I went to bed early last night, feeling a little under the weather (impending cold methinks) with no clue as to what today’s post would be about. That’s never happened to me before. I usually write a post about something that I’ve mulled over for a few days, done some research about, made some notes on and felt inspired to share with you.

That inspiration never came this week and despite having a number of potential posts rattling around my head, none felt ready to share. It’s a funny thing, writing. I often know that there is a topic I want to talk about but it has to be the right time to share it. Sometimes my thoughts and ideas aren’t fully formulated and sometimes I’m just not really feeling it, the writers and creatives amongst you can hopefully relate.

This got me thinking about inspiration. What is it? Where does it come from? And what should we do when it feels like inspiration is eluding us? As I mulled these questions over, I couldn’t help smiling to myself as I witnessed inspiration in action.

So what is it?

For me, inspiration is one of those elusive things that people yearn for and struggle to keep hold of once it arrives. It’s ever moving and highly prized and yet when you ask people what exactly it is, most people would struggle to give you a stock definition.

In my mind it’s something I need in order to create and it’s something that once received I can then pass on to others. So for example, I might be inspired to write something that then inspires others to do something that might inspire others to change something.

Inspiration is something we share. Something that runs through all of us and something that we have no rights to. We can’t hold inspiration or own it and therefore we must be grateful for it when it flows through us and be sure that we then use it to inspire others.

Where does it come from?

For me most of my inspiration comes from life. Just living and learning and experiencing all that life has to offer. Sometime it comes from something somebody has said to me or a particular conversation that gets me thinking. Sometimes it comes from something I’ve read or something I’ve seen on TV or in a film and often it’s a combination of all these things.

It is difficult to inspire others to accomplish what you haven’t been willing to try ~ Confucius

To further explain the ‘feeling it’ comment I made earlier I think this quote from Confucius helps. When there is a topic I want to write about but don’t yet feel ready, I’ve learnt that it’s because I haven’t fully gone there myself yet or because there is still more for me to learn on the subject. Like this post for example. I wouldn’t have been able to write a post about inspiration until I myself had found myself in a position where I felt inspiration threatening to elude me.

Don’t chase it  

I’ve talked to a number of bloggers over the past year about my blogging schedule. For those of you that might not know, I write a post every Wednesday and have done so since I first launched this blog back in May, sometimes, when inspiration abounds, I also write a weekend post. I’m particularly proud of myself for sticking to this schedule and not once have I failed to write something that for me felt important to share.

However, I’ve heard from other people that they have failed to stick to a schedule and in trying to that they have spent time worrying in the run up to post day that they’ll have nothing to write.

What I noticed about myself this week is that when thoughts of my blogging deadline came up, I had no doubt that come Wednesday I would have a post to write. This has made me realize that the key to inspiration must be trust. If we chase inspiration it will surely run away but it we sit and wait with patience and faith then I believe it will always come.

It’s bigger than us

In researching inspiration, I came across two definitions:

  1. The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do something creative.
  2. A divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation.

I thought it interesting that one definition talks of process and another of divinity. I liked this. I’m somewhat of a process person, I like the idea that I can follow a process that will churn out a healthy dollop of inspiration at the end of it, but on reflection I don’t really believe that’s how it works.

I’m also not a religious person but I do believe that there is more to life than we can ever possibly know. Part of that for me is about trusting the universe and having faith that through trust I will have whatever I need in each and every moment. All I can ever do in life and with this blog is show up. Show up and start to write and have absolute faith that the words will come. As a result I never worry about post day.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader ~ John Quincy Adams

What I love most about inspiration is that it’s something we share with each other and in doing so I believe we can all be leaders.

What are your thoughts on inspiration? What have you felt inspired to do lately? Or what have you inspired someone else to do? I’d love to hear your thoughts. As ever, if you like the post please do share it with others, you never know it might inspire someone to inspire someone 🙂