Dear stars: what makes you shine?

Have you ever heard it said that we’re all made of stars?

There’s a theory in science that says that everyone and everything on Earth contains tiny star particles: that all the atoms and elements in our bodies and our world were originally created in stars that existed more than 4 billion years ago. Far out, huh?

There’s a poem in the Imaginarium that plays with this idea. It’s called ‘Dear Stars’ and in it I write a letter to the stars, as if I was writing home and remembering how great those old days were, back when we and the stars were a part of each other.

You can listen to me reading it here:

Your turn: create a new place to call home

The poem ‘Dear Stars’ imagines what it might’ve been like to actually live among the stars. Sometimes it’s fun to imagine living somewhere completely different. Why not give it a go right now!

Bring into your imagination a brand new place that you now live in. Be as inventive as you like. Here are a few places I’ve sometimes thought about living:

  • At the top of a tree.
  • Inside an orange.
  • In another time in history.
  • In my dreams (or in someone else’s).
  • In a world where every day is Wednesday and it’s always autumn.
  • In a place where there’s no such thing as water.

Okay, have you thought of your place? Now, begin to explore it. What does it look like? What colours and shapes can you see? What can you hear, smell and taste? How does it feel? What else do you notice? How do things work around here? Who (or what) else lives here? How do things differ from what you’re used to?

Now, how do you want to bring your new world to life and show it to other people… in a poem? A short story? A drawing or painting? In plasticine? Or a crazy dance routine?!

Feel it: what makes you shine?

Artwork by Jude Wisdom

Whenever I read ‘Dear Stars’ out loud and I get to those last three lines, it reminds me of how I feel when I’m really shining, from the inside out. It’s a lovely, warm, bright feeling.

This is a great way to use your imagination: to deliberately think of things that feel good to you, and really focus on seeing them in your mind and feeling them in your body. Why? Because it recreates the feeling, so you can have instant access to good feelings whenever you like.

“What, even if it’s raining outside, the dog chewed up my favourite shoes and my sister’s being a major pain?” you ask. Well, let’s see. How about we give it a go…

Start by thinking about what sorts of things allow you to really shine. What places, people, events and moments in your life have made you feel great, made you rise, made you glow, left you feeling all warm and fuzzy?

You can call to mind a memory, or else make something up in your imagination – it doesn’t matter which, as long as it feels good. It could be something big or obvious like a great party or something brilliant you achieved. Or it could be really simple like a summer’s day hiking in the woods with your dad, or just sitting quietly at home in your pyjamas cosied up with a good book.

Try out a few examples, and then pick one of them to focus on. Got it? Great. Now we’re going to really get into it, fill in the details.

  • Where are you?
  • Who else is there?
  • What can you see?
  • What sounds are around?
  • Can you smell or taste anything?
  • What are you touching or feeling… maybe the ground under your feet, some fine sand or cool mud in your toes, your favourite clothes against your skin, the warm hug of a friend, the heat of a bonfire or a cool breeze in your hair?
  • What time of day is it? What time of year?

Now, put your attention inside your body, so you feel really yourself being transported there, to that day, that moment. How do you feel? Can you feel that warm glow of pleasure? That happy buzz, like there’s nowhere else you’d rather be than right here, right now, doing exactly what you’re doing? Can you feel a kind of warmth or light within you? Whereabouts in your body do you feel it? Maybe it’s just a small spark to begin with and that’s fine. Feel into that spark. Feel it getting brighter and warmer. Feel it growing. Feel it radiating out, and let its warmth and light shine out from you, as if you were a star.

Now, imagine that spark is always there, inside you. Because, guess what – it is. Remember… you’re made of the same stuff as stars!

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