inspire | the curious discovery of desire
Get to know what lights you up, what sets you free.
If I were to tell you that in this moment, every limitation that had ever been placed on what’s possible in your life had lifted, what might you suddenly have the courage to dream?
For many of us, the answer is unclear. So rarely do we allow ourselves to dream, uninhibited by the parameters of what we have chosen to believe is possible. Even if we are able to conceive of it, we often trip over a belief that we aren’t worthy of our heart’s desires. We either accept these limitations and fall back to our ordinary way of living, or we move forward until the day we find ourselves at the edge of a cliff, uncertainty expanding out before us. If we’re to find the courage to take that leap, we’ll need to have discovered something along the way that would be worth the fall.
Getting inspired means connecting with something that matters enough to you that it would be worth the risks involved in getting it.
Undoubtedly, once you’ve clarified what you’re after, all that stands in your way will be waiting at the defense line. The experiences you’ve had in the past will stand firm outside castle walls, armed with anything from resentment to shame, from fear to regret. Knowing in your bones what’s waiting for you on the other side will give you the courage and strength to face this struggle, claiming victory to your throne.
Getting inspired also means remembering that where you are and who you are right now is enough; you already have what you need to feel fulfilled and satisfied in your life. And you have the right to dream and to go after those dreams. The changes you feel inspired to make might be subtle or they might be radical. Either way, the first course of action is the same: Choose to feel good now and begin to tune into your curiosity.
Curiosity and I have been lifelong friends. As a kid, I’d run wildly through the forest trails behind our home, imagining I was the first to have done it, drawn by what I had yet to discover, exploring a world that had no limitations. I’d imagine that someday I might live out my days on Gilligan's Island - sleeping in an elaborate tree fort and swimming down streams into tropical waterfalls.
Luckily for me, curiosity never left my side. I made my way to New Zealand as soon as I had the chance, a place I had often dreamed of and that measured up well beyond my wildest expectations. From bungee jumping in Queenstown, to skydiving in Lake Taupo, to less adrenaline-inducing explorations of lands that felt to me so elegantly untouched ...
every adventure was unique, mysterious and mine.
Since then, I’ve followed along - albeit, often reluctantly - to any place my wild heart would take me. Motorbike rides through the Central Highlands of Vietnam, safaris in Tanzania, scuba diving in Indonesia, even travelling to India to learn yoga from its source. Never knowing exactly what I was after and yet never quite able to resist, I’d take off, thinking that perhaps this time would sustain me enough that I might begin living a “normal” life, investing in my future in the way a proper adult should.
Get out of here, France
After returning from SE Asia at age twenty-six, I did just that. I got serious about my future and began taking inventory of where I had been, where I should be and how I could get there as quickly as possible. No more fooling around - otherwise I might be left behind. For years I made lists, made progress, and then more lists. Eventually, one curious word began showing up, uninvited and without reason: France. The first time I saw it there I stared at it, quite confused. I hadn’t often desired to travel to France, and yet suddenly there it was. Time and time again, it would sneak onto the page and stare up at me with playful innocence. What an inconvenience, I would think. Get out of here, France.
The truth was, I knew exactly when and where that seed was first planted. I had been learning to scuba dive in Thailand along with a small group from France whom I had coined the Frenchies. One day while we talked about our travels they decided on my behalf that I would one day go to France and that perhaps I might live there. They were convinced that this was the place for me, which I found to be quite odd considering I had little interest at the time and hadn’t even heard of this place called Lyon which they claimed was the best city in the best country on earth. I asked if it was close to Paris, which seemed to annoy them a great deal. Little did I know that that conversation would stick with me for years to come until I finally threw my hands up in surrender: I would go to France. And yes, I would go to Lyon.
I returned from my trip to France a year ago and yet my heart yearns for that country in the same way it did that day. I struggle to write these words because I doubt they could ever do my love for it justice. I can’t properly describe what that strange pull was that brought me there, and yet I feel so thankful to whatever it was for being so persistent in its calling. Being there had me realize what it felt like to come alive. And now I know that no matter what, I intend to create a life of novel experiences because that’s what lights me up, what sets me free.
I’ve learned that curiosity is just that, curious. It doesn’t always make a lot of sense and it certainly isn’t linear in design.
It shows up inconveniently, demanding your attention, persistently knocking at your door until you finally open up and let it in.
What has you come alive?
You might begin to think about curiosity like a treasure hunt. You’ll be going about your business and suddenly your experience will move you. Your senses become activated and your awareness heightens. Hairs stand up, heart skips a beat, face flushes, hearing sharpens like a knife. You’re fully present, alive. And you’ve found your next clue.
It could be a stirring in your heart that leaves you feeling light, expansive and free. Or a moment of undeniable and unexplainable glee. Perhaps it will move you to tears or it could be so subtle that you’ll hesitate to blink for fear of missing it. In those moments, feel it. Simply allow yourself to experience whatever it is. When it passes, resist the temptation to feel disheartened. Instead, just take note, adding it to your collection.
Keep collecting the pieces, trusting that they’ll fit together when the timing is right.
Start to ask yourself: Who are you? What makes you you? What brings you joy? When do you feel most connected, most present? What does your heart yearn for? What desires burn brightly in your imagination?
By approaching life with curiosity, we allow ourselves to be lead to those pieces of inspiration that reside within our heart. And with those pieces, we can start to build a vision for our life where our most heartfelt desires are a present day fact.
Then, like warriors unstoppable by any force, we advance forward to create the life of our dreams.