So I was thinking about this week's post, and I was having a little trouble being inspired. But then I actually starting thinking about inspiration. I tend to think of inspiration as sort of an artistic lightning bolt, or like Isaac Newton and the apple; it suddenly hits you and you know exactly what to do or say. While it is true that inspiration may sometimes come in that manner, I have decided that inspiration often comes quietly through the things and people we love, and for that I feel we don't give them enough credit.
I had to laugh when I looked up the word "inspiration" in the dictionary. It is so intangible a concept that in order to define the word, they had to use the word itself. "1. An inspiring or animating action or influence. 2. Something inspired, as an idea." As badly as they defined the word, I actually found their definition oddly compelling. It is only fitting that the name given to so undefinable a feeling should also essentially be undefinable. But then that begs the question, how shallow am I that I actually expected it to be defined? Part of the abstractness of the concept is that inspiration is relative: it is different for every person. Now for people of strong convictions and morals the thought of anything being relative is unnerving. However we aren't discussing truth, so just bear with me on this for a minute. If you break this down further and look up the word "inspire" you get this, "1. To fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence. 2. To produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.)." This whole definition is describing feelings and emotions. Different things cause different emotions in different people (take cats or wrestling as examples). Therefore inspiration is relative. Something that brighten one person's day may be found entirely repugnant by another.
Another thing that caught my attention in our original definition of "inspiration" is that it was identified as a noun. In my mind I had regarded it as a verb; a process. But I think a more accurate view of it would be that the inspiration resides in the object that does the inspiring, rather the object doing the action of inspiring. I realize now that that we are really just arguing semantics, but I also believe semantics can change a lot in our application of some things. So what exactly are we saying here? I'm simply saying that everything and everyone inherently hold the potential to inspire anyone. When that potential reacts with the personality of the right individually, you get an inspired person.
So pulling myself out of the philosophical quagmire, I began thinking about what inspires me. That things that inspire me are the things that I love: fall, anything pumpkin, shoes, good food, nail polish, coffee, jewelry, dessert, designer clothes, gardens, small fluffy pets, music, dogs, roses, cooking, and the list goes on. So what is my bottom line in this? Make your love and your life part of your creative process. If you feel stuck then turn to the things and people that make you smile and make you want more of them. When you find ways to do what you love and you surround yourself with the things and people you love, you're looking at your inspiration. So stop sitting around waiting for the lightning. Go live your life, and the inspiration will find you.
"I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched." - Edgar Allan Poe