I’ve heard it said many times that inspiration is all around us – but more often than not, I get bogged down with everything else happening in my life and I forget to take the time to notice the things all around us that can inspire us. Or (and I’m not sure which is worse),
I appreciate it in the moment but don’t take that inspiration with me as I move forward.
Do you know what I mean? As time has gone on, I’ve become better at noticing the moment – at being mindful. I notice and appreciate the colour of the leaves as they change or the weird little mushrooms that are springing up right now – but then as I walk away from the spot and move on with my day – that’s it – life goes on.
This is something I am making a conscious effort to change. In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron says “The artist brain is the sensory brain: sight and sound, smell and taste, touch. These are the elements of magic, and magic is the elemental stuff of art.”
So, I have been making a point of immersing myself even more in my experiences, especially on the weekend. This past weekend, when I took my pup Quilla out for her walks, I deliberately slowed down. I paused to pay attention to what I saw – I took paths we don’t take on our daily walks to avoid going into autopilot – I listened to the sound of leaves crunching beneath my shoes and of the water flowing in the creek we live by. I gathered up some shale rock to paint – something that I haven’t done in a while.
The weekend before, I visited an outdoor sale held by Bindaas Artists and took in their various forms of creativity. I spoke to the artists to get to know them and learn a little about what inspires them. From the artist who has had faces suddenly emerge from the paint day-to-day on their canvases, to the artist who writes a poem before starting her painting to inspire her work and keep her focused, to the artist who has been experimenting with painting with a pallet knife and is considering incorporating henna art that she used to do into her pieces.
By allowing myself to go deeper into these experiences, I have found that the inspiration goes deeper and lasts longer. I find myself remembering them as I move forward with my week – when the day to day monotony gets to me, I allow myself to reconnect with these experiences and find myself writing or drawing an idea that pops into my mind.
And this leads me to encourage you to allow yourself to experience your mindful moments a little bit deeper. It takes some practice but believe me – it's worth it. Inspiration is out there – go out there and find it!