I started thinking about inspiration this morning, but when I started writing about it I found myself weaving the concepts of inspiration and motivation together; for me they seem to go hand-in-hand.
I thought perhaps googling the definition of inspiration would help me to focus more on the inspiration thread. I read the first definition “the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.” Yeah, okay, that’s about what I expected, but then I scrolled a bit further and saw the second definition, “the drawing in of breath; inhalation.” This definition provided the “ah-ha! moment” I needed.
For those of us who are creative, inspiration flows from all around us. We breathe it in like oxygen. Life events, nature, everyday moments, they all become fodder for our artistic scramblings; collecting bits and pieces here and there and assembling them into our various art forms with skill and a creative eye.
When I’m intentionally seeking inspiration, I generally turn to nature. I go for a walk, go to the park, or take a long drive. I read up on a variety of birds in my Birds & Blooms Magazine; I watch the critters come into my bird feeders in the yard, and I observe my two cats and their daily comings and goings.
I will do something that stretches me and forces me to grow like take a class, or try out a new hobby. I spend time reading articles and books or even graphic novels. I do something adventurous with a friend or explore some new corner of my city’s downtown. Many times, simple “me time” in a coffee shop downtown is a wonderful impetus to invoke my muse. And sometimes just spending some down time with my family is all the inspiration I need. Relationships can be great for inspiration; they’re full of give and take, offense and forgiveness, light and dark, love and beauty, hatred and despair.
I find that the things that inspire me are often part of my daily exchange of breath – the inhale and exhale. My day-to-day experiences and interactions with the world around me produce the needed stimulus for me to create, regardless of the format I choose on a given day, my inspirations are often much the same.
Where do you turn to for your inspiration?