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One of my biggest passions in life is personal growth. I devour self-help books and spiritual books just to learn more about the human experience. I think I might be addicted to insights. You know, those blips of realizations after which you never look at things the same way again? Call them epiphanies, aha-moments or inspirations - it's all the same to me. I quietly ponder and let my mind settle and sometimes, not every time, but sometimes some genius arises from within me. I know I am the source of these insights, but I know I don't come up with them. They come from something greater.
I've learned that insights come more reliably when I'm in a certain state of mind. The less busy my mind is, the better. Sometimes I can't let my mind settle to save my life. My mind feels muddled and cloudy. Other times my mind is remarkably calm even when I'm physically busy doing other stuff. These are the least convenient times to get an insight. But funnily enough, often when my song inspirations occur.
It's hard to describe what an insight is. But I'll try: I think about something a certain way. Then from seemingly out of nowhere, I get a flash, a thought, an insight of being able to see that same thing a different way.
My teacher in India told it this way: "It's dark and you look at something that appears to be a snake. You get frightened and want to run for your life. But when you turn the light on, you see it is only a rope. Even when the light goes off again, you can't see the same thing as a snake ever again. Because now you know, it's a rope."
I think this is the phenomenon that makes children see monsters in their rooms. Like the beginning scene of Monsters Inc. where the child sees the monster approaching, but then it's only his jacket hanging over the chair.
Once we realize something profound like that, everything else looks different. It almost feels like you get a new view of life like you stepped up the ladder of life and are able to see things from a different, a clearer, perspective.
Reading books about spiritual and self-help topics seems to get my mind churning in a very specific way that lets out insights. Maybe it's the act of quiet listening (I listen to audiobooks while I drive) while simultaneously having to be relaxed but alert that creates that perfect state of mind for these insights to occur. I'm not sure why, but it works for me. And I think this is why I love it so.