What lights you up? And when was the last time you indulged in that?
We asked that first question during an intentional girl's night last summer. Each person that shared that night talked about the little details of an interest that might bore others, but got them to come to life. That's what our individual inspiration does: It lights the fire inside of us, gives us energy, motivates us, and brings us back to life.
Last night, I was feeling the opposite. I was feeling uninspired, frustrated, and stuck. It's amazing how inspiration doesn't just apply to creative work, it quickly becomes a filter for how I live my life--interactions with my family, upkeeping our home, getting work done, and connecting with others.
So, I spent a little time with the things that light me up. For me, that's simple designs, timeless font pairings, lots of white space, and simple emotion-filled images. I don't always know what to do with those particular interests or if God has something in mind for them. I do know that occasionally indulging in them can refresh my creativity and even ignite other areas of my life.
There is a light inside of you waiting to be lit. You may already know what it is and just need to spend some time with it and let it revive you. Or, you may need to spend some time discovering what gets you excited and makes you feel alive. Use the following list to uncover or rekindle your own inner light.
5 Ways to Get Inspired
If you're not sure what lights you up, or you haven't indulged in that in a long time, here are 5 ideas to awaken that inspiration and to relight that fire.
1. Look for ImagesWe don't have to be visual learners to respond strongly to images. They can evoke emotions in us that mere words or ideas can't. So, go on an image hunt. Flip through some magazines or picture books at the bookstore; browse through some Instagram feeds; scroll Pinterest. Like when creating an inspiration board, this is less about the tiny details and more about the mood that surfaces when you look. Which images, magazines, or feeds get you excited? Which gets your mind flowing with ideas or motivation? You could buy the magazine or book, Pin some images, follow the Instagrammer, or even create an actual inspiration board or smaller collage.
2. Go OutdoorsEven if you're not an outdoorsy person, breathing in fresh air and experiencing the season can awaken our senses along with our inspiration. Beyond being one with nature, also consider how you prefer to enjoy the outdoors. Is there a sport or activity you're drawn to? Does fresh air make you want to go somewhere, do something, or just sit and enjoy? Are you drawn to certain scenery, or the smaller details of leaves, or simply the company you're with? Even if what lights us up isn't directly found in the outdoors, routine time outside can still help refresh and inspire us.
3. Slow DownSome of what causes us to lose our inspiration and inner light is the mere busyness of life. We have to go and do and stay connected all day long, there's hardly time to consider what lights us up or even spend time on it. In the process, we're kind of losing ourselves along with that fading light. Spend some time intentionally slowing down. Make the time to cook a homemade meal and eat it at the dining table. Draw out the bedtime routine for you and/or your kids to include a long bath and reading before bed. Unplug for a full day to be more aware of your surroundings. What do you wish you had more time for? What have you been too busy to notice about yourself or your surroundings? Slowing these simple daily activities may not directly inspire you, but they will offer the space needed to be inspired.
4. Try Something NewI've been reading a lot about the importance of saying "no" in order to go deeper into fewer and more important "yeses." However, there are times when a surprise "yes" is equally important. A new routine, going someplace new, trying a new recipe, making a new friend. Great opportunities are often waiting down new paths. What have you always wanted to try? What's keeping you from it? You won't know if you like something until you try it, and maybe that ends up being the thing that lights you up, or maybe it will lead there.
5. ReadI get that we're not all readers. Until a few years ago, I wasn't either. Then I learned that I wasn't "a reader" because I wasn't reading things that lit me up. Once I started finding the books and topics I was passionate about, I couldn't stop reading and my list of books to read keeps growing. What do you like to read? What books do you return to? If you don't know, pick up a book different from what you normally read. The books we read don't have to directly relate to our interest, but the process of reading (even novels or sci-fi) can give us perspective, inspire us, bring us back to life, and refresh our thinking. Still not a reader? Consider listening to a podcast or browsing blog posts that interest you.
It's worth considering what lights you up, then spend time on it. We don't have to know exactly what to do with those interests, and they may not lead to an income or other measurable outcome. We just need to acknowledge them and be willing to follow the path a little. Perhaps these are little God-given lights to shine for Him if we'd stop covering them over or ignoring them. He created us this way, why not see what happens when we ask Him to finish lighting the fire He put in us.
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