THE COURAGE OF INSPIRATION: AWAKENING OF THE CREATIVE SPIRIT
The certainty of cycles, the triumph of order over chaos, the diversity born from life’s creativity, the innate artistry of each of us, the enduring beauty of the human spirit. From Minoan times till now, the story hasn’t changed. But it’s important that we reclaim it and retell it before we are swept away by the eruptions of our own making.
Margaret J. Wheatley – best selling author of Finding our Way – Leadership for Uncertain Times
Inspiration abounds with a courageous invitation to transcend the status quo. It breathes life into new possibilities, offering hope in the midst of crisis, giving individuals a reason, and a way to move forward. It prompts innovation and actions not previously thought to be possible.
These past few years I have integrated in my professional executive leadership coaching a powerful practice of appreciative leadership which draws on positive power of inspiration by fostering inquiry and dialogue about hopes, dreams, and visions. It unleashes otherwise latent potential – great ideas, strengths, capabilities and skills, by inspiring creativity, confidence and hope for the future.
I have found that in my own personal and professional journey, inspiration opens me to a source of life that moves through my entire being. It provides me hope and courage, to live and work in new, innovative and more life affirming directions.
In my own life work, I have discovered there are three powerful ingredients for personal and collective transformation to take place, and they are: Inspiration, hope and creativity, which go hand in hand.
Inspiration has always moved me to action. It has given me something to work for and toward in service of a better world. It calls forth my contribution to the whole. It encourages me to learn and to do what it takes to realize my dreams, to achieve my goals, and help others to do the same. Inspiration sparks the fire of excellence within me. It is the source of all achievement.
I extend an invitation, to pause for a moment:
- Reflect about a time when you were inspired; a time when you were moved to creative action.
- Who or what inspired you?
- What awakened your creativity?
- What gave you confidence to take action? What did you do?
We are all inspired differently. Seeing a leader speak from the heart, hearing another person’s story of success, sharing a vision for a better world, seeing someone overcome an obstacle, witnessing an exemplary act of service, experiencing mastery, beauty or joy. Whatever its form, inspiration creates a positive pull, a creative force that draws us toward a better life, a better relationship, or a better way of working and being.
Appreciative Leadership pays attention to what inspires people. It creates a framework and environment where leaders, coaches, managers watch, listen and learn what people care about and what moves them to positive action.
Do you know what inspires individuals around you?
It’s really easy to find out. Just ask them: “Tell me about a time when you were at your best. What inspired you?” Or watch them: When people feel inspired, they show excitement, enthusiasm,, and high energy. Or listen them; when people say things like “I don’t know where this idea came from, however, what if we…” or “I have a creative idea that I need your help thinking through…” or “ I would love to…,” they are expressing their creative spirit. An inspired workplace hums with the sound of co-creative partnerships and collaboration, synergy, and the surprise of collective wisdom unfolding.
Appreciative Leadership inspires people by feeding the positive. Being positive creates a safe and a life giving space for individuals to learn and grow. It gives people confidence that a brighter future is on the horizon, even when they are not doing well.
I invite you to take courage to choose the positive as a daily leadership practice, in all you do…It is this choice that awakens the creative spirit within you….
Key Reflection Questions: (important to note here, you will notice something releasing in you as you share your responses to your experience and creative, inspirational story)
In the last 24 hours:
- How did I evoke courage and the awakening of my creative spirit?
- What did I discover?
- What was new for me?
- What are the possibilities or visions do I have for my life?
- What’s holding me back?
- What is it that keep my heart beating?
- What was it like to catch that awakening of my creative spirit?
As you spend time with one or more of these reflection questions, describe your insights and discoveries and how you will integrate your new awareness of your being. Focus your awareness inside of yourself, to an area where you find calm and ease. Be gentle, locate a positive sensation(s), accept yourself as you are today and take all the time you need.
If you would like to explore the appreciative leadership process, you can reach me at my contact information listed below. I look forward to hearing from you.