One evening, after a particularly grueling day at work, I dragged myself home, warmed up some food and had dinner sitting on the couch in front of a TV tray while I watched cooking shows. I wasn't in the mood to write a blog post. I certainly was not in the mood to write fiction. In fact, I wanted nothing more than to just mindlessly veg in front of the TV set. There wasn't much of me left. I was mentally exhausted from getting up early in the mornings to work out and write and then practicing law until well into the evening hours.
I decided to check my e-mail. There was a message there from someone I had met at the Silken Sands Writers Conference. She had read my blog and said that it had inspired her to eat better and to start working out. Those few words lifted my flagging spirits. It felt so good to know that my blog was inspiring people to live a healthier life. It gave me a sense of renewed energy. That night, I jotted down several ideas for blog posts and began thumbing through my recipe box for recipes to add to the site. The next morning, I wrote a new blog post and started my recipes page.
Later that day, I thought about how a few kind words could inspire a person to keep going – whether it's to write, to follow a dream, or whatever. But for that e-mail, I might have decided that I just didn't have enough time to maintain this blog in addition to working, working out and working on my fiction. Life has a way of beating us down sometimes. I realized then that I needed to find sources of inspiration wherever I could to deal with those times.
As I searched for sources of inspiration, I realized that they were all around me. For example, when I read about the epidemic of childhood obesity in America and think of my nieces (who are not obese by any means but who eat as much junk food as the typical American child), I want to set a good example for them in terms of pursuing a healthier lifestyle. When I listen to one of them tell me that some of the kids in her class tease her because she likes to eat vegetables (and they don't), it inspires me more to show her, by example, that being an individual is a good thing – especially when it comes to one's health. When I read about other attorneys who have written bestsellers, had their stories made into blockbuster films and are now able to pursue their dreams full-time if they should so desire, I get inspired to write fiction.
I keep a vision board – a corkboard with pictures and print cut out from magazines that represent different goals or aspirations that I have (becoming more money savvy, losing weight, etc.). Every time I walk past it, I see a picture of a smiling woman in great shape in workout gear. She is measuring her tiny waist with a tape measure. Above her head is the title “Healthy Living.” Seeing that image day after day inspires me to get up most mornings and work out. You may laugh, but since I am 45 lbs lighter than I was 14 months ago, it appears to be working.
What can you do to get and stay inspired? Well, it depends on what you want to get inspired to do. If you want to get inspired to live a healthier lifestyle, then maybe reading blogs like this one or checking out health-related websites can help. If you want to get inspired to write, then joining a writers group, attending a writers conference or attending a poetry reading may be just the ticket. If you want to get inspired to learn how to cook, check out cooking websites or take a cooking class. If you want to get inspired to exercise, then find some sort of exercise you would likely enjoy and try it. It may be trying out a belly dance workout in the privacy of your own home, investing in a Wii Fit, taking a Zumba class, getting a bike and going bike riding or taking a walk with your child in a park and then having a healthy picnic.
Get out. Live. Try something new. Get inspired.