We live in a world that by and large puts lots of emphasis on left-brain logic and reason and far less on creative pursuits. Academia and the corporate world understand inspiration more in terms of motivations and getting people to do things they might not really want to do. Because many work environments and relationships lack inspiration or passion this has helped drive up interest in inspirational self-help books. We know we are missing something important in our lives.
Inspiration is linked to the creative process, it is a fire that originates in the heart and takes shape in the right-brain. Inspiration is linked to passion, which is perhaps why poetry has been linked to romance. If you think about having a romantic weekend somewhere you might think of Florence or Venice or Barcelona. These are all creative cities where art has flourished. You would not go anywhere where banks and insurance companies gather together such as the financial City of London.
The good news is that inspiration and passion can be found everywhere and in everyone. Even the most boring person has a hidden fire they just do not know how to access. Even the dullest place has its inner spark. We just have to go looking for it. The problem is we are really not taught creativity, inspiration or passion in school. We somehow have to work it out for ourselves. Sure we may do art classes but these alone do not necessarily lead to a grasp of the creative force. We may try dancing or take creative writing classes and find that these do not radically awaken our inspiration or passion. We have lost the creative Muse.
Because of this we also can lack of direction and purpose. Many look to substitutes such as alcohol, drugs or other addictive pursuits but none of these can really unlock the way to creativity, inspiration and passion. I believe inspiration is an inner fire that can be unlocked. Passion is a directional force that can be jolted into life. Creativity can be teased out of people. The good news is you do not have to reinvent the wheel. To find your creative inspiration and passion all you need do is begin to immerse yourself in it. Speaking as a writer I find that I need to sit in the creativity of others to help fire my own creative juices. I visit the Tate Modern in London and immerse myself in abstract. I sit by the river on the Southbank in my favourite café reading various inspirational books. I find the combination of moving water and a good book a wonderful recipe for stirring my own creative process. I also spend a few hours a day listening to different types of music on my iPhone. Most importantly I meditate in nature, and I hang out with creative friends.
When I was a co-director of the successful Alternatives program in central London I got to know the Cygnus Books people quite well. I love Cygnus Books not only because of the sheer range of self-help and spiritual titles on offer. I love them because they are passionate about the business of books. They are a book club for book lovers and they have a vision to unite book lovers around the world. This is why I love and support them so.