The thought “I can’t write until I’m inspired” came up for me today. Thankfully, the moment I heard it, I realized it was not true at all!
Here are the lies in the thought, “I can’t ___ until I’m inspired,” and its variations: “I need inspiration” and “I need to be inspired.”
#1: Any statement that begins with “I can’t” is false. We choose not to. (Which is perfect, there is no fault in choosing to do or not to do something.)
#2: Any statement that begins with “I need” is false. At every moment, we have everything we need. If we were to stop existing, there would be no “I” that “needed” anything. So as long as we’re alive, we have everything we need to stay that way!
#3: The idea that inspiration causes creativity, or causes me to act, or is a condition necessary for me to act is false. We choose to act in each moment, regardless of what circumstances or causes are happening around us. This is why you can be happy in the midst of “terrible” circumstances, etc.
If inspiration doesn’t cause creativity, or cause me to act, what is inspiration then?
What is Inspiration?
Inspiration, just like many of the terms we use today, is just a word we hang on to that captures a series of moments. Just like “habit” means “what I’ve chosen to do yesterday, and plan to choose tomorrow,” inspiration, typically used, means “an idea or feeling that compels me to act or create right now.”
Bear with me for a moment, we’re about to go deep.
When we believe in cause and effect, we ignore the fact that the world is non-linear. This means that our brains (and egos) typically see things in the form of “yesterday, today, tomorrow” and “one thing (in the past) can cause another thing (in the future) to happen.”
This is not true. Every moment is filled with infinite potentialities. Every moment, absolutely anything can happen. This is what is so beautiful about our universe. We are constantly creating what we see unfolding around us. If this weren’t true, then there would be absolutely no capacity for change in the universe. What caused it to form would also cause the next effect, and the next, and the next, without our say or our creative input, or any of the infinite potentialities to come into existence. The universe would look more like a vinyl record with pre-set grooves than a dynamic, energetic ball of potential.
We typically believe we have to have certain things for other things to happen, but in truth, any reality can be true right now.
Still with me?
So at any given moment, with no prior cause whatsoever, you can decide to create anything. You can think anything. You can imagine anything. There is no rule that says you must think X before you think Y. We are all free from those old “rules” of cause and effect, but so often we don’t see that freedom, and we live in those bonds we’ve created by telling ourselves the story that “creativity follows inspiration” or “I need something to begin.”
If inspiration is “an idea or feeling that compels me to act or create right now,” then there is no separation between the idea and the creation. Essentially, creation IS inspiration. When you’re creating, the action IS the idea (inspiration), and it is the creation, simultaneously.
And because we are inherently creative, there is never a moment when we are not inspired.
Any thought you have at any given moment is creation. If you can see this in a non-linear way, wherein inspiration is the very act of creation, you can see that there is no “trigger” or “cause”, but by simply creating, we’re practicing inspiration.
To be inspired, we need only to be creating.
How do we “harness” that inspiration and use it in a practical way? Effortless inspiration comes when we believe the truth about inspiration rather than our old stories of it. By telling ourselves the true story of inspiration: that we are all inherently creative and constantly inspired, we begin to see how true this is in our lives.
3 Steps to Effortless Inspiration
- Don’t separate inspiration from creation. You have the power at any given moment to create anything you want. This means, if you want to create jewelry, simply begin. Creating the jewelry is the inspiration for creating the jewelry. When you tell yourself the story, “I don’t know where to begin” you stop yourself from beginning, but you are not uninspired. You can instead tell the story, “I want to begin, I’ll pick up this piece and put it here” and the creation is already happening.
- Don’t separate “thinking inspiration” from “physical creation” Anything you can think up is already created. Your thoughts are just as tangible as a physical necklace (if you doubt this, talk to an intellectual property attorney.) So whether you’re thinking about creating a thing or actually putting it into form with your hands, you’re creating. Writing your thoughts is creative, sketching an idea, or actually pouring metal into molds are all equally creative. Creation only happens in this moment, and everything you’re doing or thinking is creation.
- Start creating.So often we’re out looking for inspiration for our work when we’d rather be sitting down to do it. Only begin. Do not think about what you will say or what you’ve said before, just do the thing you want to do now. There is no preparation for what you want to do, there are no steps you need to take before you begin doing that which you want to do. When you want to write, sit down to write. When you want to build, build. When you want to form something with your hands, begin forming it with your hands. By doing anything you’ve already creating.
Bonus tip: Love
Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius. -Wolfgang A. Mozart
When you love in the moment you’re creating, you bring genius to your creation. At any moment, we can “add” greater amounts of love to the mix and turn our creating into something that will also connect with others on an incredible level. When you love, your creation reaches the very core of the universe, and you create from pure energy.
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