I am a fan of small steps and bread crumbs.
Let me tell you why. In my experience, I have found that when I follow the pull of small inspirations, when I play and experiment with what gets me eager and excited, I usually find myself in amazing places that I would never have dreamed.
Such was the case when I followed the small bread crumbs of inspiration that led me unexpectedly to firefighting, as well as onto the dance floor.
Often times, we put inspiration on the back burner. We’ve been taught to go after our goals and objectives, work hard, sacrifice and even struggle to make it to where ever it is we are going. While these methods may certainly work and get us to where we want to be, I have noticed that often times the journey is difficult and devoid of joy.
Inspired living, however, may be just as effective in getting us to our dreams and it usually is much more fun. We never know what we will find when we follow the bread crumbs!
Pay Attention to the Bread Crumbs
Here is the secret, and the quickest way, to inspiration. Pay attention to what excites you, even in the smallest of moments. You never know what may be in store for you! And here is some good news: It is not absolutely necessary to know why something excites or inspires you. Explore it anyway! There is a reason why, even if we cannot see it at first.
Following our small inspirations may actually be the stepping-stones to the bigger inspirations, maybe even the thing that motivates us for the rest of our lives. Life cannot help but be fulfilling when our every step is inspired.
When I decided to leave my corporate career and look for service-oriented work, I found myself doing activities with older folks in nursing homes. It was rewarding and fun, but not the end-all for me. But, I was inspired to investigate further. I made a list of more service-oriented jobs. Little did I know that I would talk to a paramedic fire captain who told me that if I really wanted to be a paramedic and wasn’t afraid to run into burning buildings, I might want to consider being a firefighter. Hmmmmm….. The rest is history.
Allow the Unfolding
When we follow the path of our inspirations, our life opens up. We may feel an inherent freedom swirling through our bodies, as we follow our inspirations and our inner guidance. It actually feels natural and authentic to follow our inspirations. We can never be wrong when we live our lives from this place of authentic expression.
The path I followed to the dance floor was just as startling to me. It was the path of allowing inspiration to unfold.
One day, I happened upon a flyer advertising a drumming circle. For some unknown reason, I felt strangely interested and drawn to the picture of the tribal drums placed in a circle, in the middle of a meadow. I decided to go with this strange pull within me, and signed up.
The instructor had some extra drums for newbies like me. We all sat in a circle, drums cradled between our legs. I found that while I was not especially coordinated in the motions of the arms and hands for drumming, the beat of the drums was intoxicating.
That night I traveled as if on a shamanic journey. Something about the beat of a drum brings me to an ancient place. Something about the beat of a drum resonates up through my body and I feel alive. Something about the beat of the drum feels like authenticity. I was one with the beat. I was the beat. As the drumming circle ended, and people packed away their drums, I left with the ancient beat vibrating in my body and imprinted on my bones.
The Momentum of Inspiration
Curiously, as much as I enjoyed the drumming circle, I never found myself at another one. However, the imprint of the ancient beat, was working its magic. It had awakened the stiff and creaky doors to my inspiration, and I was paying attention.
I came across another flyer soon after, advertising a water coloring class. This time I decided to join even more quickly, though I wasn’t sure why. I had always liked art and drawing when I was young, but I had never really continued to explore my creativity in this way.
I allowed myself to flow with the class curriculum, learning about colors and brushes and other water coloring tools. I learned some fascinating painting techniques, developed a serious appreciation for the medium of watercolor, and emerged with even a fairly decent painting that I could proudly call my own. I didn’t feel like taking another art class, but I was well on my way now, following the adventure of my inspiration.
Shortly thereafter, when a friend told me about a place in her town where people come to dance in their yoga pants and bare feet on a dance floor–on Sunday mornings no less–dancing to a variety of music, with no talking and no booze, just dancing, it seemed like the natural next step. When I finally found myself standing barefoot at the doors of the Sunday dance, I understood that both the drums and the watercolors had brought me there. And I understood that I most likely wouldn’t have gotten to the dance floor without them.
The Flow of Authenticity
As we become more attuned to what inspires and what feels right to us, we begin to live our lives easily in and out of our experiences. We will discover that the more we show up as our authentic selves, the more we move with freedom and joy in the world.
When we can finally live our lives with authenticity, trusting even our smallest inspirations and intuitively moving with ease, we will feel the empowering energy of creative life force surging within us.
Imagine if you moved through your life, exactly how you wanted to, in every moment, with complete ease and freedom. What would that look like, and where would it take you? Drumming, painting, dancing, firefighting?
I discovered two of the most important aspects of my life by following bread crumbs!
What bread crumbs of inspiration will you dare to follow today?