Where To Find Inspiration
I thought a lot about inspiration (and motivation) when I was traveling in Ecuador this past week.
It was the rainy season in the ancient city of Quito, so the (real) fireplace featured in the photo on the left was burning much of the time; a cozy and magical place to sit and consider what singing means to me - and where to find inspiration.
I took this photo at the charming boutique hotel called, "Cafe Cultura" where they played remarkable little-known music from all over the world; a surprising source of creative inspiration in itself.
(Note! I know that many people cannot travel these days. As you will read, these three tips about where to find inspiration are not reliant on spending time and money to leave your country.)
1. Shift Your Perspective
Travel is one way to make a fast, radical shift in perspective. Especially if you go to a very different culture - as I did in Ecuador. I was fortunate to be able to get away from my "usual" routine and explore this country with a friend who knows Ecuador well and speaks Spanish fluently.
The experience of moving through vibrant new scenery; driving through breathtaking mountain passes; walking in dense jungle forests; gazing upon ancient and beautiful architecture changed how I felt about my life and my potential to do meaningful musical work. This mental shift did not come in a flash. But over several days, I found myself thinking differently.
Alternative - If you cannot travel outside your country, take some virtual journeys on Youtube. The idea is to change what you look at day to day and therefore change your thinking.
Ecuador´s beauty and
The Enchanted Islands...
2. Explore Another Culture
Because my friend-guide, Anna, spoke Spanish well and because she, like me, is a very curious artist (in her case, she directs theatre), she spoke a lot with our cab drivers and with many of the people we met on the street and in shops. My Spanish is poor, but communication is more than language, so I could get the gist of a conversation. And I could see how the person expressed him/herself.
People from other lands have different slants on life. What is important to me, may not matter to them. And vice versa.
Living in another culture for a even a short period of time gave me a broader understanding of what is possible in life. What matters. And thus, what is possible in music.
(In the photo on the left, the woman in the red shirt who runs the fruit stand in the hot beach town of Playas, is quite elderly. She had operated that stand in that place for many years. She was warm and friendly to us. She and her daughter choose luscious fruit for our breakfast and kissed & hugged us - "Ola!" & "Adios!")
Alternative - Where to find inspiration? Most of us know someone who is from another culture. I know, I do. But often we don´t talk in much depth about their land and their experiences in that country. We forget to ask them about the music they love, the artists they respect... This kind of connection alone, never mind travel, can give us greater insight into life and therefore greater inspiration for singing.
3. Seek Out Great Natural Beauty
We had the unique pleasure of visiting an Orchidarium - (a place where they cultivate Orchids) - that had over 200 varieties of the flower.
Walking through the greenhouses was an exotic exploration beyond words. It was as though each orchid had a personality - or so said the man who cultivated them and guided us through his gardens.
Most of us know the wonderful feeling of being struck by beauty. It may be a painting; it may be a vision; it may be an abundance of exotic and otherworldly flowers that lights us up.
Those feelings are precious for a singer. We can return to them when we need inspiration to sing with deeper expression.
Alternative - Visit a botanical garden in your city. Grow some flowers in your home. Get a lovely plant for your balcony. Bathe in beauty as you can...
Where to find inspiration? I am discovering that inspiring moments are all around us. Sometimes we are too stressed to feel them. Sometimes, it can take just a little sideways shift in life to regain the desire (and motivation) to keep learning ways to express ourselves through singing.
I Wish You Great Singing!
where to find inspiration to 30-min Singing Lesson With Barbara Lewis
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