Secret #2: Honoring Your Inspirations

This week in the 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women Next Chapter book club, we’re exploring how to honor your creative inspirations.   At the end of this section the author provides some questions to reflect on:

When did your creative awakening or reawakening occur?

I’ve always been creative. However, during high school in my advanced art class, I shut down because I was constantly comparing myself to my classmates.  They seemed to create amazing, imaginative pieces and I was only good at “copying” things.  I hadn’t yet found my voice.

I hadn’t painted in many years and I decided to create something just from an image in my head.  I used to draw everything precisely in pencil before painting.  This time, I did a rough sketch, but really let the brushstrokes just go wherever they were compelled to go.  It felt good to just freely create.  That painting still hangs in my bedroom.  I eventually started to do more expressive art just for the process not the end result.  I finally stepped into calling myself an artist and an entrepreneur.  My next creative edge is stepping into being an author!

What talents do you have, naturally?

I’m intuitive. I am a deep listener.  I’m sensitive. I bring quiet, stillness and reflection.  I create beauty.  I’m playful.

Which elements (fire, water, wood, air) draw you toward them?

Water for its flowing gracefulness and association with emotion.  Air for breath and also because it’s light and intangible.  Fire scares me (I have to use one of those kitchen lighter gadgets because I’m afraid I’m going to burn myself striking a match!).  I know that I could use more fire in my life.

Where and when do you create?  Where and when do you wish to create?

My kitchen table is my “craft room/studio” at the moment and I do lots of creative work at my computer.  I would love to have a studio in my backyard one of these days.   I would also love to participate in more and lead creative retreats in nature – like in the woods or in Hawaii!

What activates your creative energy?

Beauty, spaciousness, color, nature, nourishing my Inner Muse, finding ways to integrate different ideas, connecting with other creative people, yoga, mediation, reading, seeing and experiencing art, picking up supplies and just doing something!  Seeing people going after their dreams (BTW, a guilty pleasure – I just watched the Beat Freaks on America’s Best Dance Crew and these talented ladies kicked butt and definitely inspired me!).

What drains it?

Being overwhelmed, not taking care of myself, being distracted by clutter, comparing myself to others, not allowing myself to fully shine because I’m worried about what others will think, making things too complicated or trying to make things perfect, doing too many things for other people.

Do you use creative rituals?  Which ones?

As the book suggested, I have altars throughout my house.  The photo above is a detail from the one in my guest room/meditation/yoga room.  I also journal pretty regularly in the morning.

Does nature influence your creativity?  How?

Definitely!  The beauty of nature connects me to something bigger than myself.

What has been your greatest creative hurdle so far?

So far, I’d say developing my coaching brand.  I tortured myself for more than a year trying to articulate what I stood for.  So much questioning if I was going to get it right.  So many times I was ready to just give up and stick with my old, safe and generic brand with just a face lift.  It felt vulnerable to bring a more personal and authentic expression into my work.

What time of day are you most receptive to inspiration?

My creative sparks come at any time of the day (or night!).  Random inspiration hits me while walking my dog.  The key for me is writing it down or acting on it right away while I’m inspired, otherwise the idea looses steam and gets lost amongst my day-to-day activity.   I love having those light bulb moments!

Be sure to listen to this week’s interview with domestic diva Suzie Ridler.  I loved what she had to say about honoring her inspirations and giving herself permission to have her creativity show up in unexpected ways.

11 thoughts on “Secret #2: Honoring Your Inspirations”

  1. This little interview with yourself was great Jennifer. I really admire how honest you can be in looking at yourself–both the shiny rubies of your soul as well as the more gritty stuff we try to keep low key! I think I’m going to interview myself with these questions too…its a nice little reflection.

    Well, off to check out that link you suggested. I’m gonna email you later…got to ask you something!!

    Peace & Love.

  2. Wow, so you can do from copying to creating off the top of your head? I’m still working on that but now I believe it can happen, thanks Jennifer!

    I am also absolutely terrified of fire. Just last night i smelled wood smoke and thought the house might be on fire. So silly. I invite fire into my life through food now. I have just started eating food with a bit of heat for the first time in my life. Chipotles rock!

    Thank you so much for your support Jennifer. I really appreciate it and keep opening our minds with your words about creativity! You are so inspiring.

  3. It was particularly interesting to read about what drains yours creativity. It totally resonates with me. It almost always relates to comparing myself to others, and others’ judgment. It’s good to read about others who feel this. It is something most of us have to overcome 🙂 Our internal critics.

    I love random and unexpected inspiration! 🙂

  4. Every time I need a little boost, I need only come to your blog. It helps to know that you have had your moments of self-doubt and yet, here you are, shining so brightly. It gives me hope and helps me to hang on to my dreams. Thank you!

  5. it’s wonderfully reassuring to read you can go from copying to creating, cause i am still in the process of finding my voice and fighting the gremlins which urge me to compare myself with others.

    i am in love with your blog and the feast of inspiration here. so glad you are taking part in this.

  6. thank you for sharing the things that drain your creativity. it is challenging to admit these things for some of us. also, to see someone successful has the same fears as us and that they can be ovecome!

  7. *sigh*

    I just loved reading this post Jenn. I loved the beautiful picture too. When I read your answer to the question about your natural talents, I smiled thinking, “Yes, that is Jenn. That is so, so Jenn.”

    I’m inspired by how you continue to reach into your creative edge. And girl, did you work it with the brand! I always point to your site as the most beautiful, authentic expression of branding that I’ve seen. You knocked it out of the ballpark. Wow, did I just use a sports metaphor? Weird. Hehe, you rocked it.

  8. It is so lovely to get to know you and the other participants through the weekly visits with this book and our blogs. I think you’ve done a wonderful job in developing your brand. I haven’t started to unfold my vision with your kit. I do look forward to it though!

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