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Yosemite PicEver felt suddenly ignited by a burst of inspiration? Maybe you came across a motivating quote. “Think sideways!” Said Edward de Bono. Or remember a time you caught sight of something miraculous in nature, like a full moon or a humming bird hovering at a flower? Perhaps you witnessed an impressive human feat at a sporting event?  And then there’s inspiration of the creative kind–from Picasso to Prada. No matter how you get there, being inspired feels good. Life affirming, it’s like gas being poured on your inner flame.sip of art

Seeing something totally off-the-wall can wake us up to wonder again. Like magic. Watching (or giving) birth can do it. Cuteness works wonders. (Think puppies.) Never-mind, hotness. A fit, healthy body can be inspiring, just like a soaring human spirit. Now, turn the dial and consider music. The right song can take you higher. Similarly, we can be transformed by a moving film.

And then…there’s food. Has a cosmic combo of flavors ever blown your mind? Check out the caviar atop sea urchin on oyster pictured here–sure to send a sushi lover. Some diners even shed a tear for great taste. I just read about a woman who cried oysterin appreciation for the delicious gourmet gluten-free bread at The French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, CA. But sensory inspiration can be pure and simple, too, like a plump organic blueberry bursting juice between your teeth. And don’t even get me started on beverages. That’s a whole other arena of arousal, and we’re not just talkin’ kombucha.

All this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to inspiration. (An iceberg–now that’s inspiring.)

Think of a person whom you admire: Wise old woman? Innocent child? How IMG_02653about someone well known: Abe Lincoln? Lady Gaga? Lao Tzu? What about a cause or an idea? Like regenerating tissue with stem cells or marriage equality?

Help me out? Major categories remain unrepresented here. So, what does it for you?

This is not a rhetorical question. This is a contest. To enter, just send your answer to this question: “What Inspires You?” Tweet me with #IS, or post or message your response to the IS Facebook Page: You can also comment on this blog or email it in: faith@faithfreed.com. Your entry is welcome in any form: words, pictures, sound…be creative. The winner will be mailed a copy of my book, IS: Your Authentic Spirituality Unleashed, plus a bonus prize that fits the winning response. Deadline is 4/4/13. Winner announced 4/5/13.

Get your inspiration on, party people. What turns you on?

UPDATE

Announcing the “What Inspires You?” Contest Winners: Jerry James Stone of San Francisco, CA for his creative culinary inspiration and Jennifer Whitehouse of the UK, a triplet, for her story of gratitude and admiration for her parents. Congrats and thank you for sharing what turns you on!