The Inspired State

Distilled wisdom

Everything I have learned about how to live an inspired and fulfilling life has this morning distilled down into one simple principle:

The principle

There are two states we can live from – the Inspired State, and the Other one.

The principle came with a simple set of steps for applying it. If you like, join me in exploring how it works.

The background

Whatever we do from our inspired state will bring us joy, peace and love – all we have to do is find our way there, as often and for as long as possible. Once the see-saw begins to tip, it becomes easier and easier to get there and stay there, and life itself appears to shift.

The symptoms

It’s pretty easy to recognise which one we’re in. Here’s a list of their respective symptoms.

The Inspired State                   The Other State
abundance                            scarcity
appreciation                         comparison
love                                 judgement
flow                                 effort
gratitude for what is and has been   grief
gratitude for what is and has been   loss
peace                                dissatisfaction
peace, love                          not feeling good enough
satisfaction                         hunger
warmth                               cold
love                                 contempt
love                                 hatred
trust, gratitude for what is         fear
creating                             pushing, trying hard
joy                                  anguish
joy                                  exhaustion
peace                                feeling flat
uncertainty                          uncertainty
feeling at home in the whole world   displacement
connection                           attack
satisfaction                         gluttony
trust                                embarrassment
peace, joy and love                  attention seeking
peace                                starvation
connection                           friendlessness
peace                                overwhelm
peace, all the time in the world     busy-ness, lack of time
freedom                              poverty
freedom, trust                       over-supply
love, connection                     inability to be heard
love                                 desperation
connection, love, joy                loneliness
peace, joy, love                     impatience

The steps

So here’s the simple process for increasing time spent in the Inspired State – and this is all about tipping the see-saw – once we get good at this, it magically accelerates.

1. Recognise whenever you are in the Other State

Just refer to this list. I know this may be easier said than done; when we’re in this other state, we’re not necessarily all that clear sighted. But we get better at it with practice. Dave Kibby ( refers to this concept of noticing these Other State symptoms as “drifting onto the rumble strip” – after a while, it becomes so obvious you can’t miss it.

2. (With thanks to Eckhart Tolle) Stop whatever you are doing

The energy of the Other State is not what we want to be putting into our projects, or into the world. If it is important, you can come back to it once you are feeling inspired.

3. Do whatever it takes for you to make the state shift into the Inspired State

Once again, this gets easier and easier with practice. For me, it’s usually enough to shift my breathing into a slow, deep rhythm and move my eyes around my whole visual field (thanks to Valerie Wycoff,, for this tip) – this moves us out of “fight or flight” mode where breathing is shallow and vision narrowed.

Do anything that you know puts you into a positive state – it might be to go for a walk, talk to a cheerful friend, write, play music, paint, pray, or sit with a pet for a while.

For some lucky people, their work puts them into this state.

If you meditate, this is the state you are after, with the addition that you stay in it and live from here afterwards.

4. Now enjoy, do whatever you are inspired to do, the way you are inspired to do it

Relax and get used to the world through the lens of peace, joy, love and inspiration – we all know this state, now we want to spend as much time here as we can.

5. Continue the cycle, back to step one whenever you need to

Be kind to yourself, the see-saw is moving.


Notice that the only thing that appears on both sides of life, in both states, is uncertainty. Uncertainty can take a bit of making friends with, but it is the essence of inspired creativity, essential to a fulfilled life.

If you like action movies, “Paycheck” makes the point brilliantly.

And if you’d like practical help applying this wisdom to work and business, I recommend

Wishing you joy in uncertainty, and an inspired, Flowing day,

Jennifer Manson – The Flow Writer

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