I have been reflecting lately on the curious phenomena of ‘inspiration overwhelm’ –how I describe the state of being suffused with relentless and oftentimes competing ideas and potentialities and the anxiety that they will be forgotten before they can be fully grasped. Inspiration overwhelm is characterized by overthinking and a difficulty in arranging the copious inspirational thoughts that keep coming, into a cohesive whole or a plan of action –but with an awareness of an intense desire to do so.
Inspiration seems to overwhelm when we find it difficult to ‘bring it down’ from the realm of thought and feelings and ground the inspiration so that it may become manifest. Our inspirations are always seeking manifestation; to be worked upon and to become realized in tangible life. Oftentimes the very experience of feeling overwhelmed prevents us from finding a clear path to ground that which inspires us. It seems this is a state of both mind and heart -the mind doesn’t want to let go of its inspirations that the heart knows to be important.
I was speaking with someone recently who was ‘suffering’ inspirational overwhelm from a concentrated spell of intensive reading. She was reading voraciously and thoroughly enjoying the varied and inspired material that was ‘speaking’ to areas of heartfelt interest. It seemed that several of these key interests were being activated and she soon became aware that many potential ideas for further work were starting to compete for her attention. “It feels as if I can’t let up on any of my ideas in case I might forget them” she described to me. “It’s the strangest thing as there are so many synergies in what I am reading and I know I want to synthesize the ideas into a cohesive whole but at the same time it‘s driving me mad because I can’t ‘put it down’!” There it is, I thought: Inspiration overwhelm.
Laura and I have been reflecting on the ability for inspiration to overwhelm us, and we both recognize this place of unborn creativity and a desire to manifest. Certainly, we have been experiencing such a place with the therapy partnership and our combined desire to bring the many creative aspects of the partnership ‘down’ and into life. I suspect this is an experience that many of us may share at times in our lives and I wonder if the feelings of overwhelm may act against us at times of intense inspiration.
Certainly what I am describing also accords with general descriptions of obsessive thinking however I suggest it is a state of obsessive thinking that is driven by inspiration’s desire to be realized and the blocking function of the mind to complicate or prevent this from happening. In this way, inspiration overwhelm is calling upon the emergence of qualities such as organization, discernment, perception, and clear thinking. It is also calling us to practice stillness and patience and letting go; things generally come to us clearly when we let them go. Maybe when inspiration overwhelm strikes we should tune in to the specific conflict which is occurring within us and inquire what qualities the experience is asking us to develop. In this way we may enable inspiration to flow within us in a manageable and creative manner.
Does the phenomena of inspiration overwhelm resonate with you?