So this idea of inspiration has been haunting me now for a couple of weeks and my first response looked very different to what I think about it now….this is how my response started, and then I clicked “save draft” and walked away dissatisfied with my ability to express myself and also dissatisfied with my thoughts on inspiration….so here you go, you may start your reading, where my thinking began and we’ll progress together.


A friend posed a thoughtful question on facebook this morning (two weeks ago) about what inspires people. Within the question was the assumption that people with children would be inspired by their kids, but the poster was looking for a deeper answer than just the innocence of children. That assumption just sort of hit me over the head, and I wonder if I’m alone in the feeling that my kids are less than inspiring on most days….or perhaps my definition of inspiration is lacking depth…..
“Where do I find inspiration?”

It’s a question for which I feel I should have an immediate answer, but instead I sit here struggling, hours later, having thought about inspiration throughout my morning and afternoon, still unable to give an answer for where I find inspiration and furthermore struggling with the idea that I should be inspired by my kids. Yikes. Horrible parent moment of the morning – Do I find my kids inspiring? Yes, sometimes….when they’ve been extremely thoughtful toward one another or when they express a feeling about a situation that I think maybe an adult would hide from the public…..but on a regular basis? No.

Please. Don’t tell them….

On a regular basis, I’m just struggling to get through the day without feeling battered by the emotional roller coaster of raising kids – trying to tame their fickle character and help them understand the world in a realistic way that challenges them to be honest and loving and caring about everything and everyone within that world, while simultaneously attempting to protect them from the very real hurt that will inevitably invade their lives as they grow older.


That is where I saved…and these are some things that I’ve been thinking about since.

“What is it about children that makes them seem like decent givers of inspiration?”

“What is my definition of Inspiration?”

“Could Inspiration, like love, friendship,thanksgiving and any other habit that needs formation, just require practice?  Or is it something that should be evident and I’m missing it somehow?”


So here goes – I think kids are inspiring in the ways they are willing to spontaneously act on impulsive ideas, thoughts and actions.  They will get up and dance and drum and hum and whistle – run in circles like a crazy person – and no one will really think they’re crazy.  That is inspiring, because doing those things requires a lack of recognition toward social norms and expectations and allows them to react in a REAL way to situations in a way they really FEEL like acting – not in a way that society expects them to act.   I’m jealous of that ability – the ability to not check their behavior against someone else’s expectations.  Why do we lose that as we become adults.  Why can I not just start dancing in the middle of an open, grassy park – enjoying the fresh air and the freedom of movement – without someone questioning my sanity?  I don’t claim to be someone who is above this perpetuation of social norms because in being the observer of such activity by another adult, I’ll probably be one of the first to giggle and make a snarky comment – when really I’m just jealous.

Freedom is inspiring. Freedom of movement, speech, song – and freedom beyond what is defined by a government, but what we define as our own boundaries and self made expectations included.

Inspiration as defined by google (I’m too lazy to look elsewhere):

  1. the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative.
  2. the drawing in of breath; inhalation.
That first definition is the one I expected to find, though I’m particularly happy that it includes the “esp. something creative” at the end because that throws this conversation an entirely new question of what we each believe to be “creative” and how that can be an entirely personal idea….
That second definition, I LOVE.  I did not expect it, but it feels perfect.
Inspiration – the drawing in of breath – What makes me draw breath – and how does that inform my creativity…..
 Aw…..a post for another day.
I’m off to class friends, but I wanted to post this so
1 – you all know I’m alive, and 2 – because if I don’t do it now, I probably never will…..
Please hold me accountable to continuing this conversation – even if it seems only with myself.
ps.  Ash Wednesday today – enjoy the journey friends.

One thought on “Inspiration

  1. Pingback: The drawing in of breath, or: Dancing | Over Around and Through

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