A muse is that "spark of inspiration" that stirs within writers, musicians, and artists helping them to tap into their creative juices. Everyone is creative. Everyone has a muse. But what are we to do when our muse is deep in slumber or nowhere in sight or sound? We cannot always depend on our muse to rise to the occasion. Your muse may need a poke now and then in order for inspiration to flow more freely. This is especially true if you have unknowingly created a road block between you and your muse. Your relationship with your muse is really a give-and-take one. If it is your habit to ignore or disregard inspirational ideas when they surface you are truly squelching the creator within yourself. Your muse can become your very best friend if you nurture the relationship.
Harvesting Creative CropsA plant will wither and die when you don't water and fertilize it. Here's one way to look at muses. A muse is the Johnny Appleseed of your psyche. Muses plant seeds. And, although apple trees will generally grow on their own without much tending, how the tree fruit tastes at harvest time depends entirely on you. How sweet or sour are your apples? How soon will you be able to harvest your creative crops?
Childlike MusesMuses virtually never grow up. They are very childlike in the way they demand our attention. Muses want to be heard and will give you plenty of ideas to bounce around and play with as long as you acknowledge their presence. Muses are playful entities who want you to break free from your adult seriousness and play with them. They will happily create fun, prompt adventurous activities, and cheer you on with inspirational accolades.
Don't be surprised to discover inspiration lacking in your life if you are in the habit of sending your muse away for being bothersome. A neglected muse will cower in the corner or stay hidden in a dark basement if you don't keep yourself open to receiving its inspirations. There is nothing sadder than a muse away on retreat. Muses prefer to play with you, rather than be left alone.
Listening to the Whispers of Your MuseIt is important to learn to listen to or at the very least acknowledge whispers from your muse. Muse whispers can seem quirky or unworldly. Inspirational thoughts or creative ideas often come at the oddest moments. It is typical for creative thoughts to come whenever you are alone, perhaps when you are commuting to or from work. Or, when you are laying in bed at night drifting peacefully into dreamland. However, it is not unusual for muse whispers to be heard at the most inopportune moments such as when you are busy tending to business or interacting with others. Musings can also hit you like a brick when you would much rather be concentrating on another task. For optimal listening try incorporating a meditation practice which allows wakeful awareness each day. If you allow twenty minutes or even as little as ten minutes each day for quiet reflection your muse will likely take advantage of this period of solitude to communicate with you.
Balancing Your Task-Oriented Self with Your Muse SelfLife is a balancing act. In a fulfilling life there will be time for play and a time for setting your toys aside.
You've likely heard the term starving artist. Starving artists are joined at the hip with their muses. These artist types will focus tirelessly on their art, thus spending quality time with their muse playmates. They will forgo the comforts and luxuries in life that can be attained by the task-master who labors at a job which promises monetary exchange. The starving artist lifestyle is not meant for most of us. Most of us like to eat and enjoy comforts.
Staying on task doesn't mean that our work cannot be pleasurable. Even if you are lucky enough to have a job you love, the mundane aspects of our daily lives will never go away. The trash doesn't take itself out to the curb for its weekly pickup. Our family obligations are not to be forgotten. Still, we need to be careful not to let the task-master side of our personalities cast a shadow over our muses. You can enjoy playing with your muse without being irresponsible or giving up on your monetary goals.
When those untimely muse-sparked ideas surface make a mental note to explore them later when you have more time. It helps to jot down creative ideas to revisit later. Just don't forget to revisit your notes and explore these ideas in depth. How often has one of your brilliant ideas come to fruition first by some other person? Yes, it happens. Don't give up. Maybe next time it will be your turn to be brilliant!
Reawakening a Dormant MuseThat reservoir deep within your being (where your muse resides) desires frequent replenishing of your focus and energy. Fill the basin and nourish your water nymph muse and eventually the creative juices will be flowing again. Even if you have ignored your muse for years it will still answer your beckoning if inspiration and creativity is what you choose. All you need do is invite your muse to return to your side. Tell your muse that you are willing to listen and desire to collaborate on a new creation. Unlike the inner child who may carry scars of abuse or neglect, a muse is much more resilient. It carries no judgement or wounds. Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, your muse will return again and again to whisper inspirations in your inner ear... Are you listening?
Note: My muse inspired me to write this article.
image © gladtobeout / MorgueFile