As you think back on the weekend and celebration, consider this question:
Was it restful, or stressful?
If we are honest, we can all admit that aspects of our “time off” actually added responsibilities to our lives. Perhaps you found yourself traveling with your family, entertaining out-of-towners, preparing meals, or braving the crowds for early bird Christmas shopping. The time went by too quickly. When you returned to work, the “to do’s” had stacked up. And now, you are more tired than you were last Wednesday. What should have been an energizing experience has left you depleted.
As modern Americans, we recognize the need for rejuvenation, but we want it NOW, just like everything else on our agenda. “Rest quickly,” could be our mantra. Of course, that won’t work. The only way to attain the benefits of rest is to allow it to happen with regularity. By choosing to rest, we improve our health and endurance, and we are more consistently productive every day. It is in the restful moments that we connect with our purpose and experience inspiration.
Inspiration is a fascinating subject to me. Where do we get our ideas? How do we glimpse new possibilities? And from whom do we gain insights and examples along our journey toward self improvement?
I believe inspiration is exactly like rest. It cannot be accomplished quickly or on command. Rather, we must arrange our life so that inspiration constantly surrounds us. We can make a few choices right now, followed up by bold actions, that will make your holidays (and every day) more inspiring.
1. Identify your sources of inspiration. There are many ways to “get inspired.” But what ways work best for you? Here are some options: Surround yourself with great people. Experience “inspired” art and music. Absorb spiritual teachings. Pray. Meditate. Read (or listen to) inspiring authors and uplifting speakers. Engage in physical activities or interesting hobbies. Which of these (or other sources) have worked for you in the past? What new ways are you ready to try?
2. Schedule inspiration into your life in a variety of ways. Make a lunch date with someone you admire and can learn from. Use your “travel time” to listen to books and speakers. Plan a daily reading or meditation session (15 minutes is all you need) in the early morning or late evening. It won’t happen unless you make it happen.
3. Clear the space you will need. In order to make time to choose inspiration, you may have to let go of other less useful choices. For example, in order to listen to audio books, you may have to forego the radio. To say “yes” to a new activity, you may have to say “no” to some other way you are spending your time currently. And (here’s the tough one) in order to surround yourself with inspiring, positive people, you may need to create some space apart from those who bring you down.
4. Ask for inspiration. Perhaps you are pondering what to do next in your life, searching for answers. Well, how do you get the answer to a question? You must ask. Ask yourself. Ask someone you respect. Ask God, however you understand Him, in a quiet moment of reflection. Unless you present the question and assume a posture of expectancy, inspiration may continue to elude you.
It is such a privilege it is to be one of the positive sources of inspiration in your life. Please know you can always contact me with questions, insights, and celebrations of your discoveries and accomplishments. I will respond and look forward to hearing from you.
Wishing you rejuvenation and inspiration on a daily basis! Your partner in action,