Research Paper By Amy Barnhill
(Life Coach, UNITED STATES)
Coaching your source of your inspiration is important. Some of us may know how and where we feel inspired without fully understanding why. Recently, I was feeling inspired but overwhelmed by a renewed stream of creative consciousness. I struggled to keep up the pace. The amount of energy both physically and mentally required to maintain this creative state was both exhausting and fun.
And then as if a switch had been flipped; the ideas slowed to a trickle until they became a whisper and I wondered what I could do to get it back and how could I manage my inspiration better. In this article, I explore a few ways to coach your inspiration. And understanding more about inspiration is where it all starts.
Inspiration is defined as something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create; a force or influence that inspires someone. Inspiration may take forms and is not only for the artistic. An inspired idea or influence exists outside an artist’s studio or dance hall. These inspirations shape the products we use, the way we learn, how we communicate and even how we save lives. Inspiration creates inspiration all which impacts our lives. And it is everywhere. You just need to know where to look and how to recognize it. Something I believe we can all learn to do through coaching.
Recognition can feel like the first step in a not so linear path. In coaching, this type of recognition is referred to as self-awareness. This is not to say we always know what will or will not create a sense of inspiration in us. So we have to remain open to new possibilities but knowing what inspires us to create, believe, feel, or see things differently is closely linked to knowing more about who we are.
As a beginning photographer, Sarah connected to her passion for photographic stories. Always aware of her love for people she valued being a witness to their stories captured in a moment through photographs. She understood her passion was fueled more from the captured moments than the technical side of what she would eventually call her life’s work. Sarah recognized the people and their stories is what inspired her about photography. Her self-awareness around her inspiration is what reminds her to revisit these stories whenever she needs to get into her creative mindset and open herself to new inspirations.
Know where you feel inspired using mindfulness
Where we feel inspired is not just geographical but physical. If by some sheer sense of will you are able to hold a moment of reflection when you are feeling inspired how would you describe it? Where in your body do you feel it?
Inspired moments can be felt within us. Katherine explains inspiration as a surge of adrenaline that begins in her gut. As this feeling invades her whole being; her mind would begin to race and almost immediately she had a vision in her mind of what she wanted to create. This reflection on the specific ways her inspiration affects her mind and body is a gift.
Stop and recognize the source and connect this inspired feeling with your body. In the moment, be mindful of your heart speed, the pace of your thoughts, of how you see the vision clearly. It can be challenging at times when we struggle with our creativity. We may feel stuck without realizing why. When you are able to recognize your source of inspiration and be mindful of how profoundly this affects your body and mind you will be able to know when you are missing it.
Create your inspired environment
Inspiration can occur anywhere but most likely there are environments that stimulate this freedom to create. Imagine a small, local diner with vintage booths and homemade cakes in the front case. Drinking coffee from what she would swear is her grandmother’s old china. A couple of older men sit in their regular booth across the room. For her, this a sacred place to journal her thoughts for characters in her next book. She sits and reflects on the warm, southern air and simple décor around her. The coffee is not the best she has ever had but she doesn’t mind. To her it only adds to the experience of a different time and place where characters were only complicated for the sake being complicated.
The diner serves a purpose. A safe place for quiet reflection and creation. Here her inspiration feels easy and is where she is inspired to write. She is drawn to specific places where she can quietly observe true characters of life that shape her work.
Over the years, Melissa learned to recognize her inspiration and what her mind and body needed to become her creative self. An environment where she has the time to reflect on these observations and recognize even the tiniest of details that may even make their way into her stories.
Collaborate and brainstorm using support
When you are feeling less than inspired or even when an idea is challenging lean on your support. Spending time with another creative thinker or coach is a great way to renew your inspired energy. Often even collaborating with someone on their own ideas can create the mindset you need to move your own ideas forward.
Anna wanted so badly to move forward with this idea of becoming a writer and while she saw inspiration in many areas of her life; she was stuck. Anna would get a moment of inspiration that brought to her a title; “one-liners”
she would call them. But without more than a title and vague sense of the message she found herself carrying these ideas around without knowing how to go about writing them. So she immediately called her best friend and artist Page. Spending time collaborating with Page always brought out Anna’s creative energy with intense conversations. They would design everything from new pet charity events, magazine articles to iPhone apps and more. And even though the ideas were not directly related to Anna’s creative issues the time with her friend was always fun and exciting which gave her renewed energy she needed begin writing.
In Anna’s case she is self-coaching. She was mindful of where she was and how she was feeling and recognizing her friend as a resource for support and knowing she needed a change; she took the step she needed to move herself forward.