June was a powerful month of self reflection and discovery. It began with an ocean vacation (where you always discover hidden things about yourself on vacation) and ended with a retrospective weekend at the cottage. Water is the perfect environment for reflection (philosophically you are forced to face yourself as you regard your reflection in water, hence it is a place for relaxation and learning).
What sticks with me the most last month was a lunch I had with some wonderful young bright-eyed professionals. I had asked them the reflective question “who inspires you, or what was an inspirational moment in your life?”. No one could answer the question – they found it too “deep” or difficult. This shocked me. I’m inspired everyday by people, events, nature, family, etc. The fact that they couldn’t come up with an answer made me think maybe it was a difficult question. So I took a poll of my friends and asked them (they had no issues answering it). This mini social experiment projected me into a weekend of self-discovery, where I took the opportunity to reflect inwardly and investigate further into why inspiration is so important and vital to living (and yes, I do appreciate the irony of people not recognizing inspiration inspiring me to write about inspiration).
To inspire means to observe and appreciate the people and environment around you, to absorb it and allow you to grow. It means to evoke your soul’s potential (hence in-spire, inner spirit) and to raise your vibrational energy (which inspires others and creates a chain reaction of positive thought). It means to engage in life and positively affect others (similar to joy). If we aren’t inspired, then we are not engaging in life or taking risks. Life is inspiring. Living is inspiring. It’s recognizing your own gifts and appreciating what is gifted to you to evoke your inner potential.
After my initial frustration, confusion really, I am grateful for that lunch. It made me recognize how we take inspiration for granted, and reminded me how important it is to be inspired (and now thinking about it, perhaps recognizing inspiration requires inner reflection and that’s why the question is more difficult for a younger generation). People’s inner strength, joy, and dedication to their values and truth inspires me. Nature, with it’s beauty and gentle simplicity, inspires me. My country, with it’s freedom, kindness, and acceptance, inspires me. I am eternally grateful for all that is around me, that provides me with the positive energy to reflect on and improve myself.
So I pose to you – what/who inspires you? Ask those around you too (such as family and friends) – it’s a wonderful conversation starter of self reflection and conscious connection.