“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Chasing the Light. The Phoenix rises from the ashes. The lotus grows from the mud, the thicker the mud, the more beautiful it becomes. The pearl becomes luminescent through irritation. After darkness comes the light. Life is a journey, a warrior’s battle type of journey that comprises of both light and darkness, shadow and brilliance working alongside eachother. Can we have one without the other? Perhaps if we think about it …. the Darkness forces us to find the Light.
I believe it does. Despite darkness and shadow, our greatest gift is resilience ie the capacity to recover quickly from toughness. In my 43 years on this planet, if there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that we aren’t all “love and light.” There is a lot of good in the world and there is also a great deal of evil around us and I’m learning to adapt to it in order to grow. Contrast is there in our reality to give definition to our lives. The light is our higher self; The shadow, our human self. The mixture we are in the middle is a work of art made up of many parts of self, various aspects of the whole that have been tucked away, discarded, waiting to be revealed. The more we discover, the more work we need to do to re-adjust and move on to the next phase.
These photos were captured by Swedish photographer Christopher Staar in Tenerife, Carnary Islands during our Christmas vacation this year. I’m thrilled with the results
What made me dig into this philosophical take? Well, first of all, the first photo in this Blog, the one where I’m looking up with these gorgeous Dolce e Gabbana sunnies into the light, made me think primarily of the title of this piece, but it also combined with a deep conversation I had over the weekend with my husband and a close friend of ours about Duality in Life and Why we think certain things Happen in our lives and How the Light and Dark on our journey both play equal parts in the game of life.
This photoshoot held in Tenerife, for starters was quite an interesting story. It was challenging from the start for the team of three. We suffered a puncture in the 4×4 vehicle that was driving us up to the mountain for the day within the first hour of driving, which took time to fix, secondly a huge accident occurred on the one way road we were on – a car tumbled over a cliff and because there was a rescue team there, the result was having us stationary for a good hour waiting for this accident to get cleared. Thirdly, the assistant camera person on the job with us that day was very ill that morning with a tummy bug and we had to stop many times for her to puke outside the car… Can you imagine the thoughts that were going through my mind at the time?!!
I (for those who know me, know what a control freak I am with timings and plans…) started to get really worried but I didn’t show it. I kept my cool and prayed to God and the angels to be with us all and help us through this. At 11.30 am, myself and the team had one of two choices : We either take all these omens as signs and call it quits or work together against adversities, put on some good energy and fight together against the bad luck that kicked off the first few hours. We chose the latter! Good mindset over bad mindset any day with me …. And we were so blessed for it because we got the most beautiful shots to share with you all and some magazines in Tenerife loved them but most importantly it felt so good to get through this rough patch together.
Life throws us constant tricks to test us and some are very harsh to us, unplanned, unwanted, some cruel too might I add, but I believe that they are always sent for us to grow and to fight through them like heros. – Grazielle
Much like a musician can spin a dark life story filled with pain and sadness into a compelling song, a photographer creates the perfect capture through a mixture of light and dark, of shadow and illumination. Great light can sometimes be difficult to find. As a photographer, you have to chase it. It does not always make itself apparent. We let our eyes adjust and we began searching for some good spots for shoots for the stories I wanted to create.We let go of the overwhelming darkness, and bad vibes and with patience and purpose found the pockets of light and the enthusiasm that gave us one of the best shoots we’ve ever had and we worked through it together as a team. You will see more photos in other blogs and Instagram posts…
No matter how dark things may seem, there is always a ray of light. When we reach for the light, the magic happens. In the end, beauty requires a mixture of darkness and light. Embrace the darkness. Reach for the light and watch the beauty unfold.
Let’s Dig Deeper and Let Some More Light Shine on My Truth
It wasn’t long ago that my life looked vastly different from it is today. Oh, I still have plenty of dark, shadowy aspects within to embrace in myself and frankly, 2018 was a very trying year for me. Yet, it was through these challenging moments that I also discovered parts of myself I didn’t know existed and learned to love them.
It was during quite a difficult time in my life, when my heart was open and my mind expanded to new realities, that I began to understand the power of the shadow along with the wounded inner child. I also have learnt to notice the dark shadows in others and do my best to embrace them, and when I did, I became less judgmental of myself and others.
I had a year of observing my shadows, my wounds, old pain, old stories, my beliefs, judgments from others. Slowly, I began peeling the layers, looking at various aspects of myself, particularly those parts of myself I didn’t really want to see any more and I began to embrace them. There were parts of me that did not serve me any more to grow to be the change I want to see, so I have had to learn to observe them and love them unconditionally.
Through this journey, I began to discover parts of myself I didn’t know where ever there. The main moral of my blog today is to remind myself and you that in life we need to go through tough experiences to grow, we cannot become champions in our field when we always win, we obviously need to get bashed down and smashed a few times on the battlefield, because it feels so damn good to rise up again and fight stronger and more confident in OURSELVES than ever before.
On the same subject of light and dark I’d like to end with this quote and let you think about what I spoke about today .. In the end, you all choose your own path:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate:
only love can do that.
Martin Luther King Jr.
I choose to shine the light and embrace the shadows. How are You Living Your Life?