“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.
Help someone’s soul heal.
Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”
“An audience stays as long as you perform. A community stays as long as you serve.”
I recently asked on G+ “How do you get inspired”.
In return, I was asked how I myself get inspired.
I love this question.
I often have times when I “get” inspired.
More often that not though, I work toward inspiration.
In it, he presented an idea that instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, another option is to work towards inspiration, actively seeking and exploring in order to become inspired. Inspiration is viewed then more as a process rather than something to grasp hold of and own.
He of course explains it far more eloquently that I do. Although the subject matter is around web design, the concept and process can be used for all creatives.
Ways I work towards inspiration include:
- Make Tea / Drink tea
- Go for a walk
- Head into a town or city
- People watch
- Go somewhere new
- Keep my eyes open
- Listen to music – especially orchestral movie soundtracks
- Being in nature
- Turn on the computer
- Write simple words
- Read a few select other blogs (Ev / Gwen / Seth / Leo)
- Read new books and ideas
- Browse my G+ follow list and peruse other converstaions and blog postings.
For Music Production:
- Open iTunes
- Turn on shuffle
- Skip through until I hear a song I haven’t heard in a while
- Skip through until I hear a sample that gives me an idea
- Start making music
I often do not have the luxury of waiting for inspiration to strike, or waiting until I “feel” inspired. I simply sit down and start doing the work, working towards inspiration, one small step at a time.
Honestly, sometimes working toward inspiration is a full on war. Read Steven Pressfield’s “War of art” for more on this. Once I get going however, inspiration soon shows up and graces me with her presence.
How do you work towards inspiration?
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Dive in Beyond The Surface.
A couple of days ago I went for a wander into the city and came across this playful water fountain.
I snapped a quick shot.
I love how the water is suspended in time.
It reminded me to keep my eyes open and really take note of my surroundings.
Breathe and relax.
I find extraordinary in the ordinary. Look closer.
I cannot seem to watch TV these days.
My brain just isn’t interested and I lose patience quickly. It might be something to do with all the ads.
The few exceptions are: a good movie, nature / planet earth type programs and the odd cooking show.
I prefer to listen to music, read and write.
Right now I am writing to you whilst listening to some chilled tunes. Calm and easy.
I love how music can change my mood in an instant and even trigger happy memories.
What are you listening to?
The temperature is dropping in the UK right now. Perfect weather for building a fire in the grate and cosy-ing up on the sofa.
There is something primal and soothing about a fire.
Crackle. Hiss. Pop.
Somehow it makes it so very easy to relax and unwind.
I become absorbed in the present moment.
I love the warmth and glow that radiates out into the room.
Troubles and time melt away.
Yesterday I left my usual home to look after a friends house for a couple of weeks.
I noticed some similarities in their experiences with mine.
When packing the previous night, I felt drawn to put a scented candle in my bag. I once read that the memory part of the brain is right next to the smell part of the brain and that is the reason why smells trigger memories.
This can be particularly settling when you arrive in a new location and things are unfamiliar.
I packed very little; a bag of clothes, essential toiletries, no hair dryer or fancy electronics besides my laptop and phone.
Things I noticed since minimising:
- It took me very little time to pack – I knew where everything was – clothes in my wardrobe, washkit in the bathroom.
- It was way less stressful.
- I didn’t pack for every eventuality.
- I felt settled very quickly and was soon out and about experiencing the sunshine and other goodness.
I unpacked in 10 minutes and am sat here writing to you.
I feel at home already.
Breathing deep. Relaxed.
Today I went for a walk around a park.
Half way round I spotted a kids playground with a zip wire big enough for an adult sized kid at heart.
I thought twice and opted for the first thought.
I glanced around to see if anyone was watching then went in the park and zipped along the zip line. Repeatedly.
The second thought I ignored was talking nonsense along the lines of:
- You’re too old for that!
- What if someone sees you?
- It’s only for kids!
- You might get in trouble!
- Grow up!
I wonder if any other people walking by today really wanted a zip down the zip line?
Here is a little video of the experience.
How will you have fun today?
*based on my experience so far.
Today I witnessed an incredible sunrise. Golden beams of light and a red and orange streaky sky painted with clouds lit up at about 7.45am, followed moments later by a giant fireball peeking above a ridge of hills. All whilst driving along. I smiled and breathed it in. It was a fleeting moment and I wondered if humans have always appreciated the beauty of seeing the sun rise. There is even a salute to the sun in Yoga.
It got me thinking.
Right now in the Northern Hemisphere we are faced with darkening mornings and nights drawing in earlier. Many people go to work in the dark and come home in the dark, as the earth tilts on it’s axis slowly away from the sun for the autumn and winter months.
However, the sun still rises everyday. It gets light every single day. Wow.
At the moment I am hanging on to this. It helps when I wake up in the dark hours to know that the darkness is merely temporary.
At lunch time, when all is light and I wander outside for some minutes of air, the dark morning is just a distant memory and the evening is still way off.
One benefit of the dark nights is that it allows me to focus on my work without feeling like I should be outside making the most of the sun and the heat. Time to press on.
I’m embracing the temporary darkness in the knowing that lightness is just around the corner.
*When I have nothing else to do.
When I was on holiday I really enjoyed washing dishes.
I had nothing urgent to do at all besides enjoy the moment.
I took my time washing each dish.
I was not thinking where I was going, or of some place I had to be.
I had no plans.
The dishes loved it.
Each dish and piece of cutlery got washed and rinsed with care.
It also allows me to look out of the window and enjoy sights like this:
|Sunset Over Dishes|
The challenge I find is to take this approach in day to day life, when there is more going on and you have more places to be.