“If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.” ~Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book

It’s always amazing to me where I find inspiration. From driving around, to a story in the news, to the own inner workings of my mind, ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. Yet, having the time to do anything with that inspiration is another story. Or, shall I say making the time to do something with that inspiration…

After succumbing to some of the stresses of my life over the last few weeks, I realized I haven’t been doing as much with my inspiration lately as I would like. I found myself griping about all the “shoulds” and “have to’s” on my to-do list, and lamenting the days when I had time to let an idea just unfold, whether it was working on an article, book, song, etc. A while ago, when I was having a long pity party, my son looked at me and simply said “if it’s that important to you, you should spend at least two hours a week doing it.” Out of the mouths of babes. Why didn’t I think of that? Truth is, I had, but rather than just acting on it, I was spending time stuck in all the things keeping me from what I wanted to do. Does that ever happen to you?

Do you ever notice that it seems to take much more energy complaining than it does doing something to change the situation? I know it does for me. Yet it is easy to fall into the illusion that complaining is helping. That is not to say that venting about a difficult situation isn’t helpful. It sure can be to alleviate some of the pent up feelings. But when venting becomes frequent and is just a rehashing of the same things, it can become destructive and unhealthy.

The trick is to get yourself out of that stuck place and into the space where inspiration lives again. Although it can seem like a monumental task (which is another illusion), it may simply be a matter of changing your mind.

Here’s some things to try that may help you jump start your inspiration and get out of that stuck place:

  1. Use seemingly wasted time, like waiting in the doctor’s office, to do something you want to do, like read a book, listen to music, meditate, or write a letter. Be prepared by always carrying a bag of things you want to do.
  2. Identify someone who is supportive of you and meet them for coffee or lunch to discuss what you want to do (not what you don’t).
  3. Change your scenery. Go to the park, the zoo, or somewhere you don’t go to very often (especially in nature). Sometimes a simple change of surroundings can shift your energy and mood and get you back in touch with what is important to you.
  4. Tell your stress to take a vacation. Declare a specific amount of time, 5 minutes to start, as “no-stress” time. Dare to dream, hope, visualize, etc. the life you want for yourself.
  5. Remember this is your life. Not your employer’s life, not the economy’s life, not your parents’ or partner’s life. If you don’t own it, someone or something else will.

Instead of spending your precious time and energy focused on what you don’t want, make an effort to focus on what you want. I bet you’ll notice a difference. And I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below.

Photo: Light Bulb © by olga.belobaba

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