“I have always tried to make room for anything that wanted to come to me from within.” – Carl Jung
Do you ever wonder when and where inspiration comes from? I’ve often pondered where the creative genius of some of my favorite authors came from. Was it life experience, imagination, deprivation, a loving or unloving family, enduring hardship, poverty, overcoming illness or adversity that led to blossoming ideas for these writers? In line with that, it occurred to me to ask myself if only some of us are privileged to possess it or can inspiration occur to anyone? Where does inspiration come from? How do you make room for it?
Furthermore, if you’re like me, sometimes you wonder if you will ever feel inspired, being so bogged down in problems and mentally and physically exhausted trying to deal with conflicting demands on your time. No wonder life seems to spiral into a pattern of sameness, boredom and lack of motivation. Each of us wants desperately to be inspired, but often lack the belief the experience will ever happen.
Inspiration is boundless.
The truth is that inspiration speaks in quietness. It doesn’t shout or appear so obvious like someone banging on a gong or the camera flash going off in our eyes. It may be a gentle thought that occurs to us on a whim, at the briefest of seconds, in-between sleeping and waking, when we’re doodling on a pad of paper or walking a nature trail with children, spouse or partner, or friends. Indeed, inspiration knows no boundaries of time or place or mood. It’s universal in its freedom from all constraints.
Yet we often box ourselves in, leaving little room for inspiration to flourish and grow. Maybe it is time we acknowledge that inspiration deserves to be felt and allow ourselves the freedom to experience its delicious and life-affirming touch.
Inspiration can come at any time.
Start with the concept that anyone can be inspired at any time. We may be able to see when inspiration strikes others, able to discern the glow of excitement, the spring to action, the eagerness to share ideas. This should tell us that there’s no lack of inspiration. It should also alert us to the fact that there is plenty of it to go around. We might as well give ourselves the opportunity to bask in its warm glow.
Listen to your inner voice.
As for how we might know when we’re being inspired, listen to that inner voice that’s quietly trying to give us hints to pay attention to. It could be a plea for a little time with family or a desire that begins to blossom to take a trip or pursue a new hobby, make some new friends, and jot down some suddenly occurring ideas for a project at work or school or home. It could be anything, at anytime and anywhere.
Also, try to be a little patient with ideas and inklings that spring from within. They may not all be fully developed and need time to come to a discernible notion. From many different threads, a fine blanket is woven. So, too, will inspiration show us the pattern unfolding. That is, it will if we allow it to happen.
Encourage budding inspiration in others.
This especially applies to parents, teachers and caregivers who interact with children, particularly young children whose minds are open and naturally curious. Provide ample opportunities for self-discovery with activities and group participation to stimulate investigation and discovery. From the first indication of interest, follow through with more opportunities to help budding inspiration to flourish.
Embrace the idea of inspiration.
Another recommendation is to welcome the thought of being inspired. For example, took at what you find most admirable and worthwhile and see if something in that person or that accomplishment makes you want to know more, do more, get involved or catapults some train of thought in your own mind that leads to something bigger, some new project or undertaking or activity that you just can’t wait to do.
That’s inspiration and it’s waiting for each of us to acknowledge and run with.