There’s a pull. We’re drawn to inspiration. Once we’ve absorbed it, pulling it back out of ourselves can be troublesome. Being able to recognize its existence within us is a skill in need of practice.
The basis of inspiration builds up within us and its permanent residence may cause new additions to be overlooked. “Oh, I’ve painted plenty of trees, why bother paint another just because I have a sudden inclination to?” Well, can we remember our last connection to paint or trees? It may have been in passing, but it may have been a relevant piece of powerful inspiration. Our instincts try to initiate the recall but we must fulfill our task of recognition.
Having a creative urge is an honour. Remember the feeling of a blank mind and blank page and tap into gratitude, why minimize or shame a thought which may become grand? The experiences of our life are coursing through us in a cycle of inspiration.
The happenings happen to us and are absorbed into our porous mind, sucking everything in and squeezing it all back out.
Recognizing creative potential may be an instinctive trait of problem solving humans but less easily do we trust ourselves. No longer are we the apes noticing the uses for a heavy rock or a bent stick. The static interference of capitalist society warps our soul’s values— “This isn’t profitable, consumable, other people don’t want to see this, this isn’t useful.”
Recognizing usefulness is an innate skill. We simply begin misunderstanding the definition and view value through an unproductive lense. This lens causes us to stall, become bogged down with economics and insecurity. We believe a lie, that to be productive we must be marketable (or at least doing what others think we should be doing). I often fall prey to it.
These thoughts come to us in everyday life. I work for my family in a greenhouse and at times I feel guilty in my freetime doing maintenance on my own plants, because if I wanted, I could clock in and do work on the business’s plants. I owe it to myself and to the lives in my personal care to take the time for myself.
Our creativity is deserving of energy. Silly little impulses are worth exploring. Something within has recognized something valuable. Distorted mindsets will always try to sabotage our train of thought. It’s time for us to take a leap of faith and trust that inspiration will catch us. If our negative self-talk says an idea is repetitive, childish, pretentious, niche, amateur, fragile, we’re about to learn.
Maybe the idea will become a magnum opus finished piece, maybe it won’t. The idea might just be a stepping stone to something else, but there’s a chance that the next internal urge will get the same assessment as our last. “Not good enough.” Fuck it. Often nothing will be good enough. Nothing. Is that what we want to do?
We don’t want to do nothing. Our recognition software has a target. Some part of us has something it wants to do, why deny it? We’re so good at denying recognition, it’s time to practice something else.
I’ve recognized and denied how I’ve adopted some of my parents’ behaviours, how I set myself up for failure when I’m terrified of success, how I use addictions to sustain me and take artificial control of my mind, and denial has brought me no gains. When life conspires to cause blockages beyond our control, why self impose them?
We’re drawn to truth, we just hold back from finally making contact. Creative ideas come and go, but we let them go.
The moment after recognition when inspiration strikes is up to us.
Expect the negative thoughts to pop up. Prepare for them. In a moment of inspiration, I always seem to forget the routine and get caught off guard. ‘The zone’ is not impenetrable, it just feels that way when we’re in it. When the first hovering thoughts appear, remember that it’s often a child-self. This inner child doesn’t want us to get hurt. Treat them kindly, but remind them of the important work we’re doing. “Thank you for your concern, I know you’re only worried about me, but I recognize a lot of potential in this creative thought and wish to explore it further.”
The inspiration likely came from a child-self as well, a fair point to remind the worrywart, “no takesy backsies.” Be patient though. Be gentle. We will be able to quickly move on and follow the creative train of thought. The stricter, the more stubborn, the longer it will take to feel free to investigate a creative idea.
Creativity is a vulnerable process and self soothing often is a vital tool. To make the most of recognition, we have to be willing to breathe and be and accept. Give in to the pull. Follow where inspiration takes you.