"Divine guidance" "The drawing in of breath" "Stimulated to do something creative" "The breathe of the Spirit" "Inhale of the Spirit" - which definition speaks to you most?
I wanted to explore the subject on Inspiration for a long time... So here it comes!
If it's a feeling, which we can smell, like fear for example: "I can smell fear" we say, then it means that others can easily be filled with that feeling providing they are open to it like a vessel to receive it by simply inhaling it.
To protect yourself from receiving it, is like to stop breathing, to close yourself off and hide in the box from the possibility of being inspired.
Whether it's going to be a "good" or "bad" spirit that will fill your soul and what you are going to do with it - we are yet to find out. For example, you can be touched by a song, but whether you want to keep that feeling or do something about it, transfer it into a creation of a new song or channel it into your singing practice, or completely shut it off - is up to you.
As a coach, I often wonder about the level of responsibilities teachers have for that vessel to be filled with good spirit, positive energies. To inspire a student is our main job. Yet can we fully comprehend the power of Inspiration? Can we be aware of its presence and manage its properties in the most positive and fulfilling way, really?
As a student I am vulnerable and exposed to other people's energies. I want to learn more so I am open to receiving their spirit, their moods - their Inspiration. Sometimes I feel energised and sometimes I feel nervous or drained.
Whose spirit is it then? Most probably the spirit comes from the dominant. Those who dominate the room - inspire you with positive or negative energies, they are the ones who spread the vibe! Those who are less dominant feel submissive and are under the dominant's 'spell'.
When I was just starting out as a professional singer at the age of 13 (or 5, it can be argued) and my path very quickly became enrooted into the singing profession, I often said to myself, that I can only sing when I am INSPIRED to sing! Hence surely I cannot possibly make money with singing.
Well, years went by, and it was very much true, and so I have forgotten about my craft for a while and even left it behind. I was 18 when I abandoned it. Until one day I couldn't bear it anymore. And I picked up my guitar, wrote a bunch of songs in one go, in one breath - inspiration hit me, you see. And off I went - around the world - sharing my heart-felt lyrics and a genuine-heart desire of finally turning singing and my true calling into my profession.
I have managed somehow to work around my "Inspiration problem" by signing up to only those gigs and projects that let me play what I felt like playing and still getting paid. I was creative. Feeling the song has always been the most important part for me, you see.
Yet, work is work, and with time my Inspiration to sing even those songs that I loved - wore itself out, I sang them now way too often, sometimes 5 hours per gig! 10 years in a row. And so I became a 'professional' after that, someone who gets that inspiration out of their pocket, and just wears it on their sleeve or like a hat!
I later realised that there is a fine-line between Inspiration and Preparation. To set yourself into the right mindset and be mentally prepared, focused and ready to work - is musicians bread and butter.
It dawned on me that if we can manage our moods, and energies, we can also manage, create, and bring out Inspiration that we NEED to work, enjoy it and be efficient in what we do. Everything is in our own hands, so we can't just sit there and wait for that inspiration to "hit us".
We need to build it, generate it, grow it, just like energies, just like money, just like anything that needs building, and channel it into our work, which cannot wait, sadly.
"If you don't use it - you're gonna lose it"
This is what they say about talent or a skill.
We can't say for example: "Oh I don't feel like going to work today" - because that could be everyday skiving! So why do we ever say that when it comes down to singing? Or a singing related project. Practice. A lesson. Rehearsal. Recording.
If I choose singing as my profession - I can surely find that inspiration, generate it, channel it and manage it in the way that works for me.
Hence is that helping hand in a form of epiphany, a realisation that there is a fine-line between inspiration and preparation, which leads you to becoming a professional, and makes your profession FUN!
INSPIRATION+PREPARATION = PROFESSIONALISM
And this is how I answered my question about inspiration, which very much is entangled with my profession. What about you? What does inspiration mean to you and how do you generate it, manage it and pass it on?
Written by Elena Dana
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