That’s Where You Came From
Ever notice that babies love to stare at lights? From day one of their lives, they are magnetized to the light. It’s as if they remember it—it feels familiar and comfortable. It’s as if they know that that is where they came from and what they are made of.
When our baby Phoenix was born in January 2007, he was shining bright from his first breath, as all babies do. His light emanated so brightly that everyone in the room was grinning ear to ear. There is nothing quite as miraculous as giving birth and there is no high like the moment after giving birth. After giving birth I am so filled with light, love, hope, and joy that the intense and indescribable pain of delivery is a distant memory.
And that’s where it starts, the baby’s connection with light, as he stares at lights with a comfort and all-knowingness. “That’s the light,” I would say to our new baby boy. “That’s where you came from and that’s what you are—you’re the light.”
My two-and-a-half-year-old, Sage, listened intently to my words and was soon repeating them to her new baby brother. “That’s the light,” she’d say in her adorable 2-and-a-half-year-old voice, “that’s where you came from, baby, and that’s what you are—you’re the light.”
Hearing Sagey say this would bring tears to my eyes, thinking about how quickly she understood this concept, enough to repeat it with confidence. “Of course she understood it,” I thought, “deep down she knows this truth, as every child does.”
But with enough time out in the “real world,” children begin to forget. They begin to forget about the light and their heritage. They begin to forget that that is what they are and what their journey on this planet is about.
Just like adults do. And we’ve had even more time “out there,” to forget about what’s “in here.”
The answer? How to keep the light, love, and joy of this journey alive? There are many “answers,” of course, depending on you and your particular history, likes, dislikes, and experiences.
One thing that I’ve found that works for me and my kids is yoga. It sounds so simple but often the most profound things are. My kids and I practice every single day, and it helps us to remember the light. To remember who we are and why we are here.
Yes, there’s dinner to be made and eaten, showers to be taken, homework to be done, danas* to be finished, teeth to be brushed…but my spirit overpowers my rational mind during this busy time of night—the post school/activity/play date and pre-bed time at the pink house. After countless hours of asana practice on my mat over the years, my spirit overrides my mind body and insists that we all get on our mats—even for just a few minutes—to breathe in and breathe out and remember who we are and our connection with the light.
If you forget, as we all do from time to time, get on your mat and breathe. And go visit a newborn and observe her/him for awhile. They find the light in any room they are in and they gaze at it, remembering their home, their makeup, and their purpose on this planet.
*dana means generosity in Sanskrit. We call the things we do around the pink house “danas,” instead of “chores.”