Spark sounds right on the money for word choice.
I feel like I’m in the process of rediscovering my spark right now, gradually, starting maybe a couple of months ago. It’s too soon to say at this point if that’s true. But it certainly seems like I’ve experienced an increased flow of lightness and fun, feeling more organic and less analytical. It’s not a big all-or-nothing thing for me, it’s gone away and come back to varying degrees throughout my adult life (when I was a kid, it seemed to just be “always on”). I have also noticed a correlation between this spark and artistic inspiration throughout my life.
I only have wild intuitive guesses about it; it resists analysis. If you are interested in my hand-wavy thoughts about it anyways, here goes…
I think it’s a timid little thing. If I try to chase after it, it’ll go away and hide. Or dodge, like when you try to grasp a little fluff wafting through the air that always goes around your hand. I can’t try to make it consistent or increase it when I want to, because it won’t be controlled. When I try to control, I get this need for results, correctness, structures of my choosing, and those thoughts monopolize the space that my spark needs to roam free. I need to feed the spark, but also stay out of its way, give it room to roam, to develop itself.
I also don’t think it ever really went away. I thought it did, but I suspect I just lost my ability to see it, like how Hobbes has the form of just a stuffed animal when Calvin’s parents are watching.
I think being inspired by other people’s spark helps reawaken my own. It can be a movie about someone pursuing their passion. It can be people-watching a person who is totally just themselves and fully alive, and not even aware of how it shows. Kids especially! It can even be sorting through projects I’ve abandoned in the planning stages, reliving the moments when I had that excitement pulsing through me.
I also find perspective really valuable. I spend too much time in my head thinking about my life, and I breathe easier when I can correct that. Thinking about other people. Thinking about other phenomena in the world that I’m not directly part of. Thinking about my relationship to the world as a whole. Thinking about my relationship to my Higher Power. It has a way of shrinking whatever is feeling suffocating, hostile, or dead. So, meditation, mindfulness, prayer, social engagement. Doing things you haven’t done before without expectations. It’s a good creativity stimulator too.
It’s not that have any particular success in any of these areas, but relative change, “better than before” is meaningful.