Your Inspiratory System
Inspiration can mean different things to each of us. Some of us think of it as something mysterious, invisible, and magical. While some of us associate it with the results of showing up and doing the hard work. It might feel like a fizzing tickle of energy in the present moment, or it might only be visible after the moment passes. We might think of it as something that happens to other people.
Whatever it is for us personally, we can create and nurture conditions for more of it in and around our lives.
Inspiration comes from the same root as respiration. It's a state of breath. And we can think of it as a circular system of input and output.
Inspiration happens, whether we are consciously aware and intentional about it or not.
We breathe in the spirit of the world around us. And we breathe out whatever that does after we’ve processed it. And so the life that we express is a mirrored reflection of the stuff we expose ourselves to and experience. Whether we are thinking about it or not.
But we CAN be intentional about it. And we CAN raise our awareness, notice what we are breathing in and see the affect it is having on our lives.
How is your inspiratory system right now?
Our Inspiratory System is influenced by things like:
People, Media, Education, Connectedness, Place, Play, Physical Movement, Art, Rest
I would love to invite you to consider these areas so that you can identify potential inspiration blockers lurking in and around your life right now. This will help you pay attention to what you want to make space for more of and the impact of the current state of things on your bigger picture and aspirations.
The wheel represents different aspects of the Inspiratory System. Download and draw on this version. Or you can create your own. It really doesn't matter!
Inspiration is a system of input, output, and rest. Aspects of our physical body are influenced by what we eat. And it's the same for certain parts of emotional, mental, and creative well-being, which are nurtured, grown, and sustained by a variety of sources in our inspiratory system. It's easy to drift into ruts and habits that can leave us feeling stale, stagnant, and disconnected.
Think about these 9 aspects of the inspiratory system and score how satisfied you are with it right now (1 = very dissatisfied and 10 = extremely satisfied).
Draw a line through each area of the wheel to represent your current level of satisfaction.
- It's important to have people in our lives who energise and inspire us - on a scale of 1-10 how satisfied are you with the impact and influence other people have on your life right now?
- With rolling news, on-demand TV services, and the infinite social media feeds, this is a time of information abundance. On a scale of 1-10 how satisfied are you with the quality and quantity of media you are letting into your life right now?
- Education can be a deep source of inspiration. On a scale of 1-10 how satisfied are you in your relationship with what, how, and why you are learning in your life right now?
- Inspiration tends to grow when we feel a sense of connection to things. This feels different for all of us. For example, you might describe it as spiritual connectedness, sensory attunement, or social belonging to the world around you. On a scale of 1-10 how satisfied are you with your sense of connectedness to the world right now?
- One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of our inspiratory system is rest. Society's obsession with productivity and busyness can actually cause us to be less productive and effective at times, especially when it comes at the price of our wellbeing. On a scale of 1-10 how satisfied are you with your levels of rest and relaxation right now?
- There is often a link between movement and inspiration. For example, you might have found that walking, stretching, or doing physical exercise has created an inspiring breakthrough for you. On a scale of 1-10 how satisfied are you with the amount of physical movement you are getting right now?
- Our physical environment has an influence on our inspiratory system. This impacts us all in different ways. Maybe you get deeply inspired when you are able to travel and explore unfamiliar spaces. Or perhaps you get inspired when you have a safe place that feels like yours where you can be yourself. On a scale of 1-10 how satisfied are you with the concept of "place" in your life right now?
- We are standing on the shoulders of giants, with access to an abundance of all the inspiring work produced over hundreds of years through the imaginations of humans. Music, theatre, film, dance, craft, literature, visual arts, etc can infuse the inspiratory system in a whole range of unexpected ways. On a scale of 1-10 how satisfied are you with your exposure to and experience of art right now?
- We don't just find inspiration from the world outside of us. We also get inspired by the things we do and the feeling of growth we can experience through active involvement in non-productive creative play. On a scale of 1-10 how satisfied are you with the amount of creative play and practice in your life right now?
Connect the lines along the solid spokes to form your inner wheel (like below). How does yours look? Would it be a comfortable ride if it were the wheel on your bike?
Is there a particular area that you would like to address first? What could you do to push that aspect of inspiration from its current score to the next level? Check out the meditations if you need ideas for what that might look like.