Sometimes words fail you. Sometimes you stare at a blank screen, cursor blinking, time ticking. Nothing comes out and it seems like nothing ever will.
Sometimes you get stuck in a rut. Doing the same thing, over and over and over again. Work, exercise, eat, sleep, repeat. Maybe a glass of wine with friends, here and there.
Sometimes you want to push on, do something different, but you feel… dull. Uninspired. Bored. And it sucks.
I went through a cycle like this recently. Feeling completely disconnected from anything creative, having close to zero motivation to do anything new. Stuck in a routine of sameness, which eventually felt like nothingness. It is hard not to feel deflated during those times when inspiration fails you, when you feel a stranger to that part of you that was at some point in the zone. It’s even harder when your trade depends on being able to create, but I am not just referring to that here. I’m talking about losing inspiration to live an interesting life. When you feel like all you’re doing is sleep walking, on auto-pilot mode, going through the motions, lacking that feeling of excitement, of awe, of intrigue. Hell, even that niggling feeling of anxiety in your stomach when you’re entering unknown territory. It’s just freaking boring.
Look, I’m well aware that not everything in life will be deemed as thrilling. But I believe we can create opportunities to challenge and reinvent ourselves through new experiences. What keeps you truly alive and present is when you approach life with intention: walking your path out of choice, directing how you travel (extra baggage of the emotional kind is optional and not recommended) and whether your eyes are closed shut out of fear or you keep them wide open. Sure, you won’t be able to control whether it decides to pour down on you with tropical rain and thunderstorms, but the point is not to mistake the rain for your own tears. Things will be sent your way and you can choose whether you live an inspired life or that of a victim. You might not always know where you’re going, but you’re sure as hell there.
There is a sense of ease when you realise that you have the power to create your own inspiration. It’s very physical, in the same way that restriction and flatness is evident in the body, inspiration rides through you like a wave or a summer breeze, activating nerve endings and sparking action. It creates freedom of movement, it has fluidity and as such you have no choice but to become one with the flow. You feel light and full of energy. It somehow becomes easy to try new things, to speak to new people, to share your story and hear your voice. It becomes almost impossible not to do the things that feed you, because ultimately they also feed your inspiration.
When you lose inspiration, there is a hole, a gap, a flat line. You stop creating, but you also stop living.
Inspiration is lost when fear, stress and pressure take over. When the fun is taken away, wave goodbye to your willingness to explore and discover. It’s an active process of give and take. You need to feed yourself with a menu of challenges, routine, stability and pursuits to keep your beast alive. There is no other way; otherwise you’re not really here.
So when you lose inspiration, find it in your body, in your actions. Create it yourself. It’s not out there, it’s in you, even when it doesn’t feel like it. And in fact, I don’t believe it is ever truly lost, it just gets bored of you when you’ve become boring!
:: Some practical tips for when you lose inspiration ::
Get moving – go for a walk, spend time in nature if you can, do a handstand, go to a class. The sooner you reconnect with your body the quicker you’ll feel inspired in other parts of your life. Don’t look for inspiration on your Facebook feed.
Travel – nothing better than being away from your normal surroundings, in a different culture, unable to control exactly what happens. Travelling has helped me restore my trust that things have a magic way of turning out in ways that are wonderful and unexpected.
Make space in your schedule – Stop the busyness trap and create space for the unexpected. Otherwise you will always feel overwhelmed and like you’re out of time and in that mindset there is no space for inspired living.
Do something new – just try a new restaurant, a new class at the gym, a new haircut, a new book. Shake it up a little.
Do something that really, really scares you – Yep. Best thing ever. This will boost your confidence and make you feel alive.
Breathe – simply return to focusing on your presence, right now.
Reach out – let others help you, know that you are not alone. Ask your friend to lovingly drag you out and take you somewhere.
Give your time to someone else – Volunteer for a few hours, contributing towards a cause you believe in. This will restore your faith in humanity.