May 15     

Today's quotation:

As I grow older, part of my emotional survival plan must be to actively seek inspiration instead of passively waiting for it to find me.

Bebe Moore Campbell

Today's Meditation:

Inspiration comes like a bolt of lightning out of the sky to strike us with wonderful new original ideas just when we need them, right?  I don't think so.  In my experience, inspiration is something that we need to make an effort to find-- and to recognize.  It isn't always difficult to find-- after all, we're surrounded by inspiring people, places, and events-- but it's usually necessary for us to look for it rather than waiting around for it to find us while we sit around doing nothing.

Inspiration, of course, isn't always about artistic endeavors.  Sometimes we need to be inspired to practice better parenting, to do our jobs better, to find a solution to a problem that's been plaguing us.  Sometimes inspiration is a certain gift for a certain person, or a certain strategy to develop or improve a certain relationship.  It can come from talking to someone who's insightful or from sitting beneath a tree during a rainstorm-- or from working really hard to see beneath a certain something that we've only seen on the surface so far.

It does take work to find inspiration, but that work can be enjoyable.  It can be a pleasant search or a grueling quest, but either way it promises to be rewarding once we find what we're looking for.  One problem is, though, that many of us think that we know exactly what we're looking for, exactly what form the inspiration should take.  We know what this picture should look like or what this poem should be, and if that's the case, it's not inspiration that we're looking for, but confirmation of what we think is best.  Inspiration will open new roads to us, not take us down the same tired roads.

If we want inspiration, we need to search for it, and we need to be open to accept it for what it is and not try to make it what we want it to be.  It's out there, in countless forms, in great abundance.  Unfortunately, though, we so often get caught up in how we think things should be that we stay blind to the inspiration that can help us to see things in new ways, and do things that we never before imagined ourselves doing.

Questions to consider:

What have been some of your most inspiring moments?  What were their sources?

Why do so many of us think that inspiration should be something that just "comes" to us out of the blue?

How can you personally go about looking for inspiration?  Who are your most inspiring people?  What are your most inspiring surroundings?

For further thought:

Here is the secret of inspiration:  Tell yourself that thousands and tens of thousands of people, not very intelligent and certainly no more intelligent than the rest of us, have mastered problems as difficult as those that now baffle you.

William Feather

more on inspiration



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