3 Actionable Tips To Find Inspiration In Your Daily Life, From A Meditation Teacher
Finding your inspiration seems like a giant undertaking, a quest that ends with some sort of tangible prize or sense of fulfillment. This is far from the case! Not only is the task quite elusive and vague, but sources of inspiration can also differ from person to person—so it's difficult to prescribe one set of guidelines for all.
That's exactly why meditation teacher, bestselling author, and mbg class instructor Light Watkins recommends daily doses to recognize your "voice of inspiration," that inner sense of awareness or itch to follow your heart.
"There are so many voices inside," he says on this episode of the mindbodygreen podcast. "There's the pain voice; there's the trauma voice; there are the stress triggers; there's the voice of social conditioning; and there's the voice of inspiration—when people say ‘Follow your heart’ or ‘Be yourself,’ or, ‘Find authenticity,’ they're all referring to the voice of inspiration within."
How, though, should you listen to that voice when all the others attempt to overshadow it? Below, Watkins offers his top three tips to lean on inspiration in your daily life—because feeling inspired is a journey, not a destination:
1. Start small.
Like any skill, finding inspiration takes practice—you don't have to have this giant epiphany to feel inspired. "At any given moment, every adult, and probably [kid, too], is contemplating options. 'Do I eat a peanut butter sandwich, or do I eat broccoli salad? Do I work on my passion project or do I [write] emails?'" Watkins explains. "Hone in on some of those options, maybe five or 10 a day, and practice listening to what feels most expansive."
Of course, you shouldn't completely ignore your daily to-do's, but do your best to listen to your intuition and what feels right for you at that moment. "You're not going to get it right every time," Watkins adds, but if you attempt to follow that voice of inspiration 10 times in a day, perhaps five or six of those times will lead you toward your higher purpose. Fair odds, no?
Plus, "once you have enough empirical evidence, then you'll start to see for yourself: 'Oh, this is what my voice of inspiration sounds like and feels like,'" says Watkins. Through that experimentation, you'll be able to familiarize yourself with that inspirational voice inside, and it'll get easier and easier to follow through.
2. Stretch outside your comfort zone.
As Watkins mentioned above, you have multiple voices scattered across your mind all day long—that's what makes it difficult to pinpoint your voice of inspiration, as it often gets clouded by stress, pain, trauma, etc.
But according to Watkins, the voice of inspiration has a defining factor: It makes you feel uncomfortable. "It's actually pushing your comfort zone," he says. "It's pushing you into the growth zone, where you feel a little stretched in a good way, whereas the other voices tend to just say retreat, or run, or do what's comfortable."
And, again, you can start small. Let's say you meet someone new and think they're super nice: Instead of listening to the voice that's fearful of rejection, ask them for their number to go out for coffee or tea. Or, says Watkins, if you're walking to a destination and something inside of you says to turn left—take a left and see what happens, even if the destination is to the right.
"Don't talk yourself out of the little things, and then eventually, you'll be able to do the bigger things," he adds. "You have to get out of your intellect, which is going to give you a thousand good reasons why you shouldn't grow and stretch and get out of your comfort zone. And that's what you're really looking for."
3. Trust the process.
It's easier said than done, but try not to second-guess yourself. Trust that inner voice of inspiration! According to Watkins, "Then you can follow through on it a lot easier."
It's also important not to become discouraged along the way. The term "finding your inspiration" sounds pretty profound, but it doesn't have to be—if you feel stressed or overwhelmed at the thought of dreaming big, try not to put too much pressure on yourself.
"You never know what your path entails, but listen to what's going on inside of you and follow through on that to the best that you can," Watkins notes. "The next step is not going to get revealed until you take that first step." It can feel scary to trust your inner voice without knowing how the thing will pan out, but that's the whole point: Stretch outside of your comfort zone by taking the leap. Chances are, you'll find the answers eventually.
Your voice of inspiration is a valuable thing; cherish and listen to it with these three tips. While these pointers offer general guidance, the details may differ depending on your needs. As Watkins explains, "Nobody can tell you what [your] inspiration is—only you can tell that for yourself."