The Worrier to Warrior Blog
Weekly Reclamations of a Courageous Heart #6
From Tired to Inspired
I’ve never forgotten a suggestion I read in a Deepak Chopra book years ago. He advised waking each morning, offering gratitude, and then, asking for just for one thing… inspiration.
Inspiration is the force that propels powerful action in the world. We experience it when we witness beauty, like spring in full bloom or a moment of pure human connection, but how can we create it in our day to day routine?
Let’s face it, there are plenty of uninspiring moments in the life of a typical adult. Paying bills, struggling in relationships, worried, sleepless nights…it can add up to fatigue and stagnation in the body and mind.
We go to sleep thinking about everything we’ve got to do and all that could go wrong, and we wake up with the same thoughts. We’re wired to look for the problems and then we think about them so often that worry becomes our tendency. With worry comes emotions of fear, shame, guilt and sadness which can become habits of the body. We wake up in the morning feeling unhappy, and our minds find evidence as to why we should remain that way.
We can hack into our system by choosing to think different thoughts to feel more positive feelings, or we can take new actions to create more positive thoughts. Yoga, pranayama (breath work), meditation and empowering rituals provide opportunities to practice both concepts.
Consider the first aware inhalation you take in the morning. “Inspiration” is another term for inhalation. If you can remind yourself to stay present with the breath instead of getting caught up in habitual thinking, that inhale can be an opportunity to shift into receptivity over typical reactivity. We can create an intention to open to the inspiration that is available to us in the fullness of the present moment.
From there we can make choices to cultivate inspiration.
Revisiting Deepak’s wise suggestion, a reliable way to shift morning stagnation to inspiration is to choose to place your attention on what’s going right.
Place a notebook near your bed. When you wake up, open a fresh page and begin writing down everything you appreciate. You can start with “I appreciate this comfy bed, my warm home, the food in my fridge…” then continue to write what comes as a stream of consciousness. Fill a page. Include what you appreciate about your life, the people in it, and remember to appreciate yourself. You’ll notice after a few moments you begin to feel more alive and vital, maybe even excited! You are cultivating the feelings that bring inspired action forth. Now you can move on to other positive habits to keep the inspiring momentum going.
-A guided meditation. There are many to choose from online. “Insight Timer” is an app that includes countless quality meditations categorized by theme and time, so you can prepare the perfect one to wake up with. I like “Morning Ritual” by Jason McGrice.
-A visualization. Inhale and imagine bright light infused with renewal and vitality being drawn to your heart space from the crown of your head. As you exhale, continue to visualize the light expanding and brightening. When you feel a shift or become quite present and receptive, inquire into the wisdom within. Ask, “what do I need to know today?”
-Keep a few inspiring books on the bedside table. Before reaching for the phone, open a book to a random page and receive the words you find there. They might offer some unexpected guidance.
-Play beautiful music instead of the morning news.
-Try something mystical. Go to a crystal shop and pick out a stone that attracts you. Bring it home, rinse it off (get even more magical and charge it outside during a full moon), and hold it up to your heart as you set an intention for what you are creating in your life. Each morning, hold the stone again as you decide how you’d like to show up to the day ahead.
Walk in nature. Even if you live in a city, there’s always some place close by where you can see the sky and take in some greenery.
Listen to a commencement address. Amazing people have crafted incredible speeches intended to inspire university graduates before they go out into the world. It works for those of us already out here too! Here’s a link to few notable speeches click here.
Art. Whether it’s a piece of music, a painting, or the written word. Art has the potential to open our perspectives and shift us into a state of wonder. I don’t read poetry often, but a few poems and quotes have made their way to me and I return to them for renewed inspiration. I’ll leave you with my absolute favorite by John O. Donohue. This poem reminds me that every day can be new. And every day can be filled with countless opportunities to be inspired. Have fun looking for inspiration all around you today and let me know what inspires you!
For a New Beginning
In out of the way places of the heart
Where your thoughts never think to wander
This beginning has been quietly forming
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire
Feeling the emptiness grow inside you
Noticing how you willed yourself on
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the grey promises that sameness whispered
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you