Tag Archives: creating

My Muse wants me.

8 Mar


There is a lovely story told of Monet as he sat deep in thought in his garden. His neighbor looked over the fence at him and said “Ah, the life of the artist – all rest and repose.”   Monet looked up in surprise and replied “No, you see, I am hard at work now. It is when you see me finally painting that all the work has been done. This composing, the pulling what I see to the canvas, this is the work my friend.”

I say this because every time I start something new there is a nasty bit of time where frustration and impatience threaten to end my creation even before it begins.

Frustrated by the inevitable loss of something in the translation from feeling/experience to manifest image, I lose my connection.

Frustrated by the fact that I don’t see clearly enough, I lose my connection.

Frustrated that I am ‘wasting time’, I lose my connection.

Meanwhile, my Muse patiently picks at her gel nail tips waiting for my return to the task at hand. It’s  gonna happen. We know each other. We have a dance worked out.

I am greatly relieved to remember Monet and his understanding of the role of the artist in the attitude, preparation and conception of any creation. The necessary hard work which often deteriorates into courting, begging and flat –out threatening of the muse. My Muse, in addition to her traditional role as bringer of inspiration, has also taken on the admirable qualities of any good bartender/bouncer. She listens patiently, nods, encourages, yet will swiftly cut me off if I threaten unconsciousness. 14280-last-judgment-michelangelo-buonarrotiAncient muses were lovely, slender ethereal beings. Looking more like one of Michelangelo’s manly, robust gals, my muse is fully prepared and willing to kick my ass.  At first I was a bit put off by the tattoos and piercings, but I realize why she has had to toughen up.

We don’t take our muses seriously anymore. Only a century ago, Thoreau, Yeats, and Emerson walked endlessly across the countryside courting, pondering; thinking. Einstein takes a menial job so that he has time to think. Monet sits in the sun.

Time is a luxury. I know this. We say we don’t have the time. But time contains within it eternity. It takes only an instant for a sunset to move us to awe, the grateful look of a child can bring us to tears in a heartbeat, and lovers can show us the face of god.

Forget about time. I’m talking about attitude. Being open to the mystery, the awe, the wonder – Muses have always been irresistibly attracted to this type of human. If working out gets you into your creative grove, do it. If volunteering at your kid’s school gets your compassion going, be there. If having a glass of red and staring at a blank canvas gets you in the moment, do that. Cranking up the music on the drive home? Cooking gourmet dinners? Sitting in a garden? Do whatever it takes to show up.

Maybe art isn’t your thing. But if you are human, creativity is your thing. Your Muse is here. Waiting and a little impatient I might add. Tough gals now, appearing with sleeves rolled up and ready for work. Try to be there when she shows up.

So work it. Work the attitude. Spend time doing things that engage you with the mystery that is beyond, around, and within us all. If you can bring just one bit of that wonder and awe down here to earth, you have served us all well. Court the Muses, create space for their whisperings. (Yeah, unfortunately they still whisper. Seriously? Who whispers anymore?)

And if you don’t want to take my word for it, my other Muse whispers this:

It seems to me that it’s the work of poets and artists to know what the world-image of today is, and to render it as the old seers did theirs. The prophets rendered it as a manifestation of the transcendent principle. That’s what we lack today, really. I think poets and artists who speak of the mystery are rare. There’s been so much social criticism of our arts, which is just one facet. But the other function of the poet – that of opening the mystery dimension – has been, with few great exceptions, forgotten. I think that what we lack, really, isn’t science but poetry that reveals what the heart is ready to recognize. ~joseph campbell

We are here. Whatever the reason. Our only real job is to show up and be open to inspiration. We don’t get to choose to be inspired; it’s hard- wired into our nature. It has always chosen us. Let her find you ready to work when she comes.

I create.

3 Jun Drawing out the beauty of the soul! - janet balboa

Studio 141What is deciding your future right now? Often it’s an unfortunate combination of pure chance, not- so- enlightened reactions to circumstances combined with  frustration and monotony. Welcome to the world of quiet desperation…
Escape from the daily grind means reclaiming and using your power to consciously create a life that sustains you. Your future is not determined by the economy, your income level, your parents or your best friend. There is one person at cause, making all your decisions, who determines all the effects of your life, and that’s you. Take ownership of your actions and the consequences. When you say things like “It’s not my fault” and blame another person or the situation, you surrender the power you have to change ‘what Is’ into ‘what Can Be’’.
If no one is at fault, then no one is responsible. It’s a temporarily safe position. You can pass the buck and not have to do anything yourself. However, it is an ultimately weak position. Every time you blame, judge or accuse someone or something else, you are in effect saying “This person/ thing/situation is responsible for me. I cannot be responsible for myself. By making this choice, I allow it/them to decide the outcome of my life.” Then you get mad and resentful because you feel so powerless. It’s a vicious cycle.
When you choose to accept your ability to create in your own life, then you accept the power to change your own life. Take responsibility whenever you can. When you take responsibility you reclaim your power as a co-creation your life. You have the power to change course and choose a different outcome. Don’t blame yourself for how you’ve been in the past, just accept your power to choose different actions now, therefore different outcomes, in the present. All things change when you do.
Learn to use your power to create what you desire . The adage ‘energy flows where attention goes’ is true. Your ability to co-create means you can and should be directing the flow of your energy consciously. You already do it, mainly unconsciously, sending energy to everyone and everything you put your attention on. If your attention is focused on people and things ‘out there’, that is exactly where your energy is going, out there, feeding other people, circumstances, and situations. When you take responsibility just for you, you stop energetically feeding the externals. More and more of your energy will stay with you. When you are in possession of your energy, you are full. When you are full; energized, you can give. How can you give if you’re constantly running on empty? Begin to take care of yourself. Pay attention to where you put your attention. Learn to keep yourself full and consequently in the best position to give.
When you blame, judge or accuse, your powerlessness keeps you tossed about by circumstances– you react to everything, put out fires everywhere. It’s crisis management. When you begin to consciously take responsibility for where you put your energy, you will build a firm foundation from which to respond. Intentionally directing your energy allows you to be on top of situations and circumstances, not controlled by them.
Just like the blame game, getting caught up in the drama of everyone else’s life will distract you from your life’s purpose. In stead of focusing on what you can change, you focus on the never ending parade of ‘who said what’, –which you have no control over. Getting stuck here is a recipe for ineffectiveness and despair. Focusing on outer drama creates inner drama in your own life– resulting in incessant whining and wheel-spinning. Your unfocused energy, with no defined purpose, leaks away into people and situations that keep you busy and dissatisfied. Powerless.
In order to begin taking charge, it’s important to get a few things straight. Taking charge is not being in control. Taking charge is knowing who you are and where you are going. It is not about controlling what happens to you along the way. Bad things, unexpected things can happen. These things have the potential to throw you off course for awhile, maybe a long while. The important thing is to have a course to get back to. If you firmly know where you are coming from and what you’d like to accomplish along the way, you will watch your dreams turn into your reality.
Don’t assume that anyone else can make your decisions for you or is better equipped to run your life. When you start intentionally investing your energy into things and outcomes that serve you, your life will change. By consciously choosing and holding the image of what you want to see next in your life, you determine where your energy will go. When you decide what you want, a way to achieve it will present itself . In all instances, when we take charge of our own lives, and get to know ourselves and what we desire, our manifested dreams become natural extensions of our power to create.

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