Finding Inspiration

I’m a pretty inspired person. I find inspiration in music. I find it in movies. I find it in books and blogs and friendships and in daily quiet time with God. Out here in California I find it when simply gazing at the sunshiney sky or a perfectly placed palm tree.
But sometimes the well runs dry.
So I made a list of the things that usually help me get my inspirational groove back.

Step 1: Turn to God
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This is usually the first place I turn. I admit, sometimes it takes a back burner in the quest for motivation and inspiration. But it should always be first. My favorite devotions are “My Utmost for the Highest” by Oswald Chambers and “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. I try to do these consistently. When I reach a stagnant moment, I will always have a place to turn.

Step 2: Make a List
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After placing my path back in God’s hands (time and again) I try and list the dreams He’s placed on my heart. The passions that I can’t shake. The “unreasonable,” “unaccomplishable” musings that fill my brain and heart constantly. In list form, they seem much more attainable!

Step 3: Watch any and all Marvel movies
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For some reason the MCU really sparks my imagination! I dream of being a superhero. I dream of saving the world. And after watching Captain America or Avengers, it just seems easier to accomplish.

Step 4: Walk, Run, Jump, Spin
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When I’m in a season of laziness and drought, it’s easy to forget or ignore the things I love most. Happiness doesn’t seem attainable in the darker moments. But I love working out! I really do. I had a guy at Crunch gym, a guy who was trying to sell me on a membership by the way, tell me that people work out to lose weight or gain weight or look better, but never because they love it. To which I responded, that’s nice…show me to my spin class. Cause I love spinning!! The feel of aching muscles, muscles that you may have forgotten existed is what keeps me moving.

Step 5: Read
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In addition to my Bible and my daily devotionals, I love to read biographies and autobiographies of inspiring people. People like Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn and Bobby Kennedy and Mindy Kaling and Ellen Degeneres and Rock Hudson and Felicia Day and Amy Poehler and anyone else who strikes me as an inspiration. Their stories inspire my own.

Step 6: Write
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How can you expect to write about life if you aren’t living one. Staying home and catching up on 11 seasons of Supernatural may lead to some searing pieces about the show, but it won’t give you life experiences or insight into the greater struggle. So do all the other steps on this list and then write it all down. Share your life with people. Or take up a challenge like #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month.) I’ve never written a book in my life…but I’m gonna try it!

How do you stay inspired when inspiration seems lost?

Overachiever Much?

Back in high school, no one could accuse me of being an overachiever. I sat in the back of the class, half-assed my work and got bad grades to show for it. I graduated with zero honors and went to Community College because I didn’t get in to FSU on my first go around. All that to say, achieving wasn’t a high priority, not to mention over achieving.
Flash forward to 2015, 14 years after graduating high school and my life paints a very different picture. Thank goodness for that! If we just stand still then there’s no growth and what do we have to show for our experiences? What have we learned? But more importantly 14 years??? Where has the time gone?

I’m glad to have grown older and a little bit wiser. People who know me now are shocked to find out about my poor grades and mediocre commitment to learning back in high school. You know what? I’m proud that they’re shocked. I’m proud that they expect an A student on the honor roll with plenty of extracurriculars to impress the college folks. (Think Rory Gilmore, not Paris Gellar!)
Because nowadays I’m motivated. I love learning and yes…I would proudly raise my hand in overachievers anonymous and tell my story!
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For example: this month is #NaNoWriMo and for those of you not hip to the hashtag, that stands for National Novel Writing Month. For the next month I am committed to writing a minimum of 1600+ words a day. Not just any old words…novel words… story words. I’ve never written a novel in my life. I’ve dreamed of it. I’ve talked about it, but I’ve never taken actionable steps towards that goal. As of November 1st, that is no longer the case!

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Guess what, November is also #NaBloPoMo. Again, for those of you born before 1970, that’s National Blog Post Month. So on top of my pointed novel words, I’m adding a commitment to a month of blog posts. A blog post a day, to be precise. That’s more words. Clearly November should instead be called #NaLiHaWaTooManWoToWriMo which of course translates to National Liz Has Way Too Many Words To Write Month!!

Add onto that the countdown to the biggest event in nerd history (if I have to tell you…then this may not be the place for you.) An adjustment to moving back to Florida from my sojourn in sunny California. The impending holiday season (thanks for that reminder ABC Family and your already advertised 25 Days of Christmas programming…talk about overachievers.) And the prospect of being an aunt to infant babies. As well as the daily struggle to maintain some semblance of a prayer life, the potential dating career in my future, a desperate need to commit to that Title Boxing Membership that I’ve been trying to ignore, wanting to find time to volunteer, planning a potential mission trip and a million, zillion other things…yeah overachieving…it’s sorta my new thing.
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*Photo from Power of Positivity
But instead of lamenting my need for purpose and my drive for excellence, I’m diving in head first. I’m making commitments left and right. I am no longer intimidated by the label of being an “overachiever” I am wearing it like a badge of honor. And I was never a very good Girl Scout, but darn if I didn’t like the look of all those badges on that pretty, bright, yellow sash. (Side note, I also dropped out of Girl Scouts before we even got around to cookie selling season. Trust me…that was a girl who grossly undervalued her potential.)

If I could crawl into a Delorean, tap the Flux capacitor and go back in time…I wouldn’t change a thing. Sure good grades woulda been nice, but sitting in the back of the classroom taught me that I never want to be overlooked again. And that is a lesson that front row kids never get to learn.
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So the joke’s on you, time machine…cause I choose to go see Elvis’ last concert in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977. (Yep, I Googled that, but it doesn’t make my desire to see the King on stage any less real!)