When I took an astronomy course, my mind was blown at the sheer vastness of the Universe, the incredible, unimaginable distances that make it up. Most of the Universe is made up of empty space. The stars burn brightly, orbiting near each other in order to create immense galaxies and solar systems. There are 300 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, alone, where we call home. Look up at the sky on a clear night, away from light pollution, and one can stand in awe, neck craned, of the multitude of twinkling stars. One of my favorite memories of the stars was at a music festival, held at the base of Mount Batur, a sacred volcano in Bali. We looked up and could see stars overflowing the entire sky. I had never seen that many stars in my life. The Milky Way was clearly visible as a band of light spanning the sky. In every direction, there were beautiful glowing stars. Three shooting stars winked at us, and I laid back on the grass in complete bliss and gratitude for the present moment.
We are truly made of the stars. The elements that make up the Earth and our bodies were created in the cores of stars at the beginning of the Universe. Like humans, the stars go through similar life cycles. Stars are born, live, fuse all elements heavier than hydrogen in their cores, and when they die, they return their elements into the Universe to sustain the lives of new stars. When we look up at the stars, we see ourselves. The stars are part of the Universe, and so are we.
When we cultivate the consciousness of being deeply and fundamentally connected to the Universe, we can see ourselves in the stars and in each other. All of the people, situations, and experiences on this Earth are a reflection of the Universal love within us. Sometimes we need to think of the stars in order to see the wider perspective of our lives, perhaps bringing fear into the consciousness to be released. Then, we can enter the realm of infinite possibility, which is characterized by awareness of the present moment, love, and the inner wisdom of our connection to the Universe. Like the stars, we can radiate and share our light with others. This means doing what we love, what makes our spirit light up, and trusting that we have something unique to share with the world. It means leaving behind the fears, delusions, or feelings of inadequacy. Easier said than done, right? It is a daily practice, that must be returned to in each moment. It is a practice in aligning with love and our inner wisdom, that loving voice that gently asks us to Shine, brighter and brighter.