I have been thinking about the elusive muse that is inspiration a whole lot lately. Last week on the blog I wrote about four common ways to find inspiration. It can strike any time, day or night and one never knows how long they will be touched once it arrives.
Once you have it, how do you keep it?
Today I want to explore different ways to continually grow this beautiful and motivating force called inspiration, so we waste no time or energy constantly trying to locate it.
How to Stay Inspired
Last week, my friend Marc commented that for him, focusing attention on gratitude is the key to inspiration. I couldn't agree more and a consistent gratitude practice is a fine way to honour the wonder this world is full of. Gratitude also helps to pull you up out of the muck during rough patches.
Give this a try: Get a notebook and place it beside your bed. Before you go to sleep each night, write at least 3 things you are grateful for. You will probably be able to list at least a dozen without thinking too hard. Even if you had a rough day, a reasonable person like you can surely find a few things to be grateful for! Fill that book over the next few months and let me know if you noticed an increase in feelings of inspiration.
For my Yin Yang Yogis out there, you already know that a healthy self-care regime is essential to recharge your batteries and counter the high energy of inspiration. To help you have a smooth ride your vehicle must be in good working order. A healthy diet, plenty of sleep and productive habits along with my personal picks of yoga and meditation will make you more stable and open as you ride that wave. If you aren’t using both Yin and Yang self-care, check out this post to get started.
Break the Circuit
If you notice inspiration start to wane, you may feel the urge to hang on tightly. Any writer or artist who has ever tried to push through a dry spell in their creative life knows it can be an uphill battle. When I feel inspiration running low, rather than push myself to frustration, I use one of my go-to circuit breakers.
- Hike or walk with another
I have developed deep friendships with my favourite people on the planet during regular walk dates (Shout out to my Hamilton peeps, where a great hiking trail is only 10 minutes away from wherever you are).
- Make someone else happy
Reaching out to show kindness even in small ways not only makes you both feel good, but it illuminates and softens everyone involved. In fact, can you think of the last sweet thing someone did for you that made you both genuinely happy? Kindness and connection are a recipe for keeping inspiration in your life.
As an extension of the last point, organized work for a cause you care about is hugely inspiring and will remind you that you don’t live in a bubble. As a side bonus, you are likely to meet people who totally blow your mind with their passion and will to overcome hardship.
- Create for fun
Be creative just for fun. Not everything you love needs to be something you are good at. I am a terrible guitar player for instance, but I love to pick it up from time to time. Do I play guitar with the intention that I will perform a concert someday for my friends and family? No, I just play because it's fun and it gets me out of my head (cue sigh of relief from my friends and family).
Sometimes stepping away is the only way to gain fresh perspective and reveal that inspiration is already worked into the fabric of your being.
That’s the punch line here, folks.
Inspiration doesn’t actually come and go, it just depends where we place our attention. Simply put, the way to stay inspired is to continually recognize it and operate from it whenever possible. How do you personally cultivate inspiration in your own life? Let us know in the comments below.