So in my last blog post, I talked about how inspiration (the word) is also about breathing... taking in the very air we breathe. If we use that as a metaphor for living an inspired life, we have to think about breathing. If we’re running a sprint (something I never do) our breathing adjusts to quick, rapid, often shallow breaths. Our fast paced culture often presses us to live at this same sprinter’s pace, racing from work to home, filling up our calendars, and overwhelming our hearts and minds. When we live in this stretched, overscheduled way, we fail to breathe in the long, deep inhales that we so desperately need. And so it is with creative inspiration too. Like others I hear so often, I too have fallen captive to the belief that, “I don’t have time to be creative, or take that class, or do that activity that I’ve been wanting to, the one that I know will bring me joy, and life, and true inspiration.” Yet, despite our better intuitive judgment, our frenetic pace keeps us pounding the payment, mile after mile, day after day. The fact is, to breathe deeply we have to slow down.
Silence, solitude, and stillness, are the dynamic trio that can radically change our lives, but at the same time are so very hard to practice. These elements are not only counter-cultural, but in someways counter-human. I heard once, that typically one of these three is a primary growth area for us, but sometimes it’s all three. Even though over the past several years, I have been working on making a conscious practice of silence, solitude and stillness, it always requires intentionality and focused awareness. As an introvert, and one who rejuvenates through my alone time, silence and solitude aren’t extremely challenging for me. Taking a walk with my dog, spending time in nature, reading a book, diving into some creative endeavor, are all wonderful times in solitude and silence that refresh me, body, mind and soul. Stillness, on the other hand, is my growth area. I come from a long line of over productive, women who can work from dawn to well past sun down. Sitting down to rest, or ceasing the constant onslaught of work is almost unheard of. However, I’ve learned to recognize when I’ve moved away from my center of groundedness and health, when I am feeling more like a human doing than a human being. When my to-do list soars, and I feel the drive to accomplish and check off boxes, I recognize that I need to revisit my stillness practices. These include time in nature, quieting my mind with meditative prayer, and returning to my core identity and values.
I truly believe that all three, silence, solitude, and stillness are the pathways for slowing down that we need to breath deeply, to inspire. Then through drawing, we will be filled with inspiration, the life force that we need to live wholehearted, inspired lives, ones that transform us, our relationships, and our world.
If you’re inspired to live more fully come check out my Creāre Workshops. Living Into Your Creative Potential, is all about finding your inspired pathways and how they can fuel your wholehearted life revolution! To learn more about Creāre, click on the link below.