Believe me, I know about inspired space. I work in this realm with others.
I’ve been leading retreats in nurturing, scenic places for years. I am the one who encourages others to let go and trust the process. Participants arrive tired, excited, and some slightly frightened with faces white as goat cheese. I sometimes wonder if they think I am going to make them call their bosses, quit their jobs, and run away with me to follow their bliss—or maybe join a new age circus. Some may be secretly hoping I will.
Naturally the bright-eyed overachievers want to get their money’s worth. They are hoping that in the opening circle I can start giving them exercises to figure out their lives now, before they unpack their luggage. I feel the need pulsing within them to attack the problem at hand. I tell them we are going to spend the weekend relaxing, undoing conditioning, and receiving what is already within. I am setting them up to be guided. Because this is how to get inspired.
Some look at me with relief in their eyes, as though someone has finally invited them to stop running a decade-long marathon and sit down in the shade, wipe their sweat, and sip lemonade. Others look at me like this better not be a trick. I better get an answer by Sunday, their body postures threaten. And I want to assure them that they will be answered by Sunday. They will receive the juice, resurrection, and clarity they do not even know they crave.
I’m not being arrogant. It’s just that through the years, I have come to trust the wild efficiency of the Universe, which uses these intentional “time out of time” occasions like one of those Japanese chefs at a Benihana restaurant, tossing knives into the air, carving carrots into roses, then handing you sustenance in the wink of an eye.
In exploring how to get inspired, there’s one thing I’ve found:
As a facilitator, I am trying to sweet-talk my students into releasing expectations of themselves. I am escorting and training them into radical receptivity. I’m not interested in lecturing their know-it-all brains or their ordinary identities—the surface level of who they really are. I am beckoning the extraordinary within them. I don’t want to ask the most important questions to the least literate part of their brains. I don’t want to engage their tired, angry, habitual selves in a dialogue about joy, meaning, and desire.
I want the daily self to bathe, to scrub off the layers and veneers of disillusionment, resentment, and toxic self-talk. I am eager to engage their Inspired Self, the one with an unlimited love that lights up memories, inclinations, and clarity. I know that if I can engage their Inspired Self for even an instant, the real work is done.
It’s like skipping steps in a long, cumbersome equation.
It’s as though you’re suddenly on the moon, where concrete boots and money issues are weightless; it’s easy to move or to change anything.
Believe me, it’s constructive.
It’s a magic I want to experience as much as possible in my daily life. This is what it means to be productive to me.
Yet just like my students, I have had to understand the rites of the realm.
When I want unpredictable and unprecedented healing and abundance in my life, I know I need to feed myself time and space.
Orchids don’t grow in sand. My revelations require the loamy earth of love, space, time, meandering, and permission. So do yours. Some of you might think taking time for yourself is impossible, with kids, jobs, deadlines, making payroll, and dependent relatives. It’s a tough choice to make. Yet an exquisite life requires exquisite choices.
I get it. You have so much to do. But that doing may be about sustaining a life that may not be sustaining you. Or you might want to rush the process, take an express train to your expressed life. My clients often want to just “get there” as they traverse the middle of a life that is changing. “It takes an intermission to find a mission,” I say, then wait for the groan. But I know what works.
Take some time to consciously do less. Rest. Be.
Get yourself to a lake, a park, a retreat, a beach, some nature if you can. But a flowered couch will do.
Let go of self-judgment as it arises. See what wants to happen.
You may want to paint or walk. Or write. Or cry.
Be still. Be moved.
Be forgiving. Be curious. Breathe.
This is important work to do. It’s the most important work you can do.
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