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Inspiration is the New Reality By Suzanne Eder

“ “Te problem isn’t that inspired individuals can’t face ‘reality.’ Te problem is that they do – and they let it eclipse their instinct and

excellence.”ct and excellence.” ...Tama

When I read the above quote in Tama Kieves’ latest book, Inspired & Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding In Your Life’s Work, I froze in one of those moments where time seems to stand still and sudden clarity emerges. (Or maybe it was one of those moments when I’m thunderstruck by the genius of a truly giſted writer who can put words to things in a completely original and deeply illuminating way. Or both.) It would be difficult to overstate the number of people I have worked with who, at some point on their journey – oſten before they even got started – decided their dreams were impractical and it would be best to tuck them away and get back to “reality.”

Tama Kieves knows all about the feeling that dreams are impractical. Her dream was to become a writer – a dream her family thought was wildly impractical. Writing simply was not seen as a viable career path. And so, for a while, she ignored her dreams and pursued the highly practical career of corporate law. Her mother glowed with pride and Tama believed she was doing the adult, responsible thing by facing “reality” and choosing a career known to be very realistic indeed, especially for an honors graduate of Harvard Law School.

Tere was only one tiny problem. She hated it. It looked really good on the outside, but inside she felt terrible.


And that’s how Tama discovered that ignoring her dreams wasn’t practical at all. It was exhausting and depleting, and in holding her dreams off to the side, she was holding herself apart from her passion, aliveness and genius. Hardly the recipe for a fulfilled, successful life.

“Te problem isn’t that inspired

individuals can’t face ‘reality.’ Te problem is that they do – and they let it eclipse their instinct and excellence.” ...Tama Kieves

Te “feeling terrible” experience was key. Tama explained that, like many people, she found her calling by finding out, first, what it was not. She found out what didn’t fit. And when something doesn’t fit, it doesn’t feel good. It was when Tama finally acknowledged that she did feel terrible – and she

wasn’t willing to live her life feeling that way - that she opened the door to her true calling.

In our conversation, Tama emphasized several times the importance of our feelings as a source of inner guidance. I could not agree more. I’ve come to understand that is their primary purpose. When we feel badly, it is a signal that we’re interpreting the experiences of our lives in a way that does not align with our innate brilliance, worthiness and creativity. Negative emotions are an invitation to pause, liſt the covers and see what is underneath.

What Tama found underneath her frustration and despair was a belief that she couldn’t make a living as a writer…when that was the one thing she longed to do. She had the courage to challenge that belief and to consider the bold possibility that – hold onto your hat – there isn’t just one reality. Tere are countless realities, and countless ways to live a life.

She said during our interview, simply and profoundly, that an essential aspect of creating inspired success is knowing there ARE

— continued on next page October 2012

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