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Summer Brain and Being Inspired

Whew!  I’m back.  I took a bit of a writing sabbatical in the midst of the life upheaval called moving.  Relocated my home and my office last month.  Thank goodness for loving friends and great summer weather to minimize the awfulness of physically putting all my stuff from one building to another.

Summertime is a great time for moving and not only because my plants don’t freeze.  Summer is also a time when life is in an altered state, at least in the Upper Midwest.  For years I’ve referred to this state as “Summer Brain”.  I’m guessing there are innumerable reasons behind the relaxed mindset.  It could be possible that it is such a thrill that our frozen tundra has thawed for three short months so we get to play outside without 17 layers of clothing.  Or maybe that we don’t go to work in the dark, then go home in the dark.  Another explanation could be because school is out and we extrapolated that sense of “whatever…it’s summer” into adulthood.  Whatever the case, I’ve observed that right after the State Fair is over and Labor Day is behind us, most of us get our brains back.  There is focus again with the expectation of change and a sense of a “new year” mentality – even more realistically than the changing of the calendar on January 1.

Luckily, I’m feeling like I might be recovering from my Summer Brain symptoms earlier this year after not feeling like I had a summer.   I allowed the whole moving thing to consume me with many weeks of “packing, planting and painting”.  I was telling some friends last week that I’ve been doing those other “p” words with not enough “play” and I’m beginning to get rather “p***y” about it.  Not all that inspiring, so I’ve waited for some “peace and pleasure” to show up.  After all, I write to inspire….and I’m back in the nick of time, well before the summer has faded into history.

One advantage of my “p” tasks is that most of the time I spent alone in those activities.  The added bonus is what I was doing fit quite well with my summer brain as each thing really didn’t require any serious brain activity.  Having the advantage of (theoretically) plenty of meditative and thinking time isn’t all that relevant considering my hyper-active brain. Yet amidst the banter going on in my head, numerous inspiring topics showed up.  The first being the basic concept of “inspiring”.

"Inspire" is one of my favorite words.  My dear friend and branding expert, Kathy Garland, said, “You OWN “Inspire” because that’s what you DO”.  Being very aware of that word has me see it everywhere.  I liken it to buying a new car, then seeing the same make and model as your purchase everywhere you look, even if you were blinded to that model prior to your purchase.

With my heightened sense of my “inspire” word and pondering over planting, all kinds of philosophicalness (that’s now a word) came over me.  Then what happened?  I just was at a leadership conference out of town the last few days and walked into a workshop when one of the first topics was, ”Is being inspired something you 'get' from someone/something or is it something internal?”  People debated and then shared their reasons for their opinions being one side or the other.  The trainer said there was no right answer.  The jury is out on that one for me.  What do YOU think?  Are you an inspirer (internal source) or an inspiree (external source)?

Now let’s say you experience something external to you that motivates, energizes, triggers or uncovers passion, to the point that has you want to be or do something differently.  Where does that anxiousness, anticipation, curiosity or drive come from?  Is it really an external stimulus…really?  If it is, what did that external factor touch within you to have you feel inspired?  Similarly, is happiness an outside job?  What about love….is an external stimulant required to experience love?  I have a philosophy that there is no “out there”.  We only can experience a reflection of what we believe internally.

The alternative point of view is your inside world is the place inspiration is born.  What about all of your dreams, wishes and desires that appear to come from inside of you? Do you have the feeling that you have something original to experience or offer that you feel is driven from inside of you?  That “come from” can be very powerful as well.  What is it within you that makes “it” matter, keeps you in the game, has you contribute, or drives you to excel?

If you feel “inspired” (no rush if you have Summer Brain) let me know how you would vote.  To inspire or be inspired...is the source internal or external?

In the meantime, BE the inspiration YOU are!


Reader Comments (2)


I enjoyed finally meeting you tonight. Summer is a funny (unusual funny, not ha ha ha funny) thing here in Minnesota - I've never lived anywhere that holds summer as sacred as here. Maybe I can't describe it.

Have you ever looked at inspire(d) magazine / inspire(d) media out of Decorah Iowa? (speaking of inspired).

Take care and see you soon.

September 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterType J

Hey Julie-

Thanks for the note. Yes, it was nice to finally meet you, too!

I haven't checked out the media you referenced. Now I will and see what's up there.

Looking forward to checking out your blog, too.



September 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercindyinspires

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