What the sun on the summer solstice taught me about courage

In June, in celebration of the summer solstice, I took listeners through a spontaneous solar activation, a guided meditation and visualization on my podcast, Wise Body, Ancient Soul.

What really came through when I tapped into the sun’s energy were embedded messages of courage, confidence and love. The sun never doubts its brightness, never questions whether its presence is appropriate… whether it’s too much or too little…

The sun just SHINES. 

I was reminded of all the times that I muted my light or turned down my volume because I thought it would make someone else feel more comfortable.

Because I thought it would make me more acceptable. More lovable.

Because I thought it would keep me safe. 

Coming out of a childhood marked by some physical and emotional abuse, I carried a lot of wounding around that… right into my first marriage.

My then-husband (or “wasband” – I love that term!) was so afraid he’d lose me to someone else that he’d follow and watch me constantly. If I made myself visible in some way, like coming out from behind our cafe counter to wipe down the tables, or climbing a ladder to reach a shelf at a local bookstore, he would accuse me of trying to catch someone’s attention. To, ultimately, betray him.

Believe me. There were all kinds of things wrong with this scenario. And, I tell you this, not to think that he was a bad person, because he really wasn’t. I don’t think he ever treated a partner like that before or after me. Or to see me as a victim, because I wasn’t without agency. As a young adult, I made choices along the way that kept me in that dynamic for years.

And one of the choices I made was to try to make myself smaller, less vibrant, to try and get him to trust and love me. (At least, that’s what I thought would happen.) So one by one, all of the things about me that had first drawn him to me, I shut down and put away: my radiant confidence, the way I could have a conversation with anyone, my sashay walk, my funky style. I even, in a desperate move to earn his trust, chopped off all my hair, going from hair hanging to my butt to a close-shaven buzz cut.

Yup. Extreme.

In hindsight, I could see how our “wounds were dancing.” his insecurities and my insecurities fed each other to create this dynamic. I brought in a void from an absentee father and an open sore around how I was mothered. My wasband brought in relationship dynamics learned from a critical mother who constantly berated him and his father.

For each of us, control was what we grew up thinking love looked like.

As I re-learned how to be in my body through dance, I reclaimed my power. There were many other factors too: therapy, support… Refriending my body, however: this was KEY. Key to healing old wounds and releasing old stories. I share more about this journey (and steps I took back to my power) in my book, Shameless.

The sun offers similar support. In the solar activation that downloaded, I got loud and clear:

The sun shines its loving rays without judgment or criticism.

Grandfather Sun doesn’t just shine on the beings that he believes “deserve” it. He simply shines.

Love, like the sun’s rays, is an energy, an offering.

There are no expectations attached.

It can be received, rejected, amplified, or dimmed. The sun isn’t responsible for how people receive its rays–its only responsibility is to continue shining. Continue being its giant, solar self.

We can be bold and shine our light all over everyone in the exact same way.

Sometimes it just takes an extra boost of courage. If that resonates with you, check out the episode and solar activation practice here.