Living an inspired life is not a destination, but rather a journey. And it may be easier to grasp what an inspired life really is by taking a moment to look at what it is not.
It is not being driven by aggressive ambition. It is not being motivated by obligation or the expectation of others.
Living an inspired life is a life drawn to simplicity, gratitude and a daily acknowledgment of the divine. There is a higher power at work in this world, and when we are in tune with our purpose, living from our heart, we are rewarded with joy and satisfaction.
My friend Kay is a wonderful example. Working mother of two, she can easily get caught up in the need to run from one thing to the next, tracking her progress on a list of things to do (when she can find the list!).
There was a time when she thought buying groceries on the way home from work, getting both girls to soccer practice and doing a load of wash after fixing and cleaning dinner so that she could then read a chapter in her book club book was just what she had to do every day. And she still worried that she should have written thank you notes and brushed the dog.
As we started talking about what it would look like for her to live a more inspired life, she realized that she had taken on many obligations she didn’t enjoy. This was keeping her from a sense of gratitude and it was making it hard to simplify her days.
We looked at some of the things on the “to-do” list and found some obligations that she might be able to re-negotiate. Could she carpool with other parents so that she didn’t drive to soccer practice every day? Could the family help with dinner? Was the book club something that brought joy?
Sometimes we agree to do something and then find that it is not what we expected. This an area where setting boundaries might help, or perhaps there is room for re-negotiation.
There are also times we all face an unwelcome obligation that we cannot avoid. It simply must be done. In those instances, there are strategies you can deploy to accept the obligation and complete the task with the most positive approach possible.
I would like to explore with you some of these strategies and talk about the power of saying no (in a loving way!) in the next post. There will always be a list of things to tend to, and when you have been able to choose those things, you can tend to them with a more joyful heart.