“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave,
find you eternity in each moment …. there is no other life than this.
~ Henry David Thoreau
What makes you light up? What brings great enthusiasm and a resounding “Yes!!”
Whether it’s the arts or books or teachers or community or sports or spirituality or being out in nature, if it feeds your spirit, what inspires you can help you find your creative heart, leading you toward the best channel for your own self-expression.
When looking for inspiration, we can look to role models: people who have made their own place in the world and who are living in integrity with their highest Self in body, mind, and spirit. We can celebrate our own small baby steps, because they can keep us going for another day, give us the confidence to take the next step, to keep trying, to keep working, and maybe even try something new.
When inspiration comes from outside of ourselves, we gain the ideas and information necessary to understand the “how to” to breathe life into our goals and dreams. Yet, we must also find the inspiration – the desire and intent and drive to pursue that thing that we love – from within. We must develop our own bravery, curiosity, and sense of adventure. However, it can be a lot of work to get from inspired idea to actualities.
Sometimes, inspiration alone is not enough…
I like to look everywhere for things to inspire me: books, other artists or writers, music, teachers and gurus, museums, as well as various online sites. I have come to find, though, that too much looking outside of myself can be problematic. This has prompted me to consider:
Where is the line between inspiration – and – anxiety or competition?
Just enough inspiration will help me remember my own creative center, present me with new ideas to try, and help me to get into the flow of my own self-expression. However, I have found that at some point, the comparing mind jumps in and creates feelings of anxiety and competition with thoughts like:
If only I had the time/ money/ skill/ __(some other circumstance)__ I too could do that.
Will I ever be good enough? Maybe I should leave it to the “professionals.”
This kind of thinking brings me out of balance, out of my center. When I feel this type of thinking percolating, I know it’s time to quit looking for inspiration outside myself and begin looking within. If things are looking up for me, this will short circuit the negative voices; other times, I’m not so lucky.
Last week, in my Breathe post, I wrote a little story about my son and the tug-and-pull between the following two questions:
How much dedication and determination is there to practice?How much resistance and negative self-talk and inertia is drowning out the ability to rally?”
Another way to look at this is:
I am dreaming of doing “this.” I really want “this” for my life, my happiness, my growth.
… yeah, but…
what about __(insert self-limiting beliefs or conditions and/or “practical concerns” here)___?
This is the dynamic tension that I have witnessed in my own mind, my own gut, between these two questions; and here it was suddenly out in the room, hanging there for my son and I both to look at. I want so much to inspire myself and my kids to be everything we can be – what a surprise to find that while I was trying to motivate us, I was unconsciously engaging in defeatist thinking at the same time. Wow. And I had been doing this to myself all along! So then, the next question becomes:
How do we let go of that negative side of he battle?
In my experience, if the negative thinking has been given to me by others, I can simply decide that I no longer want to carry the burden of it and let it go.
However, that’s not so easy when the sabotaging messages come from deep, deep, old unexamined beliefs. Because they have contributed both to the struggle and to the outcome for so long, they may first need to be examined, then dis-created and healed. This can be done through mindfulness, witnessing the habit, and creating new thought patterns in it’s place.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberate others..” ~ Marianne Williamson *
Sometimes, a little Inspiration can take you a long way.
“Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
The things that inspire us show us what we love. We have seen how the “ties that bind” keep us from achieving the life of which we dream. Yet, ultimately, Love is what helps us come into alignment with our own Soul’s journey. To be inspired means to find our own purpose, our own Truth of who we are, and who we can be. We listen for and to our own inner wisdom and develop Trust in ourselves. We feel a lightness of heart, and an expansiveness in our way of being. With a sense of deep gratitude, we can begin to live from that new, true place as the path opens before us.
~ Invitation ~
“Go confidently in the directions of your dreams. Life the life you’ve imagined.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
* Marianne Williamson, from A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”
I am a wife and a mom, a yogi, an artist, and a writer… but not always in that order! I tend to think in collage and have trouble starting my day without coffee (black). I am a contemplative and a seeker on this wonderful, odd trip that is this human life. I love to have adventures and detest fences of any kind. Dedicated to my journal, I blog part-time at www.vignettesfrommylife.blogspot.com