A few weeks ago, a friend asked me to create a project to help our community be mindful during the holidays. Immediately, a picture appeared in my head: a vast wall of flickering candles. My mind catapulted back to my childhood when I sat in church mesmerized by the glowing candles that held someone's intention. I wondered what secret the candle held and was curious if it generated healing.
The magic of flame has always captured my imagination. Could a flickering candle serve as a container for our deepest desires? Does the playful dance of the flame promise that there is life in our dreams? Could hundreds of candles glowing together symbolize a community's power to spread love and kindness?
I answered yes to all of those questions and Be the Light was born. Be the Light is a 24' x 8' structure that holds space for over 1,000 candles and intentions. The project, launching in Alexandria, VA this Saturday, encourages passers-by to write how they will "be the light," and invites them to select a battery-powered votive to add to the display. My hope is that all participants are inspired to appreciate the special gifts that lie within them and feel motivated to share them with others.
I believe there is a light within all of us that represents the best of who we are. Sometimes the light shines brightly and it flows into the world as we share it with others. Sometimes the light seems to be covered in layers of dashed hopes and dreams, heartache or pain. And other times, it seems that there is so much darkness that our singular little flame will be swallowed up. But when we breathe life into our light, and combine it with others' flames, we enliven ourselves and illuminate communities.
As you go through the week, consider your own light. How brightly is it shining? Does it feel like it is merely smoldering or is it a beacon for yourself and others? If there are layers that are smothering your light, what's one thing you can do to give yourself a little more air? Consider what would happen if you allowed your light to shine more brightly, then imagine what would happen if you encouraged an entire community to shine. You have the power to spread light or darkness. I hope you will choose the light.
If you're in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria between December 3-26, I hope you'll stop by the lot beside 2213 Mt. Vernon Avenue to share how you'll be the light.
If you're not in the area, consider how you can bring more of your light into the world. Let your light warm you then wrap that warmth around everyone you meet. Share your intentions on the We Live Big Facebook page. We'll add them to the display so your light can shine too!
Want to build Be the Light in your community? Message me and I'll talk you through the details.
A Big Thank You!
For Be the Light, I launched a Go Fund Me campaign to pay for materials. In just 24 hours, family, friends, local businesses and strangers helped me exceed my goal of $2,000. Please check out the list of contributors and thank them for their support if you know them or visit their business.
Over the past two weeks friends and family have volunteered hours of time to help paint, construct and collect materials for the project. I'm so grateful for this community's support. And of course, I must also thank the generous owners of Bean Creative who embrace my crazy ideas and provide the space for them to come to life.