I recently read a book with my book club called The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon. Not only was it a fascinating book that I would highly recommend but it also made me think... about- the Speed of Dark.
Isn’t it funny how once you have a thought, it seems like all of a sudden there are reminders popping up all over the place? Have you ever had a friend travel to a place you had never heard of and then all of a sudden it seems like everyone is talking about it?
I read an article by David Neagle today entitled “Where did the Dark Go?” It made me wonder if we are reading the same novels since he poses much the same question as the autistic main character in Elizabeth Moon’s book... “When you flip the light switch, light fills the room – but where did the dark go? – In truth it didn’t go anywhere --- it’s still all around you. If you don’t believe me just flip the light switch off and see what happens”
A point I have been ruminating on since reading the book, is that we all spend time in the dark. It is not unfamiliar to any of us, but most of us prefer the light... why is that? Perhaps it is as David suggests in his article that although we are aware of the existence of obstacles when we are in the dark we have difficulty navigating around them. Or perhaps it has to do with the tricks our mind plays on us, I know many times my imagination of what something is or will be is often much worse than when I can actually see it clearly.
Eckhart Tolle in his book “A New Earth” talks about how many of us are ‘unconscious’ and what it would mean for us to awaken to being ‘conscious’ beings. (This too, is an insightful and inspiring book.) It seems to be saying that we are living our lives in the dark. The light switch is there and every now and then we manage to switch it on for brief periods and see the full wonder of what surrounds us. For me this tends to happen when I am out in nature. When for a moment I am not thinking about something that has already happened, or considering how something will turn out in the future, and just am absorbed in that very moment, the smells, the sounds, the sensations that surround me.
It is our attachment to the past and the futures that keep us trapped in the dark. Tolle calls this our ego, the fact that we carry resentments from the past, worry about the future is what keeps us from living in the light of the present moment.
Eckhart Tolle states “The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. And what is a grievance? The baggage of old thought and emotions.”
Recognizing our past for what it is, and being able to let it go and no longer allow it to have control of our present can seem like a huge undertaking. And if you believe that it is huge... it will be. But let’s think about it for a moment, what it takes is one shift in thinking – it is over it is done, this moment can be free of it or it can be burdened with it – one choice. (Simple! Not necessarily easy! ) Worrying about the future is the same. It has not happened; it may or may not happen the way you are projecting. If you believe it is huge – what is that doing to you in the present moment? This moment can be free of it or it can be burdened with it – again, one choice.
Just for one moment, let go of the past, release the future... flip on the light switch and see this moment for all of the wonder it holds.

Author's Bio: 

Barb Shanahan is a Women's Spiritual Enrichment Coach, Certified Comprehensive Coach, Facilitator and Registered Nurse
From her extensive background working with families dealing with chronic and terminal illness, growing children, aging parents... the many issues women face, comes a passion for working with women to develop a kind, loving, nurturing relationship with themselves.
She is a guide for women, who wish to explore their spiritual life purpose, women who are looking for authenticity and fulfillment in their lives.