Deb Kerry is Taking Time to Breathe


It’s a word we use all the time, often lightly, without really thinking about what it means. When it came time for me to sit down and write this blog post, I was flummoxed. Not that I couldn’t think of anything to write that would fall under the topic of “inspiration,” rather that there were so many posts I could write that my brain went into lockdown and refused to pick one.

As it turned out, what I needed to do was stop and define what the word means to ME, personally. Not to my partner or my children or all the rest of you out there on the other end of this blog.

Now it’s your turn.

I know it’s Monday morning and you’re facing down the world after a weekend spent trying to escape, but I’m asking you to pause just for a moment. What thoughts or images come to your mind when you think of the word “inspiration?”

I came across this photo while I was working on this post:

I recognized it the instant I saw it, amazed that I’d found something so perfect. The Viking, looking over my shoulder, said, “That’s not inspiration.”

He’d absolutely right – the average person looking at this picture isn’t going to say, “Ah, now there’s a photo that captures the essence of inspiration for all the world to see.” Think about the image that came to your mind when you thought about inspiration. I’m guessing it was something entirely different.

Inspiration is one of those words, I think, that everybody owns in a slightly different way. To me it is a soul word, intimate and personal and deeply connected to whatever lies at the center of me. I happen to believe in a world of spirit, that there are things around me that I cannot touch or taste or see. You may not. That in itself is going to change the meaning of the word for you.

Whatever you believe, you can’t get away from the origin of the word. Inspiration comes from the Latin inspirare, meaning “to breathe into.” In many belief systems the breath is believed to be connected to the soul. At the very least, breath is necessary for life. Inspiration is not just something that motivates us to do more or be more – it is connected to the breath, and therefore to life itself.

When I look at this image I see an inbreathing of spirit, and at the same time if makes me draw a deeper breath, to be still for a moment and be aware that my soul has been touched by something beautiful. And this, to me, is the true meaning of the word inspiration.

Your turn now. What images or ideas came to your mind when you thought about the word inspiration?  

8 Replies to “Deb Kerry is Taking Time to Breathe”

  1. Beautiful thoughts and a very powerful image, Kerry.

    For me, inspiration is anything that makes me want to better the world around me, whether it’s through writing or going on an adventure with my family or listening to music.

  2. For me, inspiration is usually wrapped up in words. Someone says something as simple hello — or as powerful as goodbye — and based on the person, the voice, the tone, and the setting, I am often struck by something much larger. Usually when I least expect it. You know, in a coffee shop or grocery store. Sights and sounds and daily activities do this too. But that’s what my Friday post is about. I think. 😉

    Thank you for all those lovely thoughts, Kerry. xo

    1. Amy – I know what you mean by that. The moment of inspiration is often unexpected, often stemming from something that is seemingly small, rather than some big “aha” moment.

  3. Fantastic image Kerry!

    Ironically, I had the same issue with inspiration. So many things inspire me – it can be hard to pick one! I love your idea of tying “inspiration” to the senses, though – because it’s true that certain things inspire me instantly and deeply.

    In fact….I think you’ve just given me a great idea for Thursday!!

  4. Lovely post, Kerry! Beautiful image.

    Music often does it for me, in spite of the fact that I can’t listen to it while I’m writing. However, hearing the right song, or even just a melody, puts me in a receptive mood–it opens me up to the words that come later, when I’m sitting in front of my computer.

  5. I agree that inspiration is very personal, and that what may inspire one person may not inspire another. Sometimes inspiration catches me by surprise — an article in a newspaper, a song on the radio, an email from a friend. Inspiration, for me, doesn’t always come in warm and fuzzy forms. Sometimes I’ll read a news story that infuriates me, or I’ll watch a friend do something foolish or upsetting, and I get fired up to write a story based on those themes. Other times, I’ll hear a speech that brings tears to my eyes or watch the sun set while sitting next to my husband, and those times can be pretty inspiring, too :).

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