You know those halos on the heads of saints in medieval Christian art, the solar disc in Egyptian hieroglyphs or the flaming nimbus in Asian holy art?
Well, I call it the radiance factor. And everyone has it.
The thing is your radiance factor might be shining at only 40 watts instead of say the 100 watts of Buddha or Jesus or Ra. That’s because the dimmer switch is turned down — and it’s dialling up this dimmer switch to greater radiance that fascinates me these days.
But before we get to what dims this inner light, lets define it.
BY POPULAR VOTE
I posted this question on Facebook to find out what most people think radiance means? “When i say the word radiance, as in you can be more radiant, what do you think I mean?”
The big surprise? All of answers mentioned spiritual or inner dimensions rather than say, nutrition, body wellness or fitness. People immediately connected the idea of radiance with INNER LUMINOSITY.
My favourite answer in the long list of FB responses was this one, because it hits the closet to how I perceive radiance.
“Radiance to me is an invisible light. It is very sensual on the subtle levels of our being but not our human senses. We all know it when we see it and are attracted to it. Everything feels full, beautiful, and alive when it is present and we feel satisfied. Best word to describe would be love but it is a love that is natural to our being as who we are unimpeded by the human mind and it’s veils.”
So why am I focused right now on this radiance factor? For one, I’ve been noticing my own luminosity ebb and flow over the years and applying my natural curiosity, I wanted to understand what triggers the dimmer switch effect, or more precisely, what appears to be huge fluctuations.
I can feel when I am in high-radiance. So can you. It’s those times where your joy of being alive is just bursting from your heart. It’s when you feel that tender love for all of creation and a kind of overflowing gratitude for each encounter, each moment, each unfolding—even the difficult ones.
What radiance is not? It’s not the high of a mystical experience (which can actually sometimes drain your radiance, more on that later).
Real radiance is your light shining through simply because there is no impediment or constriction. And another clue you’re wearing your halo? Other’s notice. They might effusively tell you how rested or happy or serene you look to them. And they want to hang out around you because undimmed light spills over…yes, it has a transmission quality.
Spiritual experts will name this radiance Shakti, the female principle of divine energy that is responsible for all creation and is the agent of all change. In other words, the Creator.
My dear soul friend Daniela Hess, founder of Yoga Farm, is writing a book all about Radiance (and teaches a course on it). Here’s her take:
NOW ALL ABOUT THAT DIMMER SWITCH
I want you to recall a time where you felt wonderfully alive and super grateful. It might have been because you just won an award, got the job your really wanted, got asked out on that date with the one you yearned for. Or you received great health news, or any kind of sweet spot where jumping for joy felt like the most natural thing to do. Or the most common radiance booster, falling in love.
How long did this high last? Really think about it. Was it minutes? Days? Weeks? How long did this feel-good feeling last. How long was it before your glow wore off?
Because the burst of radiance released from some person or circumstance is not only temporary radiance but it will always be followed by the polar opposite—the big downers of worry, doubt, fear and all the contracted states of being that make us feel and look dull and dreary.
You see in the land of polarity, where we happen to exist, no good high comes with out a pendulum swing of equal intensity in the opposite direction. Sometimes we connect the causal dots, remembering that we felt so incredibly good and radiant only last week and now we are a dim sad sack. Yes, we are all bipolar in this space-time gig.
That’s why those mystical highs I mentioned earlier, those bliss hits, are inevitably going to be radiance drainers.
But there is a third option.
THE COSMIC LOOPHOLE
What if instead of circumstantial bursts of radiance that are inevitably followed by darkness (think of a camera flash that temporarily leaves you blinded), you could access a kind of radiance that was a constant as say, well, the speed of light? What if the source of your halo does not waver but rather steadily streams from a station that you can tune into anytime?
The loophole here is simple. You can never access an abiding radiance from the world of appearance—that would be like trying to improve yourself by tinkering with the image in the mirror. And yet, that is the game as it’s currently played, from wellness and fitness approaches to boost the body all the way to seeking mystical highs from yoga, tantra, plant medicine and even shaktipat from a guru. (Even I fell for this last one and wrote about it in my post three years ago, Why Shakti Matters).
All of these appearance-level sources of light are bound, like the camera flash, to blind you to what is real.
What is real when it comes to the radiance factor? What is the loophole exactly?
In a (highly suspect) word, DEVOTION.
Now before you get all resistant on me, I don’t mean worshipping a deity-— because while that kind of devotion ((also called Bhakti in Sanskrit) can create a temporary luminosity it is too often fraught with the ups and downs of expectations and transactional love. In other words, it becomes a circumstantial source of radiance, where when things are going well in your life you thank your God and when they suck, you curse him or her.
The kind of devotion I mean here is non-transactional. It’s the complete and utter surrender of your life to the greater good. It is the literal willingness to be purposed by the grand intelligence that some call God but that I call the Infinite Self.
The self-sacrifice part of devotion is actually hinted at in the 13th century french root, devovere, as “dedicate by a vow, sacrifice oneself, promise solemnly.” that allows access to the steady stream of non-fluctuating light that is represented by the halo.
This light brings with it a natural ease, magical flow, effortless well-being and causeless joy, For many it also brings about increased physical vitality. But more importantly, in these turbulent global times, in which extreme weather such as earthquakes, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, monster hurricanes prevail, getting on Team Divine Power or Team Greater Good (call it what you will) matters more than ever. The side effect of radiance is a perk.
The real question is: are you ready to surrender the idea of what you think your life is for to the loving intelligence that is calling your soul to its true mission? (Because your true mission will not always look anything like your five-year plan, you know, the one you created after reading a new age book about manifesting personal wealth, health and success).
But I promise you this: more joy, more gratitude and more peace than you can ever imagine when you are purposed by the divine for the greater glory of all.
~ Lori Ann
PS: Stay tuned for my Awakened Magic: The path to radiance, love, power and purpose. Launch date November 1.
PPS: If the Radiance Factor is something you wish to know more about, I go into depth about it in a 30 minute interview on The Vibrant Health Summit which airs online October 5th.
If you sign up for the summit using THIS LINK you also get my gift to you the day it airs — access to my “22 Day Love Your Body Magic & Miracles Bootcamp” online self-study program where I apply radiance principles to a rewiring of your relationship to your body.
Featured Image: Art by Autumn Skye Morrison