the inspired life
If you took part in last Saturday’s “Stay Inspired, Play Inspired” workshop, you know what a special day it was. Together, we took a journey into the heart of creative inspiration. By the end of the day, many of you made important discoveries that could have a profound and lasting impact on your lives. Now, the question becomes: What do I do with this new understanding?
In the days and weeks to come, you have a chance to deepen that understanding and to integrate it in ways that continue to inspire you. The reality is that inspiration begets more inspiration, as long as you make room for it in your life. Here are a few ideas to help you do that on a daily basis:
1. Set your intentions for the day. Like anything else, inspiration is a practice. An important part of that practice is to aim high. When you establish and express the ideals to which you aspire, you will begin moving towards them. My own aspirations are captured in the nine statements that comprise The Pledge. I have been reciting these statements every morning for the past decade. Each time I say them, I can feel an alchemical change within myself. The Pledge has the power to transform and inspire. Give it a try, or create your own set of aspirations.
2. Repose. As you know, lying in Repose for seven minutes three times a day has all kinds of mental and physical health benefits. For me, the most compelling reason for incorporating Repose into my daily routine is that it opens me up in ways that are conducive to my experience of inspiration. As you discovered on Saturday, receptivity is an important component of inspiration, and few tools I have ever encountered are more conducive to receptivity than Repose. Immediately after awakening every morning, I lie in Repose. And I encourage you to do the same.
3. Self-care. Inspiration is a full-body experience. So it is vital to take care of your body. My fiancée, Maria Mendola, taught me a set of morning ayurvedic rituals for cleansing and purifying the body. These include tongue-scraping, irrigating your nostrils with a neti pot, exfoliating your entire skin surface, and oiling your skin. I also wake up my digestive system by drinking a cup of warm water with lemon. Every day, I set aside time for exercise, which includes stretching, cardio, resistance, and breathwork. If you have limited time, space, and access to exercise equipment, you can still get in a good workout. I recommend using one of Andy Petranek’s Living Room Workout videos, which are free on YouTube and can be done in about 10 minutes.
4. Creativity time. If you want to channel your inspiration into a creative pursuit, make time in your day to create. I set aside about three hours every morning for my writing. Rarely do I write beyond 11 am, and yet I have been able to publish four books, with two more in the works. Mornings are best for me because I feel fresh, energized and focused. Listen to your own body rhythm and be as resourceful as you can. You may have to find creative ways to work around your other responsibilities, but it can be done. It is simply a matter of priorities.
5. Open your heart. Inspiration is about passion. There is a reason that Deep Creativity includes an unconditional love invocation (pp.179-182). All great creative breakthroughs begin with love. Then there is joy. Make sure to do the things you enjoy and to enjoy the things you do. I consider all of the activities I have listed here as forms of play that I enjoy to the fullest. Make sure to savor each moment while you are eating, creating, exercising, lying in Repose, or engaging in any of your other daily rituals. And express your gratitude, both through silent forms of grace and by acknowledging acts of kindness by the people in your life. There is no more powerful way to open your heart to inspiration than by saying, “Thank you.”
These five suggestions are a great starting point as you enter this new phase of your life. In other blog posts, I have written about cultivating intuition and imagination, both of which are important elements of creative inspiration. You may want to check out these tips, as well. And you are always welcome to send me your questions and comments. May you know what it is like to live an inspired life!
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