838th Week: Finding Inspiration in Troubling Times

A while back, I listened to a book by Merlin Sheldrake, called “Entangled Life”. Sheldrake is a specialist in fungi and the book is an inspiring journey through all things fungal. He shares stories about how fungi participate in the “wood-wide web”, creating mycelial networks in collaboration with tree roots to support communication and access to nourishment under forest floors. He also describes the creative and truly inspiring research and development that are happening that use fungi to generate building materials and countless other products used by humans.

Listening to the book reminded me how important it is to find sources of inspiration that support an awareness that there is a much bigger picture unfolding than the one our daily lives encompasses. Given our current range of local and global crises, it can be challenging to access inspiration, possibility, and an awareness of potential creative solutions to so many problems we humans have generated and now must solve. 

For this week’s practice in conscious living, I invite you to take a bit of time each day to orient your awareness to something that moves, enlivens, inspires, or fills you up in a positive way that I don’t know how to put into words for you. It may be something as simple as looking out the window and seeing a bird on a tree branch, as I just did. I’m on vacation out of the city and it was inspiring to see this bird standing on a branch in a beam of sunlight. It may be that you are reading a book that touches your heart and that reading just a few lines is a way to begin a new day with a sense of possibility, or with the feeling of a deeper connection in a way that nourishes you.

Another source of inspiration can come from books like the one I described above—books that offer information about those things that are unfolding that offer support to our beleaguered planet and to all of its earth-kin. There are many sources of inspiring information out there, drawn from disciplines such as ecological studies like Sheldrake’s, books oriented to quantum physics, books on ecology and those that describe the efforts of people who are working to heal what we’ve done to the planet, books about spirituality, and so many more. I think I’ve mentioned many times that I start my day watching and listening to inspiring talks, usually on YouTube.

Whatever offers you a moment of inspiration or ease, notice what happens in your body when you take the time to focus on it and let it into your experience. Then, notice how it affects the tone and quality of your internal self-talk and also the quality of your emotions. It matters that we take time to feed ourselves good psychological food, especially given the amount of difficult and distressing news we receive each day.

As with all these practices, please remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion and to pat gently on the head any judgments that may arise. Allow these judgments to move on through without your having to do anything about them. They most likely represent activation rather than useful information anyway…

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