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Let’s Be Inspirational, not Aspirational

"Aspirational." Coming from an advertising background, it’s a term that makes me cringe a bit honestly. Whenever we got a creative brief for a brand, it was often on there under the category of tone, even for products for which it made no sense. Whoever heard of an aspirational burger? But the idea was, if we as ad people could put out an image that somewhat aligned with or even helped define the images we have in our mind of what we think our life should look like–what we supposedly aspire to–then people would buy the jacket, the car, or the sandwich as one of the puzzle pieces to that overall imagined picture.

And you see this in the wellness…yoga…meditation world as well.  Images of clear-skinned people in flowy clothes and minimal environments offering not just tools for inner peace, but an image. I’ve been victim to the hypnosis as well, and even questioned my ability as a teacher in the past because I had piles of laundry on the couch, a not-so-slick Instagram presence, and a not-so-toned yoga body.  

But it struck me that nobody is styling their way to enlightenment. And I noticed that when I thought of the people who truly influence me, I could care less about their social media color scheme or what size their pants were or if they had dishes in their sink. It got me thinking, why on earth would I want others to want to be like me, to do what I do, to look how I look if not for my own sense of self-aggrandizement? I used to think that if I wasn’t somewhat aspirational in how I presented to the world, people would think I was just like them, so why would they want to learn from me, but I don’t think that way anymore. Because inherent in this idea of aspiration is that there is something outside of you that can complete you in some way. It feeds into this idea of the image we have for ourselves in which, if we could just get all the puzzle pieces together at the same time, all would be well.

What I do want is to be inspirational, and to inspire others to become inspirational. While aspiration involves yearning for something outside the self, inspiration is about the well-spring of creativity within that gets sparked by the actions of someone else. It’s about something you do, that ignites an awakening in someone else to move in a more evolutionary direction, that wakes them up to their purpose.

What I love about this idea of inspiration being the aim is that we can live our messy, crazy, oh-so-relatable lives and still inspire others, often even more so because we’re all together in the trenches. There’s no hierarchy with inspiration, we’re all motivating and energizing each other. There’s no image or picture, in fact it shatters the image. It’s in the beautiful present, warts and all.

To be inspirational, all you have to do is act from a place of service. This is what meditation gives us, it triggers the mechanics of inspiration. It gives us that broadened consciousness state that lets us see others as extended self and all our actions spontaneously unfold from there. When others witness those actions, they are reminded of their own higher direction, and the ripples continue to move out from that place.   

It’s a freeing thought, isn’t it?–there’s nothing to aspire to, it’s all right here now. Nobody’s life is better than ours, no matter how shiny it looks. We don't live life, we arelife, so let’s radiate it for all to enjoy and be inspired by.



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