Times like these inspire movement in the core of our being. Stillness is no longer an option; even if we are “frozen in the headlights,” our hearts keep a frantic beat. Evidence of souls and societies thrashing through the raging current is posted everywhere we look. Motion – movement – the urgent need to DO SOMETHING – becomes as pervasive as the despairing news fueling it.
In our effort to console each other, we offer our empathy and sympathy. We throw it into the tide immediately, with simultaneous abandon and authority, as though our words are actually hands outstretched: a glass of water for the thirsty.
“I’m sending light & love!”
We feel hollow, maybe even desperate, somewhere deep within our bodies. Static may fill our minds, or we may see red – if we can see through the tears at all. My throat feels hot and my eyes want to dart anxiously, fluttering beneath a heavy forehead. That is how I feel.
So – am I really sending light? Am I sending love?
Am I sending anything at all?
From my personal place of pain and confusion, I have refrained from offering condolences, compassion, or empathy. My FaceBook status stayed static as I lurked around reading people’s opinions and reactions: a lot of pain, anger, and confusion along with many simple, heartfelt declarations of “light and love” or synonyms.
But – here’s the thing: light & love are the opposite of pain & anger. Dr. Martin Luther King explains it in his widely-circulated quotation:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
So, how do we DO this? How do we actually begin to drive out darkness, to love-out hate?
Here are 7 ways I’ve found to (actually) send light and love. These can be done individually or with others. Keep in mind that magic happens when imagination becomes focused intention, and its power magnifies exponentially when multiplied by two or more people.
For those who want a quick-read, I’ll simply list the 7 techniques first and go into more detail about each, including ways to modify them for a group setting, later.
Read on for more detail and guided exercises so that you can (actually) send light & love!
1) Create and send a ball of light energy.
We are all energetic beings with a unique vibration, colorful aura, and creative frequency. Building up your own supply of light energy is as simple as turning inward, discovering your unique power, and focusing on its growth.
Begin by getting comfortable and closing your eyes. Focus on your breathing, gently slowing and deepening it until you can breathe in to a slow count of four through your nose and out to a slow 8-count through your mouth, allowing yourself to make a “haaaa” sound of that feels right. So this ten times, allowing your mind to follow your breath and release any thoughts that attempt to intrude.
Gently open your eyes and bring your hands together like a clap or prayer. Still breathing deeply, begin to create heat and friction between your palms by vigorously rubbing them. Do this for two full breath cycles.
Allow the movement to come to an end, but keep your hands pressed together. Feel the heat you’ve created. With a soft gaze, peer intently at the space between your palms. Breathe in. As you exhale, allow your hands to part a tiny bit.
Imagine or observe a small ball of light (it may be white, silver, gold, blue, green, or purple – whatever feels right to you) in the space you’ve created. It may feel a little fuzzy, like it is vibrating slightly, or it may appear as though there are heat waves in-between your hands. Observe what you have created! Do not doubt it. Enjoy your little light ball!
On your next inhale, imagine finding traces of the same feeling – light, color, fuzz, frequency – along the path of your breath. Gather these traces in your belly and as you exhale breathe them “haaaaa” into your ball, allowing your hands to part fractionally more to allow for the growth.
Continue to observe, breathe, and grow your ball until it feels complete.
Now, holding your abundant ball, turn your focus outward toward that person, location, or situation you want to send light & love. Form a clear mental image, feeling, or description of your recipient.
Once you are certain you know where you want your ball to go, take another deep inhale, thanking the ball for acting on your intention of love. Exhale firmly, blowing the ball into the sky, sending it with all of the calmness, certainty, and power you’ve created toward your intended recipient.
There! You literally sent light & love!
To include more than one person in this exercise, turn toward each other (make a circle for more than 2 people) and follow the method of breathing and energy-discovery above. This time, when each person’s ball feels complete, slowly extend your palms to merge the orbs into one large sphere.
Conclude as before, sending the energy out into the universe toward your intended beneficiary.
2) Practice “Compassion Meditation” aka Loving-Kindness Meditation.
This is a specific meditation that guides you through cultivating loving-kindness in yourself, your environment, and even to those that are hardest to love. Truly, this meditation drives out hate.
3) Use the power of creative visualization.
This can be done in a variety of ways, all with the same incredibly powerful result of manifestation.
The gist is to create a clear mental image of what you want to see in the world and to fill that image with as much detail, emotion, and intention as possible. Though the possibilities are endless, I will briefly explain one method that works well for me.
As with creating a light ball, begin by deepening and focusing on your breath from a comfortable position with closed eyes. Allow distracting thoughts to float away as though they are mosquitos and you are covered in bug spray and sitting inside an impenetrable net.
Once you are centered, bring your attention to the person, location, and/or situation that you intend to shower with love and light. Immerse yourself in this mental image, including the emotions. Imagine you are sitting, unseen, in the midst of a scene; picture it as clearly as you can, including: facial expressions, time of day, smells, sounds, temperature, surrounding environment, placement of significant objects, and words or musical sounds within earshot.
Allow the anger. Feel the sadness. Observe the hatred, violence, apathy, and fear. Without losing yourself, temporarily experience the weight of the scene you have created.
Now, while holding the scene in your mind, take another round of those deep breaths. In, two, three, four. Out, “haaaaa.” With each inhale, you confirm your autonomy (you are separate from the experience you are mentally witnessing); each exhale moves your awareness up, out, above the scene. Five times, do this. Ten, if you need them.
You are now floating, totally separate, above this troubling person, location, and/or situation. You are actually in the sky! Breathe in. Look around. Is it daytime? Are there white clouds and sunshine? Or is it nighttime with a starlit sky? Immerse yourself, now, in your celestial vantage point.
Breathe in the light of the sun or stars. Breathe in the largess of the sky; acknowledge the vastness of the atmosphere as reflected in your own higher self. Continue to breathe until you are filled with vast, light, warmth.
Now, recall the scene from whence you floated. Use your mind’s eye to look down at it. This time, you are filled with such love and light that you are blinded by your own sparkle. Breathe in to center yourself; breathe out as though you are trying to clear a cloud of bright, sparkly cloud/sun/star -shine from around your eyes. Breathe in, gathering more determination. Blow out, “haaaaaa,” in the direction of your scene. Continue until you can actually see your scene again, but notice this time the haze of light that you’ve covered it in!
From your cloud/star perch, appreciate this new haze. Watch it filter into the previously negative scene, charging it with positive energy. Maybe the “bad guys” melt. Maybe the victims fly away to safety. Maybe weapons turn into flowers, like blooms emerging due to summer rain. Maybe tears turn into gold.
Once the scene has fully transformed into a “happy place,” breathe another round of three just to appreciate this vision you have created. Remember this feeling. Breathe it in. Find joy in this new world.
Manifest what you desire, and it will become.
4) Pray; call in angels, guides, and/or deity.
This particular method of sending light & love is as old as time, and can be embraced by people of any faith orientation. Almost all religions and spiritual practices encourage this form of communing with higher power, and tend to agree with a general method.
The point, here, is to take the time to actually do this. Whatever your belief system allows, exercise that conversation to the point of soul exhaustion. Pour your heart into your prayer or invocation! And do not forget to thank The Hearer(s) of Your Call.
5) Send smoke signals.
Burning sage is an incredibly powerful cleansing and purifying ritual. Sage smoke absorbs and dispels not only negative energies, but banishes harmful microbes as well! But that is a different post. The moral of this story is that burning sage is an immediately gratifying exercise in positivity.
To engage in this ceremony, first create a peaceful and safe environment where a small flame won’t start a big fire. Gather together your tools: a candle and lighter or matches, a sage smudge stick or dried white sage leaves, a ceramic, glass, or metal bowl, a writing utensil, and paper.
Begin by centering yourself with deep breathing. You may light your candle or burn some sage now, if that feels helpful. Breathe in love, breathe out joy. Clear yourself of any feelings or thoughts that do not serve the intention of love.
When you are ready, write your loving intentions down on paper. You can write one long message on a single piece or break it into individual thoughts on multiple scraps or loose pages – whatever feels good to you.
Once all of your words of love are on the page, set it aside. Light a candle if you have not already. Place a few loose sage leaves into the bowl, and then light your bigger piece of sage and bathe yourself in the fragrant smoke, allowing it to cleanse your chakras and energy field.
Next, place the burning sage into the fire-safe bowl, continuing to observe the tendrils of smoke. Pick up your paper, perhaps scanning or reading your words for a final time. Use your candle flame to light the edge. Once it ignites, place it on top of the small sage scraps in the bowl and watch the smoke curl off of it.
Breathe. Use your exhales to send the sage and paper smoke toward your intended recipient, imagining the words infused in the cleansing power of the sage, transforming the person, community, or situation as you yourself have transformed in this moment.
6) Make art, not war.
This is similar to creative visualization, but more specific. Use your artistic ability to draw, paint, sing, dance, design, sculpt, or photograph the world or your intended recipient as you would most like to see it. Physically create an artistic piece that depicts your ideal world. Pour your soul into it. Love your finished product. Share it with an audience, no matter how large or small.
This one makes some people feel weird and uncomfortable. I get it. I was one of those people who couldn’t seem to find pleasure in my own voice; however, being a few months into my yoga teacher training has me feeling a bit more open to finding my “om-coming.”
Here’s a link to the meaning of om.
To use om for the specific purpose of sending light & love, simply pull up an image of your recipient. It can be on your phone or device, a mental image, a photograph, print media article, or symbolic object. Spend a few cleansing breaths focusing on your recipient before closing your eyes.
Om away, my friends. Om away the hurt, om into the light, and help the lost find their way (h)om(e) in the process.
Whether you practice one, three, or all of these expressions alone or with others, rest in the calmness you have created in yourself that is mirrored in the world outside. To summarize Shakti Gawain’s “Path of Transformation,” we can only hope to change the state of the world after we have planted the seeds of peace within ourselves.
Before we can begin to send light & love, we must first become fertile ground for the cultivation of our intended harvest. We cannot send out that which we are unable to create within and unto ourselves. As we’ve discussed, stillness is no longer an option. We must move forward.
Let us use our own love to become buoyant beacons of light for our floundering community.