I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to the idea of inspiration.
I have been over the moon inspired lately by & with a lot of things…
Including but not limited to finally writing the book proposal for a book idea I’ve had in my head for 2+ years, writing my YOGA EBOOK that will be out in about a week + a half (#OMG), yoga as always, especially teaching yoga, and tons of ideas for growing the TBB brand now that I have Christina coming back to work with me full-time come April.
While I was there I surprised myself about a few things, and thought I’d share them here…
Firstly, I was surprised that I was able to mix in a LOT of play, relaxation, movement & fun with my work. Usually when I go away to “lock myself up” (as I always put it) I end up leaving the trip with like 50,000 new words written but also with a pulsing migraine, an achey body and an itch to get back to reality and squeeze my humans.
For example… a couple of years ago I locked myself away in Newport Beach to write the entire second half of Breaking Vegan (my memoir) — but I also didn’t speak to anyone and ate room service for every meal annnndddd by the time I got back to LA I sort of felt like a zombie.
Don’t get me wrong, I strongly & seriously enjoy a good work sesh. I have learned a lot about my personality through intense self-study & reflection over the last few years, and one thing I recently learned from the fabulous Gretchen Rubin‘s philosophy on happiness, personality types, study of human habits, and more is that I am a “rebel” in every sense of the word.
That’s right, my HABIT is to be a rebel.
This means I do not thrive in any environment that is typical. AT ALL. If someone asks me to do something, I probably won’t do it — unless it was entirely my idea. That’s why I work ALONE and have subconsciously created an entire career & lifestyle off of… well… being rebellious. In a very tame sort of way (sort of? Lol).
The most rigid structure I have had to adhere to in my entire adult life is my new yoga teaching schedule — showing up to teach 4x a week at the same time, same place, week after week.
Even though it’s fun for me and a dream come true, it has taken a wild adjustment of my entire psyche to actually COMMIT to that & enjoy it for everything that it is, while accepting that my non-structured freedom doesn’t have to be 24/7 for me to be able to breathe.
Anyway, back to the inspiration thing.
I enjoy a good extreme 48-hour lockdown with my work because it guarantees my rebel self that I will get shit done. I hype myself up on inspiration, good vibes, caffeine & nutritious food (and keto, let’s be real) and put my ideas to paper. I turn them into a legit thing that I can share with you guys and set into stone for LIFE.
It feels GOOD. I mean, have you noticed how immediate & fleeting everything in my career and day-to-day life is? Blog posts, social media photos, podcast interviews, Snapchats, Insta stories… things that share, share, share but also disappear or get lost in the shuffle once they come to fruition. Podcasts really do live forever which I LOVE and I feel that because of that, having a podcast has strongly influenced a more long-term & dedicated (i.e. less immediate satisfaction) type of drive inside of me.
So when I got to the Bacara and realized that for some reason I wasn’t in the headspace to dive into a full-blown 28-hour don’t-leave-the-room, get-all-meals-delivered, turn-your-phone-on-airplane-mode, maybe-take-one-bath, get it ALLLL out on paper type of lockdown, something really strong hit me.
I think I’ve become a much, much, much more balanced human over the last few years.
Hear me out.
I have been trying to apply this balanced lifestyle and mentality to my work for a long time. I have a lot of commitments, and they all have such a serious hold on the way I spend my time. For a long time I said “no” to every social opportunity that wasn’t work-oriented, and even to many work opportunities because I simply didn’t have the space inside of me or within my sched.
These days, I live life WAY differently. I prioritize self-care, yoga, all sorts of random & spontaneous adventures with my friends and loved ones, I am pretty head over heels for someone (okay, very head over heels), I teach yoga 4x a week CONSISTENTLY in a legit setting with a legit manager and students and whatnot, movement every day but not in the over-worked HIIT + massive runs 6x a week kind of way, I feed my body with nutritious and balanced food that doesn’t deprive me or overindulge me (trust me, I’ve done a lot of both a LOT of times throughout my life), and I actually go to… doctor’s appointments, dentist appointments, therapy, voice coaching, acupuncture, massages, facials, and more.
This might sound weird, but back in the day when I was such a freaking workaholic blog-a-zoid alien I did NOT take care of myself in that way or go to the appointments that I needed to or wanted to.
These days, life is just way more balanced and somehow I wind up getting way, way, way more done because of it.
So yeah. My BFF Jill (“IDK My BFF Jill?” Anyone remember that commercial? Lol…) came down to spend the day with me in Santa Barbara on Thursday. We did this INCREDIBLE thing where we: hung out, went on long walks, laid by the pool, AND got a lot of work done. We basically worked in spurts.
Or at least I did!! I think she did too.
I wrote the ebook for like an hour, then we chatted & I would vent about something random like a WEIRD & irrelevant review on my podcast (#sigh), then I’d write the ebook for another hour, then we would go on a beach walk and dip into the pool, etc.
It might not sound like your standard super-productive day, but I can’t even tell you how productive it was for me.
To have someone I love with me and connect with so deeply actually revved up the inspiration inside of me tenfold.
Plus, she and I are opposites so when I was geeking out about all of the creative & mindful aspects of the yoga ebook, Jill was throwing out all sorts of tactical, forward-thinking business ideas & adjustments to weave into the ebook to basically help it sell well.
My point is — I think overall I prefer the work ethic of having people nearby to bounce ideas off of, collaborate with, and keep me sane & down to earth instead of getting swept up in total, complete, madness-by-writing zone.
Does that make sense?
The truth is, I think all inspiration stems from a bit of craziness.
And I used to think that that craziness was NECESSARY in order to produce good work.
But these days, I am really enjoying the balanced life. That doesn’t change the fact that my inspiration stems from a crazy place inside of me, but it means I can harness that and keep everything else in place also.
It might sound funny because of course “balance” has always meant a lot to me, but I am only now — at the age of 26 — really starting to figure out what that true balance looks like in my life.
(BTW it’s freaking 2:01 in this very moment, my lucky stream of numbers, and I have chills because I feel so connected to this particular detail that I am about to share).
Now that Christina is coming back to work for me full-time, I feel such a sense of ease and a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. I can continue to create in the way that I continue to dream of in order to build the TBB brand & beyond, and she will be able to act on SO MUCH OF IT because it’s never been doable for just one person.
She is also an amazing counterpart to my personality (like Jill), so she will keep me organized & on top of it.
I can show up, create, write, and be PRESENT in every moment rather than just running around like a lunatic because my schedule is so overbooked & I am trying to keep everything straight on my own.
And now that I am doing LESS, committing to fewer things and truly focusing on a much more minimalistic lifestyle, I am getting more done than ever before.
Bigger things, more exciting things. (To me, at least). I am seeing far more big picture with true, serious longevity than ever before.
Ultimately I cannot wait to share this ebook with you and the WHOLE POINT of this post is to remind you guys & myself that inspiration can never be forced.
I couldn’t force the type of inspiration I thought I was going to be overcome with in Santa Barbara, and because I didn’t even try to force it… I was gifted (thank you universe) an entirely different and equally awesome (more awesome?) sense of inspiration and got just as much done — even if it wasn’t 100% in the form of a FINISHED ebook.
On the same note,
I am really enjoying blogging a bit less frequently so that I can give space & love to my podcast & these other projects… and I find that because of that, each blog post feels insanely special to me and full of emotion & its own type of energy.
I also think its worth noting that since 2017 has started I’ve spent my weekends way differently than last year & before. Instead of being in yoga teacher training every single weekend, or working & traveling for work or locking myself up to write… I’ve been more spontaneous than ever before. Just going with the flow, with a lot of time spent with my loved ones & letting life unfold each day.
THAT has been beyond inspiring in so many ways.
I think as writers, bloggers, creators we HAVE to have that element of spontaneity and connectivity in our lives in order to thrive & continue to create things with new ideas.
Same goes for moving intuitively. I want to write a whole post on it because that’s a new concept of mine that I am pretty fascinated with and can’t wait to dive deeper into.
TO SUM IT UP —
Inspiration comes in all forms. It should never be forced, because if we allow it to hit us in the way its meant to — we will actually be ten trillion times more productive & inspired.
It’s not always in the “get everything done right now” form, and that’s not ALWAYS the best or most important anyway. Living life and ensuring that each moment is inspired & enjoyed is actually far more productive.
Life is good.
And I want yours to be too. <3 (I mean, it probably is but I just had to throw that out there because that’s why I share my life at all in the first place — to give you hopeful ideas about yours too!).
Thoughts? What do you guys think about inspiration? I think I want to write my own definition of it and and plaster it to my wall because I am just pretty obsessed with the amazing way that it’s so DIFFERENT for all of us. SOUL ON FIRE, if you ask me. 🙂