I think that this is my favorite topic to contemplate, write about, talk about, you name it. Every day I am inspired by something different. It could be something as simple as a phrase in a song's lyrics, the sight of an old woman raking her leaves, or a fresh breeze drifting through a window in my house. I crave inspiration; I've found that without it, I dry up like a solitary autumn leaf in early December. So dry that I snap and break at the slightest pressure life can bestow. So, here goes.
To Spur On
The days in which we live are filled with negativity. Violence, hatred, misjudgement, fear, terror. If I have felt it in my little corner of the world, I can only imagine what it's like to live in the neighborhoods of the most dangerous cities and countries around the world. The knowledge of it is a load I cannot carry, so I have dropped it. Before you rush to judgement, let me say it differently. What I cannot change, I have chosen not to dwell on. Instead, I look for inspiration to create and send beauty out into the world. I dream that in some small way, perhaps that beauty will counter a bit of the negativity I can't escape altogether. Would you believe that even days of fog and rain can fill me with motivation? I try harder on those days because there is more to counter. When all is not well, the spring within sometimes bursts with a greater force than in perfect moments.
In days such as these we are seeing, have you ever asked yourself: what am I living for? Why did I rise from my bed and face the world this morning? Was it for love of family, children and/or spouse that depend on you? Was it to take another important step on the ladder of your career? Was it for love of money; to make the next deal that will propel your monthly earnings to a new personal or corporate level? Was it done simply because it was a new day and rising is what we do as humans? If so, you are not alone. I am certain that some, if not most of us do the same on a daily basis. What if, instead of rising just to face the struggles and trials of the new day, we would look at it as a personal challenge? A challenge to open our eyes wider, to see the rays of sun slip through the trees as dawn breaks in our window. To lighten the hearts of our family or friends or co-workers with a positive word. To think of something to bring to someone in need. To make healthy choices for our bodies, and in so doing, for our mind. To discover a new favorite song or pick up an old favorite hobby. Think what our mornings would look like if we woke up with these challenges on our to do list. Start with a smile for your loved ones, then encourage them to pass it along. Your face alone, will bring more beauty into the world if you carry that smile with you.
Now there are people in my life, beloved scientists or engineers, and they don't often talk about that which inspires. With these folks, you sometimes have to reel it out of them, that spark inside of them, pulling and tugging until it becomes free. But if you listen to them, watch them and see what they do in their free time, you can understand that they too, live to be inspired. There is something for each of us, be it a hike through the snow covered woods, a fast ride on a fast bike, or spending time with family. We are, all of us, created to seek out the best, the beautiful, the good in the world around us.
When the idea of seeking this out doesn't appeal, when I am caught in the chains of complacency, I try not to give in! My husband calls me immature in my worst moments. He sees when I'm an emotional wreck, unable to handle the slightest hiccup the day throws at me, and he is probably right. Don't we all get that way sometimes? The trick is to stop—you've seen those cars digging in and screeching to a halt at a last minute red light. Put on those brakes in your mind. Don't go down that road. Remember what makes you tick and seek it out as a thirsty man seeks water. Whatever it is, it's not that far out of of reach.
Close your eyes and consider for a moment: you are walking through a dense forest when suddenly the path stops at a crystal clear mountain lake. Sinking to the ground, you gaze at the downy clouds—creamy white and drifting like feathers across the purest, deepest blue sky you've ever seen. The sun is the warm arm of a friend across your shoulders and the water lapping the lake's edge in front of you is the calming, white noise you play to fall asleep. The fresh scent of pebbles caught in the white sand of your little beach fills you with ideas of a clean slate, and the breeze; isn't it redolent with your childhood memories of exploring in nature? Across the way, at the water's edge, a stately mountain rises up, like a sentinel for all living creatures at its base. Can you see it? Do you feel enlivened? Where would you like to go from here?
Without inspiration, I get lost, despondent, dispassionate. It's something I cannot help and I offer no apology. Lately, the idea of contrast has had me fascinated. Light against dark, good against evil, crisp against blurry, colors against toneless grays. A misty morning in autumn where the red and orange hues peek through the fog covering the trees. Life has a way of imposing, doesn't it? You can't forget that your heart is beating. Likewise, you can't ignore the bloom, the symmetry, the cadence of life's particular facets. When the music grows dim, are you not jolted awake when there is a sudden crescendo, the swelling of emotion inside of you mirroring the instrument's ascent to the upper notes? And when the music's rhythm begins to pound, doesn't your body consciously or unconsciously dance to the beat? Believe it or not, it doesn't get old. These experiences can become daily habits to look forward to. They are available at the tap of a button.
People can be a source of awe and encouragement—let them be reminders of the drive that lies within all of us. When you read of heroism, are you not inspired? I'll read a story of someone giving up their life for a stranger, then I'm in tears. I'll read of a rescued animal, you know those videos where a person will go the extra mile for a trapped, wild animal? Yeah, I'll leave you to imagine my reaction to those stories! Point is—in conclusion I promise—the exceptional, the remarkable, even the everyday miracles around us can bring us to a place of tranquility and passion, and they serve to remind and inspire when we forget the reasons we actually can look forward to waking up each day.
Readers, if any, you are my reason for writing. You are the source for which my imagination exercises itself in these posts. My hope is to inspire, not with myself, but with the thoughts my words may have generated in your minds.