luminous

Creating Your Luminous Life

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. In September of last year, I wrote about Luminosity as a State of Being. If this is of interest, please go to marianemeth.com. There, you’ll see a list of my past issues, among which is that article.

So, today, we look at how to lead a luminous life. Now, the very word luminosity can conjure up pictures of light for you. That’s because the word lumen means light. Therefore, luminosity denotes being full of light. 

What would it be like for you to lead a luminous life? I have some luminous life descriptors I’d like you to look at. They describe the critical elements of living a luminous life. As you look at each item, you might write down your immediate experience, with “1” signifying “That’s currently not important to me” and “5” signifying “That’s currently very important to me,” while a “3” might reflect a neutral position. The numbers themselves don’t mean anything other than showing you where you currently stand regarding the idea of living a luminous life.

So, here goes: 

    • You see that you’re living the life you’re meant to be living right here, and right now.
    • You experience joy in the simplest of situations, like the sight and smell of a beautiful rose.  You see the possibilities that are open to you. 
    • You see promise in situations or circumstances that at first seemed doubtful to you. 
    • You see the answer to a problem that had seemed to be unsolvable. 
    • You see that you possess the resilience to successfully face any challenge that comes your way. 
    • You remain grounded and focused even amidst the whirlwind of activity and change. 
    • You see the obstacle in front of you clearly, and it appears as an opportunity for growth. 
    • You recognize that you are doing what you’re meant to be doing right here and now.
    • You have compassion for others. Your generous nature is awakened, and you want only the best for them.
    • You can easily find situations or circumstances for which you are grateful.
    • You know in your heart that all is well.

If you rate each item on this list with a 5, a score of 60 indicates that you are intensely interested in seeing how to live a luminous life. In contrast, a score of 50 would indicate a mild interest, and less than 50 would indicate you currently have other priorities and might become interested at a later time. 

The Difference Between Luminosity and Happiness

Here’s a personal story that demonstrates the difference between happiness and luminosity.

Happiness: When I was 13, I began working at my mom’s famous bakery in Los Angeles, starting with packing cake boxes. By 14, I progressed to washing pots and pans. One day, I was asked to discard a tub of dark chocolate icing. They had made too much, and it wouldn’t keep. It was warm and fragrant with chocolate and vanilla and a little film of melted butter on top. My mother spotted me eyeing it. She knew what I was thinking. She said: “Do it!” I dove my entire forearm into the warm, inviting, gooey chocolate and licked as much of the chocolatey goodness as I could. It was a moment of pure happiness: I knew how much my mother loved me.

Luminosity: At 14, I saved $20 from working at the bakery for a Mother’s Day gift. I ventured alone on a bus to JW Robinson’s store and found a beautiful pin in the shape of a gold sheaf of wheat. The saleswoman noticed my excitement and kindly accepted my $20 in exchange for the pin, even gift-wrapping it. The bus ride back was anxious yet hopeful. I didn’t know if my mother would like it. The next day, when I presented the gift, my mom opened the box. She looked at me with a sparkling light in her eyes and said: “My sweetheart, this is the best gift you could have given me. It’s perfect!” This was a luminous moment for me.

The difference between a happy moment and a luminous moment is this: in a happy moment, I knew how much my Mother loved me. However,  in that luminous moment, I knew that my Mother knew how much I loved her!

To this day, I still have that sheaf of wheat, and whenever I want to experience that sense of luminosity, I put it on. Sometimes, it’s right before I’m going to give a workshop, a speech, or a course. Wearing that pin reminds me of that moment when I could see my mother’s eyes, and I could see her saying, “Honey, this was the best gift you ever could have gotten me.”

Your Luminous Life

Right now, think of looking back at your life as if you’re checking out a path you’ve walked, complete with its ups and downs. Imagine this path lit up by the soft glow of twilight and dotted with golden lanterns, like those beautiful Chinese ones, shining warmly on special spots along the way. What if you could clearly spot these moments that really lit up your life? In those key times, we’re usually stepping out to try something new and courageous, discovering that whatever happens next will really matter to us because it reflects our deepest values.

Years ago, Joseph Campbell, author of Hero with a Thousand Faces and mentor to George Lucas, was interviewed by Bill Moyers. You might find it on YouTube—a PBS series about the hero’s journey. He believed we’re all heroes on personal journeys, inspiring us to create meaningful moments. In the interview, he mentioned the Grail quest from medieval history, symbolizing a spiritual pinnacle that imbues life with meaning. Campbell explained that the Grail lay in a dark forest. King Arthur instructed his knights to find it, emphasizing that each must forge their own path away from established trails. That’s because if you find a trail already going to the center, it wasn’t yours. To find our own”Grail,” he suggested, depends upon taking steps into new territory, thus creating the trail as we, ourselves,  forge it. 

 And sometimes, luminous moments are just like going for our personal Grail. We’re in new territory. We’re stretching out and saying to ourselves: “I’m going to do something that has real significance for me, something that will create a golden lantern on my path.” 

Having read this far, it’s time for you to create luminous moments, to be the author of your life’s experience. To create the true joy in your life, or as George Bernard Shaw once said, “This is the true joy in life: being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one.  Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

In order to create luminous moments,  take out a piece of paper and a pen. Do not do this work on your computer or other electronic devices. What you write must authentically reflect your energy,

  • First, take a metaphorical look back on your life’s path. Recall moments that were luminous for you. What were you doing? Was it a contribution to someone you hold dear? Was it an event? For example, a luminous moment for me was standing at the foot of Abu Simbel in Egypt. It’s monumental and ancient. I will never forget the experience of my insignificance in the thread of time. The experience was humbling and uplifting at that exact moment.
  • Take a moment to recall luminous instances for you. What were they like? What are you doing? Who was with you? What was the experience like? Because you see, in simply making that list, what you’re doing is training your brain to look for the opportunity to create more luminous moments. Very often, they came in the form of something that you were doing with someone else. 
  • Go on a Luminosity Quest! In order to prepare yourself, try finding simple things in life that bring you joy. For example:
      1. When was the last time you smelled a rose? I mean, really smelled it? Or seen a sunset? Or seen the stars? So many of us haven’t seen a fully-lit “black sky.” Do these things, or whatever else you can think of, that will cause you to experience an “expansive” moment,” at least once a week for the next four weeks.
      2. Is there someone you love even though you haven’t seen them in a while?  Do something or send something that will bring them joy and will let them know how much you love or appreciate them.
  • Finally, I suggest you go here and pick one Life’s Intention that gives you a sense of joy to demonstrate in your life. Write it down and promise yourself to do only one thing each day that reflects that Life’s Intention. Keep a journal or notebook on what it is each day and what you experience when you demonstrate it. By demonstrating, I mean taking one action in Physical Reality that reflects that Life’s Intention.

If you do what I suggest, you are well on your way to creating Luminous Moments, those golden lanterns that shine along your life’s bath, each one signifying to you that All is Well, and that you’re doing what you are meant to be doing.

Until next time,

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