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Inspiration is all around us. Sometimes we just need a little help to notice it. Here are some ideas to spark your imagination! 

Space out

If you've tried to focus on something and the ideas just aren't coming, step away from what you're doing and do something completely unrelated -- take a shower, go for a walk and just let your thoughts wander. Your unconscious brain will continue to work on the problem and the idea may come to you at the most unexpected moment. 

Image by Priscilla Du Preez

I see it, do you?

Create a vision board. This can be as simple as magazine pictures cut out and pinned to the wall, or you can use an app like Canva to create sophisticated boards using images and colors. Having a visual reminder of your dreams can be a great way to stay connected to your higher self and not get sucked into things that waste your time and energy and aren't contributing to your dreams. 

Mood Board

Try something new

Challenge yourself to something completely new. If you're a painter, try sculpture. If you're a potter, try knitting, etc. This opens up the capacity of your brain to come up with new ideas. And, this is where some of the best 'blending' of creativity can happen. What happens when the potter starts knitting? Maybe the come up with a way to blend the two arts together and make knitted pottery....I mean, why not? Or, in the process of sculpting, the painter learns more about angles and depths as their hands create in 3-D. Sing, take a belly dancing class, improv -- whatever is new and different from what you normally do. Bonus points if it makes you a little scared!

Image by peter bucks

Call a friend

Sometimes the best way to get ideas flowing is to call a friend. Maybe it's someone who you haven't talked to in a while. Explain to them what you're working on and see if they have an idea spark. Then, let the conversation flow and see where it goes. It's okay to be in a complete fantasy brainstorm of ideas at this point. Don't worry about whether or not they are good or bad ideas -- just let them flow. The band Aerosmith held weekly 'Dare to Suck' meetings where they would try to come up with the worst ideas, and, you probably guessed it, that's exactly when the best ideas happened. Not every time, but enough to keep them on the charts for a very long time. So, I dare you to suck! <I mean that with all the love in my heart!>

talking on phones

Set limits

Creativity often happens within constraints, so set a timer and see how much you can get done before the bell goes off. You can do this with writing, art, organizing -- you name it. Just set a goal to do something in a time limit and see what happens. Or, if your not keen on a timed exercise, re-write a childhood story, but this time, each sentence needs to begin with the letter of the alphabet. Sentence 1 begins with A, sentence 2 begins with B, etc. This will really get your creativity to a new level!

Image by Nathan Dumlao

It's in your nature...

Or, it's in nature. However you like to think about it, getting out and into nature is a great boost for your mood and your creativity. But don't walk so fast that you miss the beauty in front of you. Challenge yourself to find something you've never seen before. Even if it's a path or sidewalk you've been down a hundred times, keep watch for something new. If you typically look down, make an effort to look up to see the tops of the trees. Alternatively, keep an eye out for tiny critters on the ground and watch them go about their day. 

Fog and Nature

Mental health

Meditation is like an amazing elixir for your brain! It keeps you in the present moment where your brain can really rest and make connections that you weren't originally aware of. The different parts of your brain actually learn to work together better when you meditate. Be warned, this can result in a massive download of super-awesome ideas so keep a notebook handy to jot them down after you come out of the meditative state. 

If you're new to meditating, there are a lot of apps you can download. You don't need anything fancy. Just a quiet place to sit and a timer. Start with just 5-10 minutes of quiet time with your eyes closed. If thoughts come into your mind, gently let them move along. I think of them as wisps of smoke just drifting off. It does get easier with time and practice but the benefits are life changing. 

Woman Meditating

Just do it

For some of us, there is nothing better than just sitting down and getting to work. The inspiration might not come until you're actually engaged in something and that's perfectly fine. Give it a try and see if it works for you. 

Image by Mike Petrucci

Thanks for participating in my inspiration type quiz. If you like this and want to see more, join my community using the newsletter submission below. I'll send periodic updates from my studio (well, let's be honest, my kitchen table) and more fun ways to unwind, explore and create. Creativity can happen anywhere and I'm here to remind you that your gifts do matter and the world needs them!

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