Lately I’ve been finding that just sitting on my balcony for a few minutes, looking at the trees and the sky and the birds, is very peaceful for me. It’s almost like a meditation because it stills the chatter of my thoughts. I get out there and I’m always struck by the vibrant colors of the trees and plants; the unthinking ease with which the hummingbirds fly around, and the beauty of the hills in the distance. Just a few minutes a couple of times a day has proved very calming and inspirational for me. The same thing happens if I am to look at the night sky. This has been a pattern since I was a child. The night sky always inspires a sense of wonder and awe in me as I ponder the impossible vastness of the universe. I was reminded of this the other night. I was sitting in my car waiting for a friend and I took the opportunity to roll down the window and just gaze up at the night sky. The neighborhood is a particularly quiet, suburban one so I could see more stars than when I’m in the city. For me, there is nothing like acknowledging the enormity and beauty of our universe, the stars, planets etc to create a sense of calm.
Whether it’s looking at trees or at stars; both these things give me perspective and reminds me that the small and sometimes repetitive, world of my thoughts, is not all that there is. There is something infinitely bigger, more powerful, more peaceful and even more real that exists. And this ‘something’ takes care of all the important stuff in nature and life. Everything is just as it should be. I feel my own sense of connection to this greater power and then realize that I can also let it take care of my own life, if I get out of my own way! Now I do not mean that I can then just sit around and expect that things will magically happen. In reality what happens is that I strengthen my connection to this greater power and it inspires me, and creates a mental space for me to act out of that same spirit in myself. So it leads to more action, not less. And the action is more powerful and meaningful because it’s coming from the soul and not from my manic thoughts!
Lately I’ve been reading Wayne Dyer’s Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life and when I read verse 72 this really resonated with what I’ve been experiencing. He writes of the need to feel a sense of awe and wonderment about life:
The reason it’s crucial to have a sense of awe is because it helps loosen the ego’s hold on your thinking. You can then know that there’s something great and enduring that animates all of existence.
The realization that you are so much smaller than anything in nature, in a physical sense, immediately takes your ego out of the equation. You become instantly humbled. For me this becomes an empowering experience. You have to realize you are physically and cosmically small in order to set free your spirit from the restrictions of your (ego-driven) thoughts, and allow it to expand to its infinite size. When I look at the sky and realize the vastness of the universe, what happens for me is that I also feel a connection to it. The spirit in me, which is sometimes kept ‘small’ or quiet by my ego/thoughts, has the space to recognize its source in a much grander way and this strengthens the feeling of spirit in me. I feel its calmness and the presence of something bigger but universal. So this leads to a sense of awe and appreciation for life itself, and then the capacity to act “bigger” than before – and do things that are truly inspired.
In contrast, when we think we are so big and important, as physical human beings, i.e. we are being controlled by our egos, we generally end up acting like a**holes because we think we are more important than others. But when you realize how small you are, that you are just one tiny piece of an infinite whole, you then are able to unlock your own infinite and amazing powers. The sense of perspective this gives us empowers us to honor that great spirit in all things including ourselves and other people; and we act in much kinder and more selfless ways.
So if you are ever feeling unmotivated, uninspired or just “bleh”, I recommend you literally keep your head to the sky and let the wonder of the universe replenish your spirit.
What steps do you take when feeling less than inspired?