By Wes Annac, Editor, Openhearted Rebel
I wrote the following for the 271st issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month. This is a preview of the article that appears in the guide.
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As spiritual seekers, sometimes we lose our way. It becomes harder to find the light, and we become insecure about the unique ideas that used to fuel us. The inspiration that was once available in abundance becomes scarce as we find that we just aren’t as passionate about life as we used to be.
I’ve been down in this cavern of hopelessly lost inspiration, and as I climb back to the surface, I’d like to share some tips on how you can climb back up too. These tips might not work for everyone, but for me, they’ve been spiritual medicine. I hope they help you regain what you may have lost.
We’ll start with the most obvious tip, which you’ll find in nearly every article on this subject.
- Meditate and exercise more
I’d imagine some of you reading this have been meditating and exercising but still feel low. If this is the case for you, try doing them more and perhaps seeking an alternative approach.
You can try a different meditative practice, for example. There are hundreds of meditative practices you can learn about on the internet or in spiritual texts, and if you stick with just one, it might become uninteresting or repetitive.
A lot of people do the standard meditation where you sit, breathe deeply, become aware of your breath, and detach from your stream of thought. This is the most basic practice and not the only one by far. Do your research (we’ll discuss that later) and explore what might work better than what you’re already doing.
You can do the same with exercise: If possible, try riding a bike one day instead of jogging (or vice versa). Try something new, and your brain will reward you for shaking things up. In the process, you might discover something you enjoy a lot more.
- Run far, far away from your comfort zone
There’s no gentle way to put this: Your comfort zone will slowly kill your inspiration if you stay there. This can especially be said for creative endeavors.
Let’s say you’ve found a new meditative practice or dreamt up a big new project that will take up most of your time and energy. Just as you’re about to start on this journey, you find out your favorite TV show just released a new episode. You now have a choice: start the new project or sit down, relax, and be entertained.
The first option will take you out of your comfort zone, whereas the second will keep you comfortable and require zero effort. But by the time the show is over and your TV is no longer stimulating the release of reward chemicals in your brain, you’ll be left wanting more, wishing the next episode was out and reflecting on your missed opportunity.
Ultimately, we know which path is better. But the better path is also the harder path.
This is because it feels good to be comfortable. So good, in fact, that most people choose to work uninspiring 9-5 jobs so they can come home in the evening and enjoy all the comforts of the modern world. They basically spend their lives in their comfort zone.
This stands in stark contrast to those who have a purpose and consistently pursue it. They work themselves to the bone because they’re inspired and no longer subjected to the limitations of their comfort zone.
As the picture above states, all creative and spiritual “magic” happens outside your comfort zone. The interesting thing is that once you leave it behind, your range of comfort actually expands. You become comfortable doing things you never thought you’d attempt. Then, you can push the bar higher and explore the even more uncomfortable territory.
This is what all the great innovators throughout history have done – the people who really pushed society into new paradigms. You can do it too.
- Research topics that inspire you
In the search for lost inspiration, it might seem counterproductive to do something generally considered boring. Keeping your nose in a book all day might not be the most exciting prospect, but it can expand your mind and help you see the world differently.
I look at learning like this: As humans, our lack of knowledge limits us. We live with a severely handicapped worldview until we start to read, absorb knowledge, and learn about the world. The knowledge we accumulate shapes our understanding of life and, as we get older, influences the way we live.
In the same way that lifting weights will give you bigger muscles, reading and learning will expand your mind. We don’t celebrate intellectual strength as much as physical because as a society, we lack an understanding of how a person’s knowledge (or lack thereof) shapes who they are.
Reading and researching are tremendously valuable for spiritual seekers. After all, how can you expand your consciousness if you don’t give yourself the mental and emotional tools to do so? The same can be said for activists; how can you fight the latest illegally-constructed oil pipeline if you don’t know anything about it?
You’d be surprised at the effect research has on your worldview and your spiritual practices. If you feel spiritually empty, try looking through some books and learning some new things about the soul. Hopefully, you’ll find what you’ve been searching for.
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