zen habits : breathe

The Breath of God Inspiration Method

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” -Vincent van Gogh

Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter.

The word “inspiration” to some literally means “the breath of God”.

Whether you’re religious or not, the idea of God or a god or a muse breathing inspiration into the depth of our beings is a beautiful one. Even if the world is naught but a natural miracle, this idea can lift you up, and give you the spark of life to *do* something great.

That’s inspiration at its absolute best: not just when it lifts us up, makes us feel good or enthusiastic or excited, but when it *moves* us, when we become so moved that we create something of truth or beauty.

It’s an elusive thing, this pure inspiration, something people of all types of creativity seek on a daily basis. Here’s one method — a simple method I hope will help you in that everyday search.

It’s three simple steps:

  1. Find something divinely touched.
  2. Breathe in that divine inspiration.
  3. Do. Create. Inspire.

Let’s look at each step in turn.

Step 1. Find something divinely touched.
For this step, I use a loose definition of “divine” … you don’t have to be religious to find divinity in something. When Mozart wrote a symphony, or Jobs created the Macbook Air, or a stranger smiles at you, there is divinity in that. There’s divinity in a sunset, in every living thing (why I’m a vegan), in a cool breeze on a humid day.

You just need to recognize the inspiration, in whatever form it comes.

Here are my greatest sources of inspiration:

Step 2. Breathe in that divine inspiration.
Take a slow, deep breath. As the air comes into your mouth or nostrils, through your throat, and fills your lungs, it is bringing divine inspiration into your body.

Repeat. Each inhalation brings with it more inspiration, and each exhalation releases tension.

Step 3. Do. Create. Inspire.
You are now filled with the Breath of God. Take this inspiration and use it, be moved, and do something. Don’t just sit there feeling good. Channel that inspiration into creating something amazing.

Put that something out into the world, and in turn, you will inspire others.

“I am convinced that there are universal currents of Divine Thought vibrating the ether everywhere and that any who can feel these vibrations is inspired.” -Richard Wagner



Join a million+ breath-taking readers: rss | email | twitter | +