Updated: Apr 13, 2019
An article for all.
When was was the last time you truly soul fulfillingly felt inspired? And let’s be specific just so we’re on the same page.
verb past tense: inspired; past participle: inspired 1. fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.
Glad we got that sorted.
But really, When was was the last time you truly felt it? For me it's a tingling sensation, it fills up from inside like a glass of water. In todays world a collaboration of dazzling technology, it's important to naturally recharge. We are constantly surrounded by mantras New, Bigger, & Better. Everything is faster, from our WIFI to our daily lifestyles. For me finding inspiration is usually related to slowing everything down. We can't control the unpredictability of life, but we can control how we choose to navigate our waters.
What I've discovered? Inspiration comes to us in different ways, from different environments, and new experiences. Don't knock something until you try it, you never know.
I'm here to tell you inspiration is all around you, all you have to do is look.
If you've been searching but just can't seem to locate it, help is on the way!
# 1 Coffee Houses
I was about 25 when I discovered the true glory of a quiet dimly lit coffee house. The smell of freshly ground coffee beans, some Acoustic Norah Jones Cover subtly playing in the background, an abnormally comfy arm chair. This is a good place to reflect, gather, and refocus. I'm not talking about a bustling Starbucks.
Fire up Yelp! Search for your local Mom & Pop Coffee shops. I've found they have the best coffee, typically crafted with more love. You can taste love. Personally I enjoy putting money back into my community, escape for a little bit. Buy something completely out of the ordinary, order that late with the incredibly lengthy name "I'll have the Frap Colombian dark roast, caramel infused with light drizzle"
(Don't worry, everyone sounds ridiculous ordering it) Get it anyway!
Things to bring: A good read, notebook/sketchbook + pen & pencil, a sweater these places get oddly cold! Suggestion? Leave your electronics at home or in the car. You can't find inspiration if you're staring at a screen. You will simply miss it.
Check out some of my favorite spots here:
#2 Move Your Body & Get Outside
Nature, its underrated and it's waiting bountifully for you. It's Bold, it's beautiful, it's unpredictable. Thankfully the great outdoors has always been in my blood. As a child my mother would frequently take my siblings & I to local parks, and a hefty amount of biking and hiking were ingrained in my childhood. As an adult I regained my true love for Mother Nature after living In The Sacred Valley. Being entirely engulfed in The Andes Mountains truly changed my life. It can change yours too.
Don't know where to start? These two Apps will help steer you in the direction.
AllTrails - Its Free! Explore, Plan, and track your adventures. Enter your current location to discover Hiking Trails, Local Parks and Nature Reserves. Wherever you are, it's all around you.
Yelp! - You can find more than just a delectable restaurant. Reviews, and search filters will give you a better idea of what exactly to expect.
Did You know?
Spending time outdoors has been scientifically proven to offer substantial health benefits. A healthier, stress reduced day can lead to an open mind perfect for discovering inspiration.
You can learn more about them here:
#3 Museums + Learning
When I was 23 I stumbled upon a quote that has since remained a presence in my memory. A mantra of great truth.
"The world is a university and everyone in it is a teacher. Make sure when you wake up in the morning you go to school." - T.D. Jakes
While I understand everyone has different interests, I do believe that knowledge and understanding expands a person. It decreases ignorance, it increases your capacity to better comprehend the world and people around you. I find spending an afternoon in a Museum of any sort leads to great moments of Inspiration, it sparks and ignites. Trust me, there are museums for just about anything your heart desires. An opportunity to marvel at something bigger than yourself. Put your life into perspective. It's too easy to lose focus when we are all moving at an incredible rate. Planning for tomorrow, and looking back at yesterday. You are just a dot on this miraculous place they call Earth. Go Learn something!
Check Out Some of my Faves:
Get involved. While I believe it's important to get involved in your own community, I feel wherever you are, whoever you have helped you have done right. It is easy to become preoccupied with our own lives, sometimes we forget to stop & care for others. This is normal, but with practice we can get better. Give what you can, if you can't financially dispense assistance a kind heart is just as effective. Don't have ample free time? Smile at a stranger, hold open the door even when they don't reply with "Thank You". Kindness is one of the strongest traits of humanity. Give what you can. A kind heart will leave you lighter, brighter, and happier. This is the core of inspiration.
These Places do remarkable things, get involved today:
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi
#5 Be Grateful
Does it sound cliche? Well it doesn't matter! So far in my short time on this Earth I have come to realize happiness, and inspiration go hand in hand. Happiness is the result of gratitude. Like Crackers & Cheese (fellow cheese enthusiasts hi). While Goals, Dreams, and desires are all important key factors to success. We tend to forget to count all the blessings we already obtain. Simple and small, or large and complex it is for you to decide. I started a "Journal of Gratitude" about a year ago. Every day (although sometimes I humanly forget) I write down one part of my day that I felt grateful for. It brings me inner peace, a calm mind, and my life is instantly realigned with perspective. Give it a go, you may love it too.
Interested in starting your own? Here's some info to get you started:
Inspiration is not a tool solely utilized by creators, you don't have to be a poet, crafter, or painter to access or deserve it. Perhaps that fresh view and spark of imagination will aid you to that impossible project at work you just can't seem to finish. That fight you had with your husband where you don't meet eye to eye, or that new kitchen you've been mentally plotting. Use your surroundings, put your phone down. Be present, be grateful. Interact with the people in your environment. Ask questions. I guarantee you'll be surprised with what you discover.
Go Get Em' Tiger.