Through the Eyes of an Educator: Finding Inspiration

by Stacey Ebert /
Stacey Ebert's picture
Sep 13, 2022 / 0 comments

"...the ground thaws, the rain falls, the grass grows…the seeds root, the flowers bloom, the children play. The stars gleam, the poets dream, the eagles fly…the earth turns, the sun burns…the breeze warms, the girl smiles, the cloud moves…the tides change, the boys run, the oceans crash. The crowds roar, the days soar, the babies cry." - Without You, RENT

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Finding Inspiration

In the northern hemisphere, we’re in the last few weeks of the official summer season and as always at this time, there’s a shift afoot. There are staunch summer fans (like me) who harness the waves, the sand, and vitamin D for year-round joy. There are those who can’t wait to jump into autumn with all things leaves, pumpkin, and spooky spice celebrations. And, of course, there are those who seek to find the best of both worlds and enjoy each season on its own and the transition from one to the next. Summer camps close their gates, campers everywhere begin the countdown till they can re-emerge at their summer home, teachers ready their classrooms, and schools welcome students back for another thriving year ahead. Needless to say, this time of year holds a whole lot of everything.

We’re another school year into this pandemic mess of things and even more than any old ‘normal’ year, all sorts of emotions run high. For some, those high emotions create or re-ignite a spark, yet for others they fill days with anxiety, angst, and a desire to hide in your bedroom pillow fort and not reappear until summer returns. And, of course, for most of us, daily life is somewhere in the middle of a day filled with puppies and rainbows and the ones that involve the dentist and taxes. 

Somewhere along the line, we find ourselves needing inspiration— whether it’s to create, find our flow, or get out of bed, it’s one of those things we crave and sometimes need to search to find.

Where do you get yours?

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Finding Inspiration

Some of us visualize, learn about our chakras, create vision boards, pull oracle cards, meditate, or use a zillion other methods and tools of gaining insight and inspiration. Writers and artists often have muses who inspire their characters, entire saga stories, and works of art. Some of us spend time in a garden, head to the beach, walk a trail, climb a mountain, or awe at butterflies, hummingbirds, and ladybugs—and some of us get our share of wildlife viewing through keeping up with the live animal camera feeds around the globe. 

However we pursue that perspective and inspiration, part of the process is in the seeking, the finding, and the ability to then utilize that inspiration for our desired goals. Growth takes experience and stepping into the unknown. Often, finding inspiration is the same.

What do you do with yours?

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Finding Inspiration

I don’t know about you, but my high school didn’t offer a course on finding inspiration. 

Sure, many of today’s curricula are better equipped with social emotional learning and wellbeing lessons. Still, though, there’s a missing link of zest, spark, perspective, and finding inspiration. In some of the more atypical spaces and forest schools, you may find more weight placed upon that awareness, insight, creativity, nature bathing, curiosity harvesting, and inspiration finding, yet, without question, it’s lacking across the board. 

So, many of us are still searching for ours; while we seek to attain ours, the next question is, how do we help the younger generation find what inspires them—and then, how do we help them figure out just what to do with that magical energy they’ve encountered?

Inspiration comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms. 

It can come from people, places, experiences, interactions, conversations, fleeting moments, readings, entertainment, animals, nature, travel, wanders, and even inanimate objects. 

It’s sourced through doing, being, acting, experiencing, and navigating the moments and milestones of life. 

When you find it, you know. 

There’s a feeling that while we can try to put it into words is something like a bolt, shock, flicker, shiver, light bulb, or in Oprah terms, that ‘aha’ moment when wonder ensues. Sometimes it takes time to decipher, grasp, and fully understand; at other times, the only thing you can do is to find your blank canvas and create with infectious, focused energy. When it strikes, it’s pure magic—and once experienced, craved.

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Finding Inspiration

Sometimes (if you’re anything like me), without that perspective and inspiration, there’s a feeling of writer’s block, numbness, staleness, & stuckness—and underneath it all, that desire for the zest, light, and ferocious energy to return. 

While we sometimes feel it’s beyond our depth, it is fully within our reach—all we need to do is look. And, while it’s less probable that schools will craft courses titled synchronicity, finding inspiration, or seeking perspective, we can weave it into experiential interactions to ensure our young humans understand the significance, recognize the signs, and search for the light they need to harness their own energy. 

Inspiration is everywhere, if only we remain open to it.

5 ways to encourage, tap, and embolden inspiration seeking

5 ways to encourage, tap, and embolden inspiration seeking. From Through the Eyes of an Educator: Finding Inspiration

Get outside

Nature's existence inspires. Whether you’re surrounded by crashing waves, lush forests, clear mountain air, or butterflies and flowers in a garden, it’s medicine. 

And, with any sort of healing medicine, we find inspiration. It could be the way the tree waltzes in the wind, the spellbinding strength of a hummingbird’s flutter, the mountain’s snow-topped peak, or the tiny plant that flourishes amidst challenging conditions. Get outside, see the world in all its three-dimensional glory, and let the power of nature stimulate your senses. 

5 ways to encourage, tap, and embolden inspiration seeking. From Through the Eyes of an Educator: Finding Inspiration

Do what makes you happy; look for the good

Maybe it’s searching social media for emotionally joyful good news. Maybe it’s hanging by a dog park to take in the joy of puppy fun. Maybe it’s a warm smile, a good deed, an infant cuddle, or kindness witnessed between strangers. Whatever it is, look for the good—and remember that often, you are and can be the good. 

So often we grow up feeling constrained by restrictions of society, parental standards, or those invasive ‘shoulds.’ If it makes you happy, if it’s something that brings you joy, if you can share that joy with others, explore it. The world needs more of this—and without knowing it yourself, perhaps you’re inspiring someone else at that very moment. 

5 ways to encourage, tap, and embolden inspiration seeking. From Through the Eyes of an Educator: Finding Inspiration

Engage your curiosity muscles

Albert Einstein told us “the mind that opens to new ideas never returns to its original size.” When we apply that notion, step outside our norm, and build those curiosity muscles, all sorts of wonder emerges. Meeting new challenges head on, discovering new interactions, learning different, experiencing something never before tried...all of a sudden, it’s more than our minds that open. Sometimes we’re met with astonishment and amazement, and sometimes it’s those light bulb moments that open doors to that next idea. 

Whatever it is, curiosity is an extraordinary tool by which to spark that inspiration.

5 ways to encourage, tap, and embolden inspiration seeking. From Through the Eyes of an Educator: Finding Inspiration

Talk a bit, listen more

Listening is a skill. While talking is, as well, it often takes awhile to learn when we need to speak less and listen louder. 

Inspiration often whispers; when we’re open to listening, we can hear it. 

Whether it’s a speaker in a giant convention hall, a conversation at a dinner party, an intimate chat with a friend, a podcast, nature walk, or city excursion, when we stretch our listening skills, we can hear the world’s secrets. 

Inspiration is often more of low murmur than a screeching yell. Tune up those listening skills; the discoveries will amaze. 

5 ways to encourage, tap, and embolden inspiration seeking. From Through the Eyes of an Educator: Finding Inspiration

Channel that adventure attitude every day

Grand gestures are good, but sometimes it’s the everyday that begins to feel ordinary. Flip the script and find that adventure attitude in the everyday. 

Walking through the halls of school, see if you can take a new path. Feeling monotonous on the weekends? Do something you’ve never before done. Join a new club, try out for a new sport, take a new class, listen to a different podcast, learn a new language, lie in a hammock and read a book for hours; explore, innovate, challenge. Channel that vacation, adventure, new beginnings mindset in those non-descript weekdays, and you’re bound to find a bit of inspiration hiding behind a corner. 

Discover anew...the inspiration might sneak up on you.

5 ways to encourage, tap, and embolden inspiration seeking. From Through the Eyes of an Educator: Finding Inspiration


Please click the photo below for a collection of my Through the Eyes of an Educator columns:

Through the Eyes of an Educator: A Compendium


Stacey Ebert, our Educational Travels Editor, is a traveler at heart who met her Australian-born husband while on a trip in New Zealand. Stacey was an extracurricular advisor and taught history in a Long Island public high school for over fifteen years, enjoying both the formal and informal educational practices. After a one year 'round the world honeymoon, travel and its many gifts changed her perspective. She has since left the educational world to focus on writing and travel. She is energetic and enthusiastic about long term travel, finding what makes you happy and making the leap. In her spare time she is an event planner, yogi, dark chocolate lover, and spends as much time as possible with her toes in the sand.

Check out her website at for more of her travel musings.