Monday, March 12, 2012

being your own inspiration

Inspiration.  Inspirational.  Inspiring.

The Rocky Mountains
I want to be all of these. Is that too lofty of a goal? Maybe, maybe not. I think sometimes we need to aspire to bigger and better things, in order to get closer to where we really want to go in life.

When I started this blog over a year ago, I wanted it to be a place where I could build an online community of crafty, spiritual people. I wanted to build a place that was a safe haven to explore my spirituality and path, through art. This desire was recently reaffirmed by a recent experience in a spiritual scrapbooking class, in which I was once again reminded of how marginal my path can be. You know, when you hang around people like you, it can create a sense of the world mirroring your beliefs. Life, it would seem, likes to remind me of this lesson by placing me (or having myself place me) in situations where I am the oval peg in a square world. (The expression might call for round, but I purposely chose oval to illustrate how I often feel like I don’t even fit with the clichéd oddity).

But I digress.

What I want to talk about is this idea of inspiration. Not so much in the artistic sense, but in the life sense. As in, what inspires you in life? Who do you find inspirational? How do we learn to inspire ourselves?

I don’t have fixed answers to these questions as of yet, but here’s what I’m thinking about:

I’m inspired by lives lived with intention. I’m inspired by people who look for the positive even while acknowledging the darker challenges in life. I’m inspired by people who follow their dreams and aren’t afraid to be the oval peg in a world full of circles and squares.  I’m inspired by people who don’t feel the need to fit the mould but do this in a way that is about their journey and not about criticizing others. This could mean that they drop everything and travel the world, fill their lives with art, or give inspiration to others in ways that I only dream of being able to give.

And what it boils down to is this: I want to be one of those people. I want to be the change, live the dream, and follow my bliss.

But here’s the thing: what does my bliss look like? I’ve spent years asking myself this question; struggling to figure out what calls to me. Some days it looks like a non Catholic version of Mother Teresa. Other days it looks like a nomadic globe trotter and others… well… who knows?!?

I’ve always found this question so big and huge and scary because if I actually knew what my dreams were, I’d have to own and go out into the world and follow them. And let’s face it; I’m more scared of success than I am of failure. For sure.

But if I wasn’t scared of success, what would I do? I would inspire you. I would make art and storytelling meaningful. I would use them to live my spirituality, although not necessarily in overt ways.

I would teach myself inspiration by building a life that reflects these things.

Here’s what I would do:
  • I would write a book about art and crafting as a way to explore spirituality.
  • I would volunteer in an environment for teens to teach them about art journaling and scrapbooking as a way to tell their stories.
  • I would go back to yoga and strive to bring loving kindness into my practice and my life
  • I would buy less, consume less, eco-fy my life even more beyond the surface trappings. And I would share that journey. These days I feel like my green ambitions have gotten to a plateau and I’m no longer moving and changing things. I’m comfortably apathetic, and that’s not good.
  • I would express gratitude and appreciate the journey that I am on and the people who share it with me more.
I have some big dreams. But I read somewhere that if your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough. So I'm going to work on chasing the big ones, the ones that scare me a bit (or a lot if I'm honest). There are many other things I would do. But those are the big ones. The ones I think would inspire me if I was reading about your life. In fact, I’d really like to hear about your life and the things that inspire you. In the next little while, I think I’m going to spend time thinking about these things, figuring out game plans for them, and work towards realizing them. 


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