I’ve written a lot about the mindset behind becoming a lightworker (or darkworker), but what do lightworkers actually do? What does the business of lightworking look like?

First, it’s important to understand that the ultimate goal of a lightworker is basically the expansion and elevation of consciousness. Darkworkers have essentially the same primary aim, but lightworkers pursue a very different path to get there.

It’s helpful to understand the lightworker path by contrasting it with the darkworker path.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of people aren’t polarized one way or the other, so chances are you’ll recognize some shades of yourself in both paths, but their pure forms will likely seem too extreme to you. However, you can greatly accelerate your path of growth by consciously choosing one path or the other instead of mixing the two (incompatible) approaches.

The Darkworker Path

For a darkworker the elevation of one’s own consciousness is all that matters. Usually this is achieved via the pursuit of greater power and control of one’s life. Darkworkers ultimately want to be the kings and queens of their own universes. If you don’t deeply desire some form of dominance and control over your reality, you aren’t a darkworker.

Since the consciousness of others is viewed as either nonexistent or irrelevant, darkworkers are willing to do things that lower the consciousness of others, acting like energy vampires. They believe it’s possible to create a net gain for themselves at the expense of others.

With respect to the list in 10 Ways to Become More Conscious, a darkworker will often employ the exact opposite strategies in dealing with others if s/he finds it personally advantageous to do so. This includes lying, using fear and intimidation tactics, being cruel, squashing others’ dreams, keeping secrets, and manipulating others. It’s a very competitive mindset. Darkworkers often make the people around them more fearful, more apathetic, and less conscious. Treating others this way isn’t their goal; for darkworkers it’s only a means to an end. Socially it may be important for a darkworker to avoid being caught doing such things, but they don’t suffer serious inner resistance to such a path.

You can often detect the presence of a darkworker by the effect they have on your consciousness. For example, if you work for a company run by darkworkers, you may perceive that going to work at your job actually lowers your consciousness compared to if you just stayed home. Going to work is like entering an awareness-lowering cloud, inviting you to resonate with lower states of consciousness such as fear, greed, apathy, depression, and worry. When you leave work, you feel like you’re coming out of that dark cloud; it’s like you can finally breathe and be yourself again. If you recognize that you’re in such a situation and continue to allow yourself to be vamped because you feel too powerless to do otherwise, then you have first-hand knowledge of how effective darkworking can be. The weaker your independent will becomes, the more you empower the darkworker that’s using you. Think of this as energetic slavery.

The Lightworker Path

Lightworkers believe that everyone is part of a conscious whole, and lightworkers identify with that collective consciousness. They still have their own egos, but they regard their individuality as an avatar of that collective consciousness. So the expansion of individual consciousness is a tool of a greater consciousness rather than an end unto itself.

For a lightworker the notion of trying to get ahead at someone else’s expense makes no sense. It’s like your left hand is competing with your right. There can be no winners and losers in life. We’re all in this together. We’re all part of the same whole.

Lightworkers feel very connected to other people. They regard others as extensions of themselves. The basis for that sense of connection is unconditional love. This includes love and acceptance of darkworkers as well. Lightworkers recognize that darkworkers are also aspects of the greater unfolding consciousness.

A lightworker uses the ideas in 10 Ways to Become More Conscious internally as well as externally. This includes discovering and sharing truth, being courageous and encouraging others to do the same, and favoring compassion over cruelty. Lightworkers strive to raise the consciousness of those around them. They don’t intentionally vamp off other people.

If you work for a company or organization run by lightworkers, you can expect it to be a consciousness-raising experience. Going to work is like entering a cloud of light. You look forward to it and almost hate to leave. You know you’re performing a valuable service that helps others. At the end of the day you feel great about your job and the people you work with. You may even want to extend the work into your personal time. Going to work gives you feelings of peace, joy, love, contribution, compassion, and connection. Working feels like breathing love — an energizing experience.

One of the interesting ways in which darkworkers and lightworkers can get into a bit of competition with each other arises from how they treat other people. Lightworkers are constantly trying to raise the consciousness of others, especially by sharing ideas, truth, attention, and positive intentions. When lightworkers do this to pawns of darkworkers, it can threaten the darkworker’s power base. Darkworkers don’t like it when their slaves are made aware of their slavery and offered the choice to be free. It’s like stealing their food.

Conscious Lightworking

Now let’s get into the details of lightworking. What does the path actually look like?

In order to raise the consciousness of others, a lightworker must commit to living consciously. A lightworker serves as an example of conscious living. This doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a teacher. It means that a lightworker makes very conscientious and deliberate choices about how to live.

Lightworking requires that you accept full and complete responsibility for your life. You have to wean yourself off socially conditioned habits that don’t serve you and replace them with deliberate, conscious choices.

Living Honestly

Lightworkers embrace the truth and live honestly. Lightworkers often spend a lot of time on introspection, always looking for deeper truths. They’re very considerate of the meaning behind their actions.

Lightworking requires that you rid your life of falsehood and inauthenticity. This is one of the first activities new lightworkers undertake. It’s a process of shedding lower energies that are incongruent with the new path. This may include quitting jobs, leaving relationships, dropping friends, or moving to new places. The lightworker looks to get rid of anything that would likely lead him/her astray.

In truth this process can be very difficult. It may even feel like a part of you is dying. But it’s important to realize that inauthentic attachments aren’t the real you and can’t help you on the path of lightworking.

A good mantra for lightworkers during this time is: Simplify.

My personal experience of this process was challenging but not nearly as bad as some people have had it. I came to this path very gradually over a period of many years. What I still find challenging is keeping the lower energies from coming back into my life and getting re-attached to them. Due to the nature of my work, I have a lot of people and ideas swirling through my life — feedback from readers, business opportunities, products to review, phone calls to return — all at varying levels of consciousness. Some of these ideas are very authentic; others are clearly coming from a place of fear or greed. It’s tough to keep some of the lower energies from sticking to me. What actually helps me most is writing about them and sharing these challenges. That serves as a way for me to loosen those attachments and raise my thoughts back up again.

Incidentally, if you think the word energy is too new-agey, don’t get hung up on it. I use the term to refer to anything in that has a consciousness-altering effect on your thinking, including people, places, experiences, objects, and activities. If spending time with one person makes you feel depressed, while another person makes you happy, we would say that the first person is of a lower energy than the second. The word energy is just a way of describing how people, places, and circumstances affect your thinking.

Once the lightworker has shed enough of the old energies, new energies can be invited in. This means making new friends, pursuing new work, and basically creating a different type of life. It’s also possible to shed lower energies while adding higher energies at the same time (like dropping negative friends while replacing them with positive ones). I think it’s a bit harder to do this, however, since the lower energies often prevent you from attracting the higher energies (i.e. bad relationships repel positive new relationships, a stressful job prevents you from committing to a more empowering career).

If you find yourself going through this process, try not to get stuck. If you feel that your life is filled with incompatible energies that are dragging you down, consciously shed them. Even if you have to drop down to a pretty bare bones lifestyle, it’s worth it. Once you’ve shed the old energies, you’ll probably feel better, but you’ll have a desire to crank up the volume again on the other side. That’s when you need to reach out and start adding new elements to your life that resonate with lightworking.

If you’re intimidated by how overwhelming this process of change can be, take baby steps. One of the first things I did was to box up all the old books on my bookshelf and replace them with new books that were more consistent with my new path. At first my bookshelf was mostly empty. Now it’s overflowing. A few small steps like this can help reinforce your new direction.

Do something each day to shed lower energies and replace them with higher energies. Change the posters or pictures on your walls to ones that really inspire you. Attend a new club meeting as a guest. Restock your kitchen with more conscious food choices. If you make some small change each day in the direction of lightworking, it starts to add up, and soon you’ll find yourself in a very positive environment that reinforces your new path.

Staying Connected

Since a lightworker sees everyone as being part of the same whole, sharing is an integral component of that path. Share the lessons you learn to help others make more conscious choices. Share encouragement and appreciation for others. Give yourself away.

I notice than when I draw back and don’t share as much, I feel disconnected from other people. When I start to open up and share again, that feeling of connected oneness with others returns.

It takes a certain mindset to connect openly and honestly with people. Communication can serve many purposes, but for a lightworker the primary purpose of communication is to elevate consciousness. Communication creates connection, and connection can be used to elevate consciousness. Connection brings a sense of wholeness and unity. For lightworkers this is a very blissful state.

Lightworkers really thrive in the presence of other lightworkers. They function well as a team. For example, Erin is a key member of my lightworker team. She and I both encourage the heck out of each other. We also help keep each other honest, and our relationship has a certain energy to it that attracts other lightworkers to us. If she feels down, she knows she can count on me to help bring her back up again, and vice versa.

The doing part of connection is to consciously reach out to others. On the one hand, lightworkers like to build a support structure around them to help them stay centered and energized. On the other hand, they also reach out to help and inspire others, either directly or indirectly.

Empowering Others

When you polarize on the side of light, you’re taking on a big responsibility. Your consistency will eventually drive a lot of energy into your life. Helping others is inspiring and motivating, at least once you’re actually doing it consistently and seeing results. It’s hard not to go big on this path if you really commit yourself to it.

Going big doesn’t mean building a huge enterprise, although it could manifest as one. Going big is an internal sensation. You start feeling really, really good, and your motivation to help people soars. Your connectedness becomes a key source of strength. Since you’re so motivated, taking action becomes much easier. You don’t have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning.

Interestingly, I find that when I’m writing or speaking or just conversing about personal growth one-on-one, I feel absolutely incredible. I love this kind of work so much, and it’s self perpetuating. The more I write, the more I want to write. But by doing something I enjoy, I also help other people. Today it’s hard to say whether my primary motivation is to feel good or to help others — they’ve essentially become the same thing.

A big issue for many lightworkers is being willing to embrace what I’d call a higher state of being. Lightworking is like taking a quantum leap to a new experience of living. Life takes on a very different quality than it does pre-polarization. When you follow the path of lightworking, it feels like your life’s tempo increases quite a bit. On one level life gets easier, so it isn’t hard to survive. But you compensate by taking on bigger challenges. The unwillingness to face those challenges often keeps would-be lightworkers from fully committing themselves. They allow fear to hold them back.

If you really want to engage in lightworking, you must be willing to upgrade the level of challenges you’re willing to face. This means taking on tasks and projects that go beyond your personal goals. You have to start plugging into bigger goals that will positively impact others. If all of your goals are personal, your motivation will be weak. When you tap into goals that affect lots of other people, your motivation will increase dramatically. Of course this only works if you stay connected to the people you want to help; if you disconnect from them, you’ll lose the sense of caring that would have deepened your motivation.

The Work of Lightworking

What does lightworking look like once you’ve gotten through the initial transition period and you’re now humming along?

The actual work can take many different forms. Basically you’re committing to a path of raising and expanding consciousness in yourself and others. Your motivation and drive come from your sense of connectedness, so it makes sense that your work involves other people.

The aim of your work is basically to raise everyone’s consciousness. This means helping people shift to higher states such as joy, love, compassion, and peace and away from lower states such as guilt, anger, depression, fear, apathy, and shame.

I can’t tell you what to do specifically because the path of lightworking requires that you make this decision for yourself. What can you do to raise consciousness?

Here are some examples of how you might physically express the path of lightworking:

  • Communicating a message of conscious living through writing, speaking, music, video, and/or other media (this is essentially my approach)
  • Building a business that performs a consciousness-raising service (even feeding people is helpful at shifting people away from lower states, so they needn’t worry so much about survival)
  • Working for a lightworker-driven organization or enterprise (you don’t have to run the show to contribute)
  • Helping to create more freedom in the world and ensure human rights (perhaps by volunteering or participating in government)
  • Creating art, music, or other expressive forms that inspire and uplift people
  • Teaching and educating people (as long as you’re teaching truth)
  • Healing people (such as via modern or alternative medicine)
  • Counseling or coaching people (lots of different forms of this)
  • Raising highly conscious children
  • Being a scientist or researcher and sharing your results (truth elevates consciousness)
  • Being an explorer (discovering and sharing new truths)
  • Being a whistleblower (exposing falsehood and corruption and raising awareness of problems, thereby bringing light to darkness)
  • Conscious investing (investing in lightworking is also lightworking)

The above list is far from complete. There are countless ways to express lightworking on earth.

Your intention is important, but so is your effectiveness. If you have great intentions, but your work isn’t making much of a difference, you’ve probably chosen a poor medium for your message. Feel free to experiment with different outlets until you’re feeling a strong flow of energy going through your life.

For example, suppose you decide to express lightworking by creating beautiful handmade jewelry for people. If this is really the right path for you, your operation will do well. People will be inspired by your jewelry, feeling empowered when they wear it, and you’ll see a strong flow of referrals. But if you find that you’re struggling month after month, can’t pay your bills, and no one seems to care about your creations but you, then perhaps you’ve picked the wrong medium. Maybe you’re playing it safe instead of living consciously and courageously.


You’ll never succeed as a lightworker if you don’t build your courage. Courage is an essential part of this path.

Without sufficient courage there’s a tendency to fall back to a position that’s too timid for you. Perhaps you opt to work at a New Age bookstore when deep down you feel called to be an actor. Or maybe you start blogging because you’re afraid to start writing your novel. Give yourself a solid gut check. Have you been playing it safe? Or are you following the heart-centered path and pushing through your fears?

I know it’s hard to be brave. It’s hard to speak your truth when everyone seems to disagree with you. It’s hard to choose the path of conscious living when the world seems intent on seeing you live as a zombie (or as vampire bait). Every lightworker has to deal with such issues.

What helped me push through this resistance was facing the fact that my physical body will die someday, and for all I know, it could be today. A million people die on this planet every week. One of those weeks will be mine. One will be yours. I realized that if I wanted to live consciously, I had to live in such a way that I was ready to die each and every day. If I don’t feel ready to die, I know I’m doing something wrong. Specifically, that wrongness is the act of pushing my dreams and desires into the future, thereby stealing power from the present and driving myself into a lower state of consciousness. If I consider that today may be my last day on earth, I can’t give in to fear. I have to summon my courage to push through that fear.

Lightworking is a very challenging path. You can’t stumble into it by accident. It must be chosen consciously. Every day you must renew your commitment to raising consciousness instead of lowering it. Lightworking isn’t a perfect path. There will be plenty of obstacles, mistakes, and setbacks. What makes you a lightworker isn’t some external measure of success. What makes you a lightworker is your inner recognition that you have a choice to make and that you’re choosing this particular path deliberately, including its potential hardships.