The danger in being inspired

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

I find it interesting that it’s a widely accepted fact that someone outside of ourselves can be a source of inspiration. Though the root of the word points toward an automatic self-generated process—breathing inward, or inhaling—I’ve still always sought to be inspired by “Other”.

How about you? Have you long searched outside of your own self for access to that creative mojo, or felt around in that cosmic backpack for your serving of Inspired Living? Are your life design patterns based on a seek-and-find of resources outside of your own intuition and knowing?

That was certainly my story. As the oldest child, as the “outspoken one”, and later as a wife, mother, and business owner, I have always felt it my duty to seek and dole out inspiration for myself and to those who look to me to provide it. I assumed that inspiration would always work through me, but not with me being its point of origin.

I knew just how to get divine inspiration too!

If I read the right books, attracted the perfect mentor, attained the right degrees, or took the most awesome webinar, only then could I get the big, fat inspiration that would turn all my delicious potential energy into a fully charged, kinetic flow.

Major pile of steaming dung. With swarming flies, and nostrils covered by top lips forced upward to further define said pile.

What are we seeking from Inspiration anyway?
Permission to act on something, right?

 
I don’t seek to be inspired simply to have the experience, and I’m willing to bet you and I are alike in that way. When I troll my favorite websites, hone in on a particular Bob Marley song, or re-visit my favorite books, it is with the intent to support or unearth something actionable inside myself.

I realized though that whatever I was seeking had to be something I already had, otherwise, I could not recognize it in anyone else—it wouldn’t be a language that I spoke. I got tired of feeling like an outsider in my own creative process, so I decided to pay more attention to whatever it was inside of me that responded so well to the things I deemed inspirational.

in·spi·ra·tion/ˌinspəˈrāSHən/
Noun. The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative: “flashes of inspiration”.

There is immeasurable value in listening to the impassioned voice of a brilliant TEDTalk speaker, or the eloquence and remarkable detail with which your grandmother tells old stories of triumph over tragedy in her thick accent—agreed.

But for me, it was not until I started to consider inspiration as a force that can only be born inside me, then motivated by inspiration born inside someone else, that I started to consistently realize opportunities to create long-term, positive changes in my life.

What does the idea of INspiration conjure up within you?

Do you believe that inspiration can be external? Is there a type of inspiration that lasts beyond the initial wow?

 
These are questions rooted in self-inquiry with the goal of radical self-expression, because when we know what moves us to action, then we can nurture our confidence, ground it in knowledge of self, and live freely as our true selves.

In the next post, I’ll tell you what I do to cultivate INspiration.

Thanks for being here.