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In the Northern hemisphere, the sun’s light is greeting us less and less. The days take staccatoed breaths while the night bathes in the luxury of time. It is her turn to offer her gifts.

As the outside light is dwindling, this time between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice is the perfect time to shine our inner lights a little brighter. It’s the perfect time to reconnect with the truth of who we are and the gifts we possess that light up the world.

Last week, after weeks of packing and moving homes, receiving news that left me ungrounded, and feeling caught in a cycle of negative self talk, I literally lost my voice. Finding myself for several days with strep throat and lesions on my tongue, I was forced to go inward. There was no other way to heal than to be in the silence, be in the discomfort, and be with myself.

This is what fall does as well. It beckons us inward. When we try and resist. seeking light outside of ourselves, we’ll only fail. But when we turn in, when we take this beautiful period of time for that deeper introspection and tending to the flame that fuels our inner light, we thrive.

Just like the sky lights up because each star shines it’s brightest, our world will only raise in vibration when each one of us shines our brightest, when each one of us is exactly who we are.

There is no need to compete with anyone else. There is no need to dim ourselves so others can shine more brightly. There is no need to find light outside of ourselves because we are the light.

So, I invite you to deepen into your practice of going inward and shining your light this season. Each invitation and question is simply an offering. Use what calls to you, leave the rest.

Take an hour… or a day… of silence.

Yes. I know it sounds uncomfortable (or maybe for some it sounds comforting). There is something about being silent that pulls you inward. The quiet allows you to listen to the voices that seek your attention. The creative projects that desire to be birthed into being. The fears that want to be acknowledged. The traumas that need healing. The power that is calling you to recognize it and use it.

Who am I without _________.

Journal on this question. Reflect on it. Be with it. How do you identify yourself? What takes up your energy whether it’s truly part of your essence or not. Insert each of those things into that blank space in turn…

Who am I without my smartphone?

Who am I without my children?

Who am I without my womanhood?

Who am I without my physical voice?

Who am I without my race/ethnicity?

Who am I without my career?

Who am I without recognition?

The answers you find here while allow you to strip away the layers that veil the trueness of who you are. They will also allow you to see what parts of you really matter and make up your essence.

Know when your giving feels like a gift to yourself.

Sometimes we may feel like we have to give and give and give. Sometimes that giving comes naturally and feels amazing! Other times that giving takes our energy and starts to feel like a burden.

When does your giving feel like a gift? Does dancing in front of an audience fuel you? Does hosting a gorgeous dinner fuel you? Does writing stories fuel you? Know this: our gifts are our giving. When we’re in total alignment and doing what we love, what we love is a gift for others. It is these gifts that light up the world.

Activate your shining muscle each day

Each day, I invite you to do something that is both terrifying and exhilarating. I want you to practice shining. Each day, do one thing that activates your shining muscle. This can be saying yes to something that makes your soul smile. This can be stripping back one more layer of something that hides your light. This can be offering your gifts to the world. For example, one day you might practice saying the mantra I choose to let my light shine each time you pass through a doorway. One day you might see that your favorite website is looking for photography submissions and you submit your work. As you engage with this practice you’ll notice your own light expanding more and more.

Sink into the truth of who you are this season. Shine brightly as you can. And with this let, let us light up the world.

Camila F. Marquez is a life coach for changemakers who weaves together the spheres of self-development and social change through adventure, creativity, and connection. Camila is a graduate of Jeannine Yoder's Mentor Masterclass and holds a B.S. in Human Development and an M.A. in Gender Analysis in International Relations and Business for Social Impact. You can find her at or on instagram at @camilafmarquez.

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