The film Eat Pray Love, based on the lovely book by the same name, is about to be released. The common question that arises is "do you have to travel and experience exotic people and places to re-inspire your life?" The question feels very pressing and pointed for me since my last book, Return to the Sacred, was all about travel and spiritual growth. Furthermore, I actively promote the idea that travel can heal and inspire and still run retreats to places like Southern Africa, India, and Mexico, and I am even giving away free trips along with the release of my new book. It would seem I am convinced that travel is where it's at.
The irony, of course, is that I am now a married man, with a small child, a big dog, two jobs and a heavy mortgage and there is no way I'll be taking a year alone to visit a guru or medicine man overseas. Yet when I look back at what I learned from travel and witnessing the travel-based awakenings of others, I can see two things clearly: 1. Yes, travel can change you, 2: the most important aspect of travel, is applying what you learned to your everyday life -- and that means that keeping your life inspired is really a day to day choice. You absolutely don't need to leave home to find yourself again.
One of the key messages in Inspiration Deficit Disorder is that inspiration is most powerful when it is rooted at home in our simple daily choices. Do you surround yourself with positive and empowering people? Do you treat others with the patience and kindness you'd like? Do you use your spare time to do what you love and what nurtures you, or do you allow yourself to be overwhelmed by obligation? Are you focused on negative media, or on being a positive influence in the world? These are all choices within your control.
When we look at the sense of despair that hangs over this nation as we review our employment, political, environmental and social statistics it's easy to turn our attention to blame and a desire to escape, but real joy and balance come from the simple things: look after your health by eating well, resting enough and getting some exercise; look after your relationships by spending meaningful time with those you love; and look after your heart by giving yourself permission to have a weekly hobby or recreation that feels renewing.
Inspiration is a choice. What do you choose?