How to See the Wonderment for a More Inspiring Life
No journaling required!
As the author of books on inspiration, I am often asked how do I stay inspired?
Like yoga, it's not easy.
To be inspired is to be infused gratitude and joy. The Buddha tells us that experiencing joy is actually gratitude, and who doesn't want more of that? In Greek, the word inspire means to feel closer to one's highest purpose, and a gift from the Gods.
But meanwhile, the pandemic did us dirty. Instead of a place of wonder, the world became jail. We could only perceive a glimpse of her beauty from time to time. Today my inbox is filled with offers to help me rediscover a sense of creative energy in a retreat or workshop. Believe me, we're all suffering from post-pandemic shock disorder.
So how do we get back to that place of wonderment and awe? A trip is an easy fix. However, I don't have the kind of life or budget that allows me take off to the San Juan Islands just because I need to see the orcas. If that's you too, then read on for some ways to live an inspired life right where you are.
SLOW THE EFF DOWN
If you are running from thing to thing and place to place, how can you possibly enjoy the present? My new normal is if I have several appointments during the day, I bring my knitting and I simply sit in-between the errands. Yup, I sit and do nothing. I might even meditate right in my car. Embracing less has been a blessing. Make sleep and rest a priority. Exhaustion is the single greatest killer of inspiration. Nothing thrives in a depleted ecosystem.
Wonderment is awe and amazement. It is to behold the wonder in all things. Just the word makes me happy. You could fill a vase with flowers and walk away, or you could sit and notice a bud or tiny leaf. That is wonderment. If you fill the vase and move on, you'll miss it.
I was riding with a group of friends last fall and we were heading into a woods near a lake. While we were focused on our horses' footing, my friend asked us all to stop. We halted and for a brief, spectacular moment we heard only birdsong and horse breath. I noticed the way the light dappled on the water and bounced off the leaves in the trees. My friend said to us, "Can you believe we get to live here?" It's been some months and yet this still fills me up.
If life seems less than vibrant, you absolutely must get support. Here are my go-tos:
1. Phone a friend. Ask for a coffee date or to take a walk. First they will say they are busy, then you say you need the company/ They'll be there in a minute, or they aren't a friend.
2. Buy tickets to a museum or the theater. Go to a concert at a local high school. Seek out a neighborhood art walk. Creativity begets creativity. It wakes up that part of our brain.
3. You don't have to journal, but you absolutely have to read. Listening to a book counts. I recommend fiction, but if that's not your thiing then try a biography or memoir. Focusing your brain on the written word has all the benefits of slowing down, plus it engages the part of your brain which you need to recognize inspiration.
4. Make journaling easier. I know it's difficult to stare at an empty page, but if your feel inclined to start then try a prompt.
I recently discovered that the internet is full of writing prompts! Who knew? Search "journaling prompts," and the possibilities explode like fireworks before your eyes. Allow yourself the grace of not having to come up with an idea, and instead answer a question a day.
Here are some I found out of nearly a million - no exaggeration.
- Write about a time you felt happiest and the most at peace in your own skin.
- Which life experience would you most like to relive? Why?
- What's something you're judging yourself for? Can you let it go?
- What are you frustrated with right now? Are you in control of the outcome?
- What's a big decision you've been weighing?
- Write about a huge failure in your life. How did that turn out?
- Write about a time when you didn't give up.
The hardest part of most journaling efforts is simply to begin. So why not make that part easy?
Surrounding yourself with beauty to live an inspired life is often a matter of seeing the wonderment where you are. I'm not always successful either, but when I'm most depleted I remember the words of my friend, "Can you believe we get to live here?" The answer is most always, yes and thank you.
Michelle Marchildon is The Yogi Muse. She's an award-winning writer and the author of four books, including Theme Weaver. Her memoir, "Finding More on the Mat," is filled with inspiration from an ordinary life. Find it wherever books are sold.