There are a variety of pathways to creativity: interest in certain subjects and ideas, role models in fields of interest, or necessity for finding solutions to certain problems.

There are a variety of pathways to creativity: interest in certain subjects and ideas, role models in fields of interest, or necessity for finding solutions to certain problems.

However, the most important precursor of a passionate, all-encompassing creativity is inspiration.

Feeling inspired, which is analogous to falling in love, differs from romantic love in one very important way. Though it desires fulfillment, it expects nothing in return. Even unfulfilled, it returns again and again. At times, if responded to, there might be a short term "affair." But there always is the possibility of a love that lasts a lifetime. It's important to realize that inspiration can fill the one who is inspired with the promise of, and urge for, fulfillment in body and soul. The electrical surge, when responded to, flows back and forth until the inspired creation is complete and an orgasm is reached. Or, if not received or responded to, it simply fades and disappears for the time being.

To be inspired! Can inspiration be ordained, demanded, ordered? How do we "get it?" The answer to the first question is "No." To the second question — When we allow an opening for inspiration to enter our life, preferably on a daily basis, we "get it." The "how" of doing that, however, requires mental and spiritual responsiveness that might have to be learned.

Inspiration itself is proactive. It comes at unexpected moments when we are unprepared for its onslaught. We are suddenly captivated with excitement. Joyous happy delight sweeps us off our feet like a romantic, marvelous lover. It stimulates our desire to respond and express our joy by uniting with it immediately.

For some this "lover" stimulates an art expression, for others, an invention of some sort. For some, an esoteric idea or prophecy, or solution to a problem, for others, the immediate response might be music or dance, or a way of doing that re-forms all past accomplishment. Inspiration is a glorious happy energy. Once it captures us, we begin to look for it every minute of the day. It floods our dreams by day or night. We realize that our old ways of seeing and seeking joy are pale and lifeless by comparison.

Sometimes, however, the enemies of inspiration rear up to block our vision and halt our response. These ugly fellows scream, warn and induce fear. They are really old core beliefs telling us to believe in them instead as they actively try to induce in us a limited negative view of ourselves and others. Their aim is to halt our response to inspiration and to break off that relationship. As these saboteurs capture our attention, we hear: "An artist never earns a good living," or, "You're not talented or smart enough," or, "You're too old for all that stuff," or, "You should stick with office work or sales," or, "Those airy/fairy ideas are too risky," etc. If we allow their shouts to dominate and persuade us, then our love affair with inspiration will disappear from our life.

If we see these fear-mongers for what they are — efforts to keep us safe in the status quo — we might let go of them. Suddenly, we might see those beliefs as we see our outgrown clothing from childhood — something that no longer fits our body or our soul.

If we do let go and take this opportunity to unite with our creative self and feel again the presence of inspiration, our true love, we could choose to move in together, to start our cohabitation in earnest. If this is what we choose, we will then also be in the position to connect with our life purpose and our spirit within.

These two best friends of inspiration eagerly wait to help us create our life and inner peace anew each day.

Charu Colorado, 91, artist and transformational life coach, resides in Ashland. Her specialty is showing how our creativity, dreams and our inner spirit guide us in life. See her art www.charucolorado.com and her coaching site: www.creatingourlife.com.

Send 600- to 700-word articles on inner peace insights to Sally McKirgan innerpeace@q.com.