The best ideas are in the little things
According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, “inspiration” is “someone or something that gives you ideas for doing something.” It can come from anywhere - I tend to find it in moments of expansiveness, exceptional beauty, thought-provoking ideas and creativity, and during a connection with something bigger than me.
When I lived in New York City, I was more overwhelmed than inspired. The noise, the aggression, the all-encompassing concrete kept me in a protective shell and made it extremely difficult to open myself and my heart to the point of inspiration. NYC was more “go” than “flow.”
When I moved to New Mexico, all that changed. The minute my car tires crossed into the state, I felt years of stress leave me. I welled up with tears because for the first time in I don’t know how long - decades - I could breathe. I knew I’d made the best decision of my life even before I arrived at the apartment I’d rented online, sight unseen.
As each day has passed, I’ve felt more and more inspired and more and more connected to something bigger than me. And I’ve slowed down so I can experience the joy in the moments that fill up my life.
I put a bird feeder on my patio this summer and watched various birds stop by and pick through the food, stomp in the seed to knock the unwanted kernels to the ground, and fight with each other over the best morsels.
I could barely contain my joy when Alvin, my chipmunk friend, started showing up. He furiously dug through the feeder to get to the sunflower seeds and ate them like there was no tomorrow. This went on for weeks - I got concerned and even asked neighbors if I could kill a chipmunk by putting out too much food. They laughed at the city girl.
Alvin was on my patio for weeks, clinging to the wall, jumping in the feeder, scouring the ground. I started putting seeds on the cement patio so he wouldn’t have to root through the feeder for them. He would frantically chomp away and fill his cheeks until they looked like they had golf balls in them. I spent joyful hours watching him.
After several weeks, Alvin disappeared, and I haven’t seen him since. I did some research and discovered that chipmunks do partial hibernations. They’ll store food in their burrows and wake up every few days to eat and relieve themselves.
I hope that Alvin is happily sleeping and not in the stomach of a predator. I still leave seeds out for him just in case he comes back for more.
As I write this, I’m sitting at the White Rock Overlook in White Rock, NM, one thousand feet above the Rio Grande. I’m sitting on the edge of the cliff as a butterfly flits around me and a cheeky little bird is hopping from rock to rock near my feet, trying to find food. I feel the warmth of the sun on the back of my neck and smell the juniper tree on my left.
I hear a waterfall and creek running down below. And in front of me is a stunning desert expanse that includes Black Mesa and what the locals call Alligator Rock. The Rio Grande flows between wind and weathered rocks; the canyon beneath where I sit is said to be full of petroglyphs.
I see reds, browns, greens and shades of white and beige. I see the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains in the distance. I catch snippets of conversations as people come every so often to look at the beautiful view.
As I sit here, I feel connected to the earth and to something much bigger than me, and I’m inspired. I’m inspired to write, to continue to open my heart to everything around me. I feel a Oneness here I could never feel out East.
If I continue to open until I can live with an open heart anywhere and in any situation, I’ll have achieved the real success that I long for. All the other stuff is not important.
I believe that to change the world, we must first change ourselves on the inside. What we see, what we do, what we experience is all a reflection of what’s going on internally. Change the internal and the external has to change.
More on that in future posts. Until then, may you find something to marvel over that brings you joy and inspiration. If you don’t know where to start, sit with the sun on your face. And feel.
It’s all there.
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Join me each week in the Whole Health Journal as I write about food and health, experiences lived and dreamed, and as I explore my spiritual side.
All photos ©Diane Hatz