By Cheryl Canfield
It’s easy to feel discouraged.
On the collective level, these are uncertain times.
The economy is fragile, the environment is suffering, scientists and politician are arguing over whether or not we can afford to stop abusing our resources. On a personal level we can feel helpless, even hopeless.
But we must hold on to hope or we become paralyzed. Hope is a state of mind, not a state of the world around us. In the words of Vaclav Havel:
Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good.
These times are calling us to action.
Ultimately, we must look to ourselves to be and do what we want to see in the world.
So how do find the inspiration to motivate and direct us?
To begin with, we can surround ourselves with inspirational things. Inspirational things lift us up and connect us with our higher nature and inner wisdom. My dear friend and mentor, Peace Pilgrim, said:
“Your higher nature is a drop in the ocean of God – and has access to the ocean.”
Sometimes we access our higher nature through the inspiration of beautiful music or surroundings.
Such occasions may bring up insights, glimpses of universal truth, or connect us with a sense of inner guidance. We can also connect with our higher nature through beautiful written or spoken words, where we feel an inner sense of confirmation. Or as Peace says,
“You can directly perceive the truth from the inside. All inspired writing came from the inner source, and you too, can receive from that source.”
Inspiration and direction can come when we quiet our minds in meditation and reflection.
We slip in to different states of mind all the time and these states of mind can become a habit.
We may, for example, develop a habit of worry or a habit of positive expectation.
We always have a choice in the matter, though we may not be aware that we are making that choice.
Awareness is the key word. Before we can make changes we need first become aware of what it is that we are changing or aspiring toward.
As you think about surrounding your self with inspirational things, mind is a very good place to start.
You can go inside, in a quiet state of meditation or self-hypnosis, and create an inner sanctuary – a place that inspires you, lifts you up, and connects you with your inner guidance.
Your inner sanctuary is a very personal space.
It might be abstract, like glowing color and flowing sound; it might be an incredible garden or place in nature, real or imagined; or it might be a special room filled with everything you love. You can bring in as many senses as possible – sight, sound, touch, feel, even taste.
The more senses you call on the more empowering the experience becomes.
A fascinating aspect of using imagination is that the subconscious mind doesn’t distinguish between what is real and what is imagined. Therefore our bodies respond with the same pleasurable feelings and healing endorphin’s that we would experience if we were actually in the setting we are imagining.
This is also an aspect of visualization that makes it an effective technique for creating the changes you want to move toward in life.
Another way to create inspiration is in a journal.
You can use a personal journal to record beautiful thoughts, prayers or poetry; you can create collages of things
that inspire you – art, photos of nature or beautiful landscapes or any of the things that fuel your passion.
Creating this kind of journal can provide an uplifting reprieve in difficult times or the peace of respite in a quiet moment, a place to reconnect with the things that fuel you through the adventures and challenges of life. And it can connect you with that place of inspiration, your own higher nature, that motivates you to take positive action in some personal or collective way.
You can also create your external environment, your home and office or work space, to be places that inspire and lift you up. Everything in your environment has a subtle effect on you, adding to your comfort and ease or discomfort, your peace and serenity or tension.
You can pay attention to color, cleanliness, clutter, objects that elicit emotional triggers, functionality, esthetic beauty. Look around your office or a particular room in your home. What inspires you or calms you? What stirs your emotions – positively or negatively?
What is the room primarily used for, and what is the feeling you want to experience here?
You will probably want to feel creatively inspired in a room that is used as an office or art studio or perhaps the kitchen,
where food can be creatively prepared.
In a workout or game room you probably want to be inspired to rev-up your metabolism and move. In a bedroom you want to elicit feelings of relaxation and calmness.
Sometimes we become so used to our environment that we stop “seeing” what is there. We stop noticing how we feel then
we enter a certain room but the objects we surround ourselves with reflect a particular energy.
For instance, one woman was asked by a Feng Shui expert what she felt when she walked into her bedroom. The bedroom was filled with massive, dark colored, expensive looking furniture. “Well, I think at least I got something good out of a lousy marriage.”
The furniture was a constant reminder of a painful situation, but she hadn’t looked at it from that perspective.
Incidentally, that same woman had been hoping to find a new relationship but hadn’t been getting anywhere.
Her Feng Shui guide suggested she get rid of the furniture and replace it with something that reflected herself, which she did.
Soon afterwards she entered a new relationship.
Perhaps she had stopped mulling over her bitterness after removing the trigger for all those negative feelings, which may have left her more emotionally open.
Focusing on the positive and surrounding yourself with things that lift you up is a choice.
You make it every day. The wonderful thing about focusing on the positive is that once you’ve broken a habit of negative focus, your positive focus becomes habit. What you focus on you tend to bring into manifestation. When you surround yourself with inspiration you are working on healing all aspects of yourself, physical as well as mental, emotional and spiritual.
Peace Pilgrim, a woman who counseled others in healing their lives and also in physical healing had this to say about inspiration:
“I wish for all a complete healing – not through the suppression of symptoms by drugs, but through the removal of
cause. I hope you will be inspired to put yourself on a really excellent health diet. I hope you will be inspired to search for and remove all negative thoughts and feelings. I hope you will be inspired to fill your life with beautiful things – the
beauty of nature, uplifting music, beautiful words and meaningful activities. Stay away from everything that pulls you down,and stick to the things that lift you up!”
Cheryl Canfield is a Life and Wellness Counselor. She can be reached at 209-785-8855; or www.
profoundhealing.com. She is the author of Profound Healing and Co-Compiler of Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words.