POD #29: Ingredients for inspiration
- What has worked for you in the past and how can you bring more of that into your life now?
- When was the last time you totally lost track of time because you were enjoying yourself so incredibly much?
- What is one creative endeavor, ideally one that has nothing to do with your work or your goals, that you’ve always wanted to do and never given yourself the chance to do? Can you do that at least once between now and the November Challenge?
- What are you doing, who are you with and/or where are you at when you feel the most
- Creative (meaning, when you feel the urge and power to create – this doesn’t necessarily have to do with art or writing)
- Free-flowing, or
- Engaged and in love with life
There are three ingredients to inspiration in life. I know that if I can have one of them, I can do good, all three are golden.
If I can get alone with my thoughts and really have time to process them fully, I find inspiration. There is something about solitude that my soul longs for. Not just moments of quiet, but to be secluded without interruption – no buzzing of the phone, no interruptions from family or friends, no deadlines or expectation. I need to have time to just allow my thoughts to flow, then formulate, then come into fruition. I do not get this inspiration often enough. And it often scares me when I start to enter into it, because I know the depths that it can take me.
When I can not get alone with my thoughts at all, music inspires me. It can be instrumental or with lyrics, with instruments or without soft or loud. I prefer classical or Contemporary Christian, but depending on my mood I can also do Heavy Metal, Country, or 90s Rock. Music helps me drown out the thoughts that race through my head that keep me from focusing on the creative process. It helps quiet my inner voice so that I can really think. This is the most readily available place for me to find inspiration. I can through in my ear buds or crank the radio up and create.
Another place that gets my creative juices flowing in when I can collaborate with like-minded people. There is something about just brainstorming or bouncing ideas off a few other people who creates inspiration. I can get lost in discussion when I am with other people in a discussion with purpose.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to go on a leadership retreat. I didn’t exactly have the freedom I would have like with my schedule, but I did have quiet time, music, and collaboration. My mind reeled with ideas as I would talk with the other women. I wish I could have captured that creative juice and bottled if for use when I need it. The only danger I had in that is that sometimes the creative juices flowed so freely if someone wasn’t there to capture the idea I shared, I could not recreate it.
It has been a few years since I have really been lost in inspiration. I had a three-month sabbatical after the loss of a job that proved to be one of the most creative times. I would get lost in quiet time and spend the entire day just writing about what God was speaking to me. I crave those days back, but alas like most I need to work. I can not seem to recreate those moments on my day off as there is just too much else to do.
One creative endeavor that I have always wanted to do is go on a silent retreat or even a spiritual retreat with no outside influences or disturbances. I have looked at monasteries, lake houses, hotels and cabins. But I have never actually done it. I know in a hotel I am much more likely to turn on the television and veg out in front of the television instead of getting alone with God and my thoughts. I think a deeper level of me is scared to make that commitment, scared of what I might discover or what I might be called to do. It is much easier to live a life of distraction.
I don’t take the time to let inspiration move me as often as I should. I now that there is more creativity in me waiting for the opportunity to escape. I too often put it on the back burner to other things. Possible that will be my next adventure allowing God to use the trust, discipline and growth that has taken place in my life over the past few years and use what He has entrusted me with to create.
This post is prompted by Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders