What do you do when you hear one of your favorite songs and get the itch to sing out loud or dance, but you’re in the middle of a store? Do you ignore the strangers around you and belt out the chorus and put a little groove in your step—or do you keep that inspiration inside? How about an instance when a sweet compliment or words of encouragement bubble up in your mind when you see a stranger (a little “Wow – I love your coat!” or maybe “I’ve been there. It gets easier” to a troubled mom)? Do you share that admiration and support or do you hold onto all of it?
These may seem like small, trivial instances, but how you respond to any inspiration that you feel makes all the difference. A small hug of words to a stranger can shift a person’s entire experience (both yours and theirs). Consider something kind that a stranger once said to you that brightened your day or changed your experience. Recall the last time you sang “We are the Champions” aloud or heard someone else do the same. These memories offer a slice of joy and invite you to smile.
Sometimes, only small windows open for us to live out sweet inspirations. Don’t miss those opportunities because once a moment is gone, it will not return. (Sure, Billy Joel’s Piano Man will play again, but that specific instant in time to sing or dance is lost.) All we have is the present moment. That’s it! It’s time to live as many moments to the fullest as we can. When inspiration strikes, live a little and see where it takes you! While teaching a recent yoga class, I came across an individual who illustrated this very way of being.
Let me set the stage a bit. I encourage all of my students to find gratitude for all that they can do. If someone is trying to draw their arms overhead and their hands do not touch, it is still worthy of an internal high five. In yoga, honoring your body is key and so is celebrating where you are in life. One student reminded me of the power and beauty of inspiration and the joy that comes when one acts on it.
A woman joined a yoga class but was unable to perform most of the movements that the rest of the class was following. She stayed far off to the side of the room, listened to her body, allowed it to stretch with the class when she could, and then, sparked by something within her, moved to her own rhythm. The class could not see her, only I could. She performed her own soft dance, moving like a swan. While I observed the other students in a wide stance with their arms out to shoulder height, in the corner of my eye, I also saw this majestic being on the side, arms flowing from side to side. It was almost as if the universe was waving to me through her, reminding me that one’s inner guide and inspiration provide the true direction, the real beauty. Her movements were smooth and graceful, a gift to the class (even if I was the only one who received it). She moved freely and naturally, like a wave on the ocean, feeling the impulse and flowing without inhibition; she was part of the class, yet driven by something deeper.
Her contribution reminded me of the beauty that comes when we follow our own inspiration. Internal sparks can come at any time and in any place—in a grocery store or in a yoga class. It’s important to remain open and be brave. Inspiration is not just about listening to the music in our hearts; it’s about allowing it to move us in positive directions. The next time you feel something lovely bubble up, allow it to lead you into action. Embrace your inner voice, smile, and choose the brighter path!