What Inspires You and How Do You Stay Inspired?
Updated: Feb 5, 2019
Keep a green bough in your heart and the singing bird will come. (Chinese Proverb)
Have you ever just made a list of the things that energize you? I mean the small things, easily practiced inside of a week: taking a walk, watching a foreign film, building something cool with legos, baking a giant chocolate cake, playing Codenames with friends…these could all fit into the “Schole” category as I understand it. And it’s just so good to know what makes you breathe a little slower and deeper and what makes you feel you are really living. I wrote a song many years ago that had the line in it, “This is really living, Lord, what You are doing in me now.”
20 years later, I still think that. I still think that inspiration for living comes from holding your mind inside the present moment and within the boundaries of the question of “How do I stay inspired?” We ought to be seriously searching for answers but also habitually asking - after all, we change. What inspired us last month or ten years ago may be need to put aside for a time, or forever.
I love that proverb, “Keep a green bough in your heart and the singing bird will come” and I love it because it puts the impetus on me to cultivate some space, to keep a grateful posture in my life for serendipity.
And I also like what Jack London says about it: “Don’t loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don’t get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it.” He sounds like he lived his stories: high energy and tight focus.
In 2019, I am open heartedly examining everything around me for inspiration. I am picking up items and relationships and questioning my daily habits and deeply grooved thoughts. And I am looking for ways to keep a green bough in my heart, no matter what the future holds. If no singing bird alights, I trust that he will come eventually, but today my duty is to keep feeding nutrients into the soil of the bough’s tree roots. And that’s where inspiration becomes a circle: it’s certainly not a static straight line; it goes around and around and around and around again.