Random periods of time, but especially during winter, I fall into those lapses where inspiration evades me. Once I was dancing around streets, pointing out every flower and bird carrying a cake crumb and bright yellow windowsill, and now I walk down the street in a daze. When I fall into these ruts, the world looks different. Less promising, less exciting, less enticing.
One thing leads to another, and because I am not inspired to create, I find myself binge watching Dexter or Breaking Bad again or gorging myself on sugary pop culture. Keep to myself in the same four walls for more of the day, because I look outside and see the rain dripping down and think, ick, I don't want to leave the comfort of my bed. And I wonder, why aren't I getting inspired? When will I get out of this rut?
Here is a little guide- for me as well as for you- for ways to pull ourselves out of this dead ditch where nothing interesting is happening, and life is passing us by. We all fall into this from time to time, and it does take a bit of effort to pull yourself out, but once you are on the other side it's back to creating, smiling at the little things, and authentically living.
You can do one of these a day for a week, or pick and choose ones that work the best for you, or do them all today (godspeed). But here are ways we can pull ourselves out of the dreaded inspiration rut.
- You Are What You Eat- In general, the Creative Pep Talk podcast is GREAT whenever you need a little kick to be creative, but this one episode in particular really brings things into perspective. OBVIOUSLY my time spent watching Dexter analyze blood spatter isn't going to inspire me to write or create or want to film, it's just going to make me want to click on the next episode and see if he ends up killing the guy. This podcast breaks it down into three categories, you are what you see, you are what you smell, and you are what you taste. If you are confused- listen to the podcast!
- Buy Yourself a Brand New Journal- My shelves are already lined with different patterned notebooks and every color of moleskin, but it can be a bit depressing trying to continue in a journal where previous passages are charged with inspiration. Give yourself the blank slate to start, a breath of fresh air, and create or write without any expectations.
- Watch ANY Wes Anderson film-This works for me every time. My favorites are The Life Aquatic and Moonrise Kingdom.
- Find some new music- Those songs that you already know all the words to are great, but they are mindless now. Listen to something that is going to excite you in a new way. I put together a new playlist for you on The Messy Heads sound cloud.
- Go Vintage Shopping- Head to an antique mall or local thrift store, coffee in hand. Even if you have no money to buy anything, just poking around at old painted dishes, masks, clip on earrings, and dial telephones will spark something of visual interest.
- Take a Class on Coursera- Whenever I am under stimulated by life, the best way to pull myself out is to learn something new. Some catching my eye- Music of the Beatles, How To Change the World, Seeing Through Photographs, and Dog Emotion & Cognition.
- Plan something out of the ordinary- Instead of the typical, "I don't care what we do" plan something with a friend. Go on an adventure. Go on a bike ride out in nature, visit a museum, try baking and decorating cupcakes from scratch, drive an hour out just to go get breakfast and see the trees blur by you. Just breaking routine cracks the surface and lets inspiration pour in.