Monday, January 24, 2011

Elusive Inspiration

Each new year many of us wake up with a thirst to make great things happen - in art and in life. We have great plans for the coming twelve months and really see that we have the opportunity to be focused, to share ourselves with the world, to create, to be better, and to really shine in our lives. At the same time that we are coming up with great plans, we also tend to remind ourselves that we have to be practical, pragmatic in our dreaming. We tell ourselves not to "boil the ocean" or to try to do too many things at once. We tell ourselves to remember how life can sweep us away without notice. We tell ourselves that the journey is the destination. And as we try to keep ourselves to "realistic and achievable" aspirations, we also try to keep our enthusiasm high, our dreams alive, our spirits engaged.

Managing all this dichotomy can sometimes actually dampen down inspiration if we aren't careful. Combine that with the normal days of a new year that pull and push and move us back into the "every day," and we can nearly lose our joy. Managing through the ups and downs of life while staying true to our artistic core is the challenge for every creative person.

Book Club recently chose a book - "My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey" by Jill Bolte Taylor." What a fascinating story. Though I am more a fan of reading escape literature, this true story kept me very interested. At age 37, Jill Taylor experienced a massive stroke. Blood vessels in the left hemisphere of her brain hemorrhaged and her brain was flooded with blood. All left brain functions were impacted and initially shut down. It took Jill eight years to fully recover from the stroke, and this book is about the stroke, what happened to her, her recovery, and what she learned about the left brain (which typically controls language, linear thought, logic, the ability to get along in the world, etc.) and right brain (creativity, emotion, empathy, joy) functions and the need we have to truly balance that focus - physically and emotionally - to be whole and to maximize our contribution and experience in the world.

Again, the emphasis on finding a way to balance - in our plans, in our creative joy, in our look at the new year, and even in our brains. Life becomes a juggling act in an even more fundamental way than just juggling picking up grand kids or making dinner. Thinking about all this can be overwhelming or delightfully amusing - maybe even inspiring. And I, for one, and constantly in search of the Elusive Inspiration, enjoying it wherever I can find it, teaching myself to hold on to it tightly and use it for every bit of creative juice I can.

As the thoughts of juggling everything to actually make things happen and enjoy them too run through my mind, I have also taken several practical steps to keeping inspiration firmly in front of me. First, I am participating in the "Sketchbook Challenge." Some of you may remember Sue Bleweiss. Sue is one of the leaders of this challenge, so you know it will be fascinating. I figure at a minimum this will keep my hand in something creative every month, and there is very little pressure. (Nice!) Second, I have decided to adopt laughter in every day moments. My animals (2 new puppies, 2 new kittens!) are helping out quite a bit here; however, this still takes a bit of reminding. I am already finding a kinder me for both myself and my family - and this way I am allowing the everyday moments to inspire.

Finally, I am regularly looking through the BBEST Team shops! We share some inspiring creations in our shops every day, to light the creative fires of everyone who sees them. Take a look -

Midnight Jewels Inspiration Book from Judy Nolan's shop

Mini Crazy Quilt ACEO for Pocket Inspiration from Pocket Comfort's shop

Burst of Joy Fused Glass Pendant from Chris's shop

Arctic Sky from SixSister's shop

Ballet Slippers on Piano Keys from Beth's shop

Silk Scarf from Mystic Silk's shop

Don't these beautiful items just make you want to get going and create?

Thanks to all our BBEST team for their inspiring creations, and here is to an inspired 2011 for each of us!


Judy Nolan said...

Good luck with your goals, Kimberly! You are so right about the need to balance "dichotomy" in order to not lose sight of inspiration. I visited the Sketchbook Challenge blog as a result of this post, and think this is something I might want to try. Thanks for the link, and thanks for including my Inspiration Book.

Ceci said...

balance and goals. Sometimes it eludes me. I signed up for the sketchbook project back in October I think. I have yet to sketch. Yikes

Pamela Baker said...

Who knows where are dreams will take us. Will we follow our passion or let reality take over?
Fly over the hill; take a deep breath; spread your wing and look all around. Let your dreams soar and you will a life unexpected.

Beautiful and thoughtful blog, each item was the result of someone's passion and dream!

Yankeegirl said...

Beautiful sentiment! Something to think about....I'm trying!

Julie G. said...

I would like to read that book, it sounds very inspiring. Great blog. Lovely creative choices.

On a Whimsey said...

Great post! Certainly makes you think and I love the selection from members of the BBEST team.

The Filigree Garden said...

It is difficult to balance our dreams and our daily lives. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and do nothing at all. It is helpful to have a group challenge as a motivator and sound-board. Have fun and be inspired!

Zuda Gay Pease said...

Wonderful post, Kimberly, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insights.

Anonymous said...

Lovely choices for this post. Balance is so difficult - but so important. Thoughtful post. Thanks

Judi said...

I am grappling with this right now myself - and appreciate the thoughts! Thanks for including PocketComfort too!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for including my piece in you
blog post. Love seeing all of the wonderful work
done by our team.