Paying Attention to the Spark

Whenever I’m feeling stuck or unmotivated, I turn to the experts. I might search for a book or a webinar or an article in hopes of getting unstuck. If someone has gone ahead, I want to learn from them! Often, this works. I get a piece of inspiration or am distracted just enough to refocus.

IMG_8753But sometimes, I’m still stuck. The other day, I listened to a free webinar from an expert that turned out to be an hour-long sales pitch for a paid site. (You get what you pay for?) I got a few nuggets from the beginning but left feeling at a loss. I had been given just enough information to feel even more confused.

I chatted with some friends who aren’t even part of this particular field, let alone experts, and through our conversation, a few ideas were sparked. I was able to take those small nuggets and figure out ways to use them.

It’s a reminder that, while the experts are important and valuable, there are so many moments in which I find the help and inspiration I need from sources that aren’t proven or expert at all. When I put aside my to-do list and focus on playing with the girls, I feel refreshed in other areas. When we get outside and soak up the sun, when I turn off the noise of social media and Google searches, when I read a really good fiction book unrelated to anything I’m working on, when I remember to pause and breathe and take in the big picture – this is where I’m refreshed and most likely to unstick my thoughts.

I know this isn’t breaking news – that getting outside and turning off all the voices is healthy – but it’s news I need to remind myself of again and again. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, instead of looking for the answer, I need to just be in the moment. The answer will come (or it won’t and I’m learning to embrace that, too) but most often it’s a little spark at the back of my mind.

Today, I’m putting aside a lot of ideas and papers. I think I’ll even stack them up and put them in the basement for the weekend. The girls and I are meeting friends for a ramble at an open space and we’ll run and soak up the sun. And I’m sure some ideas will show up in the midst of living life.

How do you get unstuck? What experts do you find most helpful? Where do you turn when you need to get away from books and overthinking?

Linking with Five Minute Friday, a  time to write without editing. (As evidenced by so many run-on sentences in this one!) Today’s prompt is “stuck.”

8 thoughts on “Paying Attention to the Spark

  1. When I am “stuck”, I walk away from the situation and find a way to relax. Taking a walk outside, listening to the birds singing and enjoying God’s creations always helps me.

  2. I think it’s an important reminder for us all. For me, it’s being in nature. Really basking in God’s creation, putting away the social media, etc. Enjoy your time with your girls. I’m over in the 6 spot this week.

  3. Annie, this is terrific.

    I’m ‘stuck’ every day in that I have to reinvent meaning for life; my body is falling apart so fast and it’s so discouraging, that I’ve got to be ready to find a new paradigm for hope every morning.

    And sometimes, often, really, it’s just the fresh morning air, and the singing of the birds.

  4. Annie, it’s so easy for me to become caught up in the researching for information to answer my questions. Often times, my “experts” are friends who know more than I do in a given area. When I feel overwhelmed, I love getting outside, especially if it’s somewhere I can snap some photos. Glimpsing God’s beauty and capturing it in my lens helps me breathe more deeply.

    1. Yes! Getting outside, breathing fresh air, remembering a bigger picture… These help me refocus. I wish I’d remember to go for a walk and then turn to the experts – I wonder if my research would look different? 😉

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