What’s a spark of insight? How can you tell?

The spark of insight.

I welcome every single spark of insight.

I’m having plenty of them these days, which is a relief, because if I wasn’t open to receive — to see, to notice, to hear, to recognize — insights, I would be stuck in a seriously painful pile of crap. A suckstorm, if you will. A suckstorm of symptoms and flareups that have me functioning and operating these days inside small bursts of energy, interspersed with a significant amount of self-care and naps.

spark of insight

I’m really good at this self-care stuff; the last few years have offered me a lot of opportunities. Critical illness, chronic pain, autoimmune diseases — so many opportunities. When I choose self-care, my goal is always more ease/less pain. I get the result I’m after long enough to keep my on the track, always pointed back to self-care and self-love.

There’s a spark of insight right there. Let’s look at it.

My particular psychology reminds me (often) that my present circumstances suck (I have a habit of thinking that whatever “it” is, if it’s mine it can’t be worth much). My internal Subcommittee in Charge of Disappointment (oh, you have one too?) tells me time and again that my current capacity and state of health add up to mean a variety of things about me, and none of them are lovely:

  • I’m a loser.
  • I’m too old.
  • I’m a failure.

I could go into more specific detail but I’ll spare you. (You’re welcome, and I know you know what I mean.)

A friend of mine, Nicola Bird, runs a program for kids and she posted a lovely video about understanding what a spark of insight might look and feel like. Here’s what the seven-year-old in the video said (paraphrased by me):

 “If you hold on to the bad thoughts, new thoughts won’t come through. But if you let go of that bad thought, new thoughts can come through and maybe your spark will come up and it’ll tell you what to do and you’ll get through.

“If I didn’t have my spark I wouldn’t know what to do, and I’d give up. But I didn’t give up because the spark was rising and told me what to do.”

How this insight applies, to me, maybe to you too.

One key idea that has turned my life completely around over the last three years is this:

No matter what your circumstances are, a spark of insight — of new thought — is always available. The only thing you have to do is to let go of your death grip on the bad suckstorm of thoughts swirling around in your head. It’s. That. Simple.

Or you can look at it this way:

fertile groundWhen you’re standing in a pile of crap, it can feel like crappy days are all you get, to the point that you forget that there have ever been other kinds of days. There’s a special kind of crap stew that’s so sticky and gooey and hard to step away from. What makes this stew special has a lot to do with your level of attachment to what you believe it means. Usually about you. Usually to your detriment.

Here’s why none of that matters a.k.a. here’s the insight.

When you’re standing in a pile of crap stew, you’re standing in fertilizer, which means, lovely one, that you’re standing on fertile ground. In other words, when you can let go of what you believe about the stew of your circumstances, you’re in a potent and fertile place for new thought to come in, to bring you a spark of insight. What might come to and through you then?

Another word about the spark of insight.

It’s easy to get stuck wondering if what’s rising in you as an idea or a direction is insight or just more crap suckstorm thinking coming from your particular ego, psychology, and the subcommittees that live in your head.

How do you know the difference between a spark of insight and crappy sucky thinking?

In a class the other day one of the presenters put it like this:

When a spark of insight is guiding you, it’s brief and declarative. Go left. Full stop. Go right. A spark of insight is simple and clear.

But when your crappy thinking is trying to drive, what you hear as guidance is often long and drawn out. Because this…. But that…. Equivocating.

It’s a simple and powerful distinction. Listen for the brief and clear guidance. That’s your spark of insight.

I’d love to know how this lands for you. Talk with me in the comments. Big love.

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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. Thank you, Sue! I chuckled at your crap stew. So true! And then the simple truth of insight. Brief and Declarative. Yes. Yes. Perfect. I appreciate the reminder. Sending you much love as you navigate your symptoms and flare-ups.

  2. Hi Sue,
    I’ve just read your spark-insight blog and loved it. And such a fun photo of you too. I knew I was going to like you are soon as I saw the home page.

  3. Hi Sue,

    I love the crap stew! It is such a clear way of describing what happens to us all and then to realize, we are all on fertile ground as we stand in the stew. Keep writing…

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