One of the most important things in life is to see things differently than is the norm. That does not mean finding external constraint on negative, hurtful behavior and breaking laws. It is to look at yourself differently and then allowing that difference to flow to the world around you.
The title of this post is an example of this difference from the norm. When most people hear the words “practice inspiration” they scratch their heads figuratively. Most folks see inspiration as something that happens to them. They would love to have it happen more often. They would love to do the right things so inspiration might happen to them more often. Yet, I said none of that in the title. Instead I said to practice inspiration.
The title conveys my contention that we can practice inspiration. Inspiration is not something that happens to us anymore than being in shape just happens to us or learning just happens to us. When I start believing that I cannot work out until something or someone happens to me then I likely won’t be in great shape. If I believe that something out there has to happen for me to learn something new then I will likely learn nothing new.
So whether or not you agree with this contention here’s where I’m headed. I practice inspiration by being aware. There…that’s it. Awareness is about what’s happening around and outside us, yes. However, that awareness is but the first step to true and deep inspiration. What comes next is how the practice of inspiration really takes shape. After you become aware of something happening outside yourself become aware of how you are internally reacting to what you have become aware of externally.
Here’s an example of what I mean by practicing inspiration. This morning I was taking my children to school like usual. We were a bit late, though not too bad. I came to one red light and needed to turn left. I stopped and waited. It seemed that the light remained red longer than usual. I began to sense tension in my muscles and disquiet in my heart as I waited. No one would have seen these changes but I felt them. Almost as soon as I felt these physiological changes I became aware of what was happening inside me. I became aware of what decisions I either had made or at least assumed. Once that internal awareness became obvious (to me) I was then empowered to change from reacting internally against the assumed victimhood of a long red stop light to being relaxed.
Not only did I become aware and decide to relax I was empowered in the whole process to practice inspiration. That practice has led to the writing of this blog post. That same practice of awareness and inspiration will lead me to give understanding and interpretation to future events and future blog posts.
My hope is that those who read this column may understand the process and see the relevance for their own lives. May you be blest this day as you become more aware both externally and internally.