24 October 2012

"it's the little things": finding inspiration in the ordinary

This month has been one of those where it seems like every waking moment is a time squeeze, particularly when it comes to writing! I’ll bet you know what I’m talking about … It seems like so often in the writer-life we try to go from "Writer Kent" to "Superwriter." We have writing, families and friends, jobs, and other commitments vying for our attention, and in the midst of all this we’re trying to keep our passion for the words that so inspire us alive. It’s sometimes hard to know where to turn to keep the juices flowing and the love glowing.

This is why, for me, it is so important to take a minute and find joy, and inspiration, from the so-called little things.

“the roses”

We’ve all heard that phrase “Stop and smell the roses.” Every time I hear that phrase I imagine a busy soul walking rapid-pace through life. It’s a woman half-jogging down the street, soft green pea coat flapping in the gentle breezy wake her body’s motion creates—arms full, breath heavy, hair frenzied, off to the next thing … And suddenly: roses. They halt her in her high-heeled steps, and the gaze she gives them is almost wild. It’s that sudden realization that hits her: the realization that she’s almost missed something so beautiful. For a moment there’s nothing more important that a deep breath and that flash of red and pink and splendor.

Maybe it’s a man pausing at a red light to catch a glimpse of a little league baseball game.
Maybe it’s a cup of coffee or a glass of water that does it—a scent or a phrase uttered on the fly by someone you barely noticed was there—but suddenly you find yourself transported, and it’s the most glorious split second reaction, to take that little break and let the world breathe around you.

“breathe in”

If you were to ask me what I do to relax after a busy day, I might say, “Turn on the television and veg out for an hour.” But when I stop and think about it, the first thing I always do is kick off my shoes, sink into my couch, and just breathe for a minute. Eyes closed, mouth slightly open, head back—I just breathe. It’s the most glorious thing. It reminds me that it's not always the big thunderous lightning-bolt moments that jolt me into feeling inspired.

It really is, as India.Arie sings, the "Little Things."

There is inspiration all around you, if you have a second to stop and look. It could be a blemish on a wall or a discarded and lonely sock, the sound of a neighbor’s dog barking, the scent of old coffee. Maybe it’s singing a song, or listening to someone else sing. Maybe it’s an episode of Law & Order or the look of a silent television before the flicker of life hits the screen.

Go for a walk. Sit. Hold your breath. Breathe. Live with your eyes wide open. Dream. Find inspiration in the little things, and let the little things breathe in and through you ... they make a big difference, for being so small.

When was the last time you stopped to smell the roses? What are the little things through which you find inspiration?


Want to stay connected? I invite you to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Please also sign up for the free email updates from Our Lost Jungle!


Some Little Things Giving Me Big Joy Today:


  1. Our Wordsmith Studio friend Veronica Roth has me noticing light and shadow, both outdoors and in my house. I really enjoyed this post, Khara. Your description is beautiful.

    1. Thank you, Michelle! I'm a big fan of Veronica's art; I need to remember to stop by her page and snag some inspiration! :)

  2. Khara, that old expression about smelling the roses is new and vivid in my mind from your description! I was kept home today with a (barely - the little faker) sick child and had to appreciate it as excuse to skip all I had planned for the day. It was a day of little things, as you say, but it was a great recharge.

  3. Khara,
    I love your descriptions. You see a whole scenario - which is what makes you so vibrant and fun.


Thank you so much for your comments! Please feel free to share your thoughts here; I look forward to engaging in conversation with you!

Featured Post

Sankofa: The Power of Known History

I recently took on two challenges in the sphere of political and cultural advocacy: understanding the roots of our democracy and national l...