What does being inspired mean to you?
Perhaps a better question would be, how does one get from feeling uninspired to inspired?
Welcome to the past year of my life.
As a writer, undercover artist, and singing-inclined individual I am discovering what inspiration is and how it influences my creativity.
Inspiration can be defined as, “The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.” – Google
I find that when I am feeling uninspired, creativity doesn’t flow.
The past few years I have really struggled with feeling like life is a bit meaningless. The plans I had for myself basically crumbled to the ground and I was ushered into a long season of waiting.
Ah, waiting. Don’t we all just love to wait? Month after month passed until 2 years later I finally received some direction for my life.
I was ecstatic. Especially when the words God had given me about my future started to show up in real life.
That should be it right? Like, I have arrived?
Here’s what they don’t tell you when you’re a kid – your twenties and sometimes thirties, look like you figuring life out. It’s going to be hard, you will fail at times and you’re not going to have a clue what you’re doing half the time. Hello adulting.
Sometimes once you have some key puzzle pieces in place, aka you are finally moving in the direction you are supposed to, the areas hurt in your soul finally have a space to breathe.
I’ve realized in the past few months of being on the other side of the waiting, that there’s a process to healing and being a whole person. You don’t just suddenly arrive at your destination. There’s a journey and a process. They’re so necessary and cannot be bypassed.
I’ve come to see this transition from waiting to going as moving from surviving to thriving.
I realized for probably the past 5 years or so I was more so in a survival type mentality in life. Just get through. Keep keeping on. Show up.
It was exhausting and I had my guard up constantly. So many new things in such a short period of time, no place to truly rest, constant going, constant doing and not a lot of space to just be.
It’s kind of like being in battle. You have to protect yourself from everything being thrown at you so you naturally have your armor up and sword drawn ready to defend yourself from the onslaught. The problem here is that woundings and hurts tend to get pushed to the back-burner because you just don’t have the room or proper safe space to deal with them.
However, we get so used to being in survival mode we don’t know how to be in rest mode.
When you live a certain way for so long, its hard to learn another way to live. Do we even know how to recognize when we are safe? When is it okay to let our guard down? How do we even know our guard is up?
I would venture to say safety happens when we’ve settled into a good place. We have a stable job that we are doing pretty good in. There’s a nice, safe place to call home. Good people are in our lives to offer support. Purpose and meaning are present in our lives.
If you have most of the above paragraph in place, its time to leave survival mode and start entering into a place of rest.
Easier said then done right?
How do we even get to a place of rest? What am I even doing that is considered survival mode?
When you’re just surviving, you’re doing the bare essentials. Get in and get out. Work, eat, sleep. There’s not much room for anything else. Sometimes, we have to help ourselves get to the rest mode. Our mind has to sort of override the feelings of being burnt out and tired.
I was there, and still am sort of there to be honest. Burnt out, tired, perhaps a little depressed. Constantly anxious. Literally have to force myself at times to go out and have fun when all I want to do after a long day is sit at home. When I’m at home I don’t have to expend extra energy. Energy ends up being a precious resource that you are short of.
I thought once I got to this new place of actually working toward goals for my future everything would just fall into place. It’s simply not the case.
Scheduling in times of rest and renewal for myself has been key to helping me get from survival to rest.
Another key is doing some self-inventory. What exactly am I keeping in the attic and basement of my soul that I put on the back-burner throughout all those years of survival mode? The, “I’ll deal with that later,” because you simply don’t have the time or safe place to let yourself be vulnerable.
It’s vulnerable dealing with hurts and wounds. We have to deal with them eventually though. If not, they have a tendency of always coming back to interrupt your life in a negative way.
I got into this safe place as mentioned in that paragraph above with all the things in place and these hurts I had been stuffing down started to surface and interrupt what I saw as me “arriving.”
Because I suddenly have the safe place and space to deal with them. The guard is down and now that survival mode is getting turned off, vulnerability actually has a space now.
I sort of panicked if I’m honest. So many emotions, forgotten desires and dreams, fears, insecurities and yes woundings from my past were coming up and I didn’t know what do with them.
Great, these are there, now what?
Now it’s time to deal with them.
What does all this have to do with inspiration and creativity? Inspiration and creativity is directly related to our internal health, that’s what.
In the next few weeks I’ll be doing some follow up posts to elaborate on my experience of moving from just surviving to thriving. You can expect some personal stories of how I’ve dealt with the hurts that were stuffed and how inspiration and creativity are finally emerging back into my life, an ache and lack that has been present far too long.
If you’ve been experiencing the same things and just need a little extra help getting there, I’d encourage you to stick around.
It’s a good journey we’re on guys. The best part is, we are on it together.