If the lofty buzz of January’s “new year resolution” has worn off, and inspiration has fallen to the wayside, welcome to the unusual awakenings that a lack of inspiration offers.
Like many others, I look for inspiration during the excitement of a New Year, but have also learned to search for inspiration elsewhere, at less monumental times of celebration.
It’s okay not to be inspired. It does not mean you are a bad person, are depressed or should live a life of shame. Many people have milked the inspirational well dry and have run out of juice to keep the cup overflowing. But there are other situations that hold true to lack of inspiration—we are over the fake perception: joyous smiles, happy-go-lucky posts, “everything is dandy” outfits. Yeah, we get it. What happens when the veil is lifted and truth peers it way out? Ahhh, yes, that is inspiring.
The mind is comprised of thoughts, habits, addictions, and insecurities that keep us in negative space, resulting in a hindering exchange of inspiration. In return, this decreases our capacity to experience the best of ourselves at the rooted essence of connection, love, and awakening. But friends, the sticky stuff, the unwanted emotions, the irrational thoughts, is all part of the human experience. We try to run away from it, fix it, uproot it, inject it, stitch it, and any other absurd form of quick-fix action-tool we can gain access to outside of self. What happens if the paradigm shifts and we look at setback as a set up for something else greater? Or can a negative thought be cancelled with a positive one, creating a neutral allowance of living from the inside out?
My job as a high school educator and yoga instructor depends on inspiration. There is a target audience of developing adolescent minds and adults seeking physical, spiritual, or emotional healing; my job is to offer direction and inspiration regardless if my feelings of inspiration exist or not. This challenge has lead me to explore the deeper aspects of finding hope, fun, insight and self-love in spite of the “funk” humanness offers.
A growth spurt of discovery has led me to learn from lessons of living from the inside, out:
1) It will come. Inspiration will come and go just like everything else in life. Bonus: change is our only constant. Instead of racing against the clock, time and change are opportunities to be reminded of the impermanence that life offers. Try: lighting a candle, taking a walk, mindful breathing, but keep the action simple. Anything that ignites a subtle change is a gentle reminder that we are never alone, but constant changes in the making.
2) Gratitude. Lack of inspiration teaches how to appreciate what is currently present in life right now. Self-check: go back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Are you in the mix of working towards self-actualization? If so, congratulations…you are in the right place! If not, you’re exactly where you need to be. Try: set an alarm on your phone (preferably when awake) at a random time and upon hearing, stop what you’re doing, identify the first thing you see after looking up from shutting alarm off. Can you practice gratitude where you are at the very moment and notice what arises from the inside out (body sensations, reactions, thoughts)?
3) Outsourcing. This innocuous time creates a window for truthful perspective: it allows for a genuine look at attachments that give power to our emotions and how actions or circumstances of others dictate how we feel about ourselves or our place in life. The reliance of exterior elements to determine self-worth, self-love, self-acceptance, is beyond defeating. Try: the opposite. Instead of looking to run away from the issue or to others, social media icons, alcohol, drugs, sex, food, exercise, and so on, can you entertain surrendering the mind and body through meditation? It’s cross-training for the mind. Efforts to care for and clean out our bodies, food, homes, and cars are matters of importance, however what about cleaning out the mind? Can stillness be implemented in small increments to be reminded of the peaceful place that resides within when the outside noise gets too loud to bare?
4) Reality Check. Lack of inspiration is grounding. It is a service reminder that demonstrates how the lows are an integral stakeholder of obtaining the highs of life and pleasant experiences. Without the dark, how are we to know light? Try: Lying in the grass, snow, sand, sea, or somewhere in direct contact with the earth’s surface. What sensations arise from being supported from something so much larger than your physical make up? Is there a freedom, liberation, or joy in knowing how small the matters of the self truly are? Can this grounding be a gateway to connect with mending or awakening the soul?
5) The Inquiry. As a child, I was a fan of “choose your adventure” books. The concept of multiple options fascinated me. However, as an adult, I now live out the reality of my choices instead of letting the carefree imagination take care of the aftermath. The quest for healing has been expanded by not being inspired. Finding spiritual works, helpful inspiration guides, meditation, nature, yoga, community, and rekindled friendships has all assisted in taking the effort out of looking for inspiration. Try: anything I’ve mentioned above, but as a yoga teacher, I highly recommend yoga practice! There are unlimited options to seek inquiry, but find something that helps create shifting space for the soul to be amplified.
It’s taken many years to learn a few tricks on how to live, operate, and love from the inside out. I am nowhere close to having the answers as my current life’s mantra is: the more I know, the more I don’t know. There are peaks and valleys in the terrain of life, however the GPS is shut off when living from a place of self-love. It may take lack of inspiration, failures, breakups, and poor decisions, to kick-start the leap, but finding a place of centering within is worth the ride.
So get out there friends, be inspired or don’t be. Either way, make it real. Make it honest. Make it your own. And if you feel like it, share your inspiration with others by giving back and being of service. As another year, day, moment, breath is embarked upon, don’t feel like an overhauling change in everything that you are or have been doing is needed. But find a way to open a new lens of perspective. Something may happen to inspire you for change, growth, or to remain just as you are. But whatever it is, do it with truth from the heart, gratitude, and an action that does not expect anything in return.
Author: Christy Curtis
Editor: Travis May
Image: Flickr/Coralie Ferreira