December 21 – Inspiration

Inspiration is something that comes naturally in its own time, but only when you give it the space and time it requires. Often inspiration will strike after a long period of seemingly doing nothing. I have learned to lean into that time rather than fight it and attempt to struggle through. John Cleese gave a talk on this very idea, that our brains will continue to work on a problem long after we have ceased to consciously think about it. That is truly inspiration at work.

aurora lights

On the topic of inspiration, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:

Sometimes we forget that to do our work well, whatever it is, we must have inspiration. This is true for any work, no matter how menial it may seem. Inspiration is the gentle listening to the wisdom of our inner being.

Brenda Ueland said that it comes slowly and quietly. I might also add that it comes when it wishes and not on demand. Like any process, we cannot force it. We must wait with it.

When we take away the possibility of our own inspiration, we relegate ourselves to a tedious existence. Inspiration adds spice and zest to our lives and allows them to be lives, not existences.

When I wait with inspiration, my time is not wasted.

Anne Wilson Schaef also adds that it is not solely the territory of artists and writers. Child-rearing and good management, along with a whole host of other things, require inspiration as well. In this, she is right. Being inspired is a natural and endless source of motivation that rises up from within us or perhaps from the universe. When we allow ourselves to relax and let it find us naturally, we are able to achieve far more greatness than we could ever imagine. Time spent waiting for inspiration may seem like doing nothing, but in fact, it is far more productive than forcing ourselves to work without it.

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