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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Breathing to Find Inspired Living

by Fred Harvey 

The phrase “inspired living” brings forth a host of possibilities. I imagine many of us run a series of fantasies in our minds when we think of inspired living. For example, residing in a mansion with unlimited money to spend. However, these fantasies often fall short in the real world.  

I’ve come to believe this occurs because we have forgotten the origin of the word inspired. From the Latin inspirare, meaning “to breathe or blow into,” the term has since evolved, yet it still retains this basic meaning. In fact, one of the current dictionary definitions for inspire is “to breathe in (air); inhale.” This word was initially used by a divine or supernatural being to “impart a truth or idea to someone.” It was also used to designate life—the spirit enters the body with the first inspiration! 

Inspired living starts with the breath. Breath is life, and breath is love. Simple breathing exercises can offer a pause to allow further inspiration to guide the day. When we set aside time reflect on our lives, we can understand what we truly need to thrive. There are several ways to be mindful of our own lives. We can practice meditation. We can take a mindful stroll. We can listen to classical music. Many beautiful creations come out of contemplative time in prayer or meditation. In fact, meditation can take place in movement and action as well. 

A sculptor is inspired to create works of beauty. A functional medicine doctor is inspired to teach others how to obtain optimal health. An Uber driver is inspired to offer his passenger a comfortable and pleasant ride. The key factor behind all of this inspiration is love. At the root of each of these examples is a human being who loves to serve others through their actions and, in doing so, nurtures an inspired life. So before you start making plans for a new inspired life, just take a moment to pause…and breathe! 

Experience functional medicine and discover the root cause of your health issues by calling Dr. Harvey’s office, Functional Medicine Florida (formerly known as The Harvey Center), at 941-929-9355. You can also join the conversation and ask Dr. Harvey health and wellness questions each Monday, 10 a.m., on 88.5FM WMNF radio as he hosts “The Healthy Steps Radio Show.” Dr. Fred Harvey is the Medical Director of Functional Medicine Florida. He is quadruple board-certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Functional Medicine and Holistic-Integrative Medicine, specializing in chronic illness recovery and prevention and defiant aging. For more information, visit


December 2023 Digital Edition






















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