As we are nearing the end of winter, we may find ourselves longing for the warmth, light, and new beginnings that spring brings. The cold shorter days often cause many to withdraw and retract. We may find that our bodies are tight or even brittle, and this can carry over to our mind and spirit. The days can feel compressed and missing a sense of ease, space, and fluidity.
I had noticed recently that my sense of inspiration had been dulled. Having always been inspired by the little things – hidden beauty in commonplace experiences – I began to feel that I had no time to be inspired. “Having no time.” A phrase we utter so often and are so quick believe in its truth.
So where to start? Changing this sense of compression and lack of time will take a little effort on our parts. But when I say little, I really mean little. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming or drastic – just as inspiration itself does not have to be miraculous or awe inspiring. Below is a picture I took from a trip to Scandinavia over the summer. A rainbow over the fjords in Norway. Clearly, I was moved and inspired after seeing this – in fact, my breath was literally taken away. But we are not exposed to such grand landscapes and enormity on a daily basis. And that’s OK. We are surrounded by beauty – there is no question of that. A red balloon contrasted in front of a white apartment; the sun hitting an old abandoned Ferris wheel; flowers pushing up from the dirt on the side of the road; a chip in an oversized coffee mug; bright vegetables from a farmer’s market. Beauty really is all around us, but we have to still our minds to be receptive to it.
A simple place to start is to make some space and give yourself a little breathing room. Maybe that means carving out an extra 10-15 minutes in the morning so you don’t feel like you’re being released from the starting gate each day. Or sitting in silence, un-plugged, for just 10 minutes. It’s like a bath for the mind – tuning out and turning in. Relationships and connections to others are incredibly important for our health and well-being; but there is a difference between going for a walk with a friend and going for a walk by yourself. In solitude you create moments where you are alone with the world, so the world can speak to you. Coupled with this is the importance of making space in our own bodies. With open space and open breath, we become more receptive to the dialogue of our body and of the world around us. How we carry our bodies and breath effects how we carry our mind. Tight closed body and breath – tight closed mind and heart. Space in our body, muscles, joints, and deep full breath – open mind and heart.
So with small mindful intention we can make room for inspiration and make space to be inspired. It really can be that simple.