Creativity Information

Connect with Your Muse


Lately I've been discussing how to thrive as a creative artist by connecting with different things. I thought it might be helpful to begin this article with some distinctions.

Inner Artist - A Part of Ourselves

As I've discussed before, the Inner Artist is that part of ourselves that has been untouched by our experiences, trials, tribulations or creative roadblocks. It is infinitely creative and joyful in everything that it does.

Spirit - All Around Us, All of Us, Every One of Us

ANY time we connect, we're also connected with Spirit. And I use the word Spirit to also refer to God, the Universe, Higher Power, something that connects us all, no matter how unique we are. While our personal definition of Spirit is unique, when we connect with that Spirit it immediately connects us with something outside of ourselves.

Muse - Outside of Ourselves

And that brings us to today's topic: the Muse, and how to connect with yours.

The word muse stems from the 9 muses of Greek mythology, who were responsible for inspiring creative artists and helping them remember their works (since in those days they didn't write them down). The Greek muses were also responsible for protecting history by singing about the great heroes and events of the day.

The muse is something that's outside of yourself, which provides inspiration and helps you get your creative work done.

I like that definition - because with that definition I get to be a muse! And I certainly am honored when I get to fulfill that role for my clients.

To have a connection with your muse you need to be tuned in to your inner voices. This is because a muse (even in the form of a coach) will not dictate, "Draw it this way", "Use this word", or "Here's the winning chord progression".

So, connecting to your muse is really a three-fold process.

1. Finding a muse (or muses - many artists have several sources of inspiration)

Your muse is unique to you, and so are the ways you can best tune in to it. You might be able to name your muse(s) immediately, or you might need to explore a bit. You might:

  • Look through finished (or started) pieces and think back on what sparked them into being. That might be a source you can return to
  • Ask other artists about their sources of inspiration
  • Sit in stillness for a few moments and reflect on what is inspiring to you
  • Experiment with other forms of art, nature walks, meditation, cooking and people who glow
2. Spending time in the presence of that muse

This could be a person you can spend time with, a place you can visit or look at photos of, an activity you can do more of or a personal environment you can create in your creative workspace. If your muse is someone you don't know personally, like another artist you admire, this could be spending time in the presence of their work.

3. Spending time in creative contemplation and expression

Allow whatever the muse has evoked to be expressed through your creative medium(s). Here's where tuning back in to your inner voice comes in. Whatever you've taken in from your external source of inspiration still needs to be filtered through your unique lens of skills, experiences, opinions, ideas and sensations. Otherwise you'd simply be reproducing exactly what you've seen or heard.

PUT IT INTO PLAY

It's time to make another date with your Inner Artist - only this time you're in search of your muse. Block off some time for simply noticing what inspires you - if you can't help but rush home and write, draw, build, photograph, compose or otherwise create something, well, call it a happy bonus of this exercise.

MUSE MINDING FOR THE BUSY CREATIVE ARTIST

What if you don't have time to go traipsing all over the city to the spots where you find inspiration? What if your creativity has a deadline? What if you have a busy life that involves other people's schedules?

Here are two possible solutions:

Make sure that your creative workspace evokes your muse. Find objects, words and/or photos that capture the essence of your muse and place them prominently in your creative workspace. Move them around every month or so, so you don't stop noticing them.

Be open to spontaneous sightings. When you're rushing around from place to place, worrying about what you did yesterday or dreading what you need to do tomorrow, there's not much time or space for the muse to get your attention. Experiment with slowing down occasionally and checking in - my muse has been talking to me a lot in the car (as long as I leave the radio off!), and also really likes to chat with me when I'm in the shower (no kidding - and I've heard that water evokes inspiration for others - how about you?).

So, what is it about water?

Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong. - Lao-Tzu (600 B.C.)

My muse whispers to me through water, if I yield to it and bend my resistance.

(c) Copyright 2005, Linda Dessau.

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. Feel like your creativity is blocked? Sign-up for your complimentary copy of the popular e-course, "Roadblocks to Creativity" by visiting http://www.genuinecoaching.com


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