Friday, January 16, 2015

The Breath of Inspiration

A friend gave me a rock that has the word “Inspire” on it. The design is such that you hold it in your hand and rub your thumb over the word, so I picked it up and did this. The next thought that flashed into my mind was this: To be inspired is to be in spirit. Now, many of you already know that, and certainly others have written about this, but I was curious about the dictionary definitions of inspire and spirit.

Inspire means to blow breath into or onto, to breathe in, infuse with life, prompt toward a thought or feeling, have an animating effect on, impel towards creative efforts. Definitions for Spirit included breath, courage, soul, life, to blow breath into, thought, enthusiasm.

If spirit means life and inspire means infuse with life or blow breath into, then when you feel inspired, the “breath of life” moves into, for, and through you, as well as into, for, and through that which you feel impelled toward, animated about, are passionate about.

So often, many people are concerned about how to identify their life purpose, their purpose for being here. What if it’s as simple as considering what inspires you? You may respond by saying many things inspire you. What if everything that inspires you is actually facets of one underlying theme: Live an inspired life?

When breath was used to define inspire, it was used as both an inhalation and an exhalation. Feeling inspired is a form of inhalation. Taking action is a form of exhalation. When your actions produce a desired outcome, your enthusiasm increases (inhalation), and you take another action (exhalation). Being inspired about something and acting on it is you breathing your purpose into your life and simultaneously sharing it with others. The result is more breath of inspiration and spirit for all.

If being inspired means being in spirit, or even the other way around, you can be fairly certain you’ll feel momentum to keep moving in a forward direction. Motivator and author Barbara Sher said, “The sooner you start getting some of what you really want, the more energy you’ll have to go for the rest of it.”

When inspired and in spirit, we feel alive and on purpose. Think of a time when you felt this way. This feeling is a good tool to measure if we perceive ourselves and our lives as on track and fulfilled in whatever way is appropriate for us. When inspired and in spirit, we’re in the flow.

For those who’ve wondered what it takes to operate in the flow of spirit, perhaps it requires awareness of this “breathing” inward and outward. To keep in flow, you find and affirm your inspiration, follow it, and act on it. This feeds and enhances the energy you have to keep going, and going for more, whether what you want more of is something at the inner level, outer, or both.

There’s a tendency to focus on what Spirit provides to us when, ultimately, our quantum Universe is a give-and-receive operation or system. Sometimes, all we need to do to kick-start it is give ourselves permission to receive then allow ourselves to give, or reuse and recycle, if you will, what we receive. “It’s not about what we can get from the flow, but that we get into the flow,” as Jeanna Gabellini stated.

When we focus solely on what we can get from the flow, that’s restrictive. It’s like inhaling and holding your breath. When we get into the flow, what we desire moves to us. Some of it is for us, and some of it moves through us so that we participate in the great give-and-receive loop that feels so good.

When we feel challenged, we can remind ourselves to “Just keep breathing,” and take in a breath that opens ourselves to inspiration. And then all manner of expected, unexpected, and wonderful things can happen—to us, for us, and through us. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.  

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce L. Shafer

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Joyce L. Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, But I Have Something to Say” and other books/e-books, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at

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