Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Inspired Life

Photo: The silver pear that I found on one of my "creative excursions"

"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and your discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”

My status on facebook the other day read like this "Needs to be inspired today." My friend Alison responded with totally empathy, she too is working mother. She made a comment that basically between the laundry, the errands, the diapers, the "stuff" that makes up our lives, how do we gain inspiration for our creativity and joy. Only a short ways into my blogging career, I am loving this as an outlet to be inspired and inspire others. However, this week, I struggle to find a spark of something to get excited about or to deem it worthy enough to share with the world. This is a normal part of the journey towards getting in touch with your authentic self I am sure. Especially since the journey takes a back seat to raising my children and working...sometimes real life just seems to get in the way. So it got me thinking: "How do we live an inspired life, despite all the "have to's?" The only thing that seemed to make sense to me as a racked my brain and a few of my favourite books for some answers is that only we can make the time for ourselves, to listen to what the universe is trying to tell us, what are daydreams are saying, to be aware enough to be inspired. Where does this magical thing called "time" come from? Well, I wish I had a better answer for everyone besides "you have to make time." Here are a few ideas of things I have personally used to open up my life to be more inspired everyday:

*Set your alarm 20 mins early to get up in the morning-yes it will be very tempting to hit snooze and catch that extra 20 mins shut eye but trust me, it will be worth it. I even do this on the weekends to sneak in a little extra time for me before the kids get up and the "busy"ness starts to consume my day. Make yourself a hot cup of coffee or tea, flip through a great self help or spiritual read to inspire you. Write a list of positive intentions for you your day. Spend a few moments on your favourite websites.

*Play hooky...take a well deserved mental health day. Go on a creative excursion to a thrift shop and browse through things that call out to you. Is it the shape of a glass pitcher, a great bright coloured pair of heels, or a great vintage cookbook (one of my personal favs)

*Read some great quotes

*Stop in at a great second hand bookstore. Take something home on a topic you've been thinking about lately. Or a fiction book that speaks to you.

*Buy yourself a new glossy magazine about anything that will stir joy within you, my personal choices are home decorating/food magazines like martha stewart or house and home. Pull out anything that jumps out at you. My friend Sunshine has the most glorious scrapbook in which she's compiled all of the things she finds in magazines that inspire her. I personally like to create collages or "vision boards" with all of these things that inspire me.(More on vision boards on another post)

*Treat yourself to a delicious lunch from a place you've always wanted to try and read your new magazine at the same time!

*Go to bed a half hour something uplifting, spend some quiet time with your own thoughts, write in your journal. Sometimes just taking the time to quiet your cluttered mind opens up some space for inspiration to find you.

*Search the web when you get a moment. Here are some of the sights that I have been inspired by lately: (mostly a wedding inspiration site but a beautiful site none the less) (love etsy!) Just purchased the most beautiful vintage glass bowls that inspired me instantly to head towards my dream of having a retro kitchen. (a classic go-to for inspiring creativity) a food blog with gorgeous pictures that make me want to get in the kitchen another food blog with great pictures and good for inspiring gift ideas from the kitchen (i just love that tiffany blue..oh and the diamonds aren't bad either) people post some really cool photos on this site
Those are just a few of my own personal websites saved on my "favourites." I encourage you to browse some topics you are interested in, and save any pictures that call out to you. I have files and files of things I have found in my web searches that I have been inspired by.

Its true that "real life" does sometimes get in the way and eats up all of our energy and time...but sometimes we need to just push "real life" aside. Only we can make a personal choice to make time for ourselves. Most likely your boss is not going to approach you and say..."'ve been working real hard and you seem frazzled...take a mental health day." Your kids arent' going to say "don't worry about us mom..just worry about YOU for an hour." We need to take the hour, heck-take 15 mins or 5. Schedule it in our "to do" list. My "to do" list usually includes the following columns: work, home, family and self. The truth is, the more we take time out for ourselves to seek inspiration and to be creative, the more passionate our lives will be and the more joy we will have, thus making us better at our jobs, better partners and better parents. To me an uninspired life, is not worth living...but perhaps that's just me?

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