When it comes to living a life with intention, we need to remind ourselves not to strive – in an egoic sense – to get what we want. On the other hand, it is also important to recognize the power within ourselves to create and cultivate the change we seek.
It can be difficult to avoid the all-or-nothing thinking and brute force that our egos can present when we want to change something in our lives. But there is an essential element available to us, resting within our intuition, that we can to honor and implement instead: inspired action.
Inspired action is about leaning into areas of our lives which push us past our comfort zone with a sense of playfulness and curiosity. It is recognizing that we have all we ever need in the present moment, and that by going out and taking action in ways that challenge us, we can grow and improve the lives of those around us.
As Marianne Williamson has famously said,
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine… We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
By leaning into different areas of our lives, we can let go of limiting beliefs and step into a new level of consciousness and impact.
Our “lizard brain,” as Seth Godin likes to call it, wants us to simply survive. And it will convince us to stay put in our status quo because it is safe and secure, or to take action by serious force (as if our security depends on it).
So whether we have it “pretty good” right now or not, our lizard brains fear that the outcome of our actions may leave us worse off than before.
We can feel this in all sorts of areas of our lives. Though it is easy to point to the bigger aspects of our lives like relationships and career, this fear of uncertainty can seep into smaller actions like getting a new hair cut, renovating a kitchen, or trying a new workout routine.
Inspired action, fueled by curiosity and playfulness, has a softer approach to change that sidesteps the ego’s fearful highlight reel. It says, “I honor and hear these fearful thoughts, but I think I’ll take a stab at this anyways. Let’s just see what happens.”
When we pick a single area of our lives to lean into, it builds our confidence. By listening to the fears and then playfully pushing past our comfort zone anyways, we strengthen our inspired action muscles. We become bolder with our choices and feel more connected to our true motivation, which we can then apply to other areas of our lives.
Though there may seem to be a tension between being present minded and the desire for change, this need not be the case. We simply need to take one step at a time, from a place of peace with a smile on our face and a curiosity about what will happen next.