On Inspiration

As feelings inspiration comes and goes. We cannot force ourselves to be inspired. It almost seems to be out of our control. Though I think we can affect it. Just as we are more likely to be in a good mood when we are surrounded with loving and supportive people (also known as friends 😉 ) I think it is possible to increase the likelihood of being inspired by creating the right environment in and around us.

First, inspired or not we need to be doing what it is we want to be inspired about. If we are going through a phase where all seem dull and hopeless we cannot stop trying. The emphasis should not be on if we are feeling 100% motivated or not, but instead on the hours of work we put into it every single day, meaning making it our habit. The time and energy we put into the work is how much we expose ourselves towards inspiration. The effort (time and energy) is what will expand the platform on which inspiration can land. By working we tell inspiration that we are doing our part of the job and are ready to greet it if it chooses to appear. But inspiration can be both shy and stubborn. Just because we put in the hours daily doesn’t mean it will show. We need to be persistent and patient.

“The time and energy we put into the work is how much we expose ourselves towards inspiration”

Second, whatever it is we are doing we cannot be on our own. Everyone need help. We need to feed our souls and flood our minds with new; impressions; information; and ideas. We need to read books; visit museums and exhibitions; watch movies and documentaries; and whatever we can come up with that possibly could be relevant (or maybe irrelevant but still as nurturing) for us and our subject. We need to see what others have done before us, find our friends (dead or alive) that can help and support us. We must keep in mind that inspiration can come from anywhere, so the most important thing is to keep our souls and minds open.

Third, we need to let it go. We cannot force inspiration. In between working and flooding ourselves with new we must take a break, rest, detach, do something completely different. Sometimes, physical activity like going for a run can relax our mind. Other times, another focus activity can be just what we need, such as to watch a good movie or spending time with friends. It should be something that absorbs us and demands our full attention.

Then, when we least expect it, as we have turned our backs to the room to yet again work on our canvas, inspiration appears and together we go into an amazing state of flow that we wish would last forever. In this wonderful moment, worry can creep up on us. Because it feels so precious to finally be inspired, every stroke feels right, and we work with a different kind of focus and intensity. Don’t fear. We have been inspired once, and so it will happen again.