“The spark divine dwells in thee: let it grow.”
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox
What were your plans this past 4th of July weekend? Chances are, if you live in the United States, you saw a firework display—or at least heard the pops and crackles! Fireworks do more than provide us with a beautiful display of glowing colors and patterns in the night sky. For the United States, they have been used a symbol of our independence since 1776. Each year, they are a brilliant reminder of our right to live in freedom without fear of oppression.
We can also think of this celebration of freedom as a powerful reminder of the inner freedom we all long for. If we are blessed to live in a society where we enjoy outer freedom, how heartbreaking it is then to be trapped by thoughts in the mind that keep us from experiencing inner freedom.
We have no control over the outer world, but we can control our own thoughts, responses, and actions. This is our true freedom. All we need to do is begin a meditation practice—sit in silence every day for a few minutes and connect within. When you do this, notice the thoughts your mind is saying to you, find the space between those thoughts, and start to change negative thoughts into confident and courageous ones. For example, change a thought like “I am not good enough” to “I am enough.” In this way, you are becoming the boss of your own life. This is the beginning of freedom.
With this daily practice, you begin to hear your inner voice, and you can begin to “spark” your own display of wonder and splendor. You begin to know what makes you want to burst forth with the vibrant colors of your personality, your passion, and your service to the world.
How will you live your life in freedom without fear of taking a chance?
My spark is a deep desire to see the world living in peace. I believe “outer peace begins with inner peace”, so I have made it my life’s work (and my own personal practice) to find that place within where love, unity, courage, and peace reside in myself and others.
The word “peace” for me means strength, power, and love. When we are connected to our peace inside, we get in touch with that “spark of the divine” residing within each of us. It is this spark that allows us to set off an inspiring display within our communities that creates positive change in a way that sets off the spark in others. The word Namaste reflects this beautifully, “The Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you.”
You know the big finale of a formal fireworks show—where the whole sky is filled with multiple bursts, one after the other, and everyone is left with a feeling of awe and inspiration? That can be us as a collective, celebrating in a big way the freedom of our minds, bodies, and spirits, and inspiring others to do the same. I believe with all my heart that this is how outer peace will ultimately be achieved in our world—through each individual attaining inner peace and sharing it with the rest of the world.
So, I ask you, what is your spark? If you’re not sure yet, go into your heart regularly, listen closely to what it wants, and encourage it to grow through a daily practice that cultivates your feelings of inner peace. You may wish to take a look at my book The Practice for some daily suggestions for beginning to find your path—your spark.
The opportunities to cultivate peace in your life and in the lives of others are endless. Find your practice toward inner freedom and practice it. This can, at times, be a difficult journey, but what a worthwhile journey it is.