“Never lose a Holy curiosity.”
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
Curiosity is the battery pack for the development of our species. It is what fuels our ambitions and our tenacity of spirit. It motivates us in a surprising way–by exciting our thoughts of possibilities and giving us hope in our inventiveness. Without our innate curiosity, we would give up without trying or even thinking of trying. Without curiosity, there would be no wonderment; no exploration of anything new, perhaps not even love.
Although we are born with it, curiosity needs cultivating. By fanning the flames of your curiousity, you bring to life more positivity and inspiration. Like yeast to dough, curiosity has a way of increasing and expanding any element or concept which it is added to. You want to increase in knowledge? Begin with curiosity. Are you unsure how to go about something? Be curious. Don’t know what your purpose in life is? Follow your curiosity. Try something. Ponder. Explore. Poke about a bit and see what you find.
Now add Holiness into the mix. Be still. Be silent. Pray. Meditate. Pick up your tool of choice. Your camera. Your pen. Paintbrush. Keyboard. Use your hands to create. Your feet to explore. Your mind to think. Your heart to ponder.
I know that this is unusual for what you would expect for a Freedom Friday post. However, since Freedom Friday is all about unleashing your creativity and getting some inspiration, I wanted to share this video from Akiane Kramarik because it captures an artist in the throes of inspiration. I have often seen people when they are overtaken by inspiration. They speak with a sense of awe which makes you feel that suddenly you are standing on holy ground. I have been following this talented artist since she was a child and know that even when she was very young, she often got up in the middle of the night to paint. You see, when inspiration beckons her, she gets up and follows it. There really is ‘no time’ to be creative. There may be ‘little time’ but not ‘no time’. How serious are you about your craft? Serious enough to pray for time even if it calls you out of bed?
You can view Akiane’s works of art through the years here.
Recently, the wonderfully inspiring author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things published a new book for aspiring writers. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Big Magic is her first self-help book and as is as witty and humorous as Eat, Pray, Love. I took it with me on my solo trip to the Isle of Eigg and it was the perfect book to bring for those long rainy days when I couldn’t get out but needed some inspiration and motivation to write. I haven’t read other books about writing but I am sure after reading this that this is in a class of its own. When I first started reading it I thought that I probably wasn’t going t get much out of it but I was still loving EG’s style. She writes like she is speaking to a friend in the room. Big Magic is written openly and honestly and so therefore rather courageously I thought. One of the things which impacted me was the way she expressed the magical things that sometimes happen when one if writing. Perhaps some will scoff when they read about her theory that inspiration is floating around looking for creative people to birth these ideas or perhaps some will think, it’s a good enough explanation as any. Elizabeth Gilbert offers quite a lot of sage advice as well as some wonderful personal anecdotes. I was totally wrong when I thought I would get nothing from it but an enjoyable read. This book is extremely encouraging and so much fun to read. At times she had me chuckling to myself and even laughing out loud. I was so inspired to write for the pure joy of writing that I ended up having an encounter of my own with ‘big magic’. I wrote (or perhaps channeled) a short story of over 5000 words without hardly a pause except it was getting late and I was fighting sleep to keep going. It was an exhilarating experience which I won’t forget. I am not saying that if you read Ms. Gilbert’s book, you will also have a magical experience. Read the book because it is an enjoyable book or because you have lost that spark you use to have and need some igniting.
Photo by Marilylle Soveran
One day, while I was on the Isle of Eigg and surrounded by beautiful and partly majestic nature, I found myself (strangely enough) sitting on the bench outside the house contemplating the clover. I wrote these thoughts down.
No matter where I have lived or what places I have visited, I have always seen clover. Those little flowers that magically grow everywhere unaided and having not been planted by anyone. They grow abundantly. You mow your lawn and they spring up again, faster than the grass grows. They are food to many creatures. Here on Eigg, I have noticed that the wild rabbits really seem to like them. I have seen dozens of wild rabbits here though there are probably hundreds and yet still there always seem to be clover about. Sometimes I fail to even notice them but when I look they are everywhere.
Inspiration is like that. Although we may often feel it is not there often enough, it is actually there in abundance waiting to be noticed, plucked and utilized to whatever purpose. Sometimes, you have to quiet your soul, relax and search or feel for it. Like the clover, it pops up in random places. It most readily happens when you are holding your tool of choice: a paintbrush, a pen, a camera or when wearing your dancing shoes. It is not much good trying to force inspiration to come. Harder still if you feel stress and your thoughts are in a jumble. For me, inspiration comes when I feel most at home inside myself, when I touch upon my inner joy or more accurately, connect within to the source of love. It is not enough to have one’s eyes open as it is to have the eyes of our heart open. We don’t have to worry about our lack of inspiration. Like the clover, it is everywhere, abundantly. If the rabbits can find clover, you can find inspiration.
Close your eyes.
Take deep, slow breaths. Take notice of your breathing. Do not control it. Just witness that you are breathing without effort and it is bringing oxygen into your cells. Like the clover, like the breath, inspiration is readily available. Naturally. Within us. We can trust in that. It is part of us and it is a gift from God. Offer yourself as praise back to God. Stay in that moment. Notice the inner joy that comes to you. When you open your eyes, do not be distracted by the mundane. Stay in silence. Do not check your emails. Pick up your tool instead and then allow what is within to birth from you.