LFM #16 - Staying Up Late, Being Social, and Receiving Inspiration

Hi, friends.

Today, I read something I’d written in my journal last week, and it made me so happy, I thought I’d share:

Life keeps giving us gifts, again and again. There is always a different way, a new way. Life is beautiful, and your joy is both possible and prevalent—and deserved.

It’s currently the Polar Vortex in the Midwest, with temperatures nearing record-breaking lows. With the winter, I’ve been taking a break from a lot of things, somewhat unintentionally (but with gladness that’s how it’s worked out)—like interviewing lovely ladies for the Light-filled Mornings blog (I have a lot lined up for spring, however!), teaching barre, and a lot of freelance work. Those things truly bring me joy (not always freelance work, I’m discovering, but the other two), but with today being a day that leaves me whisking away any and all expectations of physical productivity (my house is a wreck, and that is all right for today), I am sitting in appreciation of the breaks on things that have made space for others.

Last week, I had the privilege of attending a work conference. It’s a gift that I even want to call it a “privilege” to attend the work conference; because while I’ve always loved writing and the process of work, I haven’t always loved the environment it’s taken place in—often, far from it. During this conference, I was away from home for several days all on my own, and while my kids handled it very well, I knew it’d be an adjustment. I kept thinking to myself, I want to truly enjoy this time. And you know what? I really did.

I enjoyed the experience of being social; I’m a very introverted person, much as my personality is also bubbly and people-loving. It normally drains me to be too social for too long—I met so many lovely, truly lovely, people during this conference, drank a lot of coffee, snuggled a lot of puppies (yes, there was an evening event where you could snuggle adoptable puppies), and had my expectations blown out of the water. My expectations of the people I would meet, the experience I would have, and how I would feel during the event—all were surpassed.

I also did something I rarely ever do: I stayed up late. Every night. And I realized that this time is pretty special as well. While I normally wake up very early, and have transitioned myself into a morning person, I have a lot of people ask me, “but what happens if I just can’t wake up early? What if I’m a night owl?” While I do think getting your day off on the right foot is always a good thing, staying up late during this conference was pretty magical. And I had a lot of thoughts; I wrote in my journal, at about 2 a.m.:

In the wee small hours of the morning… the funny thing about staying up late is you can get in a momentum swing where you really can keep staying up. All alone in a hotel room, there is an ambient silence that’s quite comforting and magical… I’m starting to understand how people do this.

My only goals for the week were to (1) enjoy myself and live fully in the moment as much as I could; and also, (2) to send off a draft manuscript to a literary agent for the book version of Light-filled Mornings. I am happy to say I did both. I don’t have any publishing news as of yet, but just the process was lovely—and of course, it took staying up late until 2:30 in the morning on the last night I was staying to do it, FedEx’ing at noon the next day. But it was so lovely and worth it; I am excited and curious to see how this unfolds.

This is a small part of Chapter 7, entitled “Receiving Inspiration”:

“To change your life is to change your energy: to make an elemental change in your mind and emotions.”

– Joe Dispenza

My soul tells me that what I want in life is to live life unfettered, in joy. There are a lot of things that I think I want and that I truly do want to do or have, in any given moment. But when I get to the heart of it, that’s my “why.” Yours is likely quite different; or at least phrased differently, should you ask yourself. At our core, though, is there anything better than living life freely, as we wish? When you sit with yourself and make the space for the light to come through, the world opens up. Or rather, it was open; you’ve just found it, discovered your opportunity. And through its change and your own, reflecting, you will continue to find it in each step.

When I first set out to write a book, it was February of 2017. I was about seven months into my own personal deep dive into the life I felt needed fixing. I happened to look on Facebook and saw a post from a dear friend whose life was in a fairly constant state of disarray. She had been dear to me for a long time, and I knew, regardless of what life choices she made, how special of a person she was. I was sitting on the hardwood floor of my home’s den, and it just hit me—why do some people have a victimized experience, and others don’t? Why do some people seem to have a bad go at it, and for others, things seem to float on easily? Yes, there are actions and subsequent consequences; yes, there is the question of privilege; yes, there is the question of mindset and nature versus nurture and ALL THE THINGS. But it hit me that when it comes down to it, it’s really the underlying energy you’re bringing to the table. That energy could be there for any number of reasons—but that energy is it. It was an epiphany for me. The book I was going to write was called, very simply, “energy.” And as time went on, my energy went elsewhere. But that day, that concept, that foundation of energy and its premise that everything rests on it—that’s built the foundation for receiving inspiration during my light-filled mornings, and my life.

So, how does your energy feel to you? It’s tied into your emotions, to be sure, but it goes deeper than that. It’s your raw feeling, your baseline, gut, vibrating core; it’s whether you feel light when you walk down the street, as if a balloon could carry you away, or if you feel like you’ve got to be dragged along, unfairly, by life. While these are ideas we can attach words, layers of meaning, and metaphors to, truly, we feel them, and must feel them first before we can decide to shift—if that’s what we decide to do at all.

And when you want to shift your energy, in this morning moment, a good practice? To ask—and receive—inspiration. When we’re actively searching for answers, googling frantically, asking this person and that in an effort to overcome something, we rarely find those answers. But when we stop and ask of the world, of ourselves, for inspiration, of any kind, we let it come through.

And so, even in the midst of extreme cold, of dreams that aren’t here today—let’s enjoy and trust. There is so much joy in appreciation; letting go and moving forward; and in being here, now.


Life keeps giving us gifts, again and again. There is always a different way, a new way. Life is beautiful, and your joy is both possible and prevalent—and deserved.
— Caitlin McCoy