Life in the Rear View Mirror
Looking through the rear-view mirror of inquiry over my lifetime (so far), I have come to believe that in the mysteries of our lives, there are two key elements which guide you: inspiration and wellness. Each discipline I studied, in whatever technical language that it was presented, delivered that message consistently: “All of life is an evolving grand mystery, so do what inspires you and be fit, or well enough, to do it.”
The Starting Point: Life is a Mystery. I am constantly humbled by the mystery that lies at the cutting edge of all things, the Big Questions that rest on their horizon, and the “enfold-ment” of what might emerge next. Early in my youth, people were the greatest mystery to me. We were all people,” yet so different from one another. Why? What are feelings? Where do they come from? Why are weird people weird? Why are healthy people healthy? Then there was music. Where does music come from? How does someone hear music in their head and then compose a piece of music? In the world of work, how do companies work with so many (“unique”) people involved? In aerospace, how are ideas for spacecraft conceived? How do people manage their relationships to bring a design to life? How does a single inspiration alter the course of history?
We, the conceivers of our own reality, have always been, and will always be, the Greatest Mystery of all – to me.
We each have our own “Great Mysteries.” Those things we yearn to know about and that we would love to dedicate much of our time to in exploration. What tickles your imagination? What calls you to action, to explore and expand?
The constant: Do what inspires you. We are all aware of people who were inspired and changed the world. Einstein was inspired to explore the universe through “thought experiments.” Patanjali, a Hindu scholar circa 1500 BC, was inspired to explore the transience of objects like a clay pot – or our own bodies. He urged us to conquer the mysteries of our mental flotsam in the depths of our own consciousness. Plato egged us on to “look from within” and set the model for the modern philosopher. Neil deGrasse Tyson was inspired to explore the mysteries of the universe and engages millions of people across the globe to do the same.
The message? Inspiration is for us all. When you uncover your mysteries, face them with compassion and curiosity, and ask your Big Questions, you gain the freedom to explore, to engage your imagination – to dance to the beat of your own drum, to laugh, and to grow as if no one is watching…and to always love. Do what inspires you; do what floats your boat; do it with abandon.
The Requirement: Wellness. There is only one requirement to delving into your greatest mystery and living an inspired life, and that is Wellness, or at a minimum well-being. We all yearn to live vibrant and meaningful lives, to embrace our own mysteries, but without wellness and well-being it is difficult, if not nearly impossible. When you are ensnared in the treacherous undertow of illness, or of grief, or of entrenched emotional habits, these become the focus of your life. Pain, struggle, and illness are the “vacuous siphons” of vitality. They drain our mental, emotional, and physical health, and direct our energy in negative directions into deeper downward spirals.
Well-being - and wellness, are choices; we choose wellness every moment of every day. We choose healthy diet and exercise, or not. We choose to have healthy relationships, or choose to remain in poor ones. We choose to honor our feelings for the information they contain, or we suppress them and allow them to gain momentum under the skin. We choose ethical thinking, or live out of delusion. We acknowledge the mystery of spirit, or cap it off with cynicism or boredom.
However you may conceive your life to be right now – today – please understand that you are in the driver’s seat. You have created the life that you are living today, and you will create the life that you will live tomorrow, and the day after. Whether or not you embrace your greatest mysteries, whether you ignite your inspiration and choose wellness or instead hole up and constrict the human experience that is you, know that you are the chooser.
There is much to learn about being you! Discover and embrace your own Great Mysteries: ask the Big Questions, truly grasp what it is that you yearn for, and graciously allow the Way of your inspiration to propel you forward. All questions will be answered simply because they have been asked; relentlessly live into your inspiration. Wellness, you will find, is the byproduct of living an inspired life.
~ Jenifer Zetlan © 2018
Jenifer Zetlan is an author, behaviorist and motivational speaker who is committed to helping people live inspired lives. With degrees in psychology and behavioral sciences from UCLA, she has led numerous seminars and classes in psychology, leadership and organization in University settings and throughout many Fortune 500 and non-profit organizations. Jenifer, author of The Incredible Power of Inspiration: Creating the Life You Yearn For, has been reading, studying and speaking in the areas of psychology, philosophy and spirituality for over 30 years. She is an ardent yoga practitioner and instructor in the Bay Area.
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