The light from one lamp can change the ambiance of a room entirely. As I was buying lamps for my home in Nicaragua yesterday I started thinking about a term in yoga we use quite frequently - light, or inner light.

As I walked through the cobble stones streets of San Juan del Sur I stumbled upon this Italian Artist who recently opened up a store called Vastu. This aspiring new artist in town is creating lamps and home furnishings out of recycled materials. Vastu is the effort to harmonize the flow of energy called Prana (Sanskrit word for life force.)

Upon walking into the store, the glow from the lamps drew me in like a moth to a flame.  People are attracted to light, why do you think Christmas is so popular - all the beautiful sparkly lights. At this moment I made eye contact with this petite Italian man and immediately drew my hands to my heart center in Namaste a traditional Indian greeting of respect and thank you, with spiritual and symbolic meaning. This is done with your palms pressed together in the middle of your forehead (third eye) or at your heart. I lightly bowed my head to him as a way to say thank you kind sir for sharing your light, your art - your purpose. I whispered to myself, the light and love in me honors the light and love in you. The inner light in me recognizes the inner light in you to be the same, in oneness, Namaste.

Inside of our bodies there is space for energy. This is where the light resides. I always envision my light to be kept in my heart. The light inside my heart has been filled with love, compassion, truth, and forgiveness. You must fill this space with love or it dies and darkness floods in. If this light turns dark, it can cast a shadow onto everything you do and project.

A yoga Guru is one who leads a seeker from darkness to light. When a yoga teacher shares out loud what the Inner Light is saying, many times the silence in mediation is active and it causes this Inner light to glow. A little history: The doctrine of the inner light was defined by Rufus Jones, who first brought the phrase into popular use in 1904, thus: "The Inner Light is the doctrine that there is something Divine, ‘Something of God’ in the human soul.”

I’ve been wanting to write about light but have learned that my readers want to read about love. You see, no matter what culture, race, religion we inhibit, we live in a world of mirrors where each person we encounter is a reflection of ourselves. Our mirrors reflect light whether bright or dark, rays of blissful sunshine or endless dark clouds. Everyone seeks the answers to a successful healthy loving relationship. But first, this love starts with you.

Light shines from your core, your heart center and when it reaches another it has an effect.  A loving embrace can change everything. Love is the best source of light but the rays omitted can be healing and a burn can be painful. At the end of the tunnel, what we pay most attention to in life defines us. Where are you directing and shining your light?

When you have filled yourself with love only then will you have the ability to project a glimmering light attracting love and light back - like a mirror. Shine a clear bright honest light and if you do, soon so many people will be knocking on your door you won’t know what to do! Love can be a major turning point in your life, a moment when destiny comes to greet you and you can either embrace it, or turn it away. You can run like hell for the hills or you can fall to your knees and surrender. Love can be scary but it is these pivotal moments that can bring the most spiritual growth to your soul, where thoughts and obsessions can be mastered and where wisdom and light can be discovered.

Back to the lamps.

“No one lights a lamp in order to hide it behind the door: the purpose of light is to create more light, to open people’s eyes, to reveal the marvels around.” --Coelho

So I brought my three new lamps home, stoked, barely surviving the bumpy steep dirt road that leads up to my home in the jungle. I brought them in and turned them on. The sun was still shining outside so there wasn’t a big difference at first but they still looked blissful in the room. Once the sun set, I turned on the lamps and magically the rooms had transformed. The light produced a warm elegant soft glow and this light energy was a strong reminder that when we shine our inner light outward, it casts warm rays of love energy into the universe and lights the way for anyone who is unable to cast their own at the moment. Light can lead the way.

Light and love can change the world. When you are happy, living Santosha (contentment) naturally your heart will have that beautiful glow, from the inside out. Think of E.T. and his heart. When he was happy his heart lit up and you could see it glowing from his chest. His glowing heart is immortalized in song. Neil Diamond wrote the powerful ballad “Turn On Your Heart Light” after watching the Spielberg’s award-winning documentary “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.”  E.T.’s finger also lit up, as to point the way to the universe. E.T wanted to go “home.” The universe is home, or God, whatever word you want to use. Without getting into a religious debate I will say that we are all members of a Universal family, sharing and reflecting love and light.

Together, in oneness, one light bulb at a time, together we change the world. Light is the way to the universal path. There are no divisions when it comes to people. Light does not have walls. Through light energy we speak mind to mind, soul to soul. We are no different in our deepest needs and desires. We are all human beings just trying to find our way from the light and love in our hearts. Illuminated love awaits you but first you must seek the inward journey. Once nature has kissed your soul your inner light will shine outward and light the way for a path that you may follow or it may light the path so another may find you.

What are you seeking?

Hear the song from E.T.