“Inspiration comes from within yourself. One has to be positive. When you’re positive. Good things happen.”
What does “being inspired” mean to you?
For me, “being inspired” means finding myself with wide open, clear eyes, able to see both what is in front of me, what is possible, how a thing makes me feel, and how it may make others feel. It is clarity of thought and enthusiasm for surroundings. It feels like the senses awakening for the first time. It’s exhilarating and thrilling, as ideas begin to blossom and the mind begins to soar!
I’ve been asked many times before where I find my inspiration, and the simple answer is everywhere. Being receptive to inspiration can be a mental exercise and a mindset; I open myself to the possibility that beauty and joy are everywhere, and in that, have found that creativity can and will flow at nearly any opportunity. Whether walking in the garden, hiking during travels, or playing with my dogs, I do my best to keep a sketchbook, a camera, or a notepad in hand, as ideas may strike at any moment, and there is nothing worse than forgetting your own innovation.
To those who experience artistic blocks: have no fear; it happens to everyone! I have certainly been there before, when the creativity seems to be stalled, and ideas are frozen. Do not let it discourage you. These moments are opportunities to practice your gratitude, to meditate on joy, and to search for beauty while you may be struggling to innately identify it. Below are a few suggestions that I swear by for finding inspiration and practicing the mental exercise of being open to creativity everywhere you go!
1. Simply begin painting. Sometimes, the exercise of painting itself will get the creative juices flowing along with your brushstrokes. Do not be afraid of what the first few strokes look like; do not self-censor your subject; do not judge or think too much about it! Pick anything and begin putting brush to canvas. The act of painting is calming and inspiring in it of itself, and you may find that your ideas soar as you relax into this exercise.
2. Give yourself a change of scenery. If you normally paint indoors, take a trip outside with a sketchpad or easel and canvas. If you have a favorite painting spot, switch it up a little bit. Focus in on something new in your refreshed environment and allow that to influence what you’re working on. You may choose to home in on a new flower as your subject, or the colors of your new surrounding might inform your choices. Embrace these new influences!
3. Practice a few minutes of meditation. If you’re new to the practice, pick a word – perhaps “creativity,” “gratitude,” “joy,” “inspiration,” or “wonder,” and inhale and exhale slowly with your eyes closed on this word. Link the positive thought and your breath. When you open your eyes, you may be pleasantly surprised with the ways in which it influences your work session, or even the rest of your day!
These few simple ideas may help kickstart inspiration or creativity, but ultimately, the best inspiration comes from finding the joy and gratitude in daily life and appreciating your surroundings. The more joy and gratitude you can incorporate into your day-to-day, the more inspiration you’ll find in your world!
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