“Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” –Golda Meir
Where does inspiration come from? I wish I knew. Sometimes I get so far off track that it feels like it will take super-human strength to get back to the life that I love, a wellness that shines, my wholeness. I stumbled across this quote the other night and it inspired me to write to you.
It was those few simple words: “…fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility…”
Tiny, inner sparks.
Do you feel those sometimes? Do you recognize them for the potential that they are? Lately I’ve been very sensitive to them, and unfortunately, I keep brushing them away or, sadly, stifling them and drowning them and destroying their potential.
I keep asking myself why I do this and the answer is, of course, so many layers deep and so personal that the vulnerability it would take to share it here in this blog is too much for me. But that’s okay, I think. What’s perhaps more important is recognizing the act and acknowledging the pain of limiting potential joy. And then sitting upright and knowing, deeply, that the sparks are still there. It’s not one and done, but a burst of sparks. A firework exploding inside and I may have missed one or one hundred different sparks, but I don’t have to miss the next one. The next spark can be the one that inspires me to more.
I think that throughout our lives we go through various periods of growth and retraction, creation and destruction. Energy shifts through the phases, but it is continuous, endless, infinitely present. Think of a seed, buried beneath the soil, waiting for spring. As the earth is warmed and moisture touches it, it begins to open and seek the sun. At that moment, when the seed splits – or the egg cracks or the heart opens – what once was is inevitably destroyed. There can not be growth and transformation without the destruction of what was.
The energy of light, of that tiny spark of inspiration, destroys the darkness that protected it. But from that destruction comes the creative process of becoming. And THAT is exciting.
Looking at this in the context of transforming oneself, I can understand better why I keep wanting to put out the spark. Destroying what I know, stepping away from the habits and patterns that have protected me for so long, is scary. A friend of mine once reminded me that the difference between scary and exciting is the breath. Panicked and shallow or full and ready – the good news is that we can control the breath and shift the energy away from fear and towards the thrill of new.
Two years ago I felt like I totally found my groove in terms of my health and lifestyle. It was a period of big growth and I felt really engaged and invigorated. Then splat. I hurt. I felt vulnerable. I retracted. I returned to patterns of protection that are really anything but that. The thing is, my most comfortable way of protecting myself, the faded jeans and cozy sweater of security for me, is food. I imagine there are others of you who recognize yourselves in this pattern too. We use food, unhealthy food that we might not even like (!), to fill a void, stifle a sensation, cover up our wounds, and hide. It’s dangerous stuff. In the end, no one is fooled – least of all, ourselves.
I have some work to do and I’m considering doing some of it here. It means I’m vulnerable, but I am beginning to realize that I can’t go BACK to the flow that I felt 2 years ago. Instead I need to go FORWARD with the knowledge that certain things make me feel great and others don’t. I can handle each moment as it comes and choose to be open or choose to hide. Hiding helped me at a different stage in my life but it no longer serves me and it’s time to let it go.
Expansion. Thinking about navigating each day in a more open and vulnerable way, with the possibility of failing or embarrassing myself, is still scary. Writing this is scary. So I’m breathing and trying to embrace that terrified feeling and turn it into one of anticipation for what might be out there.
I want to inspire. And be inspired. I want to be true to my nature and my energy and I want to find joy and delight in each step of the journey. Even the hard ones that require commitment and persistence and digging in…and an open heart. Inspiration is in every single day just waiting to be discovered and fanned into a flame. Believe. Breathe. Ignite the spark.