We visionaries are often asked to sit in the invisible. In the space we can’t see.
Last night, I was at a Meetup, and someone asked me where I get inspiration for my blog posts. Maybe it was an innocuous question, but I was suddenly contemplating where inspiration comes from in the first place.
Because it’s invisible, right? There’s no linear path that we’re necessarily working toward it. It just comes whole and all-at-once. This fully alive, complete thing.
But, so often, the process to that point is anything but predictable. Often, in the few minutes before I write, I’ll jot down some ideas and see if any stand out to me.
In the process, I usually end up jotting down what I’m feeling, what I’m excited or anxious about, and maybe even random thoughts that flutter through my mind. And I want to tell myself to get back on track. To stay focused. That ideas won’t come to me if I’m not working toward them in this very linear way.
And then an idea floats by. And grips me as it passes. And it’s both exciting and mysterious. And I start to follow it. Simply writing out the small bit that I can see. But knowing there’s more beneath the surface. There’s an essence there. There’s always an essence.
All ideas come all-at-once, even if I can’t recognize it in the moment. And, if I can keep with it enough and unpack it as fully as I can, then an entire blog post will magically produce itself.
And, sure enough, day after day, I get to see that process again.
But the actual cultivation of the inspiration is—well, invisible. It feels like I’m moving nowhere. And moving nowhere. And even being distracted and pulled off course. And then, seemingly all-at-once, the fully alive thing grabs me. And I’m inspired.
And we visionaries, we artists, we geniuses, live in that world of invisible inspiration. Where we’re just waiting to be gripped by something so alive and real.
And yet that process itself forces us to question our conviction that everything can be worked through linearly. It asks us to be open to the fact that sometimes—many times for visionaries—this work is invisible.
I might feel exhausted and watch TV for a few hours and beat myself up about not working on a project, only to find ideas flood forward when I do want to work. I might decide to go for a long walk and simply daydream, only to come back more productive than ever.
It’s invisible, so we can’t exactly quantify it or predict it or even witness it. But a kind of magic is happening in the background. Even if it feels like we’re not working toward something.
Many geniuses and masters of our time have talked about obsessing over a problem and thinking critically, only to give up in frustration and go do something mindless. And it’s during the mindless nothingness that the answer came.
Inspiration challenges us. Because it makes us realize that we’re not 100% in control. Just like any relationship. We can huff and puff and wish the other person would bend to our will. But we can’t control the entire interaction.
Every time I get in a fight with Garrett (which admittedly isn’t all too often), I want to make up after about 10 minutes. I did my processing. I realized why I felt or acted a certain way. And I’m ready for us to move past it.
But he isn’t. He doesn’t just rapidly process his emotions in the moment. And it frustrates the hell out of me. Because it feels like now we just have this thing hanging over us.
I want to exert my will onto the situation. I want it to go exactly I was want. On my timeline.
But that’s not what a relationship is. There are two (or more) people involved. I can declare my intentions. But, beyond that, it’s not some kind of video game where I can keep moving forward in a linear fashion, zooming toward the goal.
I might have to be patient. I might have to adapt to another person’s timeline or perspective. I might feel like nothing’s happening or moving forward. And then, suddenly, it’s all resolved.
Inspiration is kind of like that.
If we keep seeing ideas as something we own or possess, then we’re constantly going to try to exert our will upon them—commanding them to come and being incessantly frustrated when they don’t act as we desire.
But, if we see ideas as fully alive. As existing. As having a genius, themselves, then we can’t own or possess them. We have to exist in relationship to them.
It’s not a line anymore; it’s a circle. And circles are whole and complete. It’s a relationship. And that means a lot of the magic might be invisible to us. Because we can’t control it all. But it’s no less real.
Years ago, I saw the idea—in a dream—of Sacred Branding® and the five Master Energies. I didn’t understand it, but I had this vague concept of it being alive.
So I wrote about and talked about and created what I saw. And, granted, it was limited. But I just started unpacking it.
When enough unpacked, I created the Sacred Circle. Then Sacred Mastermind. Then Sacred Immersion. It took me years. And, today, I’m still just unpacking what was there in that dream.
I haven’t really added anything new. I’ve just more deeply understood what was there the whole time. And people who are deep in the work can tell you that there are many things early on in the work that we just kind of gloss over, which end up really explaining themselves much later. Things that we’d have no way of knowing about.
Kind of like any relationship I’ve ever had. That other person is whole and complete. And just because I don’t know every detail about them yet doesn’t mean it’s not already in there.
I might notice they’re shy around authority figures. And maybe years later I learn about an early trauma related to that. But just because I wasn’t in the know doesn’t make them any less real or alive.
Ideas are like that. Inspiration’s like that. It’s a relationship.
It asks us to trust. And have faith. And not be afraid to be vulnerable and intimate. And, most of all, to live in the invisible spaces. The spaces where we can’t control everything. The spaces where we can’t always see the magic, but we can trust it’s there.
To invite inspiration into our lives, we have to show up fully, like we might in any relationship. We have to see ideas as alive. We have to be clear about our desires. And patient as we listen to the ideas, even when they seem like they’re not coming.
We have to trust that ideas come all-at-once and wholly. That all the answers are in there. And that our only job is to unpack what we see.
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:
Why won’t inspiration come already?
— Do you ever get frustrated that inspiration just isn’t coming? Are you waiting to be inspired for that blog post, video, program, date night, whatever? Do you feel like you struggle to come up with new and creative ideas?
— Do you judge yourself or feel lazy when you should be working on a project, but you decide to watch TV or talk to a friend or go for a walk instead? Do you worry that you’re never making as much progress as you could be making? Do you wish you could just have an idea that you’d fall in love with?
— What if inspiration exists in the invisible spaces that you can’t quite see? What if you can’t control and command ideas so much as exist in relationship to them—like any other relationship you have? What if ideas come all-at-once and fully alive, and all you have to do is unpack the ideas to find richer and richer layers inside?