Creative Inspirational Wisdom: Shine Your Light

This week, guest blogger Mary Joan Meagher shares “enlightening” advice for creatives.


From time to time, writers are caught in darkness. Shadows obscure choices and chase one down hallways of doubt. A writer sits at her computer and feels blocked, lacking in vision, miserable. How best to find the light and how best to flee the darkness becomes her quest.


Those of us who live in Minnesota and other northern states are very familiar with the experience of living in darkness. During the winter months, our days are shortened day by day, and sunlight retreats to the South, angling itself lower and lower on the horizon. Clouds cover the sky in November, hiding the rim of the sun in gray tatters, bringing cold rain, damp wind, and then the snows of winter.


But look at the artists in our midst who paint with light for films and television. They bring us laughter and joy. Look at the rainbow itself, the spectrum of light arched across the sky, shattering the darkness of the storm that has preceded it by crystallizing the raindrops into prisms. We see light refracted into all its colors, promising hope and happiness to all.


Writing our truths is one way to bring this light to others. Perhaps at one time or another one may be in the pits or lost in the blues. We need someone or something to lead us out.


Writing in a personal journal is always therapeutic. Write your truth freely, sorting out your feelings, examining your perceptions of time, place, and life events. Getting your thoughts and feelings on paper is the best way to unblock your creativity. Reaching out to others, asking for help, and finding a listening ear brings us grace and light to share with others. Once we have been gifted with this light or these insights into life, we too can spread it to those in need.


The psychologist Carl Gustav Jung says, “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” It is up to each individual to kindle this light for all those who are part of our daily lives.


Life is light, and warmth, and love. We all have plentiful supply of those qualities. Make each twenty-four hours a gift to your associates by living each day with truth, sympathy, and unconditional love, by unblocking your creativity, and by writing the truths you have discovered, passing them on to your readers. Just as you turn your face to the sun to soak up its rays, so turn your face to others to give them the gift of your light. In the dark days of winter, you can bring the light of spring to those who surround you.


As an old African-American spiritual says, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine/This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine/Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!”


Mary Joan Meagher worked as an English and speech teacher at Regina High School in Minneapolis, MN, for 24 years. She has taught journal writing at Bloomington Community Education and wrote scripts for The Time of Our Lives Show there for 20 years. She is a poet, a water-colorist, an essayist, and a member of Minnesota Branch NLAPW.