I began this blog while working with the charity MIND as a way of sharing my favourite ideas with you.
Some posts are practical how-to-guides designed to give you ideas for living well. For example: ‘How to grow kale in pots at home’ or ‘how to use sounds in your meditation’ Other posts are more subjective and are a way for me share personal insights with you. What I've been up to, where I've got to in my thinking and what I'm interested in. The blog is organic and ever evolving and this post is of the later, subjective kind.
My first book was completed in November 2016, and published 4 months later in March 2017. My blogging slowed down during the book writing process because, as you might expect, I was putting all my writing time into Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. But once I’d submitted the final manuscript, I couldn’t wait to get back on the blog and start sharing all my unexpressed ideas with you. I've realised over the years that communicating and expressing are things I really do enjoy.
I think I spent four full days on the computer writing blogs. My brain felt like an unpicked apple tree at the end of a good Summer. The branches laden with fruit and ripe for picking. After a few weeks of blogging it was as though all the apples had been picked, leaving me with a pleasurable sense of relief. It was liberating to have that blog space. To have a platform for free expression.
Some ideas were interesting but not necessarily right for Inhale. Exhale.Repeat so I kept the unshared ideas carefully to one side. Overtime, some of them seemed to fade in urgency and appeal and I no longer felt so moved to express them. Others remained firmly on my list of things I’d like to say.
I’ve been exploring the format of my next book for quite a while now - probably since I finnished the first book. And I've been asking myself questions like: How could my varied ideas and interests find a common thread and take shape in a thoughtful, value filled book? It’s an ongoing exploration, I’m not in a rush and so I'm taking my time.
For me, the creative expression is always changing. Sometimes I’m simply over overflowing with words to share and other times I feel that the talking-tap has been turned down. The flow has stemmed and I don't have much to say. I still sense the creative urge alive and well within, and it’s at rest in me. It’s not moving outwards, not wanting to be spoken of. I’ve come to trust this ebb and flow.
People often ask what inspires me. If what they mean is, 'where do I get my ideas from?' Then the answer is simple. Everywhere! Walking to work, eating lunch, cooking, the colour of somebodies front door. Inspiration can appear anywhere.
I feel very lucky insomuch as I feel inspired nearly all the time. I just feel inspired—not necessary by something, I just feel very spirited.
Certain things inspire me to do certain other things. For example, watching european cinema inspires me to learn french and travel. Art galleries inspire me to paint. Cooking channels inspire me to cook. Ladies fashion magazines inspire me to try on all my clothes and be fabulous. Sometimes the desire to be creative, to paint, make, write, learn, garden, is stronger than others. However strong it is, I find tremendous pleasure in expressing it.
Considered another way, some things inspire me-- but not to do anything in particular. They just evoke a sense of deep inspiration in me. They bring about a sense of oneness, or exaltation or knowing or presence. Bliss as a word, seems a bit too much. As does ecstasy. But, oneness, exaltation, expansion, delight, joy, rapture, they all seem like suitable words.
Things that bring this on can be:
- Encountering nature and natural life. Things like plants, flowers, gardens, sunsets and animals.
- Reading certain types of poetry. In particular, poems written by someone who was either speaking of that oneness, or speaking from that oneness.
- Being In love. Deep caring love or the first throws of romantic love.
- Enjoying friendship. Perhaps with my family or friends or certain moments with strangers and new people.
- Sharing from my wellspring of plenty
I feel inspired when I travel to new places. But the inspiration it brings on is mixed with a sense of adventure, discovery and awe. Awe of the newness and of the unknown. This feels slightly different to the inspiration brought on by nature. But still very nice. Perhaps awe is the experience of oneness, as it is appreciated in the material world.
This inspiration is available to me a lot and yet it sometimes fades or takes a back seat in times of extreme challenge, the kind of challenges we all go though in varying scenarios as human beings. The happiness fades slightly, under the weight of the experience yet I do feel that it never goes away. That it’s available all the time, in the background of experience.
To be able to identify those things that enliven your enthusaism, joy and inspiration, is an all round good thing. With that insight to hand perhaps you can schedule regular doses of healthy, loving, joyful things. And while they can offer a much needed inspiration jump start, you don't have to rely on things and experiences alone. There is a wellspring of inspiration inside each of us and if we each make strengthening our own connection to that our priority, we can really begin to prosper. (Meditation is just one way to touch base with it)
How does the inspiration appear within you and your life? When do you feel most inspired and which ways have you learned to welcome it more openly into your life
And….. Did you read Inhale. Exhale. Repeat?
If you did I’d love to know what you thought of it and if you have any ideas for the new book. Please do leave a comment and let me know any topics you’d be interested to read about,