August 28, 2017
“Mary did not ask where the library was,
because she was
SUDDENLY INSPIRED by a new idea.”
Becky, with LitWits, recently wrote about how my great great grandmother Frances and her classic stories had influenced her life. And like Mary from The Secret Garden, I was suddenly inspired when I read the words below from her blog titled Forget Her Nots.
“Would I love the smell of damp earth and the idea of a cozy garret fire as much
if Keri’s great great grandmother hadn’t visualized them for me first?”
Becky’s words got me thinking about inspiration, where it comes from, and when it happens. Frances, just by sharing her stories, inspired me, Becky and millions of others to create garden spaces, fall in love with flowers, paint garden doors, and believe in the magic of growing things. But do you think any of her readers expected to be inspired when they read the first few pages of The Secret Garden? Probably not, but thank goodness we all kept reading!
Inspiration is all around us, but rarely do we know when or where it will strike. Frances knew this too, using the phrase “SUDDEN INSPIRATION” three more times in The Secret Garden.
Are you ever surprised when inspiration strikes?
Inspiration is constantly jumping out and tugging me in new directions. For example, MY GARDEN MELTDOWN blog began as a simple book review of FHB’s fairy-tale The Land of the Blue Flower. I was just typing along, making great progress, when I reread her quote about ugly thoughts…and BAM! With just one line…I was SUDDENLY INSPIRED to dig deeper and instead write a completely different blog about the ugly thoughts that were threatening to ruin my garden loving heart.
It was not intentional…and it seems to me that INSPIRATION rarely is. Can you be intentionally inspired? Can inspiration be forced? I don’t think so, but perhaps there are things we can do to put ourselves more directly into the path of inspiration more often.
Because whether we like it or not…we are all inspired and influenced every day by the very people, places and things with which we surround ourselves…good or bad.
Take me for example:
If I see the bag of Cheetos…I am inspired to eat them. If I see my guitar, I am inspired play it more. And if I hear any 1990’s rap music…more often than not, I will be inspired to dance to it. (it is my love language after all)
But if I don’t…
- leave the Cheetos out on the counter top
- keep my guitar in a place where I will see it every day
- or turn on the right station of music while I cook in the kitchen…
…my chances for the sudden inspirations (or in the case of the Cheetos…craving) to EAT, PLAY, and DANCE…will go way down. But just by putting myself directly onto the paths where my inspiration tends to travel, I can change those odds significantly in my favor.
4 WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF BEING INSPIRED
If you are low on inspiration and feeling stuck, consider these 4 ways to increase your chances of a strike!
1. LOOK for IT
Tesla sang the lyrics, “Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs”…and I would add inspiration. Look around you, it’s there! And just by keeping your eyes and heart open, you will increase your chances for a sudden burst of inspiration.
Where will you look and suddenly see it today?
2. SLOW DOWN to SEE IT
If you are too busy, it is nearly impossible to be inspired by anything around you. This is because your eyes can’t be open to spot inspiration…when they are hard fixed on “the next thing” on your to do list. When I was buried in busyness, going a million miles an hour, inspiration could have hit me head-on and I wouldn’t have recognized it as anything but a bug on my windshield. Today I leave space in my days, to ensure that I have not only the time, but also the energy, to chase down inspiration when it comes flying by.
What can you take off of your to-list to make room for inspiration?
3. STEP OUT for IT
Routine is the enemy of inspiration. So, get out of your box and do something different! Travel, take a different route to work, or try something you have never done before!
Once a year, in November, I step out of my regular mom life to immerse myself in the soul filling women’s creative retreat at LUCKY STAR ART CAMP on the banks of the Guadalupe River. At camp I am introduced to new faces and friends, take classes in things I never dreamed I could learn, and listen to speakers who push me outside my comfort zone and inspire me to grow.
It was here that I was SUDDENLY Inspired:
–To write my first words in over 20 years when I signed up for a How To Write a Story class taught by Secret Garden super-fan and talented author Katherine Center.
–To GO FOR MY DREAMS as I watched my friend, creator of Lucky Star Lisa Field, make her own dream of hosting a women’s camp…a magical reality.
–To stand up and share my dream publicly by Slow Family Living writer and speaker Bernadette Noll… which in turn exposed me to so many others who encouraged and validated my budding idea.
–To commit to writing daily by my camp friend Danielle Davies, who urged me to join her in a 100 days of writing challenge, which became the fuel that reignited by love of words.
If I didn’t make time to get out of my daily grind and sign up for camp, FHB and Me would still be buried inside.
How can you STEP OUT of your box this month or year to increase your chances of an encounter with inspiration?
4 . CONNECT MORE for IT
Consider spending more intentional time with the friends, family, and others who tend to inspire you…and perhaps spending less time with those who don’t.
How? Make it a date! Pencil it in! Commit to regular coffee dates, walks in the park, or weekly Skype calls to connect more often with those who inspire you. The time spent will pay off for both of you!
Two things keep me connected and primed with inspiration: weekly coffee with my girl tribe, and spending time each day with my biggest inspiration: God. Now I am not talking about the traditional church going, song singing, pot luck bringing type of time. I am talking about a fun and ever-changing mix of devotional reading, journal page filling, Crayola marker highlighting, inspiration tracing and coloring in my Bible kind of time. I intentionally devote about an hour a day and more on Sunday, to hanging out with him…where I never cease to be suddenly inspired. You can follow my personal pages on social media where I post some of my inspiration ah-ha’s from time to time. (Find me on Instagram: Keri Wilt or on Facebook: Keri Deupree Wilt)
- Most of my blogs begin right here, in the quiet…when I am suddenly inspired by a devotion, a verse, or while I am journaling about something I am going through.
Who inspires you?
Will you commit to connecting more with them this month? Pencil it in!
Friends, inspiration is everywhere! So Open Our Eyes, Slow Down a Bit, Step Outside of Your Routines and Connect, …because you just never know when inspiration will strike next!
Suddenly inspired by each of you,
FHB and Especially Me
P.S. Were you “suddenly inspired” by Frances or any of her books?
How did they move you, change you, or even rescue you? How do they still inspire you today?
These are just a few of the stories we want to share on FHB and Me! Will you tell us your story? We can’t wait to read them and perhaps, with your permission, share them with the rest of the FHB and Me family!
Simply put your stories in the comments section below, or CLICK HERE to email them to us directly.
P.S.S. You can read Becky’s from LitWits full blog by clicking here: Forget Her Nots.
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