Inspiration: Emotional, Mental or Soul?
Like most things in life, the word “inspiration” has different flavors for different people. When I looked “inspiration” up in the dictionary for clarification, it is listed as meaning, “the act or power of moving the intellect or emotions.” But just beneath it, the word “inspire” means “to influence or move or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration.”
To me, inspiration is all about divine guidance and living from Soul.
Living from this flavor of inspiration is what I have dedicated my life to because the fruits are so tasty. I have found that when I have followed the inspiration of the emotions or the mind, things don’t turn out all that well, create more work than divine or Soul inspiration, and very often leave an aftertaste of regret.
Be Careful What You Ask For…
It’s interesting, when you declare an intention to live from divine, or Soul, inspiration, how Life then shows you all the ways that you are actually living from mental and emotional inspiration. The big drawback to mental inspiration is that the mind only knows what it has learned.
The mind is a tool, and when it follows the inspiration that arises via emotion, it acts on the inspiration of past hurts, and follows the jagged path of emotional inspiration. When the mind is in service to and inspired by Soul, it flows easily with the actions Soul suggests.
Emotional inspiration is forceful, where divine inspiration is more of a quiet knowing. You would think that this would make them easy to spot and choose between, but alas, it is not.
The Force of Emotional Inspiration
Yesterday I got a note from someone who wanted off of my email list. Normally, I have no problem with that, but this time it hit me at the wrong time and really irked me. I knew that this person didn’t want off of my main list, but this email came to him from an address that was unfamiliar, and didn’t have enough info for him to know that it was from me and not some random spammer. Instead of just writing back to say it was me, or making a note to send him an email separately from an address he would recognize. I felt “inspired” to take him off the list he actually had signed up for and wanted to be on.
Even as I did it, I knew that it was stupid, that I was being inspired by emotions that came from some old fear/anger/hurt reservoir, and by an “inspired” mental justification for my actions based on the old stories attached to that reservoir. These “inspirations” also caused me to contract, to narrow my focus to the emotions and the actions they inspired so that it was hard to consider any other explanation or action.
The Signs of Emotional Inspiration
Contraction (the reverse of expansion) is another hallmark of being “inspired” by something less than your highest source. But like the forcefulness of emotional inspiration that makes them so very compelling to follow, contraction makes you feel that there is no other viable action than the one chosen.
The forcefulness and contraction that make emotional inspiration so compelling are like a wide, gently flowing river suddenly forced to flow through a narrow gorge. That narrow flow is all that you can see when you are in it, and the momentum is hard to stop. Even for me–and I know better, I’ve been talking about this stuff for years.
I can’t even blame lack of awareness, because I watched myself through every step of the process, from the surge of being irked to wondering if I had a backup of his email address to I could add it back in when my Soul came back into the fore. I could muse that I did it so that I could share this vignette with you, so you could benefit from my absurdity, but that would be disingenuous. I did it because I was having a stressful day and I chose to be carried away by that flavor of inspiration, even as Soul’s divine inspiration was quietly reminding me that this is not the action that I ultimately wanted to take.
Soul inspiration is soft, gentle, like the rivulets that meander through an ancient land. They have no real momentum in the sense that they don’t feel powerful like a surging emotion. But neither do they fade, like the force of an emotion does when it is over. Nor do they need to replay the justification for an action like mental inspiration does when it is proved mistaken.
Soul inspiration quiets you down inside, while emotional inspiration revs you up. Soul inspiration makes you smile and expand while emotional inspiration make you determined and narrowly focused. Soul inspiration opens you up to a larger experience of the present moment; it widens your perspective so that you can see the action stimulated by emotions and mental stories, the consequences of those actions, as well as a larger context for the entire situation, and insight into what love would do.
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Pushing the edges of my own consciousness has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I’ve been helping others push past limiting perceptions and expand their minds and realities for almost as long. Conversations are a great way to explore what’s possible, whether through listening to the conversations in this site or talking privately with me or one of my mind-blowing friends.
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Act on the Inspiration You Want to Re-Enforce
Each time you act on emotional inspiration, you re-enforce the tendency to follow that route again and again. The same goes for Soul inspiration, however, so the more you notice and act on the inspiration of Soul, the more likely you are to do so again.
Steps to connecting to Soul inspiration when emotions flare:
- Breath in as if though your heart and down into the deep belly and back out as if through your heart. (Your actual breath should be in through your nose and out through your nose or mouth.) So this until your body feels calm, or as clam as you feelyou can be in the situation. Your heart space is also the Soul center in your body.
- Thank Soul for inspiring you. When you do this in anticipation of inspiration, it sets up the pattern of being open to heart inspiration.
- Listen for what comes up. It is generally less like a verbal remedy and more like a quiet knowing. Your mind will often try to discount this response out of hand, but if you listen, you will know it and be able to follow that instruction, which is very often to wait and do nothing—which was the guidance I was getting with that email incident, by the way. But part of me know that if I waited, I would not delete the address, and I really, really, really wanted to delete the address in the moment. Such is the urgency of mental and emotional inspiration.
- Act on the guidance, even if (especially if) the guidance is to wait and not act.