Face to the Sun

Sometimes life feels like a journey without a map. As if you’re standing at a crossroads, unsure which way to turn or what direction leads to the bright joyful life you want to be living.

And since it’s no fun feeling stuck, you have the urge to push ahead in an attempt to figure life out right now. Maybe you rush a decision, saying “yes” or “no” when what you really feel is more like “I don’t know, yet.”

It’s tempting to rush clarity. But oftentimes it’s when you wait until “your mud settles and the water is clear” (as the Taoist saying goes) that life unfolds in beautifully unexpected ways.

When you pause at the crossroads and look around, you’re apt to notice gifts you might have missed otherwise. The way golden sunlight dances on leaves. The bright glow of a full moon. An overgrown trail that’s actually the surprising path you’re meant to follow.

Standing at a crossroads and seeking clarity is also about believing in possibilities. 

Before you can see progress, you have to feel it. In other words, you have to feel your way into the best choice for you.

That’s what faith is, after all—the knowing that comes before the seeing.

The knowing that the sun’s always up there shining, even when you can’t see it. That spring follows winter. That light follows dark, no matter how deep the night seems. That your life will move on and joy will find you along the way.

And faith is also that deep-down-in-your-belly knowing that you’re not alone.

That you’re surrounded, not only by friends, but also by a powerful energy which, if you tap into it, will usher more light and love into your life than you can possibly imagine. It’s an energy which, whatever you choose to call it—the universe, divine, God, nature—always “has your back” as the author Gabrielle Bernstein puts it. An energy that contains all the wisdom and courage you need to get from here to there. An energy that will make the way forward not only clear, but also bright.

The “only” thing you have to do then, is let go and believe. And one of the best ways I know for getting yourself into a place of belief is turning your face to the sun.

“Turn your face to the sun”, says a Maori proverb, “and the shadows will fall behind you.”

Choose to notice the sun, or whatever else brings you a feeling of ease, joy, lightness—your dog, a baby, birds, melting snow, spring flowers—and your own energy will shift. In the same way that muscles get toned with exercise, your thoughts (positive or negative) grow stronger with practice too.

Even when you’re feeling lost or turned around, focus your mind on something that feels good in your here-and-now reality, no matter small. A favorite song when you’re driving. Fresh air. Warm fire on a cold day. Comfortable bed. A book or show you can really get into. And you’ll make space for a glimmer of light to enter.

The author Arundhati Roy writes, “Not only is another world possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

If you’re awake—eyes, heart, mind wide open to the possibilities around you—you’ll catch glimpses of this other world that’s waiting to welcome you: a world where each of us is standing in the sunlight, soaking up the good energy and sending it back out; letting our lights shine, and by our example, encouraging others to shine too.

Actually, that other world is already here—inside each of us, a world of possibility and peace.

Let go and believe.

And, like a map unfolding in front of you, the way forward will become clear.