What inspires you? This may be a loaded question for some, for others an easy question to answer. Then again, it may depend on the day, the week, the month, or even the year. It could depend on the weather, or your general state of contentment, or discontent.

I have found that inspiration can come from so many places. I have had a spark of imagination and ideas come to me in the classroom when discussing photography with my students, and I have had ideas come to me when talking to friends. I see creative ideas in everyday situations that inspire me – from the way light appears on an object, to the actions of someone I come into contact with.

What about stress? Some people say that stress puts a damper on creativity and the ability to generate ideas. I think there is some truth to that. When stressed, we tend to get a very narrow focus on life; we put on our blinders and set our sights on that one thing that really has us going. How can you turn that into something that inspires? How can you turn that into a creative endeavor?

I’ve thought a lot about this recently. Stress is a natural part of life, unfortunately, and sometimes we just have more than we’d like…we feel a little “put upon” because we’re dealing with more than our fair share. Heck, sometimes we even realize – we have that epiphany – that it really is all of our own making anyhow. My challenge to you, turn it into creative drive.

Find that one thing you can draw from your stress, and turn it into a creative project.

I’ve taken on my own challenge. I have a fun project I’m involved in right now, and once completed I’ll be sure to share. But, for the idea generating part of this project, I have dug deep into what I call my stress phantasms. Some people dream, some people have nightmares, I have neither (I’m talking dream as in REM sleep, not dream as in future goals)…I have what I like to call stress-related phantasms. If I don’t dream in my sleep, I’m a happy camper, so that said, when I do “dream” I would describe them more as stress phantasms. I’m drawing from this revelation and finding the positive side of it, the creative side where I can start to visualize ideas that describe what I “dream” about.

So far, it’s actually kind of fun to derive ideas from a place I might consider negative, as it helps me to put a positive spin on it. Really, in my opinion, a more healthy alternative when you think about it. So, think about that next time you find yourself wrapped up in a stress phantasm.
I’ll share a peaceful image and a great quote…

Autumn's Grace

Autumn’s Grace

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama XIV