We have talked about an inspired life being a daily journey, taking steps toward simplicity, mindfulness and a thankful heart. This journey will be as unique as you are; there is no single road map. But there are some common elements that fellow travelers turn to on the road to a more inspired life.
They often take a moment and set their intention. What is it you need in your life right now? Perhaps you want to declare an intention to slow down, say no to a few things, to smile more, complete a task or make a new friend. If you want peace, try being more peaceful. If you seek joy, try being kind. If you want love, be more loving. Setting your intention can open up wonderful new things in your life.
Many find it important to make time for a daily moment of gratitude. This can be as simple as acknowledging your gratitude with a first sip of coffee or it can be a time of meditation or devotions when you more fully seek out a spiritual time of gratitude. A thankful heart is open to the beauty and joy in each day.
With these two compass points, you can begin to live consciously. You will begin to see where your small choices will be the small steps toward a more inspired life.
Here are signposts you might see as you begin to pay attention:
Setting boundaries – Our friends and family, and sometimes even strangers, can make a lot of assumptions that impact us. They may assume we will loan them money, help them move, host the holiday dinner. These may or may not be things you would choose. Set your boundaries and make sure you are the one who makes the choice.
Saying no – You will be invited or expected to do many things that are only obligation. When you are mindful, you’ll see them coming in time to graciously and lovingly say no. The exact words will depend on the nature of the invitation or expectation, but your loving “no” can sound something like, “That is such a wonderful invitation, but I have a another commitment (or I can’t take on any new projects right now).” Do not apologize. Be thankful for the invitation.
Stay grounded – There is a lot of drama in the world. You do not need to be caught up in it. You are probably already aware of where you see drama with family, friends, neighbors or current events. Remain a neutral observer.
Renegotiate obligations – From time to time we realize we are fulfilling an obligation made earlier that no longer brings joy. It is okay to explore ways to renegotiate. You may look for someone to pick up the task or at least share it, or you might find it helps just to begin making plans for an exit strategy even if it will take some time.
Keep a sense of wonder – Life is pretty amazing. When you are grounded and mindful, you can see the wonder and magic in simple things much more easily. Perhaps this is an intention you set from time to time, being on the lookout for the miracles in each day.
Look for the joy in small things – Similar to keeping a sense of wonder, looking for the joy in our daily activity is huge in living a more inspired life. This is particularly helpful when tending to life’s daily chores. Can you find the joy in folding laundry or mowing the lawn?
Accept what cannot be changed – We have a lot of power in our choices, but we can’t always avoid an unwelcome obligation. That’s okay. Accept it. Your inspired life can respond to these situations by saying, “I really don’t want to do this, but I am willing.”
This is a lot to take in, don’t feel you need to change everything right away. From these ideas, take note of what resonates with you and choose one or two to try. You might also seek out others on a similar journey to support you. And let me know what you find most helpful. I love hearing new ideas.