Inspiration is elusive, glorious, and utterly fleeting. People talk about the thunderbolt hitting, but for me, there’s a physical and mental component to being hit with inspiration. The mental aspect is an unfolding, an image, a set of words that ring true, feel right, and that remain with you as though your brain suddenly laid a big fat egg that it wants to sit on for a while.
The physical sensation is a little different. What I feel is a hot jolt that starts in my heart, accompanied by a little ache, which grows and spreads and brings with it a wave of energy and powerful optimism. I feel light when I’m inspired. Everything comes easily: writing, thinking, moving, even just living. It’s no wonder that our work becomes so devastatingly difficult after that wave of inspiration leaves us behind. It’s like losing an entire limb.
Still, you compensate. You make do. And sometimes inspiration isn’t so far away that you can’t find it again. Which is why I love Danielle LaPorte’s exuberant declaration (read the full post here): “When you consciously look for inspiration your senses will lean forward to do the work for you. And by ‘consciously look for,’ I mean that we approach being alive as a creative opportunity.”
I think that’s so true, and a great — proactive — way of looking at inspiration and creative living. Thoughts inform our realities, and staying open — engaging with what we love — can only do good, and bring good into our lives.
For example, I read this great article the other day called Mini Urban Edens (a.k.a Tiny Concrete Jungles) about city gardening in tight spaces, which I then followed to a blog called 66 Square Feet (which is featured in the aforementioned piece). The idea, the blog — all of it — was energizing to me, and inspiring. Not in any way that might inform my writing, but just as a human being looking for beauty in the world, and ways to bring more beauty into it.
Life is short. Reach out into the world around you, and bring back ideas and dreams, activities and things, that inspire you. Your heart will beat more strongly for it.