Yesterday I had a heckuva time coming up with an idea for dinner. I’m in a menu rut: turkey tacos, shrimp pasta, grilled chicken salad, fish and brown rice – repeat. Throw in a little Asian takeout after a hard day and you’ve got my seven-day a week meal plan.
It’s ironic. I spend time writing about inspiration. I live an inspired life – it’s just not showing up in the over-cooked cod. And, I want inspiration back as a meal accompaniment.
Inspiration isn’t just the drive behind a master work or Great American Novel. It is also the drive in your day. It influences how you handle your child’s tantrum, or manage the finances. It causes you to find meaning in the delicate spider web – even if it’s strung along your window sill. Conversations with your husband can be inspired. Folding the laundry can yield a seed of inspiration. It’s in there. Each of those mundane moments can be filled with zest and passion and inspiration. And, since I do the cooking around here, I needed to rediscover a little inspiration in the kitchen.
At least this is what I told myself when I looked at the jar of peanut butter, yet again, and wondered how much my daughter can eat before she takes on an oily sheen. Enough already.
Today, I decide, I’m making a conscious effort to approach meals with the same passion and zest I do the other moments of my life – by taking inspired action. By focusing on empowering thoughts, by centering myself in the reason I cook in the first place – to nourish myself and my family – and by being grateful that I have so much fresh food to prepare healthy meals, I decide that maybe I can find an inkling of inspiration in the kitchen.
Making room for inspiration
Whether it’s cooking or cleaning, working in an office, or raising kids there is plenty of room for inspiration. But you’ve got to go after it. It won’t strike you over the head, you must cultivate it. You can by choosing empowering beliefs and adopting a habit of awareness.
It’s worth doing. When you live an inspired life – made up of inspiring moments – you also find that your creativity blossoms, challenges feel a bit more like opportunities than stresses, you discover your passions and reconnect with purpose. Inspiration makes a little more room for joy and then lets it in. Life becomes more interesting and fun. In technical terms, life becomes Super Awesome.
I know, because soon after I started thinking about this stuff again, I came up with an awesome barbecued citrus shrimp meal that added a little zing to the weekly meal plan and even passed the most fickle of food critics, my 6-year-old.
When you are inspired you’re feeling alive. You’re having fun. Living close to spirit.
Susyn Reeve and Joan Breiner talk about this in their book The Inspired Life: Unleashing Your Mind’s Capacity for Joy.
An inspired life is not only a product of what we do, but how we think.
You must “identify your current dominant thoughts and makeup, then create new thoughts that support the inspired life you desire! This awareness combined with commitment to action and a consistent focus allows you to upgrade and install new patters of thinking,” write the authors.
Try this. Consider the big and little things you’re working on in your life — coming up with new dinner menus, finding an ending to your book, landing the client, getting the child to stay in bed after tuck-in-time. Then, become aware of your thoughts about those things.
When you veer toward negative thoughts, redirect them toward something more positive and possible, then act on those positive thoughts. This way you’ll actually begin to rewire your brain to accommodate inspiration.
“…The true source of empowerment resides in you experiencing your inspired thoughts alive in your body in the present moment,” write the authors.
When you can do this, inspiration shows up in citrus shrimp and everywhere else.
Want some more tips on how to live and inspired life? Check out this space Wednesday when author Susyn Reeve offers more insights on inspiration from her book The Inspired Life in a special Q&A post.