"O! for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention."
a. A guiding spirit.
b. A source of inspiration.
Historically the term referred to men describing the women they loved and made the subject of their creative endeavors. Today we live in a gender neutral age where a muse can be described as a particular individual, or even inanimate object, who enlivens the creative process.
I have found that the well of my muse is a place I can continue to drink from. Often a sampling of inspiration, passion, drama or gut wrenching pain. Rarely does an experience not get absorbed and push me to create. It becomes an organic part of my journey, a part of my DNA that needs to be expressed. Without that process I lose the beauty of the moment, be it pain or joy. It is only by surrendering to these extremes do we grow. As explained by Julia Cameron, "the creative process is a process of surrender, not control."
If one is as fortunate as I have been the relationship between muse and experience will intersect. Distinctiveness defined. Artistic expression and original thoughts by their very nature are iconoclastic and at the core it is the muse that makes it all happen.
5 reasons you need a muse:
- Removing Performance Pressure. Having a muse allows us to transfer the awful, paralyzing burden of responsibility for the outcome of the creative efforts.
- Inspire Gratitude and More Creativity. Julia Cameron recommends the practice of gratitude as overcoming creative blocks and maintaining a state of flow.
- Avoiding Workaholism and Laziness. There are two basic errors you can fall into in creative work. One is workaholism: exerting yourself so frantically on a project that you use yourself up and burn yourself out. The other is laziness: doing nothing and hoping you'll magically feel motivated and inspired to get it done eventually.
- Enhancing the Stages of the Creative Process. Creativity involves a fallow period or an incubation period, an interval of surface inactivity during which our unconscious self is doing the deep formative work that is its forte.
- Opening You to Your Deep Intelligence. As a matter of incontrovertible, self-evident truth, each of us experiences himself or herself as at least two selves, two centers or levels of identity; a conscious ego and an unconscious companion. Your unconscious mind truly is your genius. Befriending it as such in the classical manner puts you in a position to receive its gifts, and it in the position to give them to you.
Find your muse. Be inspired.