So why was a conversation with a guy who makes $6.35 an hour more unshakably unforgettable and potentially life-changing than an afternoon spent with a world renown, multiple best-selling, shrine-in-my-closet to, spiritual guru? Beats me…but it was.
On second thought, I’ll give it a shot.
I think, like the modern day spin on many basic human needs and experiences (ie. food, clothing, shelter) inspiration…has also…gone a little commercial. It seems we are programmed to expect the most profound guidance and insight out of the biggest, best-selling; and brightest “superstars” on the planet – the authors, the talk show hosts, the enlightened, and the “world-renown self-helpers”. These are the folks who have it all figured out, right? These are the ones we trust to reshape our minds, redirect our lives and help us to avoid the dreadful drive of a downward spiral.
And, often, they do. But I must say, I know what I’m looking for when I pick up one of my little words of wisdom treasures. (Mind you, I have read Seat of the Soul twice since last blogging.) And I am always inspired – but in a way that I am familiar with – even upon the very first read. In fact, the word itself, “inspire” means to breathe. So these books, to me, serve as a sort of spiritual refreshment; a gentle reminder to relax, breathe... and observe my existence…especially when I am hyper-focused to the point of madness. In those moments, I look forward to nesting in the soft, rhythmic explanations; the ones that will illustrate, once again, that there is a parallel universe – one where we can actually choose the outcome: love or fear. And no matter how blocked or congested our lives or mind, there is always room for growth.
Time and time again, I am brought back to where I’ve been before. Like sipping from the very same chalice of serenity in the recurring afterglow of chaos…. and, believe me, it’s a good thing.
But is a reminder to breathe, truly, the all-encompassing experience of inspiration?
What about the kind of inspiration that is unfamiliar – the kind that brings us some place new? The kind that doesn’t just comfort what ails us, but rocks our world with a vision not only for the future...but the present. One, that until that point, had never even graced our dreams? The kind that does not show us how to transform, but that simply transforms us.
The kind that is, altogether, unexpected.
I had prepared for nearly a month straight to meet my guru-someone I had admired, followed and considered a mentor-from-afar, for nearly a decade. It had finally nailed the interview and I was dually excited on both a personal and professional level. I knew that on that day, my whole world was going to change.
And it did.
I was on time, on target, and primed for the most special of all meetings and the abundantly inspirational moments I would soon live. Ones I would savor for the rest my life.
Unfortunately, it felt like I was the only person who had showed up.
I would say that I was correct in a singular prediction. This was new territory. What happened next was an unraveling of my very first “deceased” conversation – an exchange that combusted into a pile of ashes before my very eyes. I flubbed and squirmed, scraping as many thoughts from my tongue as I could, and awkwardly plugging the silent holes – but the ship kept sinking. And the guru seemed to have fallen asleep on the life raft while I drowned alongside.
Perhaps it was a just an off day. I suppose even gurus get tired. Maybe I had expected entirely too much. Or, perhaps…I had simply been looking in the wrong direction.
I left feeling was not only but like I had depleted my last gram of energy, but like I had spent my morning, literally, trying to raise the dead. Inspired? No. I was expired.
But then something miraculous happened. In the days and weeks that followed, while licking my wounds and wrestling with the gremlin of overwhelming regret, I experienced another unusual "meeting". Only this certain someone, was about as non-guru as one might imagine. A simple man, with a simple dream, and a simple life. Admittedly. I did not prepare for him. I showed up, with a simple nub of a pencil, a simple notebook, and simply no expectation whatsoever.
And…yet…to my delight, I was tasered by a conversation they did not want to end. This encounter was, in fact, alive! A friendship, a kinship… blossoming before my eyes. And an outpouring of life wisdom I will never forget. Not because I will re-read or revisit the words in a best-selling book- because that my friends, does not exist- but because it is literally now, embedded into my very existence.
You see, there is a feeling, a moment, that I have often heard described as “embodying the curiosity of the entire universe”. The moment when we are not preparing to transform, or seeking to transform, but when our cells are in the middle of transformation. This moment, this meeting, was one of those moments.
Inspired? I'd say so. Not only to breathe, but to be re-born.
Not only have I since submerged myself back into the most instinctual world I know - the often inexplicable vortex of storytelling…by I have re-emerged, once again, with a fresh view. It seems the simple, low burning fires - the, slow, the steady – the ones that we walk by every single day..have something pretty fiery inside. I realized that the true leaders of the world, not only inspire but transform. And they are not necessarily signing autographs or standing behind the podium, but may be a simple someone, with a simple message, looking up from the crowd.
But it is undeniable. We live in an inspirationally dichotic world. There are moments and people that are expected to inspire & then...there are those that simply do. I think the best we can do is to stop pointing the lens...in the same direction...all the time. We can open it as wide as possible, without any expectation whatsoever, and just let the entire spectrum of light fill our minds. And yes, inspiration may happen when face to face with a world re-known, best-selling, shrine-in-your-closet-to guru. But keep in mind…
inspiration, the kind that strikes at our core, and changes us forever, is as unpredictable as lightening. It simply strikes...
when you least expect it.