What Inspires You?
Do you remember when you were a child playing with your friends after school and on Saturdays? Do you recall how fun it was to be deeply involved with the story that you were creating together and acting it out as you went along?
When I was a little girl we there was a creek at the end of my street. It ran along the edge of a cemetery, some corn fields and a small wooded area. My friends and I used to gather there after school. We had elaborate trails leading to our hiding spots where we lived out the adventures of our knights, dragons, heroes and villains.
It was a magical place. Years later, when I returned to my home town, I drove down to the end of my street. I was excited to see my old magical play land. When I got there what did I see? A shallow creek, over grown with weeds and a faded trail leading to the field. What happened?
Did the creek and trails change?
Well, the creek got filled in with weeds and the trails got covered with grass.
Did I remember the place incorrectly?
No, I just grew into an adult.
What did change radically was my ability to turn the ordinary into extraordinary. I let go of my imagination and my willingness to play. How can we get that back?
Here are 5 ways to get some of that magical play and imagination back into your life.
- Go watch some children playing. Make a visit to a playground and watch groups of children at play. Notice how they can create fantasy in the most ordinary places. Notice how they let their bodies run, jump, swing, dig in the sandbox and dance.
- Read a child’s book again – one of your favorites. What were your favorite books as a child? Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak? Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White? The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain? Pick up one of your old favorites again and enjoy reading the stories. Remind yourself of what you enjoyed about it. One of my favorites was the Nancy Drew mystery series. It was so fun to imagine thetroubles that Nancy got in and how clever she was in solving the mysteries. What were your favorites?
- Go outside and look at the clouds. Did you ever lie in the grass and watch the clouds and see what images appeared? Take a seat on your deck or patio and see what delightful images you notice as the clouds roll by.
- Surround yourself with inspiration – music, photos, live plants and art work. When we surround ourselves with pleasing music, photos and paintings, we are reminded to enjoy beauty and receive pleasure from that experience.
- Shake yourself up a bit. – Give yourself an inspirational, moving break. In a standing position, bend your knees slightly and start bouncing up and down lightly. You can keep your feet on the ground and bounce by bending and unbending your knees rapidly. Allow your shoulders, neck and back to relax. Let your arms loosely swing. Continue this for up to 3 minutes. When you bring this movement to a close, how do you feel? Looser? More relaxed, not so tired? A body that is loose and relaxed helps create a calmer mind that is more receptive to creative inspiration.
Why do these things?
When you are surround yourself with beauty, nature, and experiences that are inspirational your life is enhanced. Your sense of wonder is expanded. The mundane and trivial become background. Your stress level decreases and the answers to the problem you have been trying to solve often appears.
Take some time to play, laugh, wonder.
Let me know what you discover. I love hearing from you.