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At various times throughout this year, many of us have likely felt as though our individual candles were slowly fading, even to the point that they may have been completely extinguished. Although this year has been filled with continual ambiguity and personal flexibility in many ways, we have also likely experienced something along this journey that has helped our candles’ light become that much brighter and stronger even in the most difficult of times.

I welcome you to take a few moments now to be present and reflect on what your personal experiences have been and what has helped you continue moving forward this past year. 

It isn’t always easy reflecting on the intimate experiences that we have lived, both “positive” and “negative.” The process of mindfully reflecting on our experiences can be one of the most meaningful and healing practices for our emotional well-beings, especially when we might be approaching a natural ending/beginning to one of our life’s adventures. This could be an academic year (maybe you’re graduating - congratulations!), a relationship, a personal goal, or whatever else comes to your mind/heart right now.

Take a moment now to pause; check-in with your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, memories, etc. as you reflect on this past year; and sit with your experience for a few moments now (jot some notes down if you’d like). 

Now, I welcome you to picture your candle - really picture it - in your mind’s eye as you reflect on this past year and any internal experiences that may be present with you right now. 

What does your candle look like (color, design), what does it smell like (floral, clean, musky), how bright is its light right now - how has it changed in the past year and how would you like it to look moving forward (draw your candle if you’d like)? 

As you hold your candle in your mind’s eye, take a few moments now to reflect on what has kept your candle lit through it all? Does a specific person who has continuously supported you come to mind/heart? Or a fun activity that you intentionally engaged in throughout the year? Or simply the feeling of hope that graduation or summer break is upon you? 

Take a moment now to hold whatever came up for you in your mind/heart and silently offer gratitude for your candle and everything it has endured, as well as what has helped keep your candle’s flame lit or even reignited your flame when it was burning out. I encourage you to remember how bright your light truly is, reflect on what has kept it strong overtime (and continue using it), and share its brilliance and strength as you move on in your life’s journey.

"Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shorted. Happiness never decreases from being shared." - Buddha

If you find yourself in need of additional support, please reach out for help! The Student Counseling Center is here for you! Our center provides a variety of mental health and wellness services to assist you and other students in successfully reaching personal, academic, and career goals. Please take a moment to visit our website to learn more information about our services and support, as well as resources for psychological well-being. Be the healthiest Florida Tech Panther you can be!

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