The Simply Luxurious Life®: Find Your Inspiration  

June 28, 2011

Find Your Inspiration

Last week a reader asked how I go about organizing the images and ideas that catch my attention and jump start my creative juices, so today I’d like to show you what works for me.

The best part of the inspiration and creative process is that potential to be inspired is everywhere. Literally everywhere. Whether I am going on a walk and consciously being an active observer of all that is going on around me, flipping through the latest issue of Vogue, The New Yorker or The Economist, listening intently to a local speech or gathering of members in my community, or watching a television program, I always catch myself grabbing onto new ideas, new information and new ways of thinking about common things.

So what to do with it all? Here are a few things that work for me.

1. The best advice I have been given over the years, and I must confess it took me awhile to heed it, was to write an idea down immediately, as you will forget it (even though you say to yourself in that moment that there is no way you would ever forget). Trust me, you will forget it, and you will kick yourself for not writing it down (or maybe this has just been my experience).

2. For the past three or four years I have carried with me a small unlined Moleskine journal where I write down quotes I hear, ideas I come across, recipes to try, wine to stock my wine cellar, statistics that shock me, simple luxuries that I don’t ever want to forget and any thing else that piques my interest at the moment. I also make sure to date it when I begin and when I fill the last page, as I tuck it away for reference if I want to use it later.

3. As a young girl, I would watch my mother go through her garden, clothing and other magazines, tearing out pages, making lists and organizing it either in boxes on her clipboard or in a notebook.  I have since followed in her footsteps and continue to tear out pages of wardrobe ideas, well-written, inspiring articles and anything else that catches my eye and file each one into specific folders – labeled decor, fashion, beauty, inspiration, fitness, etc - and place them in a portable file carrier (click here to see one similar to what I use). I still have articles from issues of fashion magazines that were published in the early 90s, and it is always fun and nostalgic to go back through every once and awhile to see what inspired me, noticing how it has changed based on my interests, but also realizing that much of what draws my attention, then and now, (at the core of it) hasn’t changed.

4. As a way to create a wall of decor and design a place to put my inspiration, I have a five foot by four foot corkboard that is framed with a old wooden picture frame. It is hoisted up in my office and full of old newspaper articles, nostalgic items, inspirational quotes and photos that I want to make sure I don’t forget. The pictures rotate gradually depending upon what is going on, but it is a constant reminder of what I find beautiful, inspiring and thought-provoking.

5. For very specific goals that I am currently in the process of trying to achieve, I create a inspiration notebook. I tend to use a Mead Composition notebook for their sturdy covers and unique size, and within them I paste images, phrases that address what I am trying to attain, along with specifically written goals and deadlines.  Not only is this a way to be clear about what you are trying to achieve, but it is fun and can easily take a half a day as you peruse through your favorite magazines cutting out images. After I’m finished, I place it on my desk, open it to a certain page as a daily reminder of what I want to spend my time focusing on.

Here are a few other ways that find inspiration:

1. Step outside your social circle

2. Say yes to an invitation that allows you to try something you’ve never experienced

3. Spend time alone

4. Read different genres, authors, newspapers, and magazines

5. Be willing to listen (it doesn’t mean you have to agree, but just listen)

6. Travel

7. Walk or bike instead of drive

8. Go to a cafe, a pub, an airport, a community event, a tourist attraction and just people watch

9. Go some place where silence is required or expected – library, courtroom, Japanese garden

10. See the world through a camera’s perspective

The good news is we are never lacking when it comes to finding inspiration, it is just a matter of taking the time to slow down and notice what is already around us on any given day.  Often times we become so engrained in our routines that we don’t notice the slight changes or beauties that wish to greet us. Today and from now on, make a conscious decision to be more aware in your day to day life. Trust me, your life will immediately become more full and amazing simply by expanding your perspective.

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Images: (1) doublebubbletoilandtrouble (2) The Glitter Guide (3) Southern Sophisticate (4) Source (5) Source (6) Musings in Femininity (7) Source

6 Comments:

At June 28, 2011 at 3:10 AM , Blogger Hermine said...

This post is exactly what i need right now as i feel like i'm stuck in a rut. Thanks for sharing your ideas :)

xoxo Hermine

 
At June 28, 2011 at 5:50 AM , Anonymous thehealthyapron said...

Excellent post Shannon! I love all your ideas for how to be creative and keep the juices flowing! Sometimes I get stumped when thinking of new topics but I keep a folder with health articles I find or take note of commercials I see that I might need to blog about!

 
At June 28, 2011 at 6:53 AM , Blogger Talia said...

Like you, I carry a small notebook with me and jot down anything that interests me -- good wines, favorite quotes, grocery lists, just a bit of everything.

Another excellent post!

 
At June 28, 2011 at 7:48 AM , Anonymous For Those About To Shop said...

Great ideas, especially carrying a journal around. Every writer should have pen and paper handy at all times!

 
At June 28, 2011 at 7:57 AM , Anonymous Belle Maison Et Moi said...

I love your blog!! I found you through French Essence and I'm so glad I did.

What a great post. I'm new to blogging and already wondering how I'm going to keep the momentum going. Thanks for the inspiration and for keeping life luxurious :)
Alicia

 
At June 28, 2011 at 4:06 PM , Anonymous Georgina said...

I am totally addict to your blog. Can´t start the day without reading it. Love all the contents, ideas and way to life live! Thanks for making my life better.

 

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