Aspiring to inspire ourselves toward our aspirations

Published on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 23:49 - Written by Debbie Lee Townsend, Guest Columnist

I recently started participating with a group of people on a project for healthy lifestyle and eating habits.

Much of our work is about retraining the mind, so it will guide us into healthier decisions for our daily lives.

One of the homework assignments was to picture whom we want to be by making a list of a few specific aspirations for ourselves.

I dutifully went about my task of making my list, which I plan to read each morning to keep me on track.

It occurred to me these types of exercises can be very encouraging and inspiring, or very discouraging and self-defeating. One of the biggest determining factors is our “self-talk” as we go through the process of reaching our aspirations.

One of my aspirations is to be a person who doesn’t always have to be right. (If you know me well, you probably just shook your head and thought “There’s a doozy!”)

In a conversation with my mom, I realized I quickly steered the dialogue into something combative instead of pleasant with one little, unnecessary contradiction.

My first thought was, “Ugh! I’m doing it again!”

The negative, face-dropping, shoulder-sagging feeling that enveloped me was palpable. At the end of our chat, as I walked away, still keenly aware of the sinking defeated feeling in my gut, I stopped in my tracks.

I thought to myself, “This is not inspiring me toward my aspiration!”

I took a deep breath and closed my eyes for a moment. As I let go of that long, slow, cleansing exhale, a little voice inside me said, “How wonderful you are aware of that habit you want to change. That is a big step in the right direction.”

At which point — inspired — I smiled, opened my eyes and carried myself just a little lighter on my walk home.

I think most of us have something we aspire to in life. I also believe most of us want to be the kind of person who inspires others toward the attainment of their aspirations.

However, I’m not sure all of us understand the need to inspire ourselves toward our own aspirations.

Going through the experience described above reminded me I need to be more kind, gentle, forgiving and patient with myself on the road to becoming the person I aspire to be.

It also reminded me that doing so allows me to be more kind, gentle, forgiving and patient with others.

Steve Maraboli said, in his book “Unapologetically You,” “When you are living the best version of yourself, you inspire others to live the best versions of themselves.”

May you be inspired to aspire to the best version of you so that you might inspire others to aspire to the best version of themselves. Namaste’.

Debbie Lee Townsend is a regular YES! contributor who lives in Hawkins.