UNESCO has declared 2015 as the “Year of Light” (“and light-based technologies”), so I thought I’d share a couple of thoughts about light.
For the last 52 Sundays I’ve published a post about an action to consider in the week ahead. To focus on actions, I’ve been writing about verbs. Verbs are tools for us. We use them to create the lives we experience. Verbs are doing words. They can’t quite be pinned down into one place or time. When we are doing something, we are experiencing continual change. Some even say that the best way to think of the “self” is not to think of self as a noun, but as a verb.
The practice of meditation invites us to investigate the flux of arising and passing events. When we get the hang of it, we can begin to see how each artifact of the mind is raised and lowered to view, like so many flashcards. But we can also glimpse, once in a while, the sleight-of-hand shuffling the cards and pulling them off the deck. Behind the objects lies a process. Self is a process. Self is a verb.
Verbs are our tools of becoming. Because we can choose our verbs and practice them, we can become active creators of our own experience.
I’m thinking of doing two things with the A to Z of Becoming series – develop them into a book which I hope to publish this year, and continue the Sunday series of posts about verbs.
This Sunday, I’m going to pick up on the UNESCO theme and think of verbs related to light. A long time back I figured that being a good doctor included practising three verbs related to light – lighten, brighten and enlighten. But now I think they are good value-grounded verbs which can add to anyone’s life.
So, this week you have three verbs to explore.
What or who lightens up your life? Can you find time to spend doing what it is that lightens up your life this week?
And what light do you shine in the lives of others? In your day to day interactions with others do you make their lives lighter, or darker (lighter or heavier maybe)?
What about brightening? To me, if you lighten someone’s life, you do something which eases any suffering they are experiencing. You help them to relax, feel less anxious, or down. To brighten someone’s life is to turn the light up in their lives. Think of sunshine, or of sparkling. Sparkling eyes brighten a day. Smiles brighten an exchange. Sharing a passion or an enthusiasm makes an experience more vivid. I’m thinking of brightening in those ways.
What can you do to brighten someone else’s life up this week?
And, how do you brighten your life? How do you add colour to it, richness or, variety? How can you increase the intensity of your experiences…..turn up the brightness…..hear, see, smell, taste, feel more vividly?
Finally, what about the idea of enlightening?
To enlighten is to understand better, to see something more clearly, to know what something means. How can you increase your understanding of another this week? How can you see something more clearly? We humans crave a sense of meaning and purpose. How do you make sense of what you experience this week?
There are lots of questions in this post, and I don’t expect you’ll explore them all in just a week, but maybe that’s why I’ve been thinking about them today. If this is to be a year of light, I can explore light in many ways over the coming days and weeks. I’ll do that with my camera, and I’ll do it with my journal. But mainly I’ll do it by coming back again and again to these three verbs – lighten, brighten and enlighten.
Here’s some amazing sunlight
And some sparkles….