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‘Tis the season of light. As such, I simply cannot help but remember who I AM.”
Here in the northeast, dusk settles in shortly after 4 p.m. Unlike the lengthy stretch of dusk we experience during the summer months, the dusk of winter seems brief and hurried. Although many lament that the dark settles in so early, the dusk during winter feels ever more precious.
As dusk turns to night during the month of December, I don’t despair, as this is the season of light. Strolling through neighboring streets, the lights of the holiday season illuminate the dark. The winter air might be cold, but the presence of light evokes warmth, solace, hope, and vitality.
As a child, I recall standing in awe as I gazed upon my grandparent’s Christmas tree. Unlike my immediate family and neighbors, my grandparents lit their tree on Christmas Eve. There was something incredibly sacred about the moment of the lighting despite the fact that the tree stood in the same corner of their sitting room and was decorated in a similar fashion every year. My eyes could not get enough of the twinkling lights and the way that they illuminated the colors, textures, and nuances of every antique bulb that hung so elegantly from each branch. One of my very first memories of being “drawn to the light” was staring into the magic of this tree each year.
I did not know it then, but I know it now—most, if not all living beings are drawn to the light.
Observe a plant sitting in a room that is kept somewhat dark much of the time. Watch how it will lean in the direction of light. Marvel at sunflowers and how their thick stems will contort so that the flowers bend toward the sun. During challenging times, must of us learn that the Light has the capacity to reach into the darkest emotional places. Find yourself in a dark room or in nature at night and somehow, the light will find a way in—restoring firm footing and a sense of balance.
As I compose this blog, dusk is folding into night. With a clear view of the sky, my eyes gravitate toward the faint outline of the silvery, white light of the winter moon. This is the last full moon of this month and of this decade. Later, I will take a walk trusting that the light of this moon will naturally guide my footsteps. I will feel the awe of the moonlight much as I did as a little girl looking to the lights of those bulbs woven so deeply into my grandparent’s Christmas tree. The joy, happiness, and the sense of ease and calm I will feel is rooted in an ancient wisdom that lives in me—one that that surfaces each time I am drawn to light. The message of this wisdom is:
“Dear One—you are drawn to the Light because the Light is who you are. The Light is calling you to remember this. In the midst of any chaos or challenge you are feeling—the Light is calling you Home.”
As I write these words, I do so during the season of light. In places all over the world, this part of the year is celebrated symbolically by “light.” In Christianity, this is the season of Advent. The seven candles of the sacred “lamp” known as the menorah burn bright during Chanukah. The lights of Kwanzaa and those that grace the heads of the maidens during the celebration of St. Lucia in Europe are additional examples of the prominence of light during the month of December. The Christmas trees, shops, front porches and city streets decorated for the season are strewn with lights. Light comprises so much of the wonder and magic of this holiday season.
Several years ago, in alignment with my devotion to A Course in Miracles, I began engaging in an intentional set of practices related to Light. I wish to share them with you in hopes that you might lean into the Light whenever you feel adrift or separate from the Presence of God. Call upon these practices when the stress of the season calls Ego into the forefront of your consciousness. Call upon these practices when you wish to live and move through the world as an extension of God’s Love. Call upon these practices whenever you need to remember who you are. Allow the flame of every candle, the twinkle of every star that sits on top of every tree, and the warmth of every fire to remind you that above all else—above ALL else—you are a Being of Divine Light.
Welcome to the Light practices.
Practice One: Divine Remembrance
“I am the light of the world.” (ACIM, Lesson 61)
Whether you are walking around the local mall, gazing at a tree in your local town square, looking at the flame of a candle, or for following the dancing flames of a fire in the hearth, use the presence of the lights of this season to remind you of who you are.
Take pause when any light of the season captures your attention. During this pause, say aloud or within the space of your own mind:
“The Light is here to remind me of who I am.”
Say this three times.
How does it feel for me to say these words? How does it feel to accept this as Truth? To believe this? How does it feel to know that I am as beautiful, radiant, inspiring and illuminating as the light I am gazing upon upon?
How does it feel to know that as a Being of Light, I am capable of inspiring within others a sense of calm, ease, joy and wonder?
By stepping into who I am as the Light—how does it feel to know that by being this radiant expression of the Divine, I serve to remind those around me that they, too, are the Light?
In sum, use the Light of the Season to practice remembering you are. Additionally, as an act of powerful self-affirmation and self-compassion, see the lights around you and say:
“I love what I am seeing because I am seeing who I am.”
Practice Two: The Light Inquiries
“Above all else, I want to see things differently.” (ACIM, Lesson 28)
“Help me to remember my Holiness and the Holiness of those around me.”
In this practice, I invite you to work with light in ways that will help you to ease any suffering related to challenges you experience with others. By participating in what I call “The Light Inquiries” you can fast track out of fear based, attack, grievance-focused thinking and shift into a state of lightness and curiosity. Once curious, you can more easily shift into Love. Once there, you will notice that those you once perceived as enemy will assume their rightful place as your brother or sister. The illusion of separation is exposed as just that—an illusion. Peace is restored. Once our perception has shifted, the miracle manifests.
How to practice: Please remember that whenever your peace is disturbed, you have been called to “class.” Notice when states of agitation, irritation, anger, criticism, negativity and any general discomfort or suffering emerges in relationship to another person. Once you have this awareness, pause and enter into the “inquiry phase” by asking these questions in the kindest, most tender way:
In this moment of high irritation/anger/fear–how am I failing to see his Light?
In this moment of suffering, what have I forgotten about this person—my brother/sister?
Looking upon this person, can I see past her form and see how she is a walking, talking, living expression of the Divine?
In this moment, in what way am I failing to live from my Light?
In this moment, how might I shift so as to become an extension of the Light?
The “Light Inquiries” invite us to experience and to honor the Light in our brothers and sisters in the same way we are coming to honor it in ourselves. This is a powerful practice that if taken seriously, can radically transform our relationships and significantly lessen reactive, fear-based mindsets.
Practice Three: Light Bathing
“The light has come.” (ACIM, Lesson 75)
Here in the northeast, sunlight is sparse during winter. On the occasional day when the sun appears, I engage in what I call “light bathing.” During a light bath, I set myself in a position where I am basking in sunlight. Currently, this means that I stretch out onto the sofa that is positioned close to a large picture window in my home. On sunny, winter days, I like to light bathe early in the day and then again at dusk. The warmth of the sun paired with a strong intention to “use” the light so as to remember my Light makes for a sacred experience. Here are instructions for light bathing.
Light Bathing Early in the Day: As indicated above, position yourself in a place where you can bask in direct sunlight. Close your eyes. Breathing deeply, imagine that you are absorbing Divine energy through the powerful rays of sunlight during each inhalation. As you exhale, let go of everything you no longer need.
When you feel fully engulfed in light, ask the Divine these questions:
“What do you need me to see today? In what situations is clarity needed? In what circumstances and with whom is there an obstacle present that keeps me from love’s Presence?
Allow the answers to arise without force or expectation. Trust that by bathing in the Light, you are strongly connecting to Christ Consciousness and allow yourself to rest in this awareness.
Light Bathing at Dusk: the strength of sunlight at dusk is very different from what it is earlier in the day—but trust that it is as powerful. Just as described above, find a place where you can bask in the light of dusk. Focus your awareness on how you are now hovering between dusk and night just as you often hover between states of your humanity and of your Divinity. As you rest quietly, envision your humanity and your Divinity merging. Experience the fullness and the wholeness of this merging. When practiced often, we begin to heal the illusion of separation and to live more fully aligned with the Love of God.
Look around…there are so many points of light, here in the dark of winter, from which to deeply live the principals of A Course in Miracles during this season of light. As you fix your gaze on the lights around you, rest in the peace that arises when we remember our luminous nature and when we honor the Holiness in ourselves and in those around us.
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Christine Kiesinger, Ph.D.
Dr. Christine E. Kiesinger has been a student of A Course in Miracles for over two decades. She is a university professor, integrative wellness educator and a personal and professional development coach. Christine lectures extensively in the areas of communication, relationships, leadership and mindfulness. Regardless of topic area, all of Christine’s teachings are rooted in the fundamental principles of A Course in Miracles as she aims to be a living expression of the peace, grace and love of God.
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