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Finding & Keeping Inspiration

The definition of inspiration is:

Divine influence directly and immediately exerted on the mind or soul. A quickening, exalting influence. To produce or arise a feeling. To guide or control by divine influence.

It’s a sudden idea, a feeling you must do something, and then finding you have all the energy needed to do it.

Doors open. Synchronicity happens.

It is a downpour of intuition like a summer storm. Everything flows through.

It gives us a sense of “rightness” — like we can’t NOT do it. We gotta do it because we’re inspired!

So, how do we find and keep that feeling?

All art, the greatest museums, theaters, concert halls, and gardens etc. were created to inspire us. Without art and nature, our lives would be dry, dull, lifeless, and without purpose.

When we view art that moves us, we’re uplifted. It’s exciting, exhilarating, and we delight in the shared freedom of expression, feeling universally connected.

But in order to stay in the flow of our individual creative process, we need to connect to our own divine influence.

True inspiration comes when it’s uniquely ours and individually inventive.

I remember when I went to see Picasso’s sculptural exhibit at MOMA in New York City. I was so turned on by it, I wanted to run home, strip all my clothes off, and paint for hours.

I love how much permission Picasso gave himself. I’m in awe of the breadth of his art, which he continued to make EVEN when he was condemned by the Germans as a degenerate to remain in occupied Paris, forbidden to exhibit.

He never cared whether his art sold or not — nor what anyone else thought about it. When his art was considered debased and prohibited, it gave him all the more impedance. He HAD to express himself, and he found ANY way to do it.

I came home and took the painting down that I’d been working on, curious to see what I would paint from Picasso’s inspiration. I took a big black brush and made a twisted face and a contorted nose.

But quickly, I hit a block, and my energy dropped. I didn’t want to paint anymore. If I wanted to be free like Picasso, I couldn’t copy or act like I was him. I had to find the freedom of my own expression.

I went back to the painting that was up before I took it down. My brush got going. Returning to my own creation, I could meet myself where I was.

But what if inspiration never comes?

I guarantee you that if you meet whatever is present fully, your muse will show up.

If it’s “weird”, meet it. If it’s “dark”, meet it. If it’s “shit” meet it. Even if it doesn’t make sense, and you have no idea what you’re doing or where it’s going — meet it. In fact, that’s the PERFECT place for inspiration.

Usually what’s between inspiration and us are our judgments and comparisons.

Sometimes, we think we need to have some big plan, already ALL mapped out.

We need to hear the whole composition from beginning to end. Or know the entire arc of our story. Or wait until World War II is over until we’re allowed to make art again.

How we keep our inspiration flowing is by giving ourselves permission to create whatever it is we’re experiencing in the moment.

The more we meet the moment, the more inspiration rains upon us.

Wishing you infinite illumination!

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Lynn Newman