I’ve been trying to live by a bit of advice I was given when I first stepped through the doors of drama school, a piece of wisdom from a third-year student: “Make sure you leave with paintwork beneath your fingernails, you gained so much out of being here”

I think because of this, my life has been a relentless pursuit of experiences. From global adventures and eclectic encounters to the downright quirky, I believed that the more facets I explored, the richer the connections I’d forge, revealing previously hidden aspects of myself.

Consider this analogy: every individual is akin to a lightbox. Each facet of this box houses a unique bulb, illuminating with every new experience. While some liken this to polishing a diamond into smoothness, I see it as transforming into an ever-expanding crystal, continuously developing new, luminescent facets.

Depending on our environment, actions, or companions, we light up differently, showcasing varied sides of our persona. The loss of a loved one, or the dimming spark of love, feels like a unique pattern of lights extinguished, never to be lit in the same way again. To love is to embrace all parts of oneself that feel at home with another, echoing the sentiment, “You light up my life.”

Yet, with an abundance of experiences and the myriad ‘lights’ they bring, solitude can intensify. There’s a longing for those who ‘get’ more of your lights, understanding and accepting the composite of who you are.

Spiritual teachings encourage us to shine unabashedly, connecting our lights with those who reciprocate our glow, fueling each other’s brilliance. However, the journey of shining solo can be draining.

This vast spectrum of experiences has enriched my practice, allowing me to connect authentically with a diverse range of clients.

At our core, regardless of how many ‘sides’ we present to the world, there lies a singular, potent light within each of us. It’s the essence of vulnerability and bravery, the “God spark” that connects us to oneness, our higher selves. My quest has always been to find and ignite this inner light, often sought externally, yet some philosophies advocate for an inward journey.

The contrast between darkness and light parallels the dichotomy of fear and love. My aspiration for the world hinges on the illumination of this inner light.

I encourage you to live a life so enriched, so deeply immersed in experiences, that when your final chapter closes, your legacy will be a vibrant tapestry of ‘paintwork’ beneath your fingernails.