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Inspiration. 

I think of it on Independence Day.

The Miami Classic Music Station plays Americana. Aaaron Copland. Stephen Sondheim. George Gershwin. John Williams. 

Soaring music. Lush and expansive. It stirs me.

Inspired.

Everyone of us, day in and day out, in very mundane ways, has the power to inspire others. It’s hard to do if we do not know how to inspire ourselves.

I’m reading Faisal Hoque’s inspiring new book, just published. Survive to Thrive, co-authored with Lydia Dishman.

I am moved by the book’s 9 inspiring stories of resilience by successful entrepeneurs. Each story ends with 3 suggested daily practices. One practice, in particular, resonates with me: I am developing healthy rituals.

Inspiring ourselves, every single day, is one of those rituals.

Daily soul food.

I also happen to catch a short 7-minute film on Independence Day. Quiet Time. All about soul food. This film, shot by the actress Judy Greer, tells the story of students at the Aspire Ollin Prep Academy, a Junior High School in Los Angeles. Students at this school practice 20 minutes of Transcendental Meditation, twice a day. Quiet Time is a program sponsored by the David Lynch Foundation to help create schools where all students meditate.

I am stirred by the comments made by Jennifer Garcia, the school’s principal. She understands that a ritual which calms the mind and reduces stress is as important as studying for the next exam.

I am stirred by the testimonials from the young meditators. The benefit each of them gains from a daily meditation practice is palpable.

The world would be a better place if we had more young people such as these. They have found their healthy ritual. They know their soul food.

A healthy ritual is something I don’t give up on a business trip.

A healthy ritual is something I remember when I am in a bad mood.

A healthy ritual is something that nurtures my soul, day in and day out.

Why the heck would I not want that?

Uplifting music. An inspiring book. Daily prayer. Meditation. A fitness routine. A gratitude reflection. A conscious act of kindness.

Not once in a while. No, a daily practice.

If you want to inspire those around you, start by inspiring yourself.

One healthy ritual at a time.