Finding Inspiration in the Little Things

While my camera is in the shop, I’ve been paying attention more to the questions. Through questions posed in my online courses as well as the ones that have been rolling around in my head for what seems like ages, I’ve come to realize how much my camera is a part of me. I love it. I crave it. I need it. There are so many small things I notice on a daily basis that I long to capture; so, for now I try to remember it in my mind. Things like the friends we’ve reconnected with over dinners and lunches. The vendors on the side of the street, with their hopeful and longing stares, waiting for a break from a hungry passerby, or maybe just the heat. The beautiful sunshine we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy over the past week. All of these things and more that I wish I could capture, but my little phone just doesn’t seem to do them justice. No manual settings to create that dreamy shallow depth of field or that magical sun flare I love so much. While I love my smartphone, my heart and my eye just aren’t with that little camera.

Even though I have missed having my camera by my side, I have been paying attention to the smaller details that sometimes get passed by. I find myself watching with more closely and with more purpose without my camera, thinking about what I would have shot had my camera been in my hand, which I think in the end is a good thing. I find that I’m honing more of my decisive skills: looking at the scenario and situation with more of an intuitive, observant nature. And I find that in doing so, I am definitely seeing more. I also realize that in doing this, I am finding so much more inspiration in the little things: the rust in a blue metal door, the shadows on the sidewalk, an old man’s wise grin, the retro-style bus seats, the shading of the clouds as the sun sets.

So, in honor of finding inspiration in the little things, I would like to share one of my favorite little sites that I stumbled upon a while back: design seeds. I absolutely love this site. It pulls so many awesome color schemes from things that we so often see in our daily lives. One of my recent favorites is this one. So ordinary, but so beautiful.

What ordinary things have inspired you lately?

Gypsy Dreams

“Only her skin between her life and the great wide ocean.” ~Storypeople

Sometimes my gypsy spirit takes over, and I often find myself dreaming of far off places. I dream of wide open spaces and sitting on cliffs overlooking the Irish Sea. I dream of empty beaches where the salty air can rush through my hair as I watch storm clouds roll in from the distance, all while squishing the damp sand in between my toes. I dream of Greek alleyways and sunlit windowsills, of running through open fields, resting under willow trees while sunlight peeks through the leaves. I dream of travel and exploration because the world is so big, and so are our dreams.

What do you dream of?

“The Wisdom of Process” [Gerber]

Taken from Michael Gerber’s Awakening the Entrepreneur Within:

Isn’t that a remarkable expression: “a figment of your imagination”? It presumes that your imagination
makes up things that aren’t real, as though that is the opposite of things that are real, the kinds of things
that have nothing to do with your imagination.

All the left-brained behemoths in the world would have you believe that imagination is the problem, when, in fact, the entire universe is supremely imaginative. Whether or not you believe in God, who can fail to be amazed at the incredible world in which we live?

Badassery

I ran across this this morning. It made me laugh, but also rang true. I do hope all of you are able to experience all the badassery in 2011 that you possibly can!

(Click the picture to read her post about what is considered badassery.)

Get Inspired, Get Motivated, Get Uncomfortable

I have been a terrible blogger this month, Internet, and I’m sorry!  (Don’t worry, though, as this post definitely makes up for lost time.) Lately I’ve had the desire to spend most of my time reading, and so I have. After finally making my way to the Taipei City Library near Daan Park, which I only recently learned has a great English selection, I stocked up on some books and, in turn, have also been enjoying my time stocking up on knowledge, but even more so on inspiration.

First on my list was Eat Pray Love. I’ve read this book two times already and have mentioned it before, but I must say again how much of an inspiration I find Elizabeth Gilbert to be. I had the pleasure of joining a couple of friends on Friday to watch the movie, which was pretty good, but in my opinion, I definitely find the book more engrossing. I learned early on that it’s important to love and know yourself before you can even consider being in a truly meaningful relationship with someone, and I have also always believed that things happen for a reason, even if you’re not sure what or why it’s happening. Her book and experiences really help me to back up this belief, as well as my belief and faith in a magnificent God.

Following that book, I also checked out Awakening the Entrepreneur in Within. I know, it sounds like a cheesy title, but after hearing so many good things about The E-Myth (which is the one I was originally looking for), I had to check it out, and it is a great read, especially due to the fact that I’ve always had this desire to create and to be my own boss. I want to be able to work from home in order to be there for my family, and this book is a great inspiration and a wealth of knowledge about how to get your creative, entrepreneurial dreams up and running.

Michael Gerber’s book combined with a couple of Seth Godin books I checked out have truly been the most inspiration I’ve experienced in a while. Seth Godin is truly inspiring: his writing, advice, and ideas get me motivated to get up and DO SOMETHING (as GVSU says). Too often here I feel stuck or unable to make things happen, create connections, or create anything for that matter, and his books and blog always help to show me I don’t have to feel this way – that it’s just my lizard brain telling me to be cautious and wary of going against, or leaving the tribe. Combining Free Prize Inside with Awakening the Entrepreneur Within have pushed me to think of what I want, both impersonally and personally, and also on how to push those desires and ideas to the edge.

Then, to top it off, I learned about a friend‘s recent photography endeavor while living abroad in another country, and I must say that it has inspired and motivated me even more. I certainly fell in love with photography while researching photographs and photographers for my own wedding, and even more so now that I’ve been living here, but all too often I get stuck in fear, like most, and I/we need to learn to ignore [our] lizard brain. We need to push forward, pursuing our passions and purpose and taking risks. Risks make us uncomfortable, but at the same time, it’s also incredibly vital if we truly want to experience our full potential[s] and or true happiness, and I’ve come to realize that it’s time to start embracing risk – and the vulnerability that comes with it. Being comfortable does not always equal happiness. So, it’s time to get uncomfortable, to learn to ignore and quiet the fear of failing, rejection, or looking ridiculous, because in the end it’s just not worth it.

These past two weeks have definitely been two of the most thought-provoking weeks I’ve had in a while. I miss dreaming and expressing my creativity, and I’m tired of feeling stuck and fearful of what could happen if I try [and fail]. I recommend all these reads, as I find them absolutely compelling, stimulating, and encouraging, and I can’t wait to (finally) start putting some of my ideas, thoughts, and plans into action.
Because, if not now, when?

And while this doesn’t express my ultimate goal in life, every post is better with a picture.

What are your dreams and desires, and what ideas and risks can you come up with in order to make them reality?