We are enjoying a few days by the sea, compliments of our dearest friends who have loaned us their beach house. Stepping away from everyday life, I am always reminded of my need for inspiration. Somehow the crashing waves and the vastness of the ocean create a sense of openness and possibility. They breathe hope into my weary soul.
I imagine myself as a Japanese fan. The story of my life, the hardships, tender moments, trials, triumphs are with painstaking strokes delicately painted across the folds of the fan. When I am inspired the fan is open and visible showing the intricate details of my life. People can read, understand, and know me. But when I am shut down, overwhelmed, uninspired – the fan is closed and all is hidden. I am more stick than story – hard edges and compact complexity.
The definition of inspire was originally to blow upon or to breathe on, as in the story that God breathed life into Adam, the first man. This breath animated him, bringing life to what was but form. Today inspiration is defined: to exert an animating, enlivening, or exalting influence on. Inspiration is just that – something that brings us to life. Without it we cannot truly live. We need inspiration to be open and animated. We need inspiration to be able to share ourselves with the world. Without it, we are just a form.
So the important question… what inspires you? What is it that brings life to your soul? Give yourself permission to take time to ponder this. Start a list and add to it as things come to you. My list includes good music, art, organic foods, sitting by a fire, community living (i.e. breaking bread together and raising a glass of wine to toast tender friendships), the coast of Maine, great literature, creating beauty, and the mysteries of nature, to name a few.
When I take time to live intentionally and allow room for inspiration my life is beautiful, but all too quickly I can return to the rut of living from urgency and demand. When I am inspired I show the beautiful part of myself to the world, and more importantly I am open to be used to fan that flame in others. A fan is worth little if it does not stir up the atmosphere and bring cooling relief to others. When we are inspired we do that. Think of all the movies, books, and creative works that have inspired generations of people. The power we hold to create beauty and life is astonishing. It is humbling and compelling. What Goodness could you bring to the world if you lived an inspired life? Remember, inspiration must be cultivated. It will find us only occasionally by chance. We must seek it out and make room for it so that we are open and our story can be heard.
Fan the flame of inspiration in your own life and see what Goodness it brings to those around you!
Let us know what things inspire you. Share some inspiration in the comment section below. We’d love to know what brings life to you!!
Here is a sample of the music that is currently inspiring me:
Tribute to Fleetwood Mac - Just Tell Me That You Want Me
Zee Avi – Ghostbirds
Jonsi – Go
Please share if you are inspired!!
What inspires you? Learn to fan the flame of inspiration.