Max is an inspiration to me.
That may be obvious given the fact that this whole blog is filled with lessons, insights, and new ideas I have gained from living with him. Max teaches me and reminds me how best to uphold my values. He helps me see the world differently when I feel stuck. By watching him and encountering life with him, I think of new ways to interact with others and my brain is sparked to find new connections between things.
You could say Max’s inspiration has enlightened my mind.
And that is not all. Max has also inspired me to live more authentically and courageously. In all the tough and happy times I have gone through, Max has been fully present with me. His joy, openness, and hospitality have nurtured me. And I have felt the warmth of the inspiration he has offered through his enduring commitment to me.
Max has truly touched my heart and helped fan the flame of compassionate living.
But, as much as I love Max, the point of this post is not to be overly sappy. I hope to share what he has taught me about inspiration itself, which goes even beyond head and heart.
At the root of it all, Max is an inspiration in the true sense of the word: he in-spires. He breathes new life into me. This notion of inspiration goes beyond enlightenment or encouragement to include enlivening.
Through his loving companionship and true appreciation for life, Max reminds me of the value of the gift of existence. From his eagerness to explore on walks outside to his contentment laying in a beam of afternoon sunlight, Max rejuvenates my sense of peace and wonder. And through his constant reminder to consider others over self shown in his own selfless acts, Max leads me out to the true source of new life found in giving of myself to others, and thus my soul is refreshed.
I am wary of over-exaggerating Max’s influence on my life – I mean, he does eat his own poop on occasion – but I am confident in my assessment, because Max has taught me that inspiration does not just come from grand, exalted places. In addition to inspiring me directly, Max has taught me that inspiration can come from everyday things like the way plants and insects grow and live together in a garden, or a moment of stillness in the middle of a chaotic week, or a smile or kind word from a stranger.
All of these and many other ordinary things are sources of great insight, encouragement, and new life. Max has taught me to be more and more aware of all that inspiration around me and to breathe it in deeply.
And he has taught me that the fullness of my life is connected to all others around me. Hopefully when I am inspired by Max or anything else, I can then breathe that fullness of life back out into other places that may need a little more inspiration.
So thank you Max for teaching me that inspiration impacts the mind, heart, and soul. And thank you for offering me that fullness of inspiration.