We often think of artistically creative people as inspired. Considered to be passionate people, they are driven to create a poem, sculpture, a painting – some visible work of art.
Many artists have been known to be enrolled in the “Tortured Soul School of Creativity.” Their inspiration only came through a deep angst that demanded expression – or their life. Think of Vincent Van Gogh as well as other creative masters such as playwright Eugene O’Neill and what may be surprising to some of you, the creator of that quirky beagle ”Peanuts” – Charles Schultz, who struggled for years with his demons of discontent.
Many years ago I knew a writer named Mark. He forever carried his manuscripts around in a black tattered and worn briefcase that never left his side. He was fond of wearing an oversized, black (and worn of course) trench coat that seemed to engulf him. Mark was painfully thin, with equally thinning hair and a tiny black brush of a mustache. He chain-smoked unfiltered Camels and loved Williams Pear Brandy. And on occasion, he enjoyed wearing my best girlfriend panties.
He was the long-suffering artist – dark, quirky and irreverently funny. Mark believed his creative genius would only emerge if he were penniless and occasionally homeless. He would write while sitting in a straight-backed wooden chair, amidst the clouds of cigarette smoke, in a cramped room with a single bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling. His belief was that only through deep suffering could he create a profound piece of literature. Mark’s beliefs became his reality.
Inspiration comes in many different ways and forms. We love to romanticize about it and think it comes with lightning bolt force and harps playing. (Note: My personal preference is that I see a giant neon sign drop down from the heavens that clearly states: “DO THIS” – behind which of course, is a heavenly choir singing the “Halleluiah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah.)
I’ll admit that yes, inspiration can come with lightening speed, but most likely it comes as a whisper and not a yell.
Maybe we hear it at the edge of sleep or deep within a dream. We can be doing any number of ordinary, everyday things when we feel the gentle nudging of our soul urging us to breathe life into our dreams.
My favorite and most delightful form of inspiration are the Muse. I do love the idea of a Muse – those darlings of Greek Mythology – a sisterhood of 9 goddesses who whisper in our ear the inspiration that we need, to coax out of hiding our creative passions gently.
When we are inspired, things somehow take on a magical quality. That’s how it is for me. I’m here, at least the physical part, yet my energy, my essence is communicating to me from another plane. I’m on fire with a desire to create, and I cannot stop the flow of ideas. We all know that feeling: we don’t eat, and we lose track of time and space. Hours fly by that feel like minutes.
Maybe inspiration resides in the “zero point” field. The place of unlimited possibilities.
I think we’ve all have the experience of receiving a sudden inspiration that compels you to do something or say something or even an overwhelming feeling that you just “gotta get out of here.”
And then, there it is, we find ourselves at the cliffhanger of our own novel, we either jump into the unknown abyss with faith and trust that we’re following a higher purpose, or we retreat into that false sense of security of someone else’s seemingly rational retorts:
“ Are you NUTS?
“You can’t do that.”
“Nobody else has ever done that”
And then the horror stories:
“I have a cousin who tried to do that, and now he’s broke….lost everything and you know he never recovered.”
Medical intuitive, Carolyn Myss has the perfect analogy:
You’re in a situation like the one I described above where you begin to second -guess yourself. Your subconscious negative beliefs sound its warning signal: “Don’t you dare.” Finally, feeling hopelessly defeated, you abandon your dream.
Now envision this:
You’re at that point of ditching your dreams: You’re ripping your vision board to shreds, and that’s when your Guardian Angel, thoroughly exhausted (and unseen by your mortal eyes) throws herself down on your couch and in exasperation proclaims;
”Oh brother… here we go again… another four more years of my trying to get through to you!”
“If you don’t build your dreams, someone will hire you to build theirs.” – Tony Gaskin
I believe within each, and every one of us is a soulful craving, a passionate desire that is, in part the “why” we are here.
Maybe you had a glimpse of it when you were growing up. What did you aspire to be when you were a child? “Queen of the Universe,” you say? Don’t be so quick to dismiss it. Somewhere within a seemingly silly aspiration is a clue to what inspires you.
“In the midst of our lives, we must find the magic that makes our souls soar.” -Unknown
How do we tune into our voice of inspiration?
We get quiet and BE in the now as much as possible.
Learn how to stop the Monkey Mind – that looped chatter that goes on incessantly.
Learn to meditate.
Do some Yoga.
Take a walk in nature, sit by the ocean.
Read an inspiring book.
Did you know that our brain has about 60,000 thoughts a day? Most of it is repetitive and negative.
I repeatedly say:
You are Unique. There is only one YOU.
I promise you, the world is waiting to hear and see what unique gift you have to share. Inside of you something incredible is waiting to be known.
Be Inspired. Today.
Can you live without knowing what inspires you? Why would you want to?