March has come with a bit of a cool front and there’s a slippery, silvery island breeze washing over me, as I sit down to write these words.
I’m quietly excited: this week marks the first issue of Your Heart Magic- something I’ve wanted to get going for a while yet couldn’t quite see my way to and through. The knowledge that it’s happening is like a candle of grace inside, casting light into the windy gray.
One thing I’ve learned living on Kauai is that bringing desires to fruition is entirely possible even if you can’t see the way. That if you take the time to dream it and nourish the seeds of your dreams with vision, intent and a good dose of asking the universe- “please bring me what I need to accomplish this”- things have a way of manifesting in time.
Turns out that I’ve learned a lot from this little island since I’ve been here.
How to allow, how to receive, and how to cast my dreams out into the creativity of the ethers, releasing expectations, so my dreams have room to form in ways I might not envision.
I haven’t always known this wisdom: my former life was more effort-filled, formed, and forced, so when I set out to leave Alaska and move to Kauai in 2017, I was deeply craving a more fluid, creative, inspired life.
At the time, the responsibility of a full-time practice didn’t leave much space for fluid living. My creativity came out in my writing, but the infrastructure of my life was too crammed with stuff to leave much room for new riotous blooms to spontaneously burst forth.
Sometimes you have to absolutely fling yourself into the void of the unknown and let the chaos of life’s deconstruction become the ingredients for soul’s reconstruction.
I flung. I flew. I landed. I crashed. I rolled. I tried to run before walking and spent the first 9 months on Kauai learning patience and the beauty of a good crawl. Now we’ve been here for 20 months, and in that time, I’ve also learned a lot about what beats at the crystalline core of inspiration- the mercurial force that stirs within us asking us to move, create, think, reach, or strive in a new, higher way.
Namely, I’ve learned that living an inspired life isn’t about hopping from one giant aha moment to the next.
It’s not about keeping the momentum going all the time. And it’s not about never having crashes, burns, and false starts. True inspiration is about showing up. It’s about taking small measurable steps that move you towards your dreams. It’s about acknowledging those steps for what they are- you doing you and being your own dream-shaker and change-maker.
I’ve learned that each of us is living out our own story of inspiration, if we can learn to see ourselves through the right lens - -
In my time in Kauai I’ve spent a lot of time in the existential “where did I come from and where am I going?” wilderness.
I’ve spent a lot of time not knowing and wondering how it’s going to look, which can be a tough place to be. What I’ve learned in this space is that fear can easily extinguish inspiration’s embers if we don’t guard them fierce. That the only way to divine inspiration in uncertainty is to learn to pay attention to the small things that ignite a sense of movement and joy.
The way the light plays in the sky every single morning, like a kite chasing its tail in endless circles of sunrise, cloud-sweeps, and wonder.
The way my sweet pup Frodo feels when he cuddles up; a lump of warm weight with scraggly fur and gentle licks who lets me know he’s happy we have another day together.
Making teeny lists of my daily goals, so I stay on track and have a sense of movement, however small.
Taking time to think of something good that happened and cultivate gratitude, which allows me to appreciate and be in the moment.
In fact, appreciating and allowing myself to be in the moment is what sustains that spark inside. The journey of Kauai has been unpredictable- the way forward did not reveal itself quickly and was often slower than I expected.
And I have found that when I spend too much time thinking about where I’d like to be, instead of appreciating where I’m at, my spark extinguishes. I lose momentum. I lose confidence. I turn into an uninspired lump, who thinks she should be somewhere other than where she is at.
Here is where I find myself: I whisper those words in my heart often.
On the bright days, the gray days, the days where things feel illuminated, the days where things feel dark. Somewhere under all of that I’m aware this process has made me a better teacher and writer, because I’ve learned the true origins of inspiration are humble.
That’s why underdog movies pull us in.
We relate to the humble, unlikely individual who somehow manages to exceed their seeming limitations. Underdogs are all about showing up, taking incremental steps, and not giving up. While the big moment might be the culmination of their efforts, the true inspiration comes before the culmination in their willingness to try.
So, with that, I would say to anyone reading these words who is looking for a bit of inspiration- -
What have you been trying at in your life?
Can you learn to see the hard, gorgeous effort in that?
Can you learn to give yourself exquisite credit for whatever it is you’re moving towards?
If you’re not moving, can you learn to give yourself gentle credit for how hard it is to just show up and breathe on the days we feel lost, stuck, and overwhelmed?
Can you acknowledge how far you’ve come and how you keep putting one foot in front of the other and going?
Can you learn to trust the process, even if you can’t always see the way?
Can you learn to be inspired by your ongoing willingness to be beautifully, imperfectly human?
And if you can answer yes to any of those- even if your yes is just a faint spark- I would tell you to grab onto that spark, breathe gratitude and appreciation over it, kindle it with a daily dose of heart-light and self-compassion, invite Life into the mix and ask Spirit to help your spark grow: