Three Reasons You Might Be Feeling Uninspired
These past few months I've been feeling very uninspired.
That's very alarming for someone who has basically built her brand about inspiration for the past decade. Over the years I've had periods where my inspiration has waned and I haven't felt as eager to create content - or do anything but "sit and think". These past few months have been filled with very disturbing news from immigrants and refugee children being treated horribly to school shootings (one town over from me) to the stresses of my own daily life. I think many people who are highly sensitive and really want to help with our culture issues also feel the weight of what's happening in our country...and it can really suck up your inspiration.
I'm finally coming out of my funk and this time around I was able to pin point a few reasons why it started in the first place. I wanted to share with you three reasons I think my inspiration went on a vacation.
1. I was feeling burned out.
I think there could be a possibility that I was feeling burned out from creating content. Since the beginning of the year I was cranking out content on a weekly basis and not really feeling like I was seeing the growth that I wanted to see when it came to my blog or newsletter. Even though this shouldn't be about numbers I was really wondering if the content I was creating was making a difference to the people I was sending it out to. Sometimes it can be discouraging being on the other end and feeling like it's a one way conversation. However, there are moments when someone will send me an encouraging email or note on Facebook that keeps me going. I have to remember that, I too, consume content that does impact me without always communicating with the creator.
I've also had the wonderful opportunity to have found distribution for my short films. However, there was a crazy period where I was hustling like a mad woman to get all of my deliverables together so that my films would be ready for publishing. Event though it was incredibly hard work it was really rewarding and I learned a TON about deliverables necessary for distributing a film.
2. I wasn't using my gifts.
If you've taken one of those many spiritual gift tests you will know what I'm talking about. God tells us that He has given us each a special gift meant to benefit our brothers and sisters. When you don't use those gifts you can start to feel listless and restless. It took a while before it dawned on me that I wasn't using my gift of leadership or encouragement as much as I needed. I tend to be on the extremes when wanting opportunities to use my gifts and talents. I either wait for something to come to me (which I don't do as much anymore) or I start doing everything all the time for everyone. From past experience I KNOW that both of those aren't the smartest approaches. So I found myself in the "I'm not doing anything" zone. It finally dawned on me that I should ask God for opportunities to use my gifts in the way that He sees fit.
After hearing how the children and parents were being separated at our borders my heart was so broken as a parent. It doesn't matter what your political opinion is, if you are a parent you can imagine the horror of losing your children. I prayed and asked God to use my gift somehow. I struggle sometimes that my gifts and talents lie in the arts and not in medicine or counseling. But by God's grace He has use for me.
After a week or so of this praying, God opened a door where I was asked to write and direct a piece centered around mental health. Mental health seems to be a very huge struggle for the youth in our area and has affected one of my children as well. I've felt so motivated about this project and I'm so grateful this opportunity.
3. Not sleeping well.
Sleep has ALWAYS been a struggle for me. Even as a kid I would have trouble falling asleep and when I did I was a very light sleeper. Now that I've been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis I know how important it is that I get a good night's sleep because without it, I get flare ups of extreme pain and fatigue. But knowing it's important doesn't mean it will happen. I can pin point the down turn of sleep quality to when my oldest kids got out of school for the summer. I thought that I could sleep in past 5:30am a few times and that turned into more times and threw off the schedule I had cultivated for the past 9 or 10 months of waking up at 5:30 am. When you're body is depleted of sleep, it's hard to feel inspired or focused on anything else.
Another thing that fell to the wayside with the lack of rising early was my routine of affirmations, prayer and journaling. It started to become haphazard and I noticed that my mind wasn't as disciplined. Negative thoughts would arise before I opened my eyes and it would take so much more work to come back to my center. As I've begun to reinstate my routine of taking care of my mind and spirit first thing in the morning I've noticed that I'm able to take captive every thought as the bible says.
It's been a few months later and I've been feeling inspired once again. I'm still learning how to balance staying consistent and taking needed times of rest. The creative process is not very cut and dry. The reality is that it's greatly influenced by how we are feeling. I think it's important to be able to pay attention to your emotions to make it through the creative process and maintain your health because health and art are very intertwined.
As I've taken a break, started using my spiritual gifts more and focused on waking up earlier I can say that my level of inspiration has also increased greatly.
I hope that by sharing these insights can help you if you haven't been feeling inspired as of late.
What do you do when you aren't feeling inspired so you can feel inspired again?