Sometimes it’s hard to be inspired when you’re going through the day to day activities that make up your daily routine. When we get into the daily grind, we really are only focused on the day ahead. We can get caught up in petty frustrations and forget about why we do what we do, what we love and what we’re passionate about in life. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of practicality; we need to work in our jobs, we need to make money, we need to run around and do errands. What’s so inspiring about that?
Even if you love what you do, you can lose sight of your inspiration. Staying inspired is a daily intention. It takes work, just like being in a relationship. Because being inspired is a commitment you make to being in a relationship with yourself and your passions, you have to make time for it. That is always the hard part. It’s easy to let other things take the place of making the time for our what inspires us. Sometimes, it’s not even making time to DO something that inspires us; sometimes it’s merely the act of being inspired by what we’re already doing that is the intention.
I had the distinct pleasure over the past 4 days to spend time in the presence of great yoga teachers. The training I spoke of in my last post, with Tiffany Cruikshank, was a wonderful exercise in being inspired. I have had the experience of training with a number of excellent teachers over the years, each unique in their own way and each crystal clear in their style. It got me thinking today about what inspires me as a teacher. It’s important for me to stay connected to these things because I can tend to get caught up in the day to day and lose that feeling of inspiration. It’s easy when you’re away, immersed in training, to find that inspriation. But how can we find it in our every day lives?
Keep seeking knowledge. When we think we know all there is to know about a particular topic, we stagnate. Most people, even if they don’t think they’re experts in their area of passion can lose sight of continuing education. I am always amazed at how much there is to learn about yoga and when I’m at a training, I always feel inspired to learn more not only at the training, but upon my return. What is your area of expertise? What are you doing to stay current, to learn more, to expand your knowledge about that topic?
Surround yourself with others who share your passion. When you surround yourself with people who share your passion, it’s easy to be inspired. We can learn so much from others and so much of our own growth comes from sharing as well as listening. One of the best things about any yoga training is meeting other teachers, hearing where they teach, the challenges they face, what inspires them, what they’re doing to expand their expertise as a teacher. How do you find ways to connect with others in your field?
Ask questions. Part of being with others who share your passion involves talking about yourself and what’s going on in your life. While it’s great to share, the real magic is in listening to others and finding out about their lives, how they juggle everything going on to stay inspired and how they continue their learning.
Stay committed to your unique way of being. There are so many things that can sway us from our authentic nature. While social media is great for building connections, it’s one of the easiest ways to lose our way. Especially as it relates to yoga teaching, it’s easy to use social media as a way to try to gauge what’s popular and try to follow that path. In order to stay inspired, we need to be able to express ourselves in an authentic way. When we’re expressing ourselves in a way that is true to who we really are, we light up the world with our authenticity. This is an empowering expression of self and through this, we naturally feel inspired.
Know your priorities. This is the hardest one yet, as we all have competing priorities in our lives. The challenge is to remember what we need to do on a regular basis, in order to stay inspired and then make a commitment to doing those things. Make a list, stick it on your bathroom mirror or set reminders in your phone. Whatever technique you use, keep the list handy and refer to it regularly.
Being inspired takes effort on some level but when we make these actions part of our everyday lives, it comes much easier. When we feel like we’re losing our way, it can be helpful to do something to jolt our system; whether that’s taking a few days off, going to a training or disconnecting from all social media for a few days, meditating, exercising and really immersing ourself in self-study. Without inspiration, our lives are flat. Our energy is low, we don’t motivate others to move forward and we lose interest in what we’re doing. There’s no fire in our belly, no spring in our step and no light in our eyes. When we’re inspired, we gain new energy, we make spontaneous connections and our learning and sharing level is high. Who wouldn’t want to walk through life in this way?