PermanentlyBrilliant is in an embryonic form – that much Manda admits. But she’s humble and she doesn’t tell me how fab it is regardless of it’s incompleteness. I checked it out because we had a great conversation about permaculture and food, and the 1 kwh house, and I’m curious and excited.
Greeting me as the site loads are some simply extraordinary photographs – how anyone captures a dewy branch so perfectly is a mystery to me! And the copy is funny, real and honest, which I love. But most importantly the website is just good old fashioned inspiring. The text, like the sublime photos, capture the vision of how life will be (and is), beautifully. You get a sense of what’s present – and you learn what has deliberately been omitted in order to achieve the aspirational 1 kwh house: No TV, no dishwasher, no iron, electric kettle or dryers…
I know it’s inspiring because as I leave the site I’m aware of all the things I’m itching to try because I’ve just read about them. I’m bubbling because I love this shit. I love permaculture food, companion planting, forest gardens, off grid, chickens, cakes, and just about every other conceivable good life-esq thing. I love the idea of being resilient, self sufficient, and outside the box. And I have so many ideas and things I want to try that it’s brilliant when I meet someone, or read about something, and it leaves me almost giddy with excitement.
The power of inspiration
So that got me thinking about Inspiration. And it seems to me that inspiration is a bit of a magic pill. It has the power to motivate you, move you forward, unstick you and connect you. The sort of inspiration that floats your boat says a lot about what you value, and how you want to live your life, or not. And the best thing about it? Inspiration is everywhere! Depending on who you are you might find it in a breathtaking piece of art, an amazing view, music, architecture, craft, self-sufficiency, someone else’s achievements, or even your own achievements, etc.
And the more you seek and expose yourself to inspiration, the more you can stretch the boundaries of what’s possible in your mind. The more you can challenge yourself, and play big.
The case for inspiration in the sustainability world
In the sustainability world in particular, inspiration is essential. It’s a tough industry, with some huge challenges: The pressure we put on ourselves to ‘fix’ the world, the constant struggle to engage people, and staying upbeat when it seems like no-one gives a damn. Staying connected to the things that inspire you can be the difference between feeling empowered or not. The difference between burnout, stress and depression, and finding the courage to dig deeper and keep working towards the dream, against all the odds.
And inspiration works a bit like gratitude. When you’re grateful for something you have it’s really hard to also be thinking about all the things you want. Same goes for inspiration. When you are really in that moment of shitting-your-pants-giddy-excitement for things that could be and that you could achieve, it’s hard to stay stressed, demotivated and stuck for long. Focussing on the good means squeezing out the bad. Simples.
Tuning in: inspiration strategies that might work for you
We all have days where everything feels like a struggle… When the challenges of our cause seem too enormous to overcome: when sustainability feels like an impossible dream. But that place of despair, frustration and anger don’t serve anyone, least of all you.
That’s exactly when that button of inspiration needs to be pressed. If you ever lack motivation, ideas, feel stagnant, bored, stuck, or frustrated…try on these ideas for size:
- Create a source of inspiration that’s available to you at all times. That way you can go to it rather than waiting for inspiration to hit you, which we all know can take a long time.
- Start an inspiration / vision board. Pinterest is BRILLIANT for this.
- Create a playlist of music or podcasts – the things that really motivate you and get your creative juices flowing.
- Start a bookmark for great websites that stretch your brain and your idea of what’s possible. Fodder for your inspiration gland!
- Get to know your muse. For me if I’m ever stuck with something I go for a walk. The cliffs and sea are like magic unsticking glue and the ideas and inspiration just flow.
- Create a bucket list for yourself: 10 things you want to do before you die. It sounds morbid I know, but you can replenish the ideas as you tick them off and it keeps you stretching into exciting new realms. My bucket list is a strange and wonderful place that includes things like successfully grow a cauliflower (notoriously difficult) and planting a forest garden.
Ball’s in your court
When sustainability feels like an impossible dream what do you do to get inspired? Leave a comment below…
Do you dream of making a difference but struggle with the realities? Check out Make Your Difference – Coaching to help you play big and live well…
Plonk your email here and you’ll never miss another blog, bit of inspiration, great idea. Hurrah!