Diwali or Deepavali is a widely celebrated festival in India. Deepavali in Sanskrit means “series of lights”. I’m assuming most of you know this already as this festival has grown in popularity around the world!
Growing up, we always looked forward to this amazing festival as it meant so much fun with friends and family. As kids we would help out with deep cleaning and preparations, a few days prior to the festival. I grew up devouring a variety of amazing sweet and savory dishes made by Amma (mom). We would then gather in the evening to light up the whole house and outdoors with beautiful deepas' (oil lamps) and mark the celebrations with fireworks. Diwali celebrations look a little different this year, but the spirt of Diwali remains the same for us.
I’d like to share a little bit of history and origin of Diwali before diving into the spirit of Diwali. Per ancient Hindu legends, Diwali signifies the day Lord Rama returns with his wife Sita and brother Laxman after defeating demon king Ravana in war and after 14 years of exile. To commemorate this significant victory, the kingdom of Ayodhya welcomes them by lighting up the whole kingdom with deepas' (clay oil lamps) and setting off fireworks.
While different regions in India celebrate this for a different historical event, the spirit of Diwali remains the same- Diwali marks the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil.
This to me has such a profound meaning and impact on how we self-reflect, learn and grow. From my perspective, light and darkness, good and evil, and knowledge and ignorance are two sides of the same coin that exist within us. It’s then our responsibility to recognize where we are at any point in time and work towards our best self.
In the spirit of this key message, here are a few inspiring life lessons from this lovely festival of lights!
Positive over Negative
Research has proven that positive people are happier, healthier and achieve more in life. It’s such a simple yet effective practice! It’s natural to feel dejected or negative when life happens and circumstances are beyond our control. It’s during these points in time that it becomes vital to stay positive and see the brighter and lighter side of things in life rather than focusing on the negative and darker side of situations. Let the bright light of your positive attitude remove the darkness of negativity!
Growth over Stagnation
If you’ve followed by blogs, you know that growth is so important to me at many levels! Diwali reminds me that each one of us has a choice between growth and comfort. There is no triumph without struggle and it’s our little choices in life that pave the way to growth and we can’t shy away from that.
Gratitude over Grumbling
Being grateful for what we have rather than grumble over what we don’t is the key to leading a content life. Choosing good over evil also means that we have a deep sense of gratitude for what we have rather than grumbling about the things that we don’t have.
Acceptance over Judgement
Judgement is one behavior that causes us to become less understanding and curious. It also impairs our ability to learn and grow. So, next time you catch yourself judging, stop and question yourself. You may not agree with a person or circumstance, but you can always be accepting of what is and move away from judgement.
Order over Clutter
You cannot make space for light, knowledge and all the goodness in the world if you have clutter in your life. Similar to our tradition of deep cleaning prior to Diwali, take the time to assess what’s not serving you and what you need to remove from your life to make space for all the goodness. It could be breaking a habit that’s bad for you, clearing your mind from negative thoughts, moving away from a toxic relationship- this may look different for each of us, the main point here is to identify the clutter in our life and remove it to so that we can bring order and welcome all the good that life has to offer.
Celebrate, Celebrate and Celebrate
Last but not the least, we need to pause and celebrate our lives and how far we’ve come in this journey.
May this Diwali bring you all the happiness, joy and contentment that you deserve! May the darkness fade away with the big bright sparkles of your dreams!