my long-term writing goals, but I’m also not tripping over the future anymore.

Instead I’m doing whatever I can to be a source of love and positivity for those around me right now. If that means addressing a work situation that I find to be ultimately purposeless in the grand scheme of life, I do it anyway purely because (a) it’s my job, and (b) not doing it would really make someone else’s day shittier – and do I want to be involved with making someone else’s day shitty? No. That’s not very light-y.

(Side note: I feel like normal people probably just stop at (a), which is a valid enough reason to do one’s job, really, but I’m obviously not normal. And if you’re reading my blog, chances are you aren’t, either. Which is a fantastically wonderful thing.)

In conclusion: BE THE LIGHT, NIC. BE THE DAMN LIGHT.

gab2

Gab + Nic = #Light.

 

Advertisements

No Fear, Lots of Love, and Maybe a Tunic

Here’s an instant message conversation that took place between my work-wife Mila and me the other day:

  • Mila: I’m wearing sunglasses today because I feel like a rock star for once.
  • Nic: You are a rock star always! Speaking of sun and glasses, I see the light of God in you.
  • Mila: I just want you to know that lately I’ve been picturing you wearing a white tunic when you say all of these positive things to me.
  • Nic: LOL.
  • Mila: Seriously dude. A white tunic.

She has a point. A white tunic would really compliment my holistic demeanor as of late. I’ve been all about positivity. Which means I’ve been all about my spiritual journey. Which means I’ve been all about love. Which means I’ve been thinking things like, Damn. It’s such a shame that the word “love” is as abused as it is these days.

In addition to abused: overused, diluted, undervalued, demeaned, clichéd, misunderstood.

I’ve misunderstood the concept of love for, I don’t know, about 25 of my 25 years here on Earth. But the other day I was listening to an India.Arie song called “The Wings of Forgiveness,” and thought to myself, Wow, she gets it.

Then I was all, OMG does that mean I get it?

I don’t know if I’m totally there yet, but I’m amazed at just how much perspective I’ve gained over the past few months. I’m well on my way.

I owe much of this to the fact that I’ve been reading Marianne Williamson’s seminal New Age-y masterpiece, A Return to Love every night during American Idol commercial breaks while sipping on herbal tea and donning a peaceful and enlightened half-smile. (You’re picturing me in that tunic right now, aren’t you?)

931407_760218704042_967155899_n

…But for real, though.

There’s no way I could characterize the power of this book (which is based on the insanely long yet insanely the-answer-to-everything-ever-ish spiritual textbook A Course In Miracles) in a little ol’ Keychanges blog post, but if there’s one principle I’d say has resonated strongly with me it’s that love is the exact opposite of fear. Love is a thing, and fear is so not a thing, but fear is the root of pretty much all negative things, and negative things aren’t actually things at all in the first place, because love is THE ONLY THING.

Have I lost you yet?

…THING!

What I mean to say here is that love is real and everything else is an illusion based on fear. Our egos are nothing more than fear, blocking us from getting to the love that we often don’t allow ourselves to step into.

So the road to happiness and honestly loving ourselves and others involves recognizing and letting go of these fears.

(Now think about THAT for a second.)

(…Deep, huh?)

More often than not, letting go of fear means truly, truly forgiving people – including our parents, ideal-shattering ex-boyfriends, those who’ve called us fat, ourselves, etc. It’s not easy, but it’s powerful.

I’ve already started stopping myself in the midst of my every day situations to close my eyes and say, “Hold the phone, brother Nic. [Yes, I’m referring to myself as my own brother. IDK, it kinda works?] Are you reacting with fear or love right now? FEAR OR LOVE? YOU CAN’T HAVE BOTH!”

And then I breathe. And then I forgive someone.

And then I choose love.

 

%d bloggers like this: