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15 Enlightening Magazines You Should Read to be Inspired

15 Enlightening Magazines You Should Read to be Inspired

When it comes to inspiring, exciting creative resources, sometimes magazines aren’t the first thing that pops into your head. That being said, the digital age has allowed online and digital versions of magazines to flourish. From art and design, to travel and technology, digital, print and online magazines offer many new, inspiring and eye-opening perspectives on the world. The following 15 publications are some of the very best options to keep your interests fresh.

1. Wired Magazine

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    This magazine covers a wide range of technology-related subjects. It’s a more in-depth magazine, focusing mainly on home technology, robotics, consumer electronics, space exploration techniques, and general, timely science topics. Wired Magazine is available in print and digital publications, with some content available on the website as well.

    2. Discover Magazine

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      Discover covers a wider range of scientific topics, though is written in a way that the average reader can understand. This magazine covers several different topics including technology, space discoveries, environment, natural wonders, health and psychology. Several stories are featured on the Discover Magazine website; however, users can subscribe to both print and digital editions. Discover is an inspiring look at the many wonders of the world around us.

      3. Extreme Tech

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        Extreme Tech is an online magazine for those looking for a deeper appreciation of technology. The site covers computing, mobile devices, the Internet, gaming, electronics and “extreme tech.” Though this publication covers more complicated bits of technology, the extreme tech section includes some of the most inspiring new developments in our world.

        4. Art News

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          Art News may very well be the foremost art magazine in the Western world. Covering a wide range of topics including photography, dance, painting, sculpture and exhibitions, it is available in both print and digital editions. Including artists from all over Europe and North and South America, this informative, inspiring magazine has been published since 1902.

          5. Juxtapoz

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            Another inspiring art magazine, Juxtapoz follows art and artists from around the world, but focuses on more modern visual arts. Juxtapoz covers illustration, photography, design, graffiti, music and performance. In addition to beautiful print editions for both the United States and international markets, the website includes free video interviews.

            6. International Artist

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              Whereas other art magazines focus mainly on art pieces, International Artist focuses on those who create the art. Profiling new and established artists from around the world, this print publication will introduce you to many new outlooks.

              7. Aesthetica

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                Aesthetica is another magazine focusing on art; however, it chiefly focuses on film, music and performance, while still following topical visual arts movements. Based in the UK, Aesthetica offers print and digital subscriptions, as well as some stories on their website. The wide range of arts covered makes it a uplifting and inspiring read.

                8. Fuse Magazine

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                  This art magazine based in Canada mainly covers independent artists in visual arts, performance art, music and film. Focusing on a wealth of under-discovered talent, Fuse brings truly original works to light.

                  9. All About Space

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                    This incredibly informative magazine covers just what you think it would: All About Space examines both timely, pop-culture space stories and deep, complicated discoveries. It presents discoveries from around the world, and is based in the UK. An utterly amazing look at the universe surrounding us, this magazine will shake up any perspective.

                    10. adAstra

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                      An inspiring magazine from the National Space Society in the US, this magazine covers many interesting topics, but is somewhat more complicated than All About Space. AdAstra is only available in print, though some bonus videos are available on the website.

                      11. Smithsonian Magazine

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                        Smithsonian is another truly inspiring publication. Available online, this magazine focuses on groundbreaking discoveries in many different areas of science. Not only doesit cover in-depth, amazing discoveries, it does so in a way that the average reader can understand. This publication focuses on technology, and also includes many great perspectives on the environment and nature sciences.

                        12. Servo Magazine

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                          Servo Magazine is a truly incredible look at the exploding world of robotics. Available in print, it explores robotics in all different fields. This magazine does require some basic knowledge of computing and robotics, but examines some of the most groundbreaking movements today.

                          13. Budget Travel

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                            Budget Travel is an exciting magazine, even if you’re not on an above average income. Budget Travel promises to show you new and exciting places, but also ones you can actually contemplate visiting. This magazine includes a lot of media on its website, and also offers a print edition.

                            14. Afar

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                              Afar is a unique publication, focusing on travel. While other travel magazines focus on resorts and how to get to places, Afar delves into the culture and experience of being somewhere. Available in both print and digital editions this magazine promises unique perspectives on a host of different locations.

                              15. Future

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                                Future offers eye-opening coverage of new architecture and building designs. A breathtaking record of the most cutting-edge advances, it focuses on design, modular architecture, efficient architecture, and eco-friendly projects. This magazine is available in print and digital editions, but also features some stories on the website.

                                Featured photo credit: Melissa O’Donohue via flickr.com

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                                Last Updated on October 22, 2020

                                2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

                                2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

                                Good things come in twos: Peanut butter and jelly, Day and night, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The same is true for what sparks our creative energy: our thoughts and actions.

                                Creativity is an inside job as much as it is about a conducive schedule, physical environment, and supportive behaviors. By establishing the right internal and external landscape, creativity can blossom from the abstract to the concrete and we can have fun along the way.

                                Sparking creativity is all about setting up the right conditions so a spark is ignited and sustained. The sparks don’t fizzle out. They are allowed to grow and ripen.

                                Think of a garden. Intention alone will not produce the delicious red tomato nor will the readiest seed. That seed needs attention at its nascent stage and as it grows a stalk and produces fruit. If we want to enjoy more than one fruit, we keep at it, cultivating the plant and reaping multiple harvests.

                                Creativity lives in each of us like seeds in the earth or encapsulated in a nut. Seeds of ideas, concepts, designs, stories, images, and even ways of communicating that surprise and delight await activation.

                                By sparking our creative energy, we activate these unique seeds. Like snowflakes, they are of a moment and always without a match. The smallest sparks encourage even the smallest, most dormant seeds to sprout.

                                The good news is that our creative energy wishes to be sparked—to be invited to play. It wants to be our regular playmate.

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                                1. Be Childlike in Your Thoughts, Attitudes, and Approach

                                Being childlike in our thoughts, attitudes, and approach is an easy way to internally have our thoughts be gracious prolific gardeners to our creative energy. If we want it to come out and play and hang around as our regular companion, then let’s return to our 5-year-old selves.

                                Our childhood selves are naturally curious. We still have that curiosity! All we have to do is remind ourselves to get curious. We can do that by simply observing and being with what is in front of us instead of making up a story about what won’t work or why something can’t be done. So, it’s about cultivating curiosity instead of jumping into judgment.

                                Move Your Inner Judge to the Sidelines

                                When we get curious, creativity percolates and, ultimately, takes its place in the world. To give a hand in choosing curiosity over judgment, we can move the judge that also lives inside us to the sidelines. The judge squashes our creative urges, even when they are as small as sharing a point of view. It’s that pesky voice that causes us to doubt ourselves or worry about what others will think.

                                The judge is also risk-averse. The judge likes things to stay the same. Change makes the judge nervous.

                                Creativity is all about risk and changing things up. It needs risk, even failure, to be its naturally innovative, dynamic, impactful self. The judge likes to convince us failure is something to be avoided at all costs.

                                To move the judge to the sidelines and let curiosity reign, we can pay attention to who we are in conversation with and who is calling the shots.

                                Is it the voice of fear, doubt, or anxiety (the inner-critic—the judge’s boss)? Or is it the voice of wisdom, courage, strength, and non-attachment, and of course curiosity (the inner-leader)?

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                                We can easily tell the difference by how each makes us feel. The inner-critic depletes and slows us down, putting roadblocks in the way. The inner-leader energizes and a natural rhythm develops.

                                It’s all about who we spend time with. If we wish to exercise, we will seek out our friends who go to the gym or hike. If we want to lose some weight, we will opt to eat dinner with someone who prefers a healthy spot over fast food.

                                After getting curious, we can honor what our curiosity prompts us to do. The spark can do its job and a fire starts to glow when commitment enters. Our childhood selves were fully committed to being creative. That level of commitment is still something we are very capable of exercising!!

                                Again, we need to let go of the judge. We can ask ourselves, what do we want to commit to—negativity that depletes our creative energy, depth, and output, or the understanding that our thoughts and attitudes matter and that right thoughts and attitudes are the sparks that really let our creativity come alive?

                                Learn to Recall Your Childhood Self

                                To get in touch with that unabashedly committed childhood self, recall your childhood self. If you have a picture, pull one out. Keep it around so you can remember to activate that innate creative nature that was prominent then and wants to be prominent now and always.

                                Soak in the essence of that being. Commit to their commitment to brave and dogged trial and error because it is yours as well. You are that person.

                                Remember how tenacious you were when you wanted to build that sandcastle. You kept at it as the waves came in. You built with fury or reconfigured the walls. Also, remember that there was a willingness to fail since you were as invested in the process as well as the outcome—but less with the outcome. You were willing to experiment and start again. There was vitality—the main lifeline of your creative energy—instead of a rigid attachment.

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                                When you notice you are in conversation with your inner-critic or being held back by it, simply acknowledge, name it, and then switch to your inner-leader by taking a few good deep belly breaths, rubbing two fingertips together, or listening to ambient sounds in the background.

                                Physical movements shift our negative thoughts over to the positive domain of the inner-leader. As our judge continues to sit on the sidelines, our ability to quiet the inner-critic becomes stronger. We taste freedom. A simple taste emboldens us to say no again to the judge and yes to what makes our hearts and spirits sing—our creativity.

                                We begin to spark creativity to the point it no longer needs to be invited to play. It becomes our regular playmate—the younger sibling or the kid next door ready to have some fun, maybe even make some mischief by shaking things up.

                                When we align with our inner-leader and think and act from its promptings, creativity flows up and out with ease, as it needs to!

                                Letting those initial sparks generate a creativity fire that keeps burning is something we can all do! That’s the inside job.

                                2. Listen to Your Inner Leaders of Creative Energy

                                If we listen, our inner-leaders will let us know just what we need to set-up and do in our physical world to maximize that gorgeous, hungry creativity we now have flowing freely in us.

                                The seed has been unlocked! So, now what?

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                                To enable our creative energy to take its form and place outside of us, there needs to be spaciousness! Spaciousness in our physical worlds impacts our internal one. It lets the voice of the inner-leader be heard. It lets creativity have room to be sparked and acted upon.

                                With a little discipline, we can easily create spaciousness in our daily lives—spaciousness that will spark our creativity and let it take shape.

                                So, no matter who you are and what conditions help your creativity thrive, check-out these easy-to-implement basic suggestions:

                                • Reduce or eliminate multi-tasking.
                                • Say yes to what matters and what aligns with your big values and goals.
                                • Say no to all else.
                                • Say no again.
                                • Schedule time in your calendar as you do with other things in your life to just be, to ponder, to let ideas percolate, and to create.
                                • Spend time doing the things that bring out your creative energy. It could be walking, singing, or simply looking out the window.
                                • Meditate.
                                • Breathe—long breaths in and long breaths out through the nose.
                                • Invite your body and heart into your experiences so your mind is a part of you and not all of you.
                                • Try a new thing to spark your creativity. If you spend time running, try a different route. If running feels stale, cruise around a museum, or go for a bike ride.
                                • Play a game. Indoors out or outside. Think of what makes you happy that you haven’t done in a while. Is it a physical game like badminton or cards? Maybe it’s storytelling? Play is creative, and it sparks the creative energy, too.
                                • Spend time in the places that bring out your creativity. What spot in your home could be your spot for entering into that mode? Do you need to get out? Maybe a park bench is the right spot, with a book of poetry, or even nothing at all.
                                • Spend time in nature. Nature brings us to a place of calm and awe and through that our creativity is easily sparked.

                                Final Thoughts

                                These are all habits—habits of mind and habits of doing. Experiment with what works for you. Have fun. If you give even 50% to altering your thoughts and actions, then you will begin to spark your creativity. It takes a lot of curiosity and commitment, but it can definitely be done.

                                Our innate creative energy is a deep source of all that we seek—joy, connection, renewal. It deserves and looks forward to the changes you will make that will let sparks fly and ignite!

                                More Tips to Spark Your Creative Energy

                                Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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