Art of the Song

Inner and Outer Creative Sources

Physical place and inner peace as sources of inspiration and creativity.

By John Dillon | Posted 9/1/06 | Updated 9/21/20

Two Creative Sources? We continue our series on Creative Source and take a look at "physical place" and "inner peace" as sources of inspiration and creativity.

We happen to live in one of the most beautiful physical places on the planet, Northern New Mexico, and I certainly draw inspiration from the long desert vistas across 4 million-year-old volcanic formations, and from the pine-covered mountains that rise behind me, and morph into peaks of seemingly barren Alpine tundra.

This place holds a certain magic for me, so much so that when I spent 20 years in a place that did not resonate with me in this way, I couldn't get New Mexico out of my mind, and I always imagined that I would return. During this time away, I co-wrote a song called "Building in my Mind," which was indeed a metaphor for getting back to one's place of inspiration. The song also exemplifies the power of intention and visualization: It didn't take long after the song was written that circumstances did in fact change, and I was able to make the move back to my creative home.

I also draw inspiration from a source that is not dependent upon physical place: my "inner peace," that quiet place I can go to rest and recharge no matter where I live. I go there through meditation, reading inspirational books and poetry, listening to music, or just sitting quietly and observing. It is a place where heart and mind work together to receive inspiration. It is here that I connect with something greater than myself, the Creative Spirit, my higher power.

But wait, is there a connection between these two creative sources? Could it be that being in the "right physical place" merely makes it easier to connect with one's "inner peace?" If this is so, can we use our imaginations to re-create these conditions, and trick our brains into thinking we are in our inspirational "physical place?" Or is it possible that certain places do in fact hold a magic spirit that cannot be replicated?

What do you think? Do you draw your source from physical place or inner peace?

©2006 John Dillon. All rights reserved.