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How to Spread Love and Light This New Year and Beyond

Happiness | Lifestyle

How does one spread warmth, passion, humanity, goodwill, enlightenment, and illumination while living with the struggles and hardships of life? Imagine a person who embodies love and light moving through the world, parting others lighter and filled with love. What is their secret?

The end of the numerological cycle, 2016, is represented by the number 9 (2+0+1+6 = 9). It was a year of completion. With ends come new beginnings, and 2017 is the first year in the nine-year cycle (2+0+1+7 = 10; 1 + 0 = 1). This new year is a time to be more independent, develop leadership skills, and foster unique talents.

There are growing pains with new beginnings, thus the importance of spreading love and light is paramount. It may come naturally to say “thank you” or hold open the door for others. However, simple ways for spreading love and light are often lost when life gets busy and fear and darkness are more easy to identify.

Here are 7 suggestions on how to spread love and light this new year and beyond. (Note: There will be Harry Potter quotes and references because I love reading HP on holiday—don't say you weren't warned!)

1. Be Love and Light: Discover and foster one’s self-love and inner light.

Before sharing, one must attain something to share. The first step is recognizing the power of self-love and inner light. Yoga poses and breaths to open the heart, like Reclining Bound Angle pose (supta baddha konasana), and to ignite the inner fire like kapalabhati pranayama, help us realize we are already the love and light we seek.

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.” – J. K. Rowling

2. Foster Harmony: Look for common ground and keep an open heart for others.

While 2017 deceivingly seems like a year of individualism, the number 1 is also a harmonizer. Individuals' contributions may look different from yours, so it's important to step back and look at your common interests and goals.

Keep the 5% rule in mind:  95% of what someone says or does may not be something you agree with (they like chocolate cake, you hate chocolate and cake with a passion; more of a cookie person), look for the 5% that can be common ground (you both like sweets).

“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

3. Aspire Towards Positivity: Try to be positive, including seeing others in a positive light.

While it may feel unattainable at first, start with small positive affirmations. For example, take a moment when waking up to say – “Today, I aim to share love and light by thinking one good thought. I will make this happen by acknowledging I am light and I am love.”

Small changes of the self have the ability to change the world. Seeing the good in others when they cannot see the good in themselves is an ultimate way to share love and light.

“He must’ve known I’d run out on you.” “No,” Harry corrected him. “He must’ve always known you’d always want to come back.” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

4. Choose Light: Act consciously and intentionally with compassion to others in mind.

Darkness can be a place for rest and recovery, especially for sleeping. However, you shouldn't dwell in the darkness and sleep through life. To choose light means to point the inner compass towards actions that uplift and lighten others.

Small acts of kindness point to the light: writing thank you cards, giving sincere compliments, addressing people by their names, not honking the car horn unless it is an emergency, showing up on time, putting away your phone during conversations, and so many other things.

“We have all got both light and dark inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

5. Forgive and Love: Replace the heaviness of anger with the lightness of love.

If 2016 was your year of forgiveness, take the extra steps needed in 2017 to forgive those with whom you still hold a grudge…including yourself. The world is tough enough without holding onto anger.

For a week, start every morning with a five-minute practice in seated meditation, breathing in forgiveness and exhaling out anger and pain.

“People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.” – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

6. Create Moments: Share time with others.

Donating and volunteering increase happiness, build a sense of community, create purpose, as well as provide needed resources for others. Take time to offer yoga to a community in need or help build homes or a school for others. Spread love and light by living with intention and creating moments.

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

7. Actively Listen: Listen to hear and learn.

Engage in conversation with the goal to listen and learn, rather than to speak and be heard. Acknowledging someone’s voice and stories not only spreads love and light, it is a great way to expand one’s own horizons and boundaries.

“No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever.” – J.K. Rowling

Bonus Tip: Spread love and light unconditionally.

The shadow side of giving is wanting to be rewarded and praised as the giver. Try to live each moment humbly. Give unconditional love and light especially if no one notices or knows.

Try and enjoy these ways and suggestions to spread love and light this new year and beyond. Comment below what you are planning to do to spread love and light so that 2017 can be the start of an amazing new cycle. Extra points for Harry Potter themes!

Image credit: Paige Rene

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