This lovely video by Savannah College of Art and Design alumnus Bang-yao Liu describes a process many of us go through. Who hasn’t had a block or lack of inspiration? The artist uses a tool of planning and tasks, the post-it note, to reinforce his dialogue.
What is inspiration to you? For me, it’s the three rainy days a year in Dubai that flood roads and kick all of the dust out of the air. It’s the amazing lightning storms I’ve seen over sand dunes against the night sky. It’s the peaceful sound of ocean lapping up against the shoreline. Nature is so rejuvenating and yet, it is beyond our control. It is an excellent source of renewal for these reasons. When I am quiet and listening, observing the nature around me, I can relax enough to re-open my floodgate of too many ideas pouring forth.
Exercise can be another great way to clear your head and think different ideas through. A good friend of mine, Jenny, says that is one reason she loves running so much. It allows her to think through and reflect on anything she chooses to address and it offers time to center herself. While she is into the whole marathoning adventure, activities like yoga or pilates can be also very centering and invigorating.
Okay so nature, exercise, what next? Play. Do something you love. I love baking. When I am distressed and overwhelmed I love to bake my mother’s chocolate chip cookies. I love the small of cookies baking in the oven. I love the physical nature of mixing up all of the ingredients (sometimes I skip the mixer). I love sharing them with people and watching the looks of pleasure that cross their faces with the first bite.
Perhaps you hate being in your kitchen. Perhaps you don’t even have the gas hooked up to your oven (yes, I have friends who do this). Then go play with your friends. Go out for dinner and/or drinks. Picnic in the park. Find a free movie night like the one in Dubai at Wafi with big beanbag chairs and classic movies (Yes!!! Something free in Dubai!!!). You know there is something you can do to clear your mind and pamper yourself. If you don’t treat your body and mind well, how do you expect your brain to be chock-full of amazing ideas and inspiration?
Lastly, seek inspiration in the actions and ideas of others. In approximately two blog postings from now I will be interviewing one of those people for me, Tammy Strobel. I have mentioned her before, she is the author of the blog RowdyKittens and has published two e-books. I’m so excited to interview her and share her approach to goal-setting and reaching for her aspirations.
Find people who act on things you wish to, who you aspire to be more like. Their presence (even digitally) and influence are likely to rub off on you. 🙂 Now go get those post-it notes.
Original Post September 21, 2010