Inspiration. It’s one of those words that conjures up images of climbing mountains, coming up with amazing, groundbreaking ideas or speaking to an auditorium full of eager listeners and teaching them how to change their lives.
Those four syllables speak of dreams, of rich desires, of the unreachable… of that which we dare not hope to attain.
Or do they?
Surely, inspiration is something we all use every day, whether conscious of the fact or not. Something inspires us to get out of bed, to put one foot in front of the other, to have conversations, to Google something, to cook something delicious for dinner, to choose what to wear. Inspiration is a simple, every day thing, yet it’s a word we choose to file under ‘dreamer’ so often.
It happens all the time. We take something simple, something quite attainable, something that would make our lives so much easier and happier, and inject enough headshit (I’m sure there’s a far more eloquent word, but ‘headshit’ really does sum it up perfectly) to stop us striving for whatever that wonderful something might be.
We’re programmed, from childhood, to strive for good exam results and then aim for a nice, steady career, where we can climb the corporate ladder and live the suburban dream with a family saloon car and 2.4 kids. And that’s great. IF if happens to be YOUR dream.
Dream. Even that word has been given negative connotations by boxed-in western society. How often have we heard people described as ‘dreamers’ in the negative sense? “Oh…him. He’ll never do any good. He’s just a dreamer.”
What’s wrong with being a dreamer? Don’t dreams and inspiration go hand in hand? If more of us were encouraged to go after our dreams, if society inspired us enough to build them and live them, wouldn’t this world be a brighter place?
Those people who shake off society’s shackles and to follow their dreams have probably been dismissed as ‘dreamers’ at some point. They’ve been inspired and found the courage to believe and to see things through. And when the doubters who weren’t brave enough to follow their own dreams behold that individual’s success, they stop using their negative language and start seeing the former ‘dreamer’ as ‘inspirational’.
The acceptable western term for this, of course, is ‘entrepreneur’.
There’s a quote out there somewhere… I can’t remember the exact words, or who said it, but it warns that if you don’t follow your own dreams, you’ll end up getting a job and being employed to build someone else’s. And it’s true. There’s nothing wrong with the world of employment, there’s nothing wrong with the corporate treadmill and there’s nothing wrong with wanting the Toyota, the three bed semi and 2.4 kids, so long as it’s YOUR dream you’re living.
Just don’t be forced into society’s box if it doesn’t fit.
We’re not all driven by money, or by a big house, a fast car, material gain or corporate status – even if that’s what our parents want for us. Some of us carry less obvious dreams… living off the land, travelling to far away climes, going off grid, learning all we can from other cultures, singing, dancing, telling stories, connecting with spirit, rescuing neglected animals, rehoming battery hens, crafting wonderful creations, painting, drawing, surfing, swimming, fixing cars, playing music, growing fruit…. whatever inspires you is PERFECT for YOU. And if you can dream it, and if you can hold onto whatever it is that inspires you, breathe life into it and manifest it, nothing and nobody should be allowed to hold you back.
So, to come full circle, maybe we all need to recognise inspiration when it visits us. Maybe, just maybe, we need to allow it to breathe, to grow, to flourish, and then we need to grab it with both hands and dream it into something even bigger. Dreams and inspiration should be celebrated and encouraged… regardless of whether they fit nicely into a box.
As my dear wife said not too long ago: “You don’t need to look very far to find inspiration”… you don’t, but you do need to open your eyes to see it!
Until next time,