Lessons from The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield
There’s a feeling that we get when we see something beautiful in the world that really resonates with us.
I notice these moments when traveling in old wonderful cities with a palpable history and culture. Every detail of the roads, the buildings, the style makes me think.
I have boundless energy and want to discover everything I can about what makes these places distinct.
I love to travel because it’s something that I get inspired by, a connection with the world that I sense in my core. These experiences often tap into emotions that we forgot we even had.
Energy swells up in our bodies and confidence begins to flow. Life becomes clear and simple as some indescribable force asks us to see something that others can’t.
Being inspired excites my spirit, my spiritual self, my soul. I believe there are three parts that together create our sense of self — our physical self, our mental self and our spiritual self.
We should aspire to make each other better every day. I don’t think one can excel if all three aren’t working in harmony.
The physical self and the mental self can be trained as we can work on them if we show some dedication. The spiritual self to me is more abstract, but when tuned into can create meaning out of life that is difficult to find anywhere else.
Our spirit has the ability to turn the ordinary into an extraordinary work of art. Our job is to allow it to.
Inspiration can come at any time and take any form.
What makes it special is what you take away and do with it.
That is what makes it uniquely your motivation. It’s something that only you can feel, a sense that we’re capable, out of our own body for that moment allowing this powerful influence to take over.
Inspiration seems to strike the hardest when we’re doing that which we love, often finding us when we need it the most.
It can come from people, places, anything that evokes emotions in a part of you. The muse touches something in your soul and creation shines outward from within.
I often feel inspired when surfing in my hometown of Los Angeles. I’m working on my physical self, but it’s much more than that.
My mind is at ease, I’m able to see beauty all around me and am present. I feel truly substantial.
My head clears and I feel a release of pure, positive energy. It’s in this blissful state that nothing else matters besides what’s right there in front of me, an opportune state for inspiration to take over.
I have many of my greatest insights doing what I love to do, tapping into that true version of myself. Some are afraid to look into their own soul to find what it’s capable of.
That’s our ego telling us we can’t aspire to be better, to work harder, to see clearer.
We tend to doubt ourselves which holds us back from ever accessing that part of our soul which we know is there, begging to be released.
Author of The War of Art Steven Pressfield differentiates the ego — that force that tries to hold us back — from our true self.
“Dreams come from the self. Ideas come from the self. When we meditate, we access the self. When we fast, when we pray, when we go on a vision quest, it’s the self we’re seeking,” Pressfield writes.
“The ego hates the self because when we seat our consciousness in the self, we put the ego out of business. The ego doesn’t want us to evolve. The ego runs the show right now. It likes things just the way they are. The instinct that pulls us towards art is the impulse to evolve, to learn, to heighten and elevate our consciousness. The ego hates this, because the more awake we become, the less we need the ego.”
We all have the ability to quiet our egos and look at the world through an alternate lens. We can access that part of ourselves that connects with the world, the people and the beauty around us every day.
When we take off our masks and become vulnerable life finds a way of pushing us along, dropping hints of inspiration to help us reach our fullest potential.
By slowing down and accepting the voice inside that wants us to do more, love more, be more, the world opens up in wonderful ways.