The word inspire comes from the Latin word for inspirare, which means to breath upon or into. When we inspire others, we’re living from our higher selves. When we’re being inspired, we expand beyond what we previously were, or know our selves to be. Our lives have new breath. Our soul and our actions are one.
1. Know what inspires you.
Go back to your memories and recall when you felt most inspired. What was the common thread amongst the different times when you’ve been inspired? Was there a theme to the times when you’ve been inspired, or have been inspiring? Was it an action that a person took - or that you took? Think about what’s inspired you in the past. Look to see what’s missing now.
2. Learn to live with ambivalence while striving for perfection.
Inspiration lives between the two spaces of ambivalence and perfection. Inspiration speaks to the best within our selves - ambivalence is the messiness of our lives, the life process. Perfection is the ideal, while ambivalence is its application. Inspiration is what moves us forward in life - through the ambivalence and towards the ideal.
3. Take a break from your life.
Go to a movie or hike a mountain to its highest vista. Surround yourself with the sound of the rhythm of water, while the warmth of the sun energizes your body. Move your body so you feel its life. Keep your focus on nothing other than your experience. Live in the present.
4. Inspiration isn’t only what’s done TO you.
Being inspired requires an openness of heart and spirit. Create an environment that supports an open heart, so that inspiration blossoms in your life. Inspiration can’t exist without this.
5. Sometimes we fall before we stand.
Don’t beat yourself up when you fall from grace. Life is a process and isn’t static. When you fall, don’t beat yourself up for falling. Acknowledge the fall and it’s impact on your life. At some point, you’ll take action and stand up. Trust the process.
6. Divert your attention.
Forget about the joys that inspiration brings, and live from another domain. An inspired life isn’t only about inspiration. It’s also about exhilaration, about passion and living life fully. Do something completely different than you normally would. Strike up a conversation with someone you typically wouldn’t, and approach the conversation with naivete, openness and depth. There’s a good chance that inspiration will come to you when you’re least looking for it.
7. Surround yourself with what inspires you.
If a certain type of person inspires you, follow and nurture the attraction. Trust what inspires you, and let it guide your actions. If a Wagner opera inspires you, surround yourself with it’s music so you feel completely at one with the music, and with what inspires you. Lose yourself in what you love and be inspired.
8. Get outside of yourself.
Though you think you know what inspires you based on past experiences - this doesn’t mean that you can’t be inspired by something new that previously didn’t effect you. Live in the present and pay attention to what tugs at your heart. This will give you a hint to newer sources of inspiration.
9. Grace + openness + life + soul = inspiration.
Create a formula consisting of the ingredients that define inspiration for you. We all have different perceptions and experiences of inspiration. Define what it is for you.
10. Inspiration is a quality and a state of being.
To be inspiring to others is to be self-generative and inspiring to our selves. How can you be more self-generative? One must live in a state of being that allows for inspiration to take root. How can you cause and create your own source of inspiration? Where are you self-generative in your life, and how can you be more self-generative?