Inspiration is a funny thing; a complex companion.
At times it wakes you, startles you, surprises you from the most unlikely places, or whispers to you, “write this down so you’ll remember,” or “do something about this.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, in Big Magic, writes:
“Inspiration is trying to send me messages in every form it can – through dreams, through portents, through clues, through coincidences (I don’t believe in coincidences), through deja vu, through surprising waves of attraction and reaction, through the chills that run up my arms, through the hair that stands up on the back of my neck, through stubborn ideas that keep me awake all night long…..whatever works. Inspiration is always trying to work with me.”
Have you thanked inspiration for the ways it finds you? Sparks something in you?
Creative entitlement simply means believing that you are allowed to be here, and that – merely by being here – you are allowed to have a voice and a vision of your own.
Deepak Chopra asked years ago, “What if we live in a recreational universe?” That’s always stuck with me because I believe we do. I can never go out waterskiing on or swimming in a lake, or stroll near the ocean, or meander through a forest trail, or ski down a wintery mountain slope, or lie beneath a star filled sky, that I don’t realize the most invigorating and beautiful playground is our planet.
Again, Ms Gilbert wrote:
“Creativity is sacred and it is not sacred. We toil alone and we are accompanied by spirits. Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us.”
The subtitle to Gilbert’s Big Magic, right on the front of the book, is “Creative Living Beyond Fear.”
Ahhh – fear. My life has taught me that almost anything joyful and passionate, is on the other side of fear.
“Let me list for you some of the many ways in which you might be afraid:
-You’re afraid you have no talent.
-You’re afraid you’ll be criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or – worst of all – ignored.
– You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it.
-You’re afraid somebody else already did it better.
-You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing.
-You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, effort, and money.
-You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of degree.
-You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist.
-You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you’ll reveal.
-You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud.
-You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back.
-You’re afraid you’re too old to start.
-You’re afraid you’re too young to start.
So many reasons to fear. But more reasons to relax and let your fear relax. It’s so important to have fun. To think of it as an adventure: to practice.
For me? Without a sense of wonder – I’d be done.
Just yesterday, I was going through a box of old photos and documents and correspondence that my Dad had unearthed from my mother’s things, and all of my report cards from junior high and high school were stapled together. In those, there was one that had test results from an aptitude and interest survey/test I’d taken at 14 years old. By far, the overwhelming results pointed to “artistic, persuasive and outdoor.” Having just turned 60 – this pleased me so much to think that some 46 years later – I’ve pursued that path. I’ve followed my heart. I’ve brought my companion (Inspiration) along with me and looked at the world with eyes of wonder.
“Way to go, kid,” I thought.
You can believe that you are neither a slave to inspiration nor its master, but something far more interesting – its partner – and that the two of you are working (I’d add playing) together toward something intriguing and worthwhile. You can live a long life, making and doing really cool things the entire time. -Big Magic
Right now, for years, and hopefully until the end of my days, I thank creativity and inspiration for having blessed me with a charmed, interesting, passionate existence.