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Look Within: Find the Silver Lining

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If you're ever gonna find a silver lining It's gotta be a cloudy day If you wanna fill your bottle up with lightening You're gonna have to stand in the rain.
-- Kacey Musgrave

Try this Experiment (Look within yourself to see the light):

Go to a room where no light can enter. Turn off the lights and close your eyes. For a few seconds let your mind become totally immersed in darkness. Now with your eyes still closed tightly, start looking around inside of the darkness. As your mind wanders through pitch black, you'll start to notice something interesting. Tiny bursts of light begin to flash in the corners of your mental vision. The deeper you look, the more apparent this light becomes. So what is this light you see in your mind and where does it come from? Certainly there's a physical answer for this phenomenon. Our mind, after all, is powered by electric impulses linked by a zillion neurotransmitters, firing bursts of energy with origins dating back to the very beginning of our universe. Scrape away the surface of scientific explanation and perhaps you will uncover a spiritual light, born of a higher power that resides deep within your soul. Embrace this light. And fear not.

Without dark clouds how can we recognize the beauty of blue skies?

Without the long shadow of a broken heart, how can we realize the infinite depth of human love? Without the darkness of night, how can we awaken to the potential of every new day? There's an old saying, "if life were easy, what would be the point of it?" Sometimes we need darkness in our world to help us discover life's silver linings. When we choose to harness these signature bursts of invigorating light, with every fiber of our being, we become unstoppable, equipped to power through any adversity.

Anyone who claims that miracles don't happen should look at how each unique member of our collective species is created from a fusion of atomic particles generated from the stars. You are a living, breathing example of a one-in-a-bazillion creation among the celestial bodies in the heavens. To be a human being in a sea of whirling galaxies is a miraculous thing.

For a few brief moments we are put here on this stunning planet to play, sing, explore, and imbibe in the chaotic dance of life. In the midst of this finite amount of time we are granted constant opportunities to discover how we are part of something much grander than ourselves. Of course, in our busy, pressure-packed lives, tormented by work deadlines, school errands, social media trances, bill notices and nagging in-laws, it's easy to overlook the greater meaning.

By looking deeper within our innermost self and challenging our personal demons, we begin to see beyond our self-interests. When rumination quells and self obsession dissipates, empathy will emerge and our souls begin to feel lighter. When we pay closer attention to the brilliant light that exists inside us we begin to illuminate our daily lives, the lives of our friends, our families, our communities, and our world. Through this process we become more enlightened to the greater reason we exist and how connected we truly are. The moments when we focus more on the needs of others is when silver linings shine brightest. The light rays sharpen with every positive choice we make and act of kindness we perform. From genuinely smiling at a stranger, to helping a neighbor in need, to telling your kids every day how much you love them.

On our personal journey of looking within we learn that darkness is not something to be feared but something to overcome. We uncover that our choices to find silver linings, to move, to breathe, to create, to care, to inspire, to love with mega-watts of grace and compassion is the most powerful force in the universe. In order to reach our higher purpose and discover greater meaning in our personal existence, we must walk through the darkness.

The Look Within Project Call To Action:

Be sure you make this action step an interpersonal process. Communicating about our life experiences and being heard contributes significantly to our sense of empowerment and overall health.

Think of 2-3 specific times in your life when you struggled in the darkness of a stressful situation. Verbalize with a companion (ideally on a beautiful walk in nature).

Consider the attitudes and actions it took for you to work through the challenging circumstances.

Lastly, identify the gifts, lessons, lightness, silver linings you found as a result of these life experiences.

Find the light switch. And turn it on.

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