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"When one experiences truth, the madness of finding faults with others disappears" - S.N. Goenka.

Monday, September 26, 2011

InSpire Me

The hot moist summer air filled my lungs as I raced across the familiar hidden trail.  It smelled of moss and wet earth despite the blaze of the blistering sun.  Branches littered the path - remnants of yesterday’s massive storm.  The hurricane had been named Irene.  Her category I force touched land the night before.  Gusts of winds nearing 85 miles an hour, she fiercely made her way through the North Eastern coastal states and was a reminder of earth’s abounding power.  The storm’s destruction; broken power lines, fallen trees, and flooded streets – all amidst a tranquil backdrop of blue skies.  My steady pace was marked by the sount of sticks cracking beneath my feet.  The sunrays rained through branches and extended toward earth. I eagerly ran toward the brightness of a beam and closing my eyes felt its acceptance.  The surrender was complete serenity. My face flushed red from both the strength of the sun and the blood pulsing through my veins.  My heart beat against my chest as I ran with the rhythm of my breath, droplets of sweat periodically falling from my brow, stinging my eyes.  Suddenly, I had this intense urge to veer off course.

The trail led deep into the woods.  I slowed to a crawl and caught my breath.   Walking into a bright clearing I gazed up at the sun, pausing for a moment to let its warmth comfort me.  The path continued through the woods and ended abruptly with the grass edge falling directly into our neighborhood lake.  Across the calm waters, a family of ducks and ducklings caught my eye. We shared a moment of contentment together before they swam off.  Smiling I looked ahead and noticed one lonely tree in the far off distance, its leaves turning a bright shade of red and was reminded of autumn’s approach.   

Being so close to nature has a calming and almost hypnotic effect.  Making myself comfortable on a rock, my memory thought of the story of Siddartha.  He had left the comforts of his royal palace to live secluded in the forest - Never before had I empathized with this concept than at that present moment.  Connecting to the world around me, I felt inspired.


1.     Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.
2.    An agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention.
3.     Divine guidance or influence exerted directly on the mind and soul of humankind.
4.     The act of drawing in, especially the inhalation of air into the lungs.

Feeling drawn to meditate, I closed my eyes and my presence expanded. Inwardly and outwardly connected simultaneously.  In that moment I was a part of everything and everything was part of me.  If you believe in a divine presence and in fate and that occasionally the universe collaborates to remind us that we’re all connected – then you’ll probably completely relate to this unmistakable feeling.  If, on the other hand, you don’t buy any of the spiritual talk, but have felt a connection to nature, then you’ll probably still relate.  And if you don’t relate at all but are slightly curious, keep reading. 

While most people around town were assessing their damage, I was gratefully connecting to the calmness after the storm.  With an intake of breath – an inspiration – I awoke from my trance and began to contemplate the word inspired.

“What is our deepest inspiration, not solely as individuals but as a society?  What is our inherent drive?  Our inner most desire?  And what inspires us to follow it?”

Fundamentally, we have an innate instinct to connect and progress. We strive for an evolution that brings this forth.  For hundreds of years we have acted against nature by ignoring this instinct, and instead defined ourselves as separate from our world.   There isn’t enough out there, and others may get to it first, so I must get my share– each man for himself, and each society for itself. We have been caught up with the belief that we are distinct and wholly separate. Nature’s most basic impulse is not a struggle for dominion but a constant and irrepressible drive for wholeness.   As Charles Eisenstein states in his article Living in the Gift - “By divorcing soul from flesh, spirit from matter, and God from nature, we have installed a ruling power that is soulless, alienating, ungodly and unnatural.”  We have adopted a world that has been stripped from its sacredness – believing that the divine is separate from ourselves, and separate from the material world leaves us feeling less connected and less inspired.

I compare the universe to the human body (I found a way to marry the two things that fascinate me most).  So, let me explain my simplified example of Oneness as it relates to the human body.  The gene is unaware of the cell, the cell is unaware of the organ, the organ unaware of the body, but each tiny spec within the body has a purpose and each works collaboratively to achieve the one unified goal – the progression of life.  The universe is one body and we’re the microorganisms that support it; as we work together we keep it breathing and evolving.

Could sacredness again become part of our worldview as we recognize our interdependence: that all beings depend for their survival on the web of other beings that surround them. Then we can easily find the inspiration to move forward, working with each other instead of against, and advancing toward a collective state of higher consciousness. 

Creative energy is a strong force that links connection with progression.  The technology industry continues to advance, creating software and devices that move us toward advancement and ironically in an attempt to have us more “connected”.  Artists produce paintings, music, poems, stories – all with the deep-rooted intention to inspire and connect us.  But we have lost this awareness to greed, desire, attachment and ego.

Sitting in the stillness of nature was the inspiration for this blog post.  Expanding our awareness – opening our mind to possibilities while taking the time to connect with our inner selves, then maybe we can better connect with everything beyond our physical boundaries.

“There is no They, there is no Them, there is only Us.”  - Dalai Lama

When I contemplate my personal life inspirations – (the things that stimulate my mind or emotions to a higher level of activity, with divine guidance) – I’m directly led to my two adoring daughters, Ava and Julia, shining stars who transform the drear of a rainy day into a bright glow of sparkling light.  My husband – whose compassion, love and drive inspires me to be better every day.  And the endless list continues:  Nature, my Truth, meditation, contemplation, solitude, deep spiritual connections, love, friendships, family, peace, art, reading, music, compassion, connection, yoga and of course – writing.  Writing is an avenue to channel my creative energy.  I’m not only inspired to write, but writing inspires me. 

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write.  I’ve kept diaries and journals since the moment I learned how to string words together to form sentences.  Exposing myself on paper was always a therapeutic form of self-expression - an avenue for self-discovery and exploration.  It became a necessity for my emotional and spiritual growth - sought after release for inner clarity.  Since starting this blog my writing has transformed.  Writing for an audience is much different than writing for the self.   The passion that fuels the writer is connection.  Writing for myself brought me closer to my truth, but writing for others deepens my connection with the world.  

This beautiful quote about writers that I thought sums it up perfectly –

We dream about sharing secrets, about healing wounds, about providing insights and about solving problems. We dream about moving people with hearts of stone and about comforting people with hearts a-bleeding. We dream about righting wrongs and championing causes. We dream about affecting people and making them laugh. We dream about teaching and learning; we dream about telling people who we are, who they are, who we all are.” - Marilyn Beker

And that dream is what inspires me to write.

On our family vacation in Italy (see blog post Forgive and Live) I had extra time to read a few fiction novels (The Book Thief, The Academy, and The Help).  I hadn’t read fiction in over a year – sticking mainly to nonfiction and memoirs.  Because I was so heavily affected by these novels I was inspired to try my own hand at fiction.  Maybe, I thought, one day I’ll be inspired to write my own piece of fiction.  And so for the first time, I’m writing a short story.

When it is completed I will post it on my blog.  I look forward to your feedback.

I’m eager to hear what inspires you.  What excites you enough to create a long deliberate inspiration
What passions fuel your desire to connect or progress?  What makes you dance as if no one is watching or sing as if no one is listening?  Pay attention to that – because that is your soul’s way of speaking to you.  Find your inspiration, listen to your inner instinct and then commit yourself to being fully present to it.   


Mr401k said...

A nice inspiring read!

Ron Davison said...

“There is no They, there is no Them, there is only Us.” - Dalai Lama

As I get older, it seems more clear to me that bad policy for communities and bad behavior for individuals - from war to treating someone rudely - traces back to a belief that there is a Them who is different from Us.

Thanks for the post.

Cal said...

Mmmm you're writing has inspired me and without a doubt has truly touched my hear and soul....you are amazing and awesome and awe inspiring

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed this post! Since you ask, science inspires me. Finding the unknown within the known. You are truly a gifted writer. I'll look forward to reading your short story!

Global Consciousness Project:

Steve O'B said...

such a beautiful picture of you and the girls Val. Your love of life is special. I learn much from you so as a teacher you are a success.

Luck City said...

Gives you the best website address I know there alone you'll find how easy it is. yoga teacher training Dharamsala


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