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I haven’t been feeling very inspired starting 2015. I wondered if it was because a good friend of mine died just before Christmas and another friend became seriously ill. I am also upset with this current Government taking money from the most vulnerable members of our society and generally the direction the world seems to be going in.
Then I suddenly started thinking about people who have inspired me through my life, either people I know personally or those who have role modeled how to live an amazing inspirational life. Many have overcome incredibly difficult odds and transformed their personal pain into helping others in the area of social justice, psychology, politics, through art, writing, music and dance or dedicating time to lending a hand to those folk in need.
So what does inspiration actually mean? It means “Being Spirit.’ What a wonderful description. When we tune into and follow ourselves, we always feel better, happier and lighter. We believe in ourselves and what we are doing and then we congruently do it. Things stop feeling like tasks we have to force ourselves to complete and we start buzzing with new ideas. We are naturally drawn to what we feel passionate about.
“All the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired.” C. Palahniuk,
You become united with your true ideals and don’t push yourself do things that don’t feel right for you. You are in an effortless state. You can’t make yourself feel inspired because it comes from within you, although there are a few ‘tricks’ to get you started. This is because inspiration is always inside of you, but you just can’t access it sometimes.
One way is just to see what ‘flirts’ with you ie. what strongly catches your attention. It could be a colour, shape, picture or something in Nature. Follow that by capturing the essence of it and see what unfolds. You may surprise yourself.
An example is that I see a golden, glittering shimmering spark from the sun. When I process it, the movement and colour of the sparkle captivates me. I see the sparkles coming out and going back to the sun. I don’t know what it means yet. It feels quick and really bright. The core or essence of the experience is shining but also feels very free. If I embody it, it says, let your inspiration move freely. Don’t get stuck. Your sparks of creativity may come from and move in any direction. The power and light from the sun will always be there, which feels symbolic to me that the light is always there. The sun always shines on our planet above the turbulent clouds, even if it is dark where we are now.
So being more open to experiences and especially the unknown is a doorway to being inspired.
You can catch a thought or feeling like, I would like to write, paint, meditate, swim or start studying or finishing a work project. Don’t marginalize and ignore it which is a habit pattern. You might not feel good enough or it’s too hard or you procrastinate and put it off. When we are inspired though, we can’t wait to get on with it, or we stay up late because in a way we are ‘driven’ by our passion and excitement.
Einstein said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
‘Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations as well as transforming the way we perceive what we are capable of.’ Creativity is often a catalyst to inspiration and vice versa.
“Pablo Picasso said, “Inspiration must find you working.” The hardest part of getting anything done is usually starting. This inability to begin comes from an attachment to the ends of your work and a fear of the future. If you’re too concerned about how something is going to turn out, or constantly subjecting yourself to harsh critical judgement, you’ll never get anything done. Or if you have a habitual pattern of pro-crastinating.
Allow yourself to simply get started. If you need to write, start writing and see where it goes. If you want to paint, just paint. Let your work develop on its own accord, as if you are simply a vehicle through which a universal creative energy is traveling. Don’t force your conscious will upon your work to the extent that it prevents you from doing any work!
If you involve yourself too much with a creative goal, you’ll prevent yourself from making any “happy accidents”, as Bob Ross would say. Instead, employ chance and randomness. If you simply begin to work without inspiration and allow it to discover you while you are working, you’ll end up somewhere entirely new and unintended. Ie. Unkown and secondary.
Many of the most wonderfully innovative creative projects have resulted from such encounters with the unknown.” Zen blog.
I thought I would like to write about inspirational world leaders and started reading more about His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parkes and Albert Einstein etc. Then I noticed that my energy was dropping and I needed to realign myself again. I realized I didn’t want to go in that direction as I wanted to write more personally. Then my inspiration returned.
Famous people lead and show us the way though, to what we could possibly become. They may not feel so relevant to our own so-called ‘ordinary lives.’ Was it that their circumstances shaped them or did they have certain innate qualities that we think we don’t have? Maybe it was a ‘time spirit’ that they were in the right place at the right time and they acted in such a way that it had a huge effect on other people? Rosa Parkes, whom the U.S. Congress dubbed the ‘Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man and subsequent arrest and trial said;
“I wasn’t tired. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in…I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free …so that other people could be free.”
We actually do have the capacity and power to inspire ourselves and many others every day. There are millions of ‘unsung heroes and heroines’ in families and communities who have extraordinary qualities in their everyday life and who ‘fight the odds.’ It could be dealing with ill-health, death, surviving in poverty, bringing up children, helping their neighbours, facing depression, anxiety and other mental health issues etc.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela
Do What you Love
So when you believe in what you are doing, you then do it congruently and can maintain consistency. It’s as if you step into the natural rhythm of your life and then it feels like you are just flowing along easily. You will always be inspired to continue to do what you love and feel deeply about, just because you love it even if it’s sometimes hard. When you begin to see the impact that you have on someone’s life, it will inspire you further. Whether you have a big or small vision or dream, it doesn’t matter. Why? Because it’s about you, but at the same time it’s not really about you. It’s bigger than you, even if you don’t realize it. You may in fact never even know that what you have said or done, has inspired or helped someone else. But they will know.
I was told only today by someone I had just met, that she was brought up in her family, hearing my name spoken often in a positive way, so she did not have to look me up on my website, as she trusted me implicitly. I thanked her but momentarily thought she must have confused me with someone else! I realised it was way over my edge to hear that. That’s the best way for me to be because it fits with my belief system that the best inspiration is not egoic.
When you become excited and passionate, it stirs curiosity in people to engage with you. It’s contagious and then you will also find yourself getting involved with them and what they are excited about. Inspiration increases feelings of wellbeing, satisfaction, positivity and gratitude and gives you a sense of spirituality and meaning in life.
Within each of our lives is an amazing individual story that can inspire others. I have been inspired by many people, very much alive and some long gone. I deeply thank all of you who have helped and taught me through their wisdom, kindness and experience. They have shaped me to be the person I am today. My life has turned out to be more unknown than I ever could have imagined and has delightfully surprised me. I can only hope to inspire people in the same way.
“You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.” Joseph Campbell
So tell us about who inspires you in your life and why. Share it here in Comments.