by Elizabeth Venart
Inspiration can bring profound shifts to how we perceive ourselves, the world around us, and our sense of what is possible – and is felt physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert describes universal physical and emotional signals of inspiration as “the chills up the arms, the hair standing up on the back of the neck, the nervous stomach, the buzzy thoughts, that feeling of falling into love or obsession.” New York Times columnist David Brooks describes inspiration as moments when “time disappears or alters its pace.” When I’m inspired, I feel emotionally open, happier, and grateful, more connected to something larger than myself, more motivated to take action, to make a difference. I also experience a feeling of spaciousness in my body: my breath deepens, the tension in my body fades, I relax, my eyes brighten, a smile crosses my face. Inspiration clears the fog and debris from my thinking and the “stuckness” from my body. The experience is deeply personal. As Lynn Doer, a writer, traveler, and volunteer at several local nonprofits, said, “
Inspiration seems to be the intersection of awe, emotional resonance, and a strengthened internal motivation to create or act. Inspiration provokes an uplifting surge in energy and enhances our sense of capability in taking meaningful action. Doerr described inspiration as “the energy of inspiration fills her, she feels as if she will burst if she doesn’t heed the invitation to act.