9 Steps to Recover Inspiration:
1. Working your imagination muscle is just as important as working out your glutes. We do cross training to help our bodies be in the best shape and this too is needed for your inspirational development. Try learning a new skill, explore a new medium or take a class that is fun but different than your usual form of creativity.
2. The best gifts come in the strangest packages. Take a hurdle and make it a blessing. When I look back over my life the most important lessons I learned did not come easily. I remember them because there was a struggle. The struggle opens a new door and leads you on a path you might not have otherwise followed. When a painting feels like it is a mess, give yourself permission to work over it or completely cover it up and begin again.
3. Focus on where you want to go, do, or be. Just like in downhill skiing, where you look is where you will go. Change your thoughts; change your beliefs. If you have been listening to negative self-talk, then change the story you are telling yourself. Post positive messages where you will see them throughout the day. Like a note on your monitor that says you are on the journey of your dreams. On your bathroom mirror it may say, smile, and in your studio, it may say, your paintings bring joy and beauty to others. Share them with the world.
4. Get in sync with the light. Sleeping between the hours of 10 to 6 has scientifically shown to be the most advantageous time to renew your body, recharge your mind and enhance your thinking powers. I used to work nights when I was young, and I never slept in sync with the sunlight. When I changed jobs, my body gravitated toward sleeping from 10 to 6, and my creativity, health, and energy blossomed.
5. Technology dos and don’ts. Know when to use it and when to lose it. I use a photo app for transforming my own images into something that will inspire the next painting or sculpture. I put aside my electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime and I never have them in the room with me when sleeping. You can gain valuable hours for creating by simply turning off your phone.
6. See with new eyes. As a visual artist I am always looking around me for inspiration. I love textures and I use my camera to capture cracked surfaces, peeling paint, and wondrous clouds. When I see the familiar images with fresh eyes, it jumpstarts my imagination. We used to play a game where we would take a common object and come up with new uses or ideas for it. They didn’t have to be reality based, just creative. A beret could become a Frisbee, a swimming pool, a bowl, or even a spaceship. What do you see with fresh eyes?
7. Mute the inner critic and let go of judgment. Dumb ideas when reframed become limitless possibilities, which can lead to brilliance; but the critic is going to raise its head. When the Gremlin Critic starts trashing your plans, grab the remote and hit the mute button.
8. Invite Curiosity out for a date and remember to see with the wonder of a child. Allow yourself a play date to follow your imagination. Perhaps you go to the zoo or the park and play on the swings. When you allow yourself to see with the curiosity of a child, you will see the wonder in all things.
9. Most importantly, dump perfection. When you let this go, then anything is possible. Remember to enjoy the journey, this is what creating is about.