March 2nd, 2012

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Getting Inspired by the Uninspiring

Something I've been working on lately is learning to trust life, to let go of all the resistance that rises up so quickly to whatever might be happening. I know that so much of that resistance is fear. And I want to learn to calm down and take life as it comes and see its beauty.

Last night in my writing group we did two writing exercises. With both of them, the minute the facilitator announced the prompt, I thought, "Oh, great, that doesn't inspire me at all. I don't want to write about that. There's nothing interesting about that." But then, because I'm working on this trust thing, I made myself shut up. I didn't try to think about what to write. I just tried to get quiet inside. I forced myself to be patient, no matter how many precious minutes of our writing session ticked by, no matter that other people's pens were dashing across their pages. I sat still, not thinking. And then a few words came to me, and even though they didn't seem too interesting, I wrote them down. And then a few more came and I wrote those down too. And before I knew it, I was on a roll. And about twenty minutes later, when time was called, I had a complete piece written -- one that had depth and meaning, details and characters that came alive, a mini-story I felt good about. And when I read it out loud to the group and people reacted to it, I realized there was even more in there than I'd realized. All from a prompt that I'd found uninspiring.

It made me think back to this issue about life -- learning to fall into whatever it is that is happening -- even if it doesn't seem ideal or inspiring. Because the truth is no matter how much we think we know how we want things to be, sometimes letting them be what they already are can lead us to someplace better than we've ever imagined.

I'll be traveling next week -- an adventure I'm a little nervous about. There won't be a post then. But I'll be continuing to work on this issue, trying to meet whatever challenges may arise with acceptance and trust. If you find stumbling blocks in your path along the way, try letting that be okay, see if you can get still and notice what it is they want to tell you, toward what new direction they might be pushing. You might be surprised where it leads.