I don’t know about you but in the last few weeks I have found myself so much more inspired to get mundane jobs done around the home, call friends to make arrangements to meet up, take little creative risks outside of my comfort zone at work and to think outside of the box about issues in my life where I previously felt a stuck. So many new ideas and creative solutions have presented themselves that I have to ask myself where this new perspective and inspiration has sudden appeared from?
I can put some of down to the sunnier days, naturally this uplifts us and allows a brightness to our thinking as the fog clears. Getting outside more has helped. I live in basement flat and can feel hemmed in during the winter. It’s wonderful now to take advantage of walking by the sea or on the Downs. There is a sense of expansiveness, growth and openness at this time of year which in turn gives me a feeling of freedom and the ability to see the bigger vision. Yet I feel there is something deeper than simply being outside that is stimulating me to feel so much more creative inspiration.
I can only suggest that it comes from my decision and determination to stop trying to control everything! To control something is to try and force it to adhere to your will, and this takes effort…actually a lot of effort. It implies being alert, vigilant, looking out for the signs that indicate to you that things aren’t going as you planned and then putting in time, energy and resources to make sure things get back on to YOUR track.
I have had an innate need to control the outcome of situations, the behaviour of people and especially my emotions for as long as I can remember. No doubt learnt at an early age in childhood. Certainly it has provided me with a sense of safety over the years and through this need for order and control I have developed the excellent and highly useful skills of being organised, efficient and sensitive to my environment.
However, there are some downsides. Firstly, as I mentioned it is very draining as it means I have to be one step ahead of the game all the time, my mind desperately attempting to work out all the worst case scenarios so that I can prepare for them and, preferably, avoid them. Secondly, and rather annoyingly, it’s impossible to control other people as they have minds of their own and very often have no intention of following my well thought out plans. And thirdly (and most importantly), it doesn’t allow for that magical ingredient of “divine inspiration”.
Over the last three years I have been greatly supported by a wonderful friend, mentor and colleague Ann-Marie Marchant to step into the vibration of allowing, trusting and following the flow of life. This might sound “new age-y” or fluffy but it is in fact a very disciplined practice – granted it is often a very joyful practice which leads to great happiness, playfulness, peace and wonderment but never-the-less it involves a decision and constant determination to STOP holding on tightly to the concept that “I” have to know it all and it includes the gradual letting go of perfectionism and the belief that people will only accept and love me if I am “doing it right”.
It’s to trust my breath and to understand that if I wait before acting and take time to listen into the stillness within me, I will be guided to my next course of action gently by my heart rather than unconsciously repeating old patterns of behaviour. In this way I can be inspired by so many stimuli – a song, a book, a hug, a conversation with a friend, a feeling in my bones, a piece of art, a dream, a colour, a challenge, flowers, shadows dancing on the grass, the sunlight sparkling on the water, yoga, a member of my family, a smile from a stranger.
In this way life seems to gently unfold in front of me and becomes much, much easier. Problems either fall away or solutions present themselves effortlessly, the right person shows up at the perfect moment, an invoice is paid exactly when a little extra money is needed and there seems to be more vitality and more space and time to breathe.
As I discover more space and time to breathe the more I see the signs of inspiration in the world and this becomes a cycle. With each in breath and with each out breath I gain a greater capacity to think creatively and feel stimulated to act in new ways.
To try this for yourself, you can practice 5-10 minutes of breathing meditation a day or make sure you spend a little time in nature every day really taking in your environment. For best results – try meditating on the beach!