How does one find inspiration day to day? When today seems pretty similar to yesterday, give or take a couple of different meals, or the name that we label each passing day with?
I often find myself wondering this, ironically enough, in the moments when things are going pretty damn well. There’s this strange aspect to humans that’s been pondered for centuries, which examines the idea that our best art, writing, poetry, words spoken, lyrics, business ideas, etc… come from a place of pain or suffering. From not being balanced. From this inner desire to change, or a need to get. something. out. Like our souls have finally had enough suffering or grief or sadness where we’re at, and find a way to do something to change the emotional state that we’re in.
If you’re generally pretty self-aware, you may observe those feelings of pain inside, and choose to channel them in a healthy direction, therefore changing your state. Whether that be through writing, dancing, singing, practicing yoga, or maybe even like coding some app – for the nerdier ones 😉 (there’s a way for everyone!! – doesn’t always have to be so poetic;)). When done well, these states of suffering, can be turned into our best work. And on the opposite end of that spectrum, if one is not quite so self-aware, those hidden feelings of inner imbalance may end up being dealt with in other ways as your mind subconsciously seeks out a way to change your state of being. Like eating a lot of food (guilty!), drinking excessively, or ingesting any other mind altering substance.
But how do we find inspiration for these forms of self expression, when we’re genuinely feeling content with life most hours of the day? When we want to express ourselves in a way that is beautiful externally, but we’ve worked really hard to balance our minds and our bodies, and the painful LEVERAGE to get us there, isn’t so strong anymore. I’ve noticed that this feeling of peace inside that people are always talking about trying to achieve, also seems to tone down the fire that burns in your belly when you have a strong desire to change something in your life. It’s like the passion isn’t as strong, when everything seems to be going well.
To be honest, I’m still trying to figure it out. (There’s a reason this phenomenon of art from pain has been pondered for centuries). I’ve got some ideas though, even if there’s most likely not one correct way.
Sometimes, I let my mind wander back to times when I know I was in pain, as a way to remind myself of the reasons why I do the things that I do. To remind myself of how far I’ve come, and that there’s a point to everything I do. This works to an extent but I tend to have a slight internal battle when I realize I am knowingly creating inner suffering.
Other times, probably the healthier route because I’m not necessarily revisiting the past this way, is to be fully, super intensely, wholly and authentically in the present moment. I put down my phone and take one super long inhale and a long slow exhale, as I find myself properly taking in my surroundings. I usually tend to start visually, using a sense that is entirely overpowering most of my day, before moving to the sense of sound, tuning in a little deeper. From sound I am brought to touch and feeling – finding awareness of my physical body in the space it’s in. Usually I notice a place in my body where I’m tensing up and try to soften that spot. From touch I move to smell, a subtle sense, but depending on the smell, can be one of the most powerful senses. For me, sometimes just one smell, can bring with it a flood of emotions.
And then I’ve arrived. I’m there. I’ve found my inspiration. The present moment is my inspiration, my muse, my love. I find love for that moment, in that moment, and begin expressing from that place. So I guess inspiration is always there. It just takes some tuning in to find it and it doesn’t always have to come from pain. It’s nothing more than a certain amount of awareness and openness to life.
I love when I coach myself through my own questions 🙂
Until next time,
xo Dani Butterly 🙂