• megna paula

Stay sane, stay Inspired

The ultimate sanity, freedom from stress, anxiety, depression, arises from true presence.

What determines our presence? Our attention. When we attend to what is here, now, then we are present. From that place of sanity, sensing what is currently, observably, sensibly here, we can act with clarity. Sometimes the actions are our work: to do, to clear, to create order and movement. Sometimes the action is repose, to wonder and marvel at what is. From that state we can experience life, and love, in full color.

Being attentive to what is here and now does not limit our future potential, but rather grounds our dreams in the reality of what is present. This is necessary: the present is the working material for the future. Only when we are attentive to the present can we enact and become the changes we desire; otherwise, our perceptions are slipping in space-time and we are not able to perceive, clearly, what changes are present and needed.

How do we immerse ourselves in the present and still have the sharpness of mind to envision working, changing?

Attention has varying degrees of width. When our focus is narrow, concentrated, we can be present but completely unaware of the world around us, and even the breath within us. Yet that is the starting point: creating a singular point of focus and learning how to maintain steadiness there. That creates goal directed effort, which is rewarding in itself.

When we learn to widen the scope of our attention, we gain increasing degrees of awareness. The width of our perspective expands. We become less self centered and yet more self aware. Maintaining this steady, broad perspective is healthy. It is a sustainable energy flow and it naturally creates compassion, engagement, with our current lives and the people around us.

This broader awareness encourages our curiosity, which is distracting when we are only able to (or struggle to) maintain a narrow focus. The curiosity can be for life around us, for the life within us. It can be a vague, hazy interest in everything or a sharp, fiery desire to see and understand. It can be sustained, cyclical, or jumpy from one object to another.

Befriending, tending, training that curiosity is the key to true inspiration.

To imagine, to dream, to invent— these are the necessary acts of the artist, of the visionary, and these are the abilities that make us unique as humans. For our dreams to become reality, we need to begin in reality, rooted in the present as the potential state for the future we work towards.

This state of presence and of curiosity allows our creative work to be positive: rather than rejecting the present and creating a “better” future, we accept and wholly embody the present. Then we say: yes, and.

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