Techniques and suggestions for finding, nurturing, and sustaining your creative muse – Body, Mind, Spirit
©Leslie Owen Wilson, 1998 Contact Leslie
It is easier to pursue the creative muse if you try to maintain some equilibrium or joy in your life and try to create connections with others, nature and the cosmos. It also becomes easier if you attempt to balance the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of your life. Leslie
In many countries physical exercises, self-defense forms, or specialized regimes are much more than fitting into that old suit or special outfit for the holidays, more than toning or building muscles, more than just learning a new sport or dance. Many cultures have long traditions of relating the physical to spiritual, creative or mental dimensions.
1. Investigate, experiment or choose elements from ancient physical practices like the health exercises and postures of Qi Gong, T’ai chi, Native American greeting rituals and dances, Integral Transformative Practice ITP, Brain Gym, or Yoga. Or try aspects of the non-percussive martial art forms like Judo, Aikido, Kung fu, or T’ai Chi Chaun.
2. Develop a physical regime that you can maintain or create your own “kata” (Japanese for sequence or form) — a daily regime that includes a series of physical exercises designed for creating strength and agility, combined with breath work and mental connections like meditation, guided imagery, visualization experiences, and affirmations.
3. Seek experiences that bolster you immune system, release stress, and which place you in a state of flow — Laughing, dancing, twirling, singing, painting, even coloring.
4. Learn to find and do physical things that are directly connected or designed to release negative emotions (like anger busters) – Examples: scribbling your anger on a piece of paper and then tearing it up, burning it, burying it, or putting it into the freezer. Or try noiseless screaming, hitting pillows, rolling up a newspaper and beating it on the table – things like that to get rid of excessive stress, anger and hostility.
5. Learn about acupressure or reflexology, get a massage or a facial, go for acupuncture, learn about Reike, luxuriate in the shower or bath while indulging in aromatherapy, or begin taking naps.
6. Examine your diet carefully. In light of what nutritional science is finding out about foods and diets that help prevent cancer, regulate metabolism, and food allergies, there are important connections to food and wellbeing.
We are all illuminated from within.
The whimsical author Sark talks about getting ready to enter a project and “gathering the silence.” This may be a necessary process for some people in order to hear the voice of the muse. There are other mind connections which refer to “calming the mind,” or hushing the chatter of the mind in order to be able to hear the inner voice of the muse. Frequently it is also by doing mindless or repetitive activities that we can get in touch with the muse. The rhythm of the activity quiets the mind long enough for the muse to get through.
1. Get in touch with your mind (and soul) and learn to gather the silence through meditation; the use of guided imagery or visualization. The differences between these three forms are:
a) Meditation – This word can mean ” to contemplate, ponder or reflect on.” Perhaps in its truer sense meditation indicates one being engaged in a purposeful devotional exercise. Often it is an extension of spiritual or religious practice with the direct intent of getting in touch with one’s cosmic or divine connection. It is the purposeful contemplation and listening for the cosmic pulse.
b) Guided imagery experiences rely on external guidance. These are experiences which are outer-directed either by audio reproduction of some sort or by another person. These experiences are usually designed to bring the listener to a deeper level of understanding, relaxation, or awareness. Or, they may be designed to promote healing and general health, or to increase performance in some area, or to help the listener overcome some mental barrier or fear.
c) Visualization is usually a self-initiated and self-directed form of mental imagery. The visualizer sees him or herself completing a task, improving or growing in some way, conquering a fear or health problem, or working through a particular situation.
2. Change your perspectives by
a) Looking at things differently – physically and emotionally change your perspectives
b) Learn to use sensory input along with your intuition. Become sensory if you are not and let your senses speak to your mind. Become intuitive if you are not and listen to your inner sense of being.
c) Anthropomorphize emotions, pleasures and barriers– Look these as if they were real people with personalities and peculiarities. Talk to them. (See Gendler, J. R. (1988) The book of qualities for a prototype)
3. Think positively – Create affirmations and repeat them often.
4. Attack physical, mental and emotional changes, pleasures, disturbances or pain with toning – the conscious verbalization of pain and pleasure.
5. Practice synthesizing material — actively seek connections and practice integrating different concepts and ideas.
6. Learn to think holistically and visually – create schema, charts, concept and mind maps.
7. Find music that makes your mind work better – a la The Mozart Effect; Superlearning; or Hemi-sync Music from The Monroe Institute (All of these sources have discussions or sources of brain-compatible music. This is a new and budding area called psychoacoustics.)
8. Honor your dreams – Study lucid dreaming; keep a dream journal; visualize a wish or solution before you go to sleep; examine the metaphors and messages within your dreams.
You may interpret this category as your inner essence or being, or as your spirit or soul. You should begin by carefully examining what you truly believe in this area and divesting those beliefs that are limiting your self-understanding, or your understanding and appreciation of others. Learn to celebrate and respect what nurtures your soul and heart.
1. Learn about mantras. Create your own special mantra if you wish. Use your mantras during your visualizations of meditations.
2. Study other religions, religious practices, or the cultural rituals of others.
3. Create a special ritual that has personal meaning for you and practice it.
4. Commune with nature and learn to decipher and respect its patterns.
5. Play with children — Simple, childish acts like climbing a tree, or swinging and looking at the sky can be very uplifting.
6. Make positive gestures of kindness, and don’t expect thanks.
7. Cultivate empathy and understanding – see if you can decenter long enough to listen attentively to someone’s problems. And try just listening without offering advice.
8. Learn about emotional intelligence and practice it.
9. Find music that touches your very essence.
10. Become prayerful, contemplative, or learn to say thank you to some invisible power for moments of beauty, joy or release.