How Do We Shine?

I keep seeing suns everywhere — as a ceramic decoration on the side of a house, on cartoons, cards, etc. The sun is “talking” to me, which makes sense because I keep thinking about shining. What does it mean to shine? Where and how do I shine? Where and how do other people shine? Can I boost my shininess?

There are multiple definitions of “shine.” One of them is to emit rays of light, to give light. Another is to be eminent, conspicuous, or distinguished. I like to think of personal shining as emitting metaphorical rays of light in a conspicuous way. It’s the process of showering the self upon the world; much like the sun does for Earth. There’s a method for figuring out when and how we each shine. An Instagram post by Astrology with Andy said astrologically speaking, “The sign your sun is in [signifies] traits you identify with and/or are important to you. The house your sun is in [denotes] the area(s) of life where your sun sign’s qualities can best, and most easily, shine. The aspects your sun makes to other planets [shows] how to help your sun shine (and possible pitfalls that can dim its light).”

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I want to shine brightly. Photo by Benjamin Patin on Unsplash

As for me, my sun is in Sagittarius, sits in the 11th house, and conjuncts Uranus. Qualities associated with Sagittarius (and thus ones I value) are optimism, knowledge, and broadmindedness. The 11th house is the one of friends, community, groups, etc. so I shine in groups of people. It’s no surprise that while I get nervous speaking in public, I also love it. And because my sun is conjunct Uranus (a planet that has rabble-rouser/innovator energy), I shine specifically by either standing out as a vanguard, and/or in unusual communities such as 12-step groups or a fringe spiritual organization, for instance. I’m laughing and shaking my head because that’s exactly true and once again points toward the merits of astrology. Anyone who thinks it’s b.s. just doesn’t know any better.

Being aware of all this has me wondering two things — 1.) How can I activate my shininess more? And 2.) Is what I want even possible? Is it even in the cards for me to be a bestselling author? My astrological chart essentially says, “You have an intense desire to be renowned, it’s important for your self-esteem, buuuuuuut you have to work incredibly hard to achieve that.” Astrology isn’t everything — the Divine beloved is more powerful than astrology and can make anything happen, but still. I’m not feeling all that hopeful or optimistic, and as mentioned earlier, those are traits I prize.

AND instead of falling into a pit of despair, which frankly feels tempting, I’m reminded of a concept in many spiritual philosophies, including mine: “You have the right to action but not to the fruits of the actions.” My spiritual teacher says, “Wherever there is an action, there is a corresponding reaction because every action gets either reflected or refracted. The wave produced by the action will be either reflected or refracted. Both reflection and refraction are reactions. So whenever you act, whatever the nature of that work, that is the kind of reflection or refraction it will produce. But that reflected or refracted reaction is not in your hands. To do whatever you do, that is your only right.”

To do whatever I do is my only right. How it will be received, who will read it, how popular I’ll become as a result, etc. is out of my hands and not up to me. All I can do is what I’m doing and in this case that means putting words on a page.

I dream of a world where we recognize our own unique talents and gifts. A world where we shine those gifts upon the world. A world where we understand that as much as we want to control outcomes, we cannot. A world where we realize all we can do is put in the work and let go of the rest.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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