I love this question. Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan is asking her sold-out audiences this as she tours around North America this summer.
She speaks of the importance of shining on through adversity, even appreciating the hard times that life brings us because they can transform us into the strong, beautiful beings we were meant to be. Her songs are filled with inspiration to appreciate life’s struggles, then learn from them and let them go. And always keep on shining.
When I ask myself what makes me shine, what makes my heart sing, I get words coming up like:
– helping people thrive
– snuggling with my daughters
– making a really delicious meal to share with someone special
– building communities
As inspiration to share and shine unabashedly, one of my favorite quotes ever is by author Marianne Williamson:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’
Actually, who are you not to be?
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
So why not go out there and be amazing today, in whatever way you like? Don’t be afraid to shine.