The Difference Between Forcing and Allowing Inspiration

February 18 by

The Difference Between Forcing and Allowing Inspiration

Many times we try to force ourselves to be inspired.  From my perspective, that rarely works.  But, if we’re willing to allow inspiration – it comes.

“What’s the difference?” you might ask.  Well, let me see if I can explain.

Forcing is trying to make something happen that doesn’t want to happen.

When we try to force inspiration, it becomes elusive.  We sit and struggle with the words, or with the pencil, the brush, the project, the whatever.  We can’t get started because we think there’s no spark.  Or we start something just to become frustrated because it doesn’t come easily.

I knew I wanted to write a post about inspiration.  So, I sat down at the computer, and opened a document.  The cursor blinked at me.  And blinked at me.  I started trying to write something inspirational, meaningful, BRILLIANT for Pete’s sake!  Nothing came.  Then I stopped.  I started looking around my office, at my cat, at my glass of tea.  I kept trying to force something, anything.

Allowing is letting your mind move the way it does naturally.

Now, that might sound like it’s flying in the face of all writing advice you’ve gotten.  But it doesn’t.  When we allow inspiration, it can come from anything and in any form.  As I sat struggling with this post, I looked back at my cat.  And I thought about another cat and a story of survival.

The cat came to a farm as a tiny kitten out of the blue.  She would have nothing to do with anyone but the old farmer.  She would even ride the four wheeler with him.  She remained an outdoor cat, moused in the fields, and came to sit in the kitchen window for farmer to feed her, carry her around, take her for rides.  Then he died.  And she was left completely alone. The daughter thought she’d left the farm because when she called for the cat, she didn’t come.  It seemed she had disappeared.  But, she finally showed back up.  Lonely, and hungry.  She had somehow persevered through incredibly cold temps and snow. Now she allows the daughter to carry her around.  She waits for the daughter to feed her, and head butts her affectionately from the kitchen window.

What made that story come to mind?  Allowing my mind to connect dots on its own instead of trying to force something into being.  That connected the last dot for me, and I knew I wanted to talk about that process in this post.  All that happened in about a five minute time span because I allowed my mind to do what it does naturally:  Move in non-linear lines.

When you get stuck, relax.  Don’t fight being stuck.  Allow a few moments of relaxation, instead of insisting that it has to come right this minute.  Allow the ideas to flow through your mind in a non-linear way.  Next thing you know, you’ll have the right idea, at the right time.

Cathy Lynn

About Cathy Lynn

Cathy Lynn is an artist, writer, executive trainer, and the co-owner of Inkwell Basics. She has published two coloring books, Conscious Coloring and Carnal Coloring. She's currently working on a novel, and turning her farm into an event venue. She previously blogged at 3 Shared Paths, a personal growth blog that was read worldwide, and has been blogging for over 10 years. She lives somewhere between the city and the country with her three cats, Sebastian, Miss Kitty, and Ella.

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