Do the mountains take your breath away? When you see the rolling hills climb to majestic purple peaks do you feel your body vibrate? Maybe it’s the ocean. When you walk along the beach, looking past the blue and white waves for miles toward the horizon, do you feel a sense of calm?
Could it be that listening to your favorite music, anything from sonatas to rock and roll, fills your soul with peacefulness and gets your creative energy flowing? Watching movies, reading books, or being with other people can all be sources of inspiration in your life. Inspiration can come from landscapes, kittens, or a friendly touch.
How to find inspiration in spite of adversity
When you live with a chronic pain condition it can be difficult to feel inspired. Not only does the pain influence how much activity you can participate in on a daily basis, it can also darken your mood making you less interested in trying.
But even through the darkest night, the sun rises again and it is beneficial to surround yourself with inspirational messages, images, and people. The very process of seeking out inspiration will inspire you and can help you relax, be creative, or push yourself outside of your own comfort zone.
Here are some things that might inspire you.
Inspiration on Instagram
Last year, on the Arizona Pain Blog, we explored some of the most inspirational Instagram stars who live with chronic pain. While they may face adversity in their daily lives they use beauty, the art of photography, and the internet to create something amazing. Model Jesse Golden, former Wall Street analyst Masumi Goldman, and yoga teacher Kerri Verna all have chronic pain and positivity in common. While they don’t pretend that it is easy to live with the effects of their pain conditions, they also don’t limit or define their lives in this way.
Images on Pinterest
While Instagram focuses on user submitted photographs, often taken with smart phones, Pinterest is a collaborative community where users can pin posts from a variety online sources. At its most basic, you can peruse Pinterest to find images that make you feel good and pin them to your own boards. You can create boards that fit with your various interests such as art, interior design, or inspirational quotes. You can revisit your boards frequently to be soothed and inspired the by images and resources you’ve saved.
Start by searching for inspirational quotes and follow those people whose views resonate with yours.
Do you love getting lost in books? You don’t have to narrow your reading material to just fiction to be inspired. Pick up a biography from someone you’ve always admired. You may find personal stories that speak to you on your own level. You may learn new things that can help direct your life in a positive way. For example, the story of Nicole Hemmenway, who went from a wheelchair to running a marathon, may provide hope and encouragement.
Celebrities who fight back
The average person isn’t the only one dealing with the effects of chronic pain. Sheer statistics alone means some of our favorite celebrities are also living with these types of conditions. It is clear that they don’t let their pain stand in the way of success, so look to them for positive reinforcement.
Fibromyalgia, for instance, is a very common and difficult to treat condition. Did you know that Morgan Freeman and Jeaneane Gorafalo have both gone public with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia? Other celebrities that are rumored to live with the condition include choreographer Debbie Allen and singer Paula Abdul.
Cake, starring Jennifer Aniston
Recently released on DVD and Blu-Ray, the indie film Cake is an intimate look at one woman dealing with the aftermath of a car accident that left her with chronic pain. The movie deals with the very common reality of suicide in this community and, as the story unfolds, we learn more about Aniston’s character, Claire.
Finding inspiration in community
We are a very lucky generation. There were times in history when dealing with the effects of chronic pain would almost certainly lead to loneliness and isolation. In the 21st century, we have developed a variety of interactive platforms that can provide company and inspiration for anyone. No one with chronic pain has to feel alone again.
Support groups in your community can be a fantastic source of inspiration. You can meet others who are living with the same concerns you have and who have succeeded in spite of their chronic pain. Look at resources like your local community center or faith communities to find the right support group for you.
If an in-person support group isn’t feasible for a variety of reasons, our modern culture has given us a way to extend beyond the local and form relationships with people all over the globe. Online communities have been shown to provide as much stimulation and support as many face-to-face communities.
Our own community, Faces of Pain, can provide a platform for you to meet others around the country and even the world who are dealing with the same experiences in their lives.
You can find inspiration anywhere you look. When you finish reading this post, step outside. Look around your home. Is the sun shining? Is the moon full? Are flowers painting colors on the landscape? Do you see people out and about in your community? Do you feel the breeze on your face? Everywhere around you is something to inspire you to step out of yourself and become something more.
Where you find your source of inspiration?
Image by EladeManu via Flickr