(image: Nine Muses dancing with Apollo, by Baldassare Peruzzi)
You wake up. You had a great night sleep. You’re humming a song. The coffee has never tasted so good. The sun is out. You drive somewhere and hit every green light. You find a great parking place. You sit down to write (or maybe garden, take photos, played with the kids). Everything is in flow. You know the kind of day I’m talking about? This is the day where nothing can bring you down and everything you need to do is done. You’ve been visited by your Muse and been inspired!!
We all need inspiration. When you’re inspired, anything is possible. When you’re inspired, you are in flow. You don’t just need inspiration if you’re in a creative job.
No matter what our job, whether it’s creative or not, we all work and live better on the days when the cares of the world drop off and we’re in sync with life.
I love the literal definition of Inspiration from ancient Greek to “breathe in the spirit of the gods”. Greek and Roman mythology explains that all creativity came via a Muse. There were nine Muses, all daughters of Zeus. (image: Muse reading a scroll, the Louvre)
• Clio – the muse of history
• Euterpe – the muse of flute and musical instruments
• Thalia – the muse of comedy and science
• Melpomene – the muse of tragedy
• Terpsichore – the muse of dance and poetry
• Erato – the muse of the lyre and love poetry
• Urania – the muse of astronomy
• Polyhymnia – the muse of sacred songs and the art of mimic
• Calliope – the muse of epic poetry and eloquence, and the superior muse
The Muses inspired writing, art, the sciences, song, theater, dance and mathematics. They breathed creativity into mortals from the gods.
In modern times, inspiration is an influence which results in creative work or in productivity. The muse is considered the mysterious source of inspiration found somewhere deep inside us, somewhere within our spirit.
Each of us has ways to become inspired and get our juices flowing. Last week I wrote about slowing down to do some of the things I loved after an electricity outage. I took a mini vacation which I’ve continued to do this week. I’ve complied a list of ways to stir your inner muse and get inspired:
2. Inspirational and motivational quotes – This is a biggie for me which is why I put together a book of quotes (The Zen Mama’s Book of Quotes) and I put at least one inspirational quote a day on my Facebook page….for myself and for my readers. I also recommend ZenSational Living’s Facebook page.
3. Books – There are so many inspirational books. Here are several that should be on your shelf:
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch – for following your dreams
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran – for beautiful prose
Mitten Strings For God by Katrina Kennison – for overwhelmed mothers
Peace Is Every Step by Thict Nat Hahn – for mindfulness in life
4. Blogs – I read many inspirational blogs! Here are just a few that you will love:
Powered By Intuition
The Bold Life
The Self Improvement Saga
The Possibility of Today
5. Nature – Often it sounds cliche to find inspiration in nature but I love to watch sunsets, sunrises, light hitting a mountains, the sounds of water either in a stream or ocean tide or looking at the little things in nature like shells and flowers. This morning I went outside in the sprinkling rain and breathed in the spring air. Use your 5 senses when you’re in searching for inspiration in nature.
6. Music – We all have music that stirs our souls. Music is a big part of inspiration!
7. Exercise – There is nothing like getting your blood flowing through exercise. It amazing how after exercise your mind becomes fresh again.
8. Art - I find great inspiration in art and photography. I love museums or art galleries for just this reason. And I love creating my own art through my photography or just making a project with my preschoolers. If you’re interested in creating your own photography, please visit Some Girl’s Website for her “how to” photography series.
9. Your passion - When you’re working at your life’s work/passion, you often find it easier to feel inspired.
10. The amazing people in your life – I’m inspired by by people I know and some of the amazing things they’re doing. I’m inspired by children I teach and the wonderful way they see the world as creative and wondrous. I’m inspired by conversations my children and husband. I’m very much inspired by YOU, my readers.
I have my own story of inspiration! This story is my muse for this post!! A friend, Julie, gave her friend my book, HOW TO BE A ZEN MAMA. Her friend in turn and gave it to her yoga teacher. Now her yoga teacher reads passages each week to her attendees. They laugh, get teary eyed and are inspired. In turn, I’m inspired by them. This is my “pay-check”, my muse and my inspiration to continue writing. It’s the business I’ve always wanted to be in…the “inspiration” business.
By the way, inspiration is not a one time deal. I believe you need to be creating and giving inspiration daily.
Have fun being an instrument for creativity. Maybe you’ll be an inspiration for others!
Where do you find your inspiration? I’d love to hear below!
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