Finding Inspiration

Posted by Kelly Lewis Share Your Voice


One of the many cool things about being an Executive Leadership Coach is noticing the common themes that magically occur across diverse clients and then noticing when (and if) the same theme shows up in my leadership and life.  That magic showed up almost immediately for me this week.  Oh, how I love the synergy of the coach-client relationship.  

Between Tuesday morning and Wednesday lunch, I had coaching sessions with a 60-something, CEO, of an international manufacturing business; a 50-something, CMO, of a national health care organization; a 40-something, CGO, of a family owned business;  and a 30-something, Communications executive, of an international credit card company.   The question du jour, "What is MY source of inspiration? How do I constantly tap into that in challenging and easeful times to inspire others?".   

On Wednesday afternoon, I left the office to have a mole removed from my eye lid, a minor outpatient procedure.  Not knowing how this might turn out, I blocked off Thursday and Friday to finish up a book chapter I have been writing, to do some thinking about a couple of client projects, to catch up on some emails, and to flip a few pages in "Changing on the Job: Developing Leaders for a Complex World".   Honestly,  I was inspired by the space that my procedure had created in my calendar to tackle some inspiring pieces of work.  We left the doctor's office around 5:00 pm on Wednesday.  I was feeling good - my eye was bandaged, open, and quite numb.  By 8:00 pm, I was feeling kinda awful - the Novocain was wearing off, my eye was killing me, and it was beginning to swell.  We made it an early night and I looked forward to a new day.  I awoke Thursday morning and my eye was swollen completely shut.  I thought, "No big deal, I will just get started on one of my many projects.  I can still see out of my left eye."  An hour into some writing, my eyes were killing me, I was completely deflated, and quite exhausted.  "All of this space to work on these things that inspire me...wasted", I said out loud.  I put down my laptop and closed my eyes.  I spent much of Thursday laying on our sofa with my eyes wide shut.

While laying in complete darkness, disappointed that my space was getting filled with nothing and my plan was not happening, I began to wonder, "What really is inspiration...and where else can I find it?". Webster defines inspiration as a noun that means, "a divine influence directly and immediately exerted on the mind or soul." And defines inspire as a verb that means, "to fill with animating, quickening, or exhaling influence."  That day laying on the sofa I discovered my "go-to" sources of inspiration: my work, a movie based on a true story, a good book with a deep message, a meaningful conversation with a friend, loved one, colleague, or stranger, music, the ocean, mother nature in general.   95% of those were not available to me at that moment. That same day I also discovered new sources of inspiration: WONDER, SPACE filled with nothing, and LETTING GO.   The cool thing about these sources were they did not require any external situation to inspire me.   It appears as though I am being invited to dig a little deeper for inspiration these days - perhaps looking within myself as well as outside myself.

So I, along with some of my clients, are on a search for inspiration.  I would love to hear from you.  Where do you find inspiration in challenging and easeful times?

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Small Kelly Lewis Hello! Here are a few things that I have found support me in creating the life I want, keeping myself in check, and leading with courage and compassion: a slow walk with my hubby and our pups, my work, honesty with myself, the smile of another, and mother nature.


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