Finding Inspiration

We all need to feel inspired — in our inner life, and in our outer life.  Inspiration can feed our soul, and can elevate our experience in our job, our relationships, our family, our health, even our creativity. 

But sometimes inspiration can be hard to find.  When that happens, it can feel like walking through a desert — dry, arid, uncomfortable.  We want the inspiration, but it doesn’t seem to be anywhere we can see.

Where can we find inspiration?  How can we get inspired again?

(read more after the break)

There are two misconceptions about inspiration.  The first is that true inspiration must look or feel huge.  It is true that inspiration can come in big revelations, like a burning-bush of an idea, or a profound knowing. 

But those times are the exceptions, not the rule.  Oftentimes, inspiration is less show-y and more subtle.  Inspiration can come from things, people, or experiences that we would normally gloss over and/or take for granted.  We can find inspiration in nature, in music, in art, in other people, in literature, in sports, in our jobs, in just about everything and everywhere.  As the spiritual teacher reminds us, even a stone can be a teacher — that is, if we look at it mindfully.

Which leads us to the second misconception about inspiration — which is, that inspiration needs to come to us.  The romantic notion about inspiration is that we are standing in front of a bookcase, and a particular book falls off the shelf and hits us on the head.  We look at the book and it is exactly the one we need to read.  Or another notion is that the heavens will part, the sun will shine down, music will play, and the voice of the heavens will tell us what we need to know.  If only it was like that all the time!

True inspiration requires our participation.  It requires our attention and our focus.  The more we are open and active in looking for inspiration, the more we will experience it. 

In other words: when you are willing to believe that anything can be an inspiration, then everything can be inspiring. 

Everywhere you look, you can see inspiration.  You can find inspiration in a drawer you are cleaning out, in a talk you are listening to, in a song on the radio.  You could even find inspiration in a phone book (remember those?) if you looked at it the right way.

When I’m feeling “dry” of inspiration, I usually don’t have the energy to go looking for it.  But then I remember the formula I’ve lived my life by for years:

Energy follows action.

That means, first I must take the action, and then I can experience the energy from it. 

So even though I would rather go sit on the couch and read a novel or watch yet another episode of The Millionaire Matchmaker or Top Chef, I turn off the tv and go pick up an inspiring book, like The Alchemistby Paulo Coelho, or This Thing Called You by Ernest Holmes.  I put on some music that gets my body and heart moving.  I watch a video (or listen to a podcast) from an inspirational spiritual center (check out some of the churches in the Center for Spiritual Living group — they often post their weekly Sunday service talks, either in video or audio, and often for free — do a google search for one). 

In other words, I flood my life with positivity.  I take positive action.  And guess what happens?  Positive energy floods my life, and brings with it positive results.  Choosing to immerse myself in inspiration brings inspiration to me. 

If you are feeling low in inspiration in your life, try at least one of the following: take a 20+ minute walk, read from a book by your favorite inspirational author, listen to your favorite music, light a candle and sit in the silence for 20 minutes, and/or clean out a drawer or closet that is cluttered.  And then tomorrow, do one or more of those again (or add others to your list!).  Keep on doing that until you can feel the inspiration seep back into your bones, and flow throughout your being. 

Remember: you can find inspiration in pretty much everything, and you can also choose to bring inspiration into your life through positive actions.

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