Inspiration is amazing, fun, and full of light. It is spontaneous and fascinating. Anything can flow out of inspiration - speech, actions, art, creativity - and it is so easy. It requires no planning, no thinking, no trying. It would be so nice to live without effort or overthinking. We would have more energy and excitement in our lives. There would be more surprises and sweetness in the world. We could solve problems easily and quickly. From inspiration arises the most beautiful poetry, the most amazing mathematical equations, and the most incredible inventions.
How do we live an inspired life? First, we can let go of unneeded worries and concerns about life, and trust that the universe has a much greater plan for us than we have created in our own mind. When the mind is empty of worry and anxiety, there is space for inspired guidance. We can hear that soft voice that gently guides us in a direction we could not have imagined.
How do we let go of worries and concerns about life? Simply relax and meditate. Cultivate a calm and peaceful mind. This may sound difficult since the mind typically jumps around like a monkey day and night. Well then, give the monkey mind something that soothes and heals it. For instance, sit in nature and tune in to her presence. A green forest or a blue ocean may be very calming to the mind. Furthermore, we may focus on relaxed deep breathing for a few minutes. Also, we may chant a beautiful mantra whose vibration heals the mind. With consistence, these practices may bring the mind into a peaceful state, and from this state of being, an inspired life springs forth.
Gratitude is the energy of appreciation. Usually it is created by contemplating all the blessings in one's life. For instance, consider what you are thankful for. Perhaps you feel deep gratitude for a friend, a loved one, or a pet. Why do you feel thankful for that being? How has that being influenced you in a positive way? Remember a time when you smiled or laughed around that being. What characteristics do you admire about that being? Take a few minutes to write about why you are so fortunate to have that being in your life. This kind of writing is an invocation of the energy of gratitude. It is uplifting, heart-warming, sweet, and delightful.
Even if you feel irritation toward someone, you can soften the charge around the person by remembering all the nice things about that being. Then the problems may seem small. One can always turn a negative into a positive. For instance, if the person pushes your button, you can think, "Oh, not again!" or "How wonderful that I can see my negativity more clearly now and heal it once and for all!" Indeed, if you were surrounded by people who fed your ego all the time, it would be very difficult to grow. Do we like to be at the mercy of people or circumstances that push our buttons?
We need people to draw out our darkness, so we can see where we are still reactive to the world. The world is not the problem, but rather our interpretation of it. By working out all our reactivities, we become more and more impervious to what happens outside of us. Therefore, we can feel gratitude for that person who triggers our deep-seated issues. Just think: "I can't wait for the next trigger to come along! It is my opportunity to purify the issue, to see through it, to clear it out of my system." Once all the triggers are cleared out, we feel at peace.
Meditation has many definitions, including "concentration on an object." If one is concentrated, one is meditating. The more focused on the object, the stronger the meditation (called dharana in sanskrit). Then it is only you and the object without any other distracting thoughts (called dhyana). And finally, you and the object are one, and you become meditation (samadhi). Yoga is a way of life that helps the mind go into samadhi - when the mind become quiescent and you are unified with the cosmos.
In 2006, I discovered yoga and began to attune my life to this transformative philosophy. The book, Power Versus Force, had a significant impact on my life. I discovered I could actually transform my mind permanently and bring it into a state of love, joy, and peace through focused effort. He called this process "raising in consciousness." At that time, my mind felt that I would feel "higher than" others if I could raise my state of consciousness, and that would give me more self-esteem and confidence. So my spiritual path began out of a prideful motive! This motive was very powerful. So powerful that it led me to read many more books on spirituality.
In 2007, I attended my my first spiritual retreat in Austin, Texas. It was the real turning point of my life. I went to go see a spiritual teacher named Brian who was known to help people "raise in consciousness." Exactly what I wanted to accomplish! In the middle of the retreat, he lead an hour long breath session. We were guided to do very deep breathing which helped us to push out a lot of heaviness in the mind and body. After about 45 minutes of serious breath, a "flame" lit up inside, and my mind went into a natural buoyant meditation. As I opened my eyes, I realized that the world had changed. The colors were more vibrant, and my vision was diffused. The fire of meditation has continued to grow ever since that moment.
This meditative energy has changed my life in many ways. I feel a deep peace in my bones and a profound love in my heart. My patience has increased. I am more available to serve the world. My need for material things has reduced, and my tendency toward addictions has decreased. I feel more content with my life no matter what direction it goes. No one can take away this feeling. It is my true wealth.