Now that we’ve established that we’re all amazingly creative, let’s talk inspiration. Inspiration is this intangible, magical feeling. When you’ve got it you know it and when you don’t, the cursor blinks on a blank page, TV becomes your best friend, you scroll endlessly through your phone looking for something, anything, but what? In order to feed my own creativity, I’ve been trying to find new ways to stoke the inspiration fires. Below are my top 8 ways to find inspiration.
photo by Natalie Collins
Get some perspective. I haven’t spoken much about it here but I just finished up six sessions with a career coach. The meeting was so random, right before I gave notice at my job, she took my Inner Maker class at Denver Startup Week. We got to talking after class and it turns out she specializes in woman going through career shifts. She was amazing and helped me work through what she called my threshold period where I wasn’t looking to continue on the path I was on but wasn’t totally clear on what my next step would be. It was really powerful to speak with someone outside my circle and gain some perspective.
Find a great book. I am currently reading two books that are having a big impact on my life. The first was a recommendation from my coach and has me rethinking how I view my writing. The War of Art: Breaking Through the Blocks to Win Your Creative Inner Battles. The second is a great book on meditation: The Miracle of Mindfulness. Thich Nhat Hanh’s simple prose is incredibly moving.
photo by Glen Noble
Self-help. Someone I follow on Instagram (I wish I could remember who it was) said that they try to read one self-help book a month. I love this idea. Our journey is never complete and even if it’s not a whole book each month, a couple of short stories or poems before bed can spur new ideas.
Take to Instagram. Speaking of Instagram, it can be a great place to get inspiration. It can also be a place to make you feel bad about yourself so it’s best to go into it knowing that everyone is putting their best foot forward so try not to compare their highlight reel to your behind the scenes. When I’m feeling uninspired, especially with my practice, I check in with ‘grammers Iike @beachyogagirl, @kinoyoga, my sister-in-law @nicholchase and @cyogalab. Although I can’t even dream of getting into some of the postures they do, it’s fun to have something to aspire to.
Change your routine. Are you routine driven like me? Order the same coffee, lunch, go to the same places to work (if you work away from an office), look at the same websites, listen to the same music? Try one different thing a day. Seriously, one small thing. It has this crazy way of unraveling the routine of your life.
Push your limits. Run around the neighborhood at the same speed, the same distance, everyday, yawn. Try a tempo run, go to the track and do some sprints, get into the foothills. This could also mean taking a new yoga class, signing up for a dance class, martial arts, boxing. Not into sports, how about signing up for that language, photography or meditation class you’ve always wanted to try.
Look for someone to admire. There are so many people doing amazing things, online and in real life. Sometimes when people are doing great things it can make you feel bad about your own lack of doing. Try admiration instead. A friend of mine just wrote a great piece for Lauren Conrad’s blog. It could have been really easy for me to feel envious of her achievement, instead I got really excited for her success and decided to follow her example and work on some greatness of my own.
Do the thing that makes you most fearful. Writing these types of posts is scary for me. It’s easy to put a recipe up on the blog and say, go make this. Writing about how I’m trying to improve myself is a little more personal and therefore more nerve-wracking. But, I’m doing it. Taking on something that makes me nervous also gives me a rush of energy and makes me wonder what else I can do. What is that one thing that makes you the most nervous? Now, go do it!
These are simply my 8 ways to find inspiration. I hope you found them helpful, and maybe a little inspirational. Have any tips you swear by? I’d love to hear them.
Enjoy and Exhale!