Inspirational Coach

Trusting the Tides of Inspiration

Recently I was looking for a piece of writing to submit as part of my application for a book writing scholarship and came across this blog I wrote four years ago.  It was written during a wonderful ‘raw and real’ six months when we were living in two caravans in a ‘wild field’ between moving house.

The fantastic news is that I won first place on the scholarship and have embarked upon writing my book with the amazing Julia McCutchen of the International Association of Conscious and Creative Writers.  Meditating on my subject today, I realised how appropriate this submitted piece of writing is, as it really captures an essence of my forthcoming book.

So here it is again, encouraging you to flow with your natural rhythms and trust the tides of your inspiration…

Do you trust your own rhythms?  Do you allow yourself to do nothing and stare into space just because you feel like it?  If a rush of creative ideas wakes you up at night, do you get up and start scribbling or smother it down because ‘you must get your sleep’?  When all your energy has vanished, do you force yourself to get on with some work or allow yourself to rest?…

Observing the ebb and flow of my creative energy here at the wild field has prompted me think about this.  When we first moved, it was easy to see why I wasn’t dreaming up any new workshops or enthusiastically promoting my latest inner wisdom product – I was exhausted!  Then the weeks went on and I settled deeply into my inner world – wanting to do little more than meditate and write.

After a while, I started to get a bit concerned. What if all that creative juice has gone?   Should I try to drum something up?  But no matter how I looked at it, I just did not feel like it.  I know from hard experience that it’s counter-productive to exhaust myself trying to swim against the tide, but it’s not always easy to keep the faith.  None-the-less, this time I managed to wait and trust that the change would come naturally.

Then, a week or two ago, it happened – a huge uprush of creativity and inspiration came bursting through.  Ideas, excitement, enthusiasm and energy aplenty – fully formed and in such abundance – and my new workshop was conceived.  A couple of phone calls were made and the people and resources I wanted fell into place beautifully.  There was a quality of effortless co-operation with a power so much greater and wiser than myself.  My job was to be switched on enough to notice the turning tide, fit enough to get on the surf board and keep my balance, and from there-on-in simply have a wonderful ride!

To me, one of the greatest gifts of my self-determining lifestyle is the delicious opportunity to follow my natural rhythms more truly.  Sometimes its an emotional rhythm – feeling slow and sad or fast and excited; sometimes its intellectual – clear as a bell or dull as dish water.  Then there are physical rhythms prompted by hormonal changes or meal, exercise and sleep patterns.  And of course there’s the environment – the light, the dark, the sun the moon, the seasons, the weather, the surroundings…

Our bodies and psyches are fantastically engineered sensing machines.  Should you pay attention – simply pay attention! – you get all the bio/psychic feedback you need in a nano second and you will KNOW what’s right for you at every turn.  However, if you override this awareness by getting too busy and out of touch with yourself (or giving too much of your power and freedom away to an over-demanding person or job), you lose one of your most precious abilities – to regulate a happy, balanced lifestyle for yourself.  What’s more, regulating yourself like this is your primary responsibility in life.  No one else can do this for you or be blamed if you do not do it for yourself.

I’m quite impressed with Paul McKenna’s work with regard to this.  Paul McKenna www.paulmckenna.com is a British hypnotherapist who has written many excellent self-help books including I Can Make You Thin.  The core principle of this book is that to eat appropriately (and therefore lose excess weight) you simply need to tune into this self-regulating ability.  By slowing down and paying deep attention to what food your body really wants, you naturally find your optimum weight.

However, there’s another whole dimension of rhythm in our lives – the ebb and flow of INSPIRATION – our spiritual rhythm.  When you are inspired you feel a creative energy rising up within you, giving you the ideas, direction and impetus to make something new happen.  It seems to bubble up from inside you even if its triggered by an external source like a stimulating talk or a sublime piece of music.  Sometimes it just seems to come from no-where.

The Buddha taught that inspiration can only be experienced when you have prepared yourself to receive it.  When you first start to meditate, it can take a while to draw all your disparate energies into some sort of coherence.  That’s what meditation does for you first of all – it helps you feel less scattered and more focussed and more whole and complete. This is the initial stage of INTEGRATION (bringing together).

Only then – when you have a sense of being in possession of your whole self – can inspiration start to come through into an adequate container.  This second stage, not surprisingly, is called INSPIRATION.  Having pulled yourself into some sort of shape, your natural creative energy has a place to arise and a vehicle through which to express itself.  It feels like you have a well-spring within you, constantly bubbling up from your deep inner source.

I explain these two aspects of meditation in this video – Meditation for Integration and Insight

As a coach, I have always preferred to work with inspiration rather than motivation.  As well as being a carrot rather than stick approach, it is a much more empowering and graceful way to work.  Helping people ignite their own natural joyful impetus is more independently sustainable for the client than trying to push them up a mountain they’d rather not climb.

Sometimes I think we’ve got it all wrong – that we think we have to ‘make’ ourselves do stuff because it’s ‘good for us’.  No, no!  Spend the time to develop the self-love and find the thing you really want to be doing because you were meant to be doing it!  Then its just a matter of lighting the touch-paper and standing back while an inspired new lifestyle takes off!

Inspiration is a massive force for the good.  When you are inspired you are in touch with who you truly are and feel moved by love and joy rather than fear and dread.  One of my favourite tips is the one that tells us how to know when you are making the right decision.  By asking yourself , ‘Am I making this choice from love or fear?’ you can discern whether you are doing things for the best (the best way is ALWAYS the one that is inspired by love rather than avoiding fear).  If you are making a choice based on love, you feel expanded and free.  If you are making the choice from fear, you feel contracted and strained.  You can feel that expansion or contraction in your body – often in your tummy area.  There’s a reason why we use the term ‘gut instinct’.

I go into the art of following the right inner promptings in this video – ‘Which Voice in Your Head Do You Trust?

So please do keep the faith, dear people – you do know what’s best for you.  Your only responsibility is to cultivate sensitivity to your rhythms and allow inspiration to flow.  Of course many of us have busy lives with many demands, but even within that, it’s possible to invest a little time developing awareness.  Meditation is a brilliant way to do this.  Just ten minutes a day – sitting quietly, feeling your breath move through your body – is a wonderful start.

Listen here to a two minute meditation to help you drop into that awareness.  If you wish, you can then sit on for a while, enjoying your inner space…

Click here – 2 minute meditation

 

 

 

 

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