People often talk about getting inspired, like it’s something you can go to the store and pick up off the shelf, if only you could afford it. But guess what? Inspiration is free and it’s already ours. It flows to us constantly from all directions. Perhaps all we need to do is become clearer receivers; open ourselves up and allow the information to flow through.
Get Out of Your Own Way.
One of the things you can do to feel inspired is to stop trying so hard. To try doing anything squeezes off the flow of inspiration by creating resistance in the form of self-doubt, worry or anxious fear.
Trying implies a lack of faith. When we’re trying hard to do something, it’s because we secretly don’t believe we can accomplish it. Instead, we need to open up and allow; become receptive so the words, artwork or action we are looking for can flow naturally.
How Can You Open Yourself to Inspiration?
One way to become more receptive is by opening through the heart center. Behind the heart are ganglia that are believed in some traditions to act as receptors and transmitters. We literally feel and transmit the effects of love through this space. It’s also this area that is referred to as the heart chakra, and it’s the place in our body where gratitude and inspiration arise.
When we feel uninspired, anxious, or bottled up, it may be that this heart area is being squeezed. A simple practice for opening the heart center and allowing inspiration to flow through is a quick meditation that can be done multiple times throughout the day.
Open Heart Meditation.
Start by closing your eyes, bringing one hand to rest over your heart, and the other over your solar plexus. Breathe deeply and slowly, allowing your exhales to be 2 counts longer than your inhales.
Picture a large lotus flower under both hands. See the flower open and the petals soften and open. Feel the warmth of your hands as your heart center softens and your solar plexus muscles soften and relax.
Imagine a soft warmth flowing into your heart and solar plexus as you breathe in, and flowing out of this center with your out-breath. Continue this exercise for a few minutes and then slowly open your eyes. The goal is to remain open all of the time to allow emotions, thoughts and energies to flow through freely. Use this mediation often, any time you feel your gut clenching, emotions rising, or inspiration fading.
What Are Other Ways to Allow Inspiration to Flow?
Another way to open to the flow of inspiration is to step away and do something else. This may seem counterproductive—especially if you’re working with a deadline—however, engaging your brain in an unrelated activity can boost your creativity. When you’re inspired, your projects are completed faster because you know what needs to be done or said and it pours from you, almost preformed. Following are some ideas that work for me.
1. Go For a Walk.
We have recreation trails throughout the DC Metro area that take us through lush, wooded areas. Birds chatter, frogs sing, squirrels scamper and deer glide gracefully over the trail and back into the woods. Sunshine blinks through the leaves overhead and breezes tug at our clothing, brushing our skin and bringing with them the scents of the season. Nature is a perfect muse.
Neighborhoods are great too! Cities are filled with sights, sounds and smells. Just getting out into the world, away from your task and focusing on something else for as little as 15 minutes can spark creativity.
Another great way to open up to the flow of inspiration is movement. Put on some of your favorite music, or create a beat in your head, and start moving your body. As your body begins to flow, so to will your creativity.
3. Chores Around the House.
I know this will be your favorite. Cleaning up, doing dishes, organizing and other chores are a great way to shift your brain into a different wavelength. The chores need to be done anyway, right? Sometimes ideas occur to us when we’re busily engaged in activities we don’t really have to think about, because we perform these tasks so often. So go ahead, improve your space and watch the ideas flow!
4. Immerse Yourself in Gratitude.
Whatever you decide to engage in for opening to inspiration, gratitude will speed the process along and bring you into closer contact with your personal muse. Acknowledging all of the little things you have gratitude for opens your heart center instantly and allows Source to deliver to you the most delicious inspiration, love and possibly even joy. Wherever you see your source of inspiration coming from, send out waves of gratitude that it is being born through you.