About a year ago, I wrote this post on Gluten Free Sage about inspiration and why inspiration matters. It began with happy memories of the pop culture years of the late ’60s and how they kept popping up throughout my days—as either a wistful thought or nostalgic feeling. This seemed too much of a coincidence. I wanted to investigate further. Then more synchronicities occurred and I found myself suddenly following an exciting line of action and reaction. My soul was sending me on a journey.
Taking meaningful action on inspiration is so incredibly important and is the springboard for creativity. I didn’t realize the true impact of this until recently.
This has been a transformative few years for me. Primarily because I discovered there’s a process one must go through to open ourselves up to inspiration and take meaningful action around it.
There was a time in my life I refer to as “building my cathedral.” It was a time when I was navigating my pre-celiac diagnosis while working as a nurse and raising my family. Raising my boys was everything because I took the job seriously. I was busy. Incredibly busy, and very focused.
So many things go by the wayside when you’re focused on keeping your kids, your house, your relationships or your career afloat. Spending time on anything unnecessary for everyday survival does not seem practical. And if you’ve experienced a trauma, like a loss or an illness, how do you move past survival mode and learn to embrace life again?
An often overlooked and incredibly important aspect of finding what pushes your buttons is the need to be well. It’s not easy to explore, learn about, and enjoy the world around you if you’re not strong and healthy. It’s important to recognize that, own it, and know it’s within your control. You can do this by making time for yourself. You have to create this in any way that you can.
The most simple way I learned to do this was by taking care of my body.
When the environment you live in and your body’s wellness align, it will become effortless for you to do what you love.
Serious exercise played a big part in my health and recovery after being diagnosed with celiac disease, as well as writing poetry. I didn’t realize it at the time, but while I was building muscle and physical strength, I was creating emotional fitness. I was using art as therapy. I was healing.
We don’t plan for illness, injuries or stress. And when they catch us by surprise, they can dramatically change our lives. True healing is not waiting for time to heal. It’s creating the environment where healing takes place. We need health and wellness to build up our emotional strength so we can be open to inspiration, and therefore tap into our gifts.
Something I learned a couple of years ago from Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map is how to use my core desired feelings as a guidance system for goal setting. We all have an emotional guidance system. For example, how do you want to feel when you hike a mountain? When I was first diagnosed with celiac, I could barely get to the top of the 2 flights of stairs to my husbands office. I would get to the top, put my hand on the door knob, and catch my breath. That was 14 years ago.
The turning point was in 2015 when I walked 4.6 miles up to Booth Falls in Vail, Colorado. From a tough time climbing two flights of stairs to 1000 ft is a huge improvement! I skipped down the mountain with a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction—a direct result of changing my diet and lifestyle.
A healthy, gluten-free diet and daily exercise helps me stay in shape, but poetry—and inspiration—gives my life shape.
I’m an adventurous girl at heart and my emotional guidance system was tugging at my conscience and reminding me of that. That climb up to Booth Falls is symbolic of my ascent up an emotional mountain of feeling weak and discouraged to hopeful and optimistic. These new positive expectations and beliefs brought me to hiking, swimming, nature and poetry, and I discovered these are passions of mine.
Many of us stop trusting and following our own guidance at some point in our lives for many reasons. The truth is that you’re the one that truly knows who you are and what you need, whether it’s to heal your body, follow your purpose, or whatever your heart desires. Listen to your emotions. Learning to trust and follow your own guidance will support you 100% in making positive changes in all areas of your life and help you to heal.
Inspiration can be activated, captured and used to motivate, and has a major effect on important life outcomes. Every day I continue to wake up with my shoulders back and a go get ’em attitude; a new, improved state of mind and self-care. It’s not just work, work, work anymore, but an awesome balance of helping others while doing what makes me feel good. So the more I eat well, exercise and write poetry, the more I feel inspired. The more open I am to inspiration, the more open I am to new possibilities!
If you have a big dream—that your heart is truly desiring—don’t let anything stop you.
Sure it’s risky, but if you can make a difference and possibly change people’s lives, then you have to march forward and DO IT. I’ve learned it by living it. By watching people before me. By risking criticism. By wearing my heart on my sleeve. By making sacrifices and going full-out-on-a-limb. I know the idea of risk is relative and that tolerance is in the eye of the beholder, but I believe that for the value I receive, it’s worth it.
My latest illustrated poetry book Wild White Indigo is one of those risks, but it’s also why inspiration matters. I didn’t set out with the intention of publishing a third book. I just wrote. I tweeted micropoetry. I texted rhyming messages to friends and family. I thought of poems at the gas pump, when opening a bottle of wine, and on hikes while walking among native wildflowers. I showed up everyday and put in the effort, driven by the desire to do what I love.
White Wild Indigo is an accumulation of all these bits and bursts of inspiration, poetry and synchronicity, brought to life by the beautiful and talented Annie Moor. It was upon meeting Annie that I decided on a third book, inspired by her and her art.
This book has served as an important reminder to live in the present moment and to appreciate all that I have and all the beauty that surrounds me.
Poetry has opened doors to meaningful relationships and experiences. It has made me more aware of my own intuitive thoughts that may suggest a course of action to move my life forward with passion and determination.
If something changes your life and you do something differently because of it, then that experience changes your motivations. Motivations are emotions. The more something has value, meaning, purpose, or importance, the more it motivates you. My celiac diagnosis certainly changed my life. It taught me how to identify and treat the cause of what was making me feel bad. It motivated me to create this site as a platform for healthy living through artful experiences and a voice for those whose bodies and spirits needed healing.
Human beings need to have something that they are committed to and passionate about and that is directed toward helping others or the world. I believe that having the belief that your life has purpose gives you resiliency. When something stressful comes along, you’re able to handle it better because you have things in your life that give it meaning and purpose.
What I’ve learned is that taking meaningful action on inspiration and giving your whole self to your purpose is one of the greatest joys in life—from both the successes and failures. So take the risk. It’s too risky NOT to.