Inspiration happens in unexpected places and it pops up in front of you when you are not looking for it. Cross training your creativity muscles will up your chances that you’ll be paying attention when it jumps in front of you. What gets your heart pumping and your soul soaring? Is it a new art technique, dance move or even an exciting adventure or vacation? Is it the thing or event you are excited about or is it the feeling of passion and purpose? When you are planning a vacation or beginning a new creative project, the wheels are spinning, and the ideas are pouring in. You are in the flow. Pay attention to the way you are feeling, the thoughts you are having and all the sensations that are engaged. Do you see the finished painting, feel the waves lapping on your toes, taste the fantastic food you will cook up in your new kitchen? Oftentimes it is the anticipation of a vacation that gets us most excited. Learn how to trigger your excitement button and activate your senses so you are in the inspiration mode, primed and ready to grasp it when it appears.
Here are 6 tips for priming the inspiration pump:
1. Listen for Guidance
Train yourself to be aware of synchronicities. You may hear a word or phrase come up several times during the day. What meaning does it hold for you? You may feel an impulse to travel a new route on your daily commute. Pay attention. Learn to listen to the whispers and trust your instincts. If someone was trying to tell you something very important and you kept ignoring them, how long do you think it would take before they gave up and walked away?
Where did synchronicity lead you today when you connected the dots?
2. A New Day
When you feel the first stirring of consciousness in the morning, give thanks for having another day to explore, create and learn. Welcome the day with a ritual that opens your heart to love, joy and gratitude. Ask the Universe for blessing, protection and inspiration as you step into your day. Keep your eyes closed for a few minutes if you can; and savor the feeling and anticipation for all the joy and miracles coming your way today. This only takes minutes, so you can fit it in between pressing the snooze button.
What does your blessing and guidance ritual look like?
3. Seek Gratitude
Every evening jot down a few sentences or name a few things that happened in your day that you are grateful for. Train yourself to find something in every scenario to like and feel gratitude for. I love design and architecture, so while looking through decorating magazines I find something to love in each photo. Sometimes the rooms are a completely different style than I am drawn to, and I used to just quickly flip by those pages. Now I spend time searching and looking to find even one thing I like in the photo. It might be as trivial as a pencil holder or some detail as insignificant as a paint color, but I find something. Learn to really observe; to set aside your auto responses and quick assumptions. Find something in your encounters today to like, and not just hitting the like button. Train your eye to look deeply rather than mindlessly dismissing possibilities.
What one thing did you feel grateful for today and did you spend time deeply engaged in seeing?
4. Take A Holiday (from excuses)
Live your authentic self and acknowledge the greatness within yourself. We know that the most amazing contributions come from ordinary people who show up and do simple things with profound love. When you let excuses keep you from being your authentic self, you are not sharing your light. As Marianne Williamson says, “… Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.” So, don’t let excuses get in your way. When you feel one coming on: stop, take a deep breath and step into your authenticity.
How does it feel to take a break from excuses? Was it hard? How often did you catch yourself?
5. Dare Yourself
When you are afraid of something, fear has control of you. Learn to take baby steps to regain control. Dare yourself to do one thing today to lessen your anxiety. You can spend 5 minutes practicing how to speak on camera or try playing music or singing in front of others. I have a friend who is a musician and she was terrified to play in front of an audience, but she really loved to compose, play and sing. She worked up the courage to have me listen to her, but I had to sit in the hallway. Eventually I was able to move into the room. By taking small steps toward her goal, her desire and passion, she overcame her fear. Now she performs in front of audiences.
What baby steps can you take toward overcoming fear that is keeping you from your passion?
6. Be Prepared
I find that inspiration appears when I am doing something ordinary or routine. Einstein, along with other visionaries, got their Eureka moment while shaving or showering. Doing an undemanding task allows the mind to roam. I get great ideas while brushing my teeth, so, I keep a little notepad and pencil in the bathroom drawer. I can write it down immediately before it floats away like a butterfly.
How do you prime your inspiration pump?