the #makelight project
Last week, I told you that I finally turned in the manuscript to my second book. This book is called Make Light -- through the interviews of dozens of amazing women who seem to thrive, I learned that primarily what they do to be successful at it is that they make light -- in their own lives, and the lives of others. Their stories are phenomenal, and I haven't stopped thinking about them since they were first told to me.
This week is going to be the beginning of a new presidential administration in the United States, a time I have to admit I fear will be a dark period, one that I'm having a really tough time wrapping my mind around. So, inspired by the amazing women I interviewed for the book, it seems to me that now is as good of a time as any to start a new project, one focused on making light. Together, let's work on fighting all of the bigotry and narrow-mindedness and body-sickness and soul-sickness that seems to be infesting our world, by doing the opposite: creating light by...
... honing our brilliant minds, by creating something with our hands or learning something new (or even developing expertise in something we already know how to do);
... fine-tuning our electric bodies, by being mindful about what we put in them, and finding creative ways to move them; and finally
... caring for our radiant spirits, by spending moments of time in stillness or prayer; or even more powerfully, doing something to care for other people: connecting with people we love, say; or fighting for joy and justice for folks who could use a hand.
We'll call it The #MakeLight Project, and here's how I think this could work:
Every Monday, I'll share something that will hopefully inspire you in some way to make light during the week. It will have something to do with one of the three categories above -- it might be an idea about how you might give of your gifts to your community, or a video of a new skill that might be fun to learn, or the link to an amazing recipe or article about food, or even just a story of a lovely kindness.
Then during the week, share your own stories on Instagram of how you or someone you know makes light. You could share something you did over the week to practice self-care of your brilliant mind, electric body or radiant spirit: a new skill you're learning, or a new way to move, or connecting with someone -- or you could even share the story where you were the recipient of a much-appreciated act of kindness, large or small. Tag your photograph accompanying your story #MakeLight -- I'll be sure to share some favourites in upcoming weeks. As we share our stories, we'll create a community of Light Makers that will help inspire each other every week to thrive.
Sound like a plan?
Okay, so let's start:
Because Friday will be the culmination of an incredibly contentious, explosive, fractious time in the US, I find myself thinking more and more about kindness. And in the past, I've mentioned Shawn Achor, a psychologist who studies happiness and who shares some really concrete ways to help cultivate happiness in your life -- one of those ways being to practice a conscious act of kindness every day.
I love that phrase -- conscious act of kindness -- as opposed to "random" act of kindness. "Conscious" implies a mindfulness, and intention.
So, this week, I'll challenge you to keep your eye out for conscious acts of kindness in your world -- create a few, yes; but also be mindful of when you're the recipient of a conscious act of kindness -- I'd really love to hear that story. So please, share it -- you can email me personally if you'd like (firstname.lastname@example.org), or share your story on Instagram with the hashtag #MakeLight. I can't wait to hear what you share.
And as a reminder of how those acts of kindness, no matter how tiny, can mean so much, check out this really funny little life lesson from a volunteer firefighter.
With that, go out there and save the shoes this week, friends. But more importantly, make light -- mind, body and/or spirit -- and share it with me.