by Rebecca Poole, Health Practitioner, BHsc, Brisbane
When we think of gifts that we might give ourselves we don’t usually think about giving ourselves the gift of Inspiration. I know until recently I hadn’t! For clarification, I am not talking about the bodily function of breathing air into our lungs. I am talking about the Ah hah! moments that can change our lives, and the little tug we get in our heart to tell us there is a more true way to live in our lives. This is what I call the start of inspiration.
Most of us would have experienced feeling inspired by someone and how uplifting this can be, but I had always assumed this had more to do with how inspiring a person was rather than an interaction that I was actively and crucially part of i.e., a gift I could choose to give myself. I am continuously inspired by many, including Mary-Louise Myers and Jenny Ellis, the presenters at last month’s Esoteric Developers Women’s Group in Brisbane. I am inspired by how preciously and delicately Mary-Louise holds herself, and how beautiful she is when she humorously shares how she has lived her life, warts and all. Jenny has such an art for sharing her awareness about life in a way that makes it simple and easy for others to grasp and make their own. During the last women’s presentation I was admiring how light and joyful Jenny felt while talking about her own experiences of menopause. I am forever grateful to these two women, whose reflection of grace, strength and beauty in their 40’s and 50’s allows me to embrace aging (something most women struggle with) joyfully and fearlessly.
So what happens when we feel inspired by someone? Inspired by the way they feel and inspired by how they go about their day/life. First, we feel how we want something that they have, like there is a pull inside us to feel or live our life in a similar way. We can at this point go one of two ways:
- Feel the inspiration and the pull that this person is reflecting and embrace it. Know by way of feeling that there is something equally amazing, loving or beautiful inside us waiting for us to express in our own way. However, it is not always that easy! Often after the initial Ah hah! moment we feel an Uh Oh! This Uh Oh feeling is a feeling that tells us we haven’t made the same loving, amazing or beautiful choices that led this person to be and live in the way that has inspired us (even though we could have).By allowing ourselves to feel the Uh Oh feeling without judgment and reflect on our choices, we take full responsibility for where our life is in reflection to the inspiring person and their life. Sometimes this can be excruciating or a very bitter pill to swallow, but it is increasingly easy through deepening the quality of nurturing and love we feel within ourselves in our daily lives, allowing us to be tender and understanding with ourselves as opposed to judging ourselves. Our own built up self-loving and nurturing ways are then like a very warm cuddle on the inside when these uncomfortable Uh Oh moments come about. The Uh Oh reduces and then disappears if we take responsibility for the fact that there have been different or more loving choices we could have made; through this we start to receive the ‘gifts of Inspiration’.When I break it down, this is what I have felt in these moments. Through feeling our Uh Oh we develop an understanding and gentleness towards ourselves and the way we have lived life thus far. During this time there is usually some sadness, allowing us to feel that we are sensitive to hardness – resulting in a greater tenderness towards ourselves and an awareness that the choices we made were not made from love and we are worth more loving choices.
By realising that we made some unloving decisions and that indeed we are worth more, we take responsibility for where our life is – and the Uh Oh feeling. By owning the fact that we always have a choice (even if it is only the choice of how something will affect the way we feel about ourselves), we are empowered to feel the magnitude, power and importance of each and every one of our choices in our life. From this empowerment comes a strength and clarity (we feel uplifted), the way forward becomes clear and we feel ready to start afresh and make more loving, amazing and beautiful choices for our-selves: in another word, Inspiration.
- Feel the inspiration and the pull that another is reflecting but get caught in the Uh Oh’s of our own choices or lack of honouring ourselves. We can judge ourselves, make ourselves feel awful or possibly even try to find fault with the other person to bring them down so we don’t have to feel the Uh Oh while we are in their presence – this is Jealousy. This is quite an ugly feeling inside of ourselves (and for others to feel), and it will cap us and hold us back in our life, unless or until we choose to let go of it.
What I have found is, that wanting to be a good friend/person isn’t enough to ensure we will be inspired by others rather than jealous. Even in the very best of friendships (if people are very honest) there is still a lot of comparison, even jealousy. What if the amount of love we have for ourselves actually determines how much we allow other people to inspire and uplift us? What if it is our own self-love that protects our relationships from the eroding force of Jealousy and ensures we embrace the gifts of inspiration?
A Small NOTE: In my experience self-love is not something you either ‘luck of the draw’, have or haven’t got. It is something that comes about through a dedication, commitment and consistency towards healing the ugliness or judgment inside us that gets in the way of our natural ability to love ourselves, the love that nearly all young children know (what we all so naturally knew).
People commonly say, “As women we are our own worst enemies”. How crazy that we are our own worst enemies and for the most we just accept this as the way we are. We have ALL experienced Jealousy, and therefore there is nothing to hide or be ashamed of. How lovely if we as women can start to openly talk about our own jealousy, exposing it and committing to interact differently with one another. Realise that it is common, nothing to be ashamed of, but a reflection that we haven’t been willing or ready to face some of our own unloving choices. Facing our own unloving choices becomes easier through the warmth and tenderness we can feel from within for ourselves. Warmth and tenderness for ourselves throughout our day is what ensures we can embrace inspiration instead of becoming stuck in the Uh Oh. How Amazing would our life be if we disposed of jealousy and gave ourselves the gifts of inspiration.