Inspiration Hits on the Way Down

Written by on April 30, 2019 in Conscious Living, Inspirational, Thrive with 0 Comments

Searching for Revelation

In addition to practicing yoga and meditation, another way I find revelation is through running. I remember one spring beginning a run, looking for inspiration—revelation. Specifically, I was searching for a greater understanding about darkness, about how to find the deeper parts of me.

I used to live in Salt Lake City, Utah and I love to run up City Creek canyon. It’s small, close to the city, and has few if no cars. It has trails if I’m in the mood for trails, occasional restrooms, yet it’s wild enough to keep me on my toes. I’ve come face to face with cougars up that canyon and lived to tell about it. It thrills me to know something that wild lives only miles from civilization. 

On this particular run, I parked not far from the canyon entrance. Already I was hoping for inspiration: to see or to experience something that would open me up, something that would smack me in the face. I decided not to force it but rather just try to stay in the moment and let it come.

The Run

Mile one: the scenery was nice. The April morning was beautiful. I could hear the brook, smell the earth coming back to life. It was beautiful I was feeling good but no revelation.

Mile two: uphill. Lungs full of air. Muscles working. My feet pounding a rhythm on the pavement in some relation to my heartbeat. No revelation. Just let it come. Just be present.

Mile three-four: elevation, no revelation.

A Smack in the Face

At four and a half miles, I turned around and headed back down—all downhill from here. I felt good. The sun was in my face. Suddenly, I could see so much more than just my feet on pavement. My mind opened. I saw a mouse scurrying to put her house in order after a long winter. I saw the sun. I saw all the faces of bikers, runner, walkers (bipeds and quadrupeds), saunterers. I saw trees and sky. I felt alive.

Photo by Seneca Moore

A single ray of inspiration hit me in the face, literally. My own voice came into my head that said, “What is the most obvious thing you can sense right now?” I raised my eyes and was met directly with the sun. It was the week is the week of the spring equinox. And for the next few miles, my mind just opened and allowed all that spring and the notion of finding balance to warm my mind.

This was all still the prep work for revelation. I wondered why I didn’t get any inspiration on the way up. It seems like it’s usually on the way down that I get the inspiration. Maybe because on the way down, we’re not trying so hard. Maybe its because the softness about the experience has set in, creating that vital chemistry between effort and ease as taught in yoga practice, now perfect enough to illuminate the soul. Or before that moment, like The Smiths say, “you just haven’t earned it yet, baby.”

Open the Floodgates

Then, right as I was passing through the gate of the canyon, almost back to my car, the floodgate of revelation opened up in my mind. And in rapid succession, several things flooded into my mind, everything from poems, lectures, lyrics, and thoughts, all linked themselves together to form one long chain of brilliant revelation.

It said:

Faith is walking into the darkness, willing to keep one foot moving in front of the other with nothing but hope ahead. (me)

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight.
And find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
And is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
To know the Dark by Wendell Berry

It’s like stepping out of the boat into the darkness, onto the water.

And how we are all preparing for that abrupt waking
and that calling and that moment when we have to say yes! . . .
So that when we finally step out of the boat
toward them [our true love or True Self] we find, everything holds us,
and everything confirms our courage. . .
And you’ll walk across any territory,
and any darkness, however fluid,
and however dangerous to take the one
hand and the one life, you know belongs in yours
True Love by David Whyte

Faith is walking onto surfaces that you know will not hold your weight as you walk toward your True Self,  . . . “the stranger who has loved you/ all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart.” —Love After Love by Derek Walcott

Because it’s this True Self that recognizes:

Why call
those random paths
Everyone who walks
like Jesus
on water.
* by Antonio Machado

The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves, they find their own order… the continuous thread of revelation. Eudora Welty

As I ran, I thought I need to start running with a pen. I found that the answers often come on the way back down the mountain, on the way home and not at the summit. Maybe well after the odyssey, maybe when we’re 90 years old, rocking on our porch and wondering if it was all worth it. Yet, we have to be willing to climb and sweat and bleed, to show our willingness, our faith, before we are perhaps humble enough or open enough to pull out the light that was already there. . .(Just hiding in the dark ‘cuz it’s scared–The Cowboy Junkies) or asleep.

As I was rubbing my jaw, having been smacked so beautifully and fiercely from this revelation, decidedly deeper than inspiration, I realized that the run up was to show my higher Self that I was willing to be open. I was kneeling at the temple gate, not out, when I received my revelation.

The effort of the run was the craft necessary to invite the muse upon my shoulder, to jog my attention to perk up.

I discovered that darkness is the step right before the light.

This is what our yoga practice is all about. It’s the step, “very arduous and humbling and joyful,/by which we arrive at the ground at our feet,/and learn to be at home.” A Spiritual Journey by Wendell Berry

It’s the step before the light.


Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and currently lives in Southern France. When he’s not teaching or conducting retreats, he writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats to places like Tuscany and France , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program


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