Artists, writers, and creatives depend upon it for productivity. At times, they gasp and scramble to wring a drop from old canvases. Or favorite trees. Anything once shimmering with the dew. Don’t shrug at their desperation. Like them, you need inspiration, too.
Uninspired life leaves us wandering in a futile desert of the soul. As essential as water to the body, our spirits thirst with a need for regular inspiration. We can exist without it, but the quality of our days lingers in a dank pit near abject misery.
Our minds, hearts, and spirits crave hope and motivation. Without a stir and prompt, we lose the passion which makes life worth living. Sometimes invigorating messages fall on us like heaven-sent dew. Our skin soaks in the refreshment of sweet-scented purpose. We rise and plunge onward with renewed energy. Other times, the dry air around us seems to absorb the moisture from our tears before they reach our lashes. Our lips crack into flat lines with little to say. And we shuffle through the drudgery of our daily dustcloud. Chores call us to rise, but nothing brings us to shine.
Ruts happen. The doldrums, in sailing terms. Lack of wind stranded ancient ships. However well equipped, sailors remained unable to continue their mission without the moist breath of an intangible blessing. They had to wait until motivation arrived. Unlike us, ancient seamen couldn’t go out find what they needed to spur them onward.
Instead of waiting for refreshment to come, we can include regular drafts of inspiration in our lives. Like improving hydration by planning to drink more glasses of water each day, we can choose to invite more frequent inspirational activities. Intention gains better results than happenstance alone.
I love the sea breeze as much as any sailor, but I want a back up motor if we’re heading offshore.
Here are five tips to help quench your thirst for inspiration:
Read inspiring stories, devotions, and scripture passages. Sign up for social media groups posting daily inspirations. Motivational books are great, but true stories can work even better. One of my favorite magazines is Guideposts, whose monthly issues teem with uplifting accounts from ordinary folks.
Watch internet videos, Periscope broadcasts, or telecasts from motivational speakers. Communicators trained to lift your spirit can help you when the dew isn’t appearing on your skin by itself. I seek regular doses from Christian leaders like Beth Moore, Max Lucado, and Jennie Allen.
Fill your life with fresh music. Find new genres as well as your favorites. Close your eyes and dream of a scene while classical music drenches your ears. Check out local performances with innovative twists on music, like Stomp or Blue Man Group.
Nature refreshes the mind and buoys the soul. Seek outdoor experiences. Beaches, mountains, and forests bring us a sense of connection to creation. For me, adding prayer connects me with the Creator in the process. Best source of inspiration in the universe. If magnificent venues remain out of reach, I’ve found a local garden, sidewalks through the neighborhood at sunset, or a plant shop will work. Sometimes refreshment comes from just observing the birds flit out of my backyard hedge and rise to dance in the sky.
Let me explain before you scream, “If I could do that, I wouldn’t need inspiration!” Set aside your default thoughts regarding creative work. Instead of thinking about creativity as work, make it into play instead. Do something fun. Make something without expecting perfection. PLAY. If you’re an artist, you’ll need to toy with another format and remember it’s not intended for the gallery. As a writer, I find painting or decorating pulls me out of my editor head and primes the creative pump. Try cooking, gardening, or building sandcastles. Take some friends to a painting class or pottery studio. Fingerpaint. Sculpey clay. Mixed media collages. Wander through a craft or toy store. Borrow a child to help you play (with parent permission, if it isn’t your child 🙂 ). Someone had the brilliant notion of publishing coloring books for adults. Check them out on Amazon if you need time to be a kid.
Rub your dry elbows against those dripping with revitalizing oil. Find people soaked with inspiration and spend time with them. Join service-oriented groups or Bible studies. Sign up for charitable projects and events. Visit new places and meet small business owners who love their jobs. Artistic groups keep inspiration on tap. I belong to multiple writing organizations, church circles, and online groups.
What other sources of inspiration refresh you? I look forward to reading your comments.