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The Inspirational History of Inspiration

Inspiration has an unusual history in that its figurative sense appears to predate its literal one. It comes from the Latin inspiratus (the past participle of inspirare, “to breathe into, inspire”) and in English has had the meaning “the drawing of air into the lungs” since the middle of the 16th century. This breathing sense is still in common use among doctors, as is expiration (“the act or process of releasing air from the lungs”). However, before inspiration was used to refer to breath it had a distinctly theological meaning in English, referring to a divine influence upon a person, from a divine entity; this sense dates back to the early 14th century. The sense of inspiration often found today (“someone or something that inspires”) is considerably newer than either of these two senses, dating from the 19th century.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

What inspires you? I find depth, ideas and creative impulses in poems, music, art, spiritual texts and nature photography .

Here is a short excerpt of what moves me at the moment.

A Lovely Inner Garden

When you release your burdens,
you start planting
the seeds of your healing.
You start gardening your heart
and turn it into fertile soil.
Be patient.
Don’t force the change.
Growth and healing are delicate siblings
that cannot be separated.
They come slowly.
It will take time
to see growth inside your heart
and admire the vibrant flowers
that you planted within.
Stay peaceful every day.
Stay attuned to your healing,
and enjoy the privilege

Vasiliu, Alexandra. Dare to Let Go: Poems about Healing and Finding Yourself

Chapter 21

The Master keeps her mind
always at one with the Tao;
that is what gives her her radiance.
The Tao is ungraspable.
How can her mind be at one with it?
Because she doesn’t cling to ideas.
The Tao is dark and unfathomable.
How can it make her radiant?
Because she lets it.
Since before time and space were,
the Tao is.
It is beyond is and is not.
How do I know this is true?
I look inside myself and see.
Mitchell, Stephen; Tzu, Lao. Tao Te Ching