Percolation before Inspiration

January 28, 2020 Transformational Coaching

Have you created a vision board or set your goals for 2020? For the past 5 years I have created a vision board for the upcoming year. Typically, on New Year’s Eve I am inspired to do this but this year I spent New Year’s Eve with my mother and wasn’t at home for this annual inspiration. In all honesty, I wasn’t really feeling it this year until a few days ago. I was sitting quietly reading some material for my work at the Living School and wham! – I was inspired to do my board.  Within 30 minutes, I had it and I knew it was exactly the year I hoped to create.

This got me thinking about what inspiration is and how we tap into it.  One thing I know for sure is that you can’t force it. Often, inspiration comes when you least expect it yet when I look back at the moments and days prior to the inspired moment, I see the signs that I was percolating about it whether I was conscious about it or not.  I use the work percolating from a memory from years ago with my grandparents.  They would make coffee each morning using a Percolator which is a type of pot used for the brewing of coffee by continually cycling the boiling or nearly boiling brew through the grounds using gravity until the required strength is reached. As the coffee percolates (brews and heats up), you see the liquid hitting the top of the little glass receptacle at the top of the pot and you hear a spurting sound that the pot makes, called the “perking” action, as it is boiling the water and washing over the coffee grounds until it is ready to drink.  What I remember most is the incredible aroma of the coffee as it brews.

I’m not always aware that I am percolating but what is happening is that I get an idea or have thoughts that lead me to do a little research, read, listen to something on the topic, write down my thoughts, or just sit quietly for a bit.  It sometimes feels like I am taken down several rabbit holes that don’t seem related yet when inspiration hits, it all seems to come together. Most importantly, I have focused energy about what I am doing and that is how I know it is percolating and not just a rabbit hole that is distracting me from doing something I need to do.

What I’ve learned is to value these percolating times, to give myself time to percolate, – even if it is in the middle of the night – and to trust that where I am being led is purposeful and will yield an outcome. The key is not to rush myself but to value the process, percolating, just as much as the inspired moments!

What are you percolating these days?  Pay attention to your thoughts and energy when needing to be creative, solve a problem, or answer an important question. Go down some rabbit holes, follow your energy, and give yourself time to percolate. Right around the corner, at any moment, is the inspiration you least expected!

Theresa Gale
PRINCIPAL, TRANSFORM INC.