Here we are, on the eve of the earth completing another cycle, slowing to turn and head back north. For us north of the equator, that means tomorrow is the shortest day of the year. In the south, it’s the longest.
It is a wonderful time to pause and take a good breath, and wonder about the coming cycle.
It’s a time when I ask myself: What would I like to have be true, at the completion of this next cycle?
I like to ask myself this question when I am feeling deeply inspired.
One of the most inspiring pieces of writing to come across my desk in a long time is this piece,written by Walter Lippmann and published in his New York Herald Tribune column, Today and Tomorrow, on July 8, 1937, just days after Amelia Earhart went missing.
A Requiem for Amelia Earhart.
“I cannot quite remember whether Miss Earhart undertook her flight with some practical purpose in mind, say, to demonstrate something or other about aviation which will make it a little easier for commercial passengers to move more quickly around the world. There are those who seem to think that an enterprise like hers must have some such justification, that without it there was no good reason for taking such grave risks.
But in truth Miss Earhart needs no such justification. The world is a better place to live in because it contains human beings who will give up ease and security and stake their own lives in order to do what they themselves think worth doing.
…The best things of mankind are as useless as Amelia Earhart’s adventure. They are the things that are undertaken not for some definite, measurable result, but because someone, not counting the costs or calculating the consequences, is moved by curiosity, the love of excellence, a point of honor, the compulsion to invent or to make or to understand. In such persons mankind overcomes the inertia which would keep it earthbound forever in its habitual ways. They have in them the free and useless energy with which alone men surpass themselves…
Such energy cannot be planned and managed and made purposeful, or weighted by the standards of utility or judged by its social consequences. It is wild and it is free. But all the heroes, the saints, the seers, the explorers and the creators partake of it. They do not know what they discover. They do not know where their impulse is taking them. They can give no account in advance of where they are going or explain completely where they have been. They have been possessed for a time with an extraordinary passion which is unintelligible in ordinary terms.
No preconceived theory fits them. No material purpose actuates them. They do the useless, brave, noble, the divinely foolish and the very wisest things that are done by man. And what they prove to themselves and to others is that man is no mere creature of his habits, no mere automaton in his routine, no mere cog in the collective machine, but that in the dust of which he is made there is also fire, lighted now and then by great winds from the sky.”
Whew. Thank you, Walter.
What a great place from which to ask the question,
What would I like to have be true, at the completion of this next cycle?
Another way I increase my personal inspiration and motivation is to look backward, and see where I've come from.
Right now, I'm reviewing an amazing journey I am completing.
Ten years ago, I realized that I was no longer living the wide-open life that I had when I was younger, the life that took me interesting places simply because I wanted to go there, wanted to try things, wanted to learn and grow and share and explore.
Somehow, over the years, I had contracted. My life had contracted. I was second guessing myself in ways that I never had when I was younger, and I was sick of it.
I was sick of being half-hearted about the things I tried.
I was sick of not throwing myself in to things.
I was sick of doubting myself.
Somehow, I didn’t feel like I owned my own life. I was checking in, measuring up, comparing…I had settled for the safety of leaning on other people’s opinion about how to do things. I had gotten scared.
Where was the ME I knew from my youth? When had I gotten so very cautious?
I couldn’t even say - didn’t think I knew - what I wanted.
But I did know one thing: I did NOT want THIS. This contraction. This fear, this doubt, this endless caution.
Who knows where the big moments come from – there’s just a day when you’re done tolerating. That day, I knew. I had had it. I knew I would no longer settle for anything less than to be living a fully engaged life.
So – it all began. Ten years ago, I decided to do whatever it took to bring myself back to who I knew myself to be. A woman who dares to try things without any other justification than because it is in my heart to do.
It has been an incredible journey, exploring what was in the way of my willingness to dare to simply be completely myself.
It has brought me to my knees more than once, elevated me to euphoria, slammed me back down, and finally, layer by layer by layer, has relieved me of my resistance to opening my heart and living full out. It has delivered me into a willingness to be present, to connect, and to love without so many rules about what it has to look like.
Does reading any of this inspire you?
Would you like help taking a look at what you would love to have be true, an outside eye to help you see and appreciate all the amazing things you have done to place yourself in a position to go there now?
If you would like to explore it for yourself, if you’d like to feel that willingness to dare to be completely yourself and go for your dreams, I’d love to talk with you.
We won’t just talk…I’ll take you to the place where you can really appreciate yourself, identify your desire, and feel your growing willingness to go for it. Feel your own determination. Feel the truth of who you are.
Once you do that for yourself, your life will never be the same.
If this sounds good, simply write me back, and we’ll set up a time to get on the phone or Skype.
Cheers and hugs,
Personally, I want to live from the place described by Walter Lippman, a place that I have come to think of as the heroism of unbridled curiosity about who I am, and what all is possible for me in this amazing world.
How about you?