Author Susyn Reeve continues our Q&A discussion of inspiration and how we can cultivate it and express it in our lives. She is the author of The Inspired Life. In Wednesday’s post she defined inspiration and talked about how it shows up. Today, she identifies some of the barriers that keep us from living with inspiration and provides insights and exercises that will help us overcome those barriers.
IS: What is one of the biggest barriers to living an inspired life?
SR: The biggest barrier to living an inspired life is your beliefs about yourself, others and life. Your personal version of I’m not enough is the biggest obstacle to living a life of passion and joy (I’m not worthy enough, lovable enough, pretty enough, smart enough, young enough, rich enough, and the list goes on and on). These beliefs are experienced as fear, worry, regret, resentment, uncertainty, avoidance, addictions, hopelessness and a feeling of victimization.
IS: Any thoughts on how we can change it?
SR:To transform this barrier you begin by making a commitment to living an inspired life – even if you are not clear what your specific inspired life vision is. With this commitment you can be sure that the thoughts that sabotage your vision with arise. At this point you use your feelings as your personal GPS. As soon as you notice that you are feeling, afraid, unworthy, angry, hopeless, etc. you can. use this simple exercise to awake to your programming:
Try-it-yourself tip: When I am feeling ___write down your feeling(s)___, I am believing ___write down your thoughts___.
Then look at your thoughts, free of judgment with a sense of curiosity, and ask yourself if each thought supports or sabotages your inspired life vision.
If it is an obstacle to your vision, then use the full resources of your imagination to create new thoughts (which you probably will not initially believe) that support your inspired life.
Whenever you notice the self-sabotaging programming, acknowledge yourself for noticing and focus your attention on your new thought(s).
IS: In your book, The Inspired Life, you write that contribution and service are aspects of cultivating inspiration. How does this work?
Living an inspired life is based on a deep appreciation that each of us has a contribution to make to cultivating a more peaceful and loving world. We are One we are an inter-connected Universe understanding that our personal joy and happiness has a direct impact on the whole. With this understanding we generously share our gifts, talents, skills and abilities in service of the whole. Another aspect of service, is that when we reach out to help others and acknowledge that we are making a contribution we nourish good feelings about ourselves. There is a wonderful quote that I’ve included in The Inspired Life by Damien Hess, “Service… Giving what you don’t have to give. Giving when you don’t need to give. Giving because you want to give.”
Try-it-yourself tip: Today, perform a random act of kindness. Let someone cut in front, sweep your neighbor’s porch, drop a meal off for a friend. Do something for someone else and then notice the good feelings that both you and the recipient of your services experience.
IS: You also write about the importance of making and keeping commitments to yourself and your dreams. Why is this necessary first step toward and inspired life?
SR: W.H. Murray describes the power of commitment, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”
Susyn Reeve, M.Ed., is as a transformational coach, corporate consultant with fortune 100 companies, and interfaith minister. She is the award winning author of Choose Peace and Happiness. Her newest book, The Inspired Life: Unleashing Your Mind’s Capacity for Joy is your personal invitation to living a life a passion and purpose. She is the co-founder of www.Self-Esteem-Experts.com where you can get an excerpt from The Inspired Life.