Did you ever stop to notice how life is in a state of flux and balance at the same time? The secret we need to master, is how to ride this rhythm of life, challenge and change. The high holiday season has passed, we navigated our way through one month without any Jewish cycle celebration, and we are entering a month that is characterized by darkness, constriction and diminishing light.

Yet the brilliance of Judaism rescues us through the miracle of Chanukah, arriving with perfect timing, offering a powerful and enduring source of warmth and light, connection and unity, and endless possibilities for expanded spiritual consciousness and personal growth.

When we take things lightly, we don't harbor the negative rather, we smoothly recalculate our internal GPS and keep moving forwardLight is a symbol of hope, endurance and possibility. When we turn on the light we can see more, read with more comfort and locate things with greater ease. When our feet are light, we move with greater agility. The sun's light translates into gorgeous gardens and produces delicious seasonal summer fruits. When we take things lightly, we don't harbor the negative rather, we smoothly recalculate our internal GPS and keep moving forward. When the light goes on in our mind, we produce ideas and creativities. In our heart, light translates to feelings we call joy and delight, ease and happiness. Light clearly carries an energy of opportunity and connection, and a metaphysical sensation of expansion.

As we approach the winter months however, our lives transition into a place framed by a colder and darker energy. We become keenly aware that darkness greets us earlier in the morning and with a noticeable swiftness, the afternoons pass into evening. We have to pull out the sweaters, hats, scarves and gloves, and getting dressed and out the door takes longer because we wear more clothing, we're heavier, we move more slowly.

Kitchens are cooking up more soups to ease the cold, salads give way to heartier heavier vegetables, and serving bread with the meal become more prevalent. It is even statistically reported that people's average body weight increase during the darker colder months, and the presence of physical weight is not without a heavier spiritual counterpart. And when we are in transition, we are more vulnerable, our anchor is not quite as rooted, our stability weakens.

Darkness is not just what fills the sky. It can fill our vision, craft negativities in the mind, and color the same in heart. What lives in our mind is closely linked to how we feel and defines our entire reality. A relationship falls from a disparaging word and feels disengaged, a creased heart continues to feel wounded, a financial brick keeps growing and the responsibilities are strangling, ill health that goes unattended continues to derail your plans, or a cavernous mind that attracts disempowering thoughts leaves you empty handed at the end of the day when the kids and spouse arrive home.

All of these real life examples can easily give way to a state of spiritual dis-ease. If the dark cloud keeps following us, this feeling will likely translate in to what we bring to others in our relationships. Our sense of possibilities may diminish, our drive to be productive in our work may suffer, our concentration might feel assaulted and we feel like we just keep missing the mark. The air feels bleak. We might clearly sense things falling apart but cannot identify the precise moment at which they actually fell or know where to begin to pick up the pieces. Pervasive to these conditions, there is no inner peace to be found anywhere. We can't seem to figure out when to cry, when to dance, where there is joy or when to feel tears.

And then when Chanukah arrives, bringing us an enduring source of illumination, even the darkest moments can be experienced with light. Chanukah is miraculous in that we are privileged to bring a new vision to how we meet life. Every day is full of transition and the secret to staying anchored lies is in our attitude, how we meet our thoughts and respond to them.

The Chanukah lights are like divine sparks that with every kindling helps bring light to our thoughts and down into our heart. Night by night, candle by candle, we pave the way for expansion and discovery as we internalize the energy of promise and hope that the Chanukah lights express

Night by night, candle by candle, we pave the way for expansion and discoveryWith renewed eyes, perhaps we can ask ourselves where we can make the effort to become a person of greater excellence, a master of our emotions, and make gratitude a tangible piece of our daily life. Maybe it's that I can be more accepting and sensitive? Am I really listening with respect and attention? What can I do to bring an even greater peace and joy to my home? Do I convey my words with a tone of criticism or compassion? Do I look for the positive in people? These are the ways we can bring spiritual light to our mind and heart and to our interactions and relationships wherever we travel, near or far.

It is a tall order, but one that when filled, can lift that dark cloud and fuel your next breath through bringing encouragement. We are all a work in progress and throughout each and every day we have a multitude of choices to make. With every positive choice we make in our thoughts, speech and actions, we bring light, to ourselves and others. Patience and diligence, like faith, removes mountains; Light will help us find our way.