Inspiration can come from the strangest of places at the strangest of times. I’ve learned not to question it, but instead grab the closest notepad (digital or paper) to me and write in a blind fury.
Today’s surge was while eating “breakfast” at 1:30pm. Sitting at the kitchen counter, a half eaten waffle with almond butter and bananas in front of me, and a cup of tea gone cold. I was scrolling through social media as one does, and ended up reading an article by a friend of mine. Suddenly, I found myself so connected to her words that my heart was pounding. I was taken aback by the inspiration that crashed into me. My eyes teared from joy because of the presence of it, as it had missing for what felt like weeks.
I couldn’t help but start to think about the connection between inspiration and emotions. It’s no secret that people often create what they experience or create based on how they’re feeling, BUT how does suppressing or fueling emotion factor in to whether you’re feeling inspired to create in the first place?
Something I’ve known about myself for a long time is that I feel things deeply, and intensely. Name an emotion and my very being is familiar with the pure form of it. Most times it feels like a blessing, but other times I find myself utterly drained. It’s during the latter moments, when the very act of feeling feels like too much, that I either find a way to subdue it all or distract myself. I distract myself by being busy so I don’t have time to think. But as soon as I have a moment to myself, I’m numb. I don’t want to do anything that will make me feel for fear of feeling the emotions I want to suppress. And as you can image, I then don’t have room to feel inspired because inspiration is sourced from emotion. So I can’t write and I can’t create — two of my favorite things in the world. I won’t say this is my norm, but it does happen from time to time as I think it does to everyone at some point or another.
Through trial and error, what I’ve come to know to be true is this: whatever I feel, or think I feel TOO much, actually gives me a unique perspective and a relatable voice for those who know all too well what I’m talking about. And feeling numb, and just going through the motions for the sake of not feeling something else will get you nowhere.
So embrace your emotions.
The good, the bad, the awkward, and the incredible.
A few months back I found myself in a lull until a conversation with a stranger really made me FEEL, and ultimately was inspiration inducing. It took me by surprise. It was someone in passing, someone I’ve never seen again and who’s face I can barely remember. Someone that definitely had no idea the impact they had on me.
I started to notice three themes to those inspiring moments: talking more, wandering more, and reading more. Themes I had apparently forgotten until this morning when they felt further confirmed.
A single word, a smile, or a full conversation.
To the barista at the coffee shop you go to while you’re half asleep.
To the conductor who punches your ticket during your commute.
To the person who holds the door for you when your hands are full.
To that coworker you always pass in the hall.
To the Uber driver whose story might ignite your soul.
Trust your feet to lead you in a direction of their choosing.
Walk until you appreciate the faithfulness of your legs.
Hop on a subway, or get in your car, without a destination in mind.
Stop by that vintage store you always mean to pop into, but end up walking by with a silent “next time” in mind.
Read until the words in front of you dance in your head.
Read novels, poetry, short stories or essays.
Genres and topics you normally wouldn’t.
Read until you’re buzzing with excitement about a world created in someone else’s mind.
Read until you find those who are likeminded, and read until your own views are challenged.
Then, your heart will be so full of human experience that you won’t ever be able to imagine wanting to subdue your emotions again. You’ll be too inspired to even dare.