Einstein, who was a pretty smart bloke, once said: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. But we have created a society that honours the servant, and has forgotten the gift.”
Until a few years ago, I was engaged in an almost constant practice of “managing my state”, “controlling my thinking”, and “feeding my inner flame”. Some of it worked, and I certainly don’t regret anything I learned or shared with others over the twenty-five-plus years I was involved in this pursuit of mastery. It was the best I knew at the time.
I notice that this has now changed and become what I would call an exploration of ease. What I’ve seen in my own life, over and over again, is that when we recognize that we’re simply feeling our thinking, and we give ourselves the freedom to let our thoughts and feelings settle on their own, a sense of ease naturally brings us to healthier thoughts, feelings, and direction in life. It’s just plain common sense.
I love it when my clients recognize the simplicity of this for themselves. When people realize that they don’t need to do hours of meditation, therapy, or affirmations to experience a good life – when they realize that instead of working on themselves or trying to change others, they can simply relax into a deeper understanding of who they really are – this is where the fun begins.
In a recent coaching conversation, John was talking about his next big goal. But he seemed to be almost completely uninspired by it, like it was something he thought he should do rather than something he really wanted to. His physiology was slumped, and there was very little energy and no sparkle in his eyes.
We got quiet together, and then I asked him what he really wanted to create. He laughed out loud. He replied with an enthusiastic, spontaneous, and very simple description of something he was actually inspired to do. His whole physiology changed as he spoke. His eyes lit up, and his voice was full of energy.
Could it be that simple? Could inspiration be a natural, spontaneous function of a mind at rest? When we stop overthinking things, do we have access to a greater capacity to experience our own natural inspiration? As far as my experience goes, we most definitely do.
For years, I thought I had to try to condition myself to live an inspired life. I thought I had to “do” inspiration. I thought I had to manage myself, resolve issues from the past, meditate for hours, or apply self-help or motivational techniques and strategies to my life.
It turns out that there really is a kindness to the design and an innate capacity to only ever be one thought away from a whole new experience of being alive. For me, one instant of recognizing the difference between working on myself by overthinking things and genuine inspiration is worth all the self-help strategies, meditation, or therapy in the world. Overthinking carries with it a feeling of stress and tension. Genuine inspiration carries with it a feeling of natural energy, lightness, and ease.
Understanding that my experience is only ever coming from thought in the moment somehow allows for my mind to rest and new thoughts and inspiration to arrive more easily than if I were to try to motivate myself with techniques, tools, and strategies.
To me, this suggests that inspiration is a natural, spontaneous function of greater self-awareness – of a mind at rest. Instead of trying to get smart and create inspiration or motivation, maybe we simply need to let our thoughts settle down more often and then notice what we’re naturally inspired to do next.
Now, without thinking about it too much, what are you genuinely inspired to do?
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