Invoking the Muse

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Allowing inspiration to strike
     If using your dreams or entering a creative flow sounds unnatural to you at first, begin with something more familiar: your in-between states of consciousness, when you are just falling asleep or just waking up, or other times when you are a little "zoned out."
     If you are one of those people who wakes up slowly, someone who'd rather not talk for an hour or two first thing in the morning, consider it a good time to talk to your Muse instead. Scribble, doodle, or just let yourself be in a reverie once in a while.
     If you are usually rushing off to work or school first thing, look for these special times on the weekend or a holiday, during a short nap, in the shower, driving the car, exercising, or anytime your ordinary mind is on automatic pilot.
     During these times of reverie, what comes up for you? An idea? Words? Images? A tune? A solution? A new concept? A story? Take what comes up seriously and record it in some way. Keep a notebook nearby, or a small tape recorder or a drawing pad or whatever is most useful to you. That's all. It's so simple to begin.


Passion, intention, and space for the unexpected
     As important as receptivity are two other qualities: your strong desire (your passion) and your intention to develop your creative ideas. Once you are working on an idea or project with a strong desire or intention and once your mind is calm and quiet, you are more likely to recognize the jewels peeking through. That doesn't mean the jewels weren't there all along!
I can't tell you how many beautiful words I have lost because I didn't take the time to jot down the inspiration when it came. Ordinary mind can't always hold onto it for long. We are so easily distracted.

     A calming of the mind happens for many people when they do repetitive tasks like driving, gardening, running, or walking the dog. Now, I look forward to these times in a new way. They create fertile ground for the flow of ideas. Some people have reported that their ideas flowed not during but after this kind of activity. An important key seems to be to reach a certain level of mental relaxation. In the United States, we have become a people hell-bent on control and efficient use of our time. This is not conducive to creative work, which, instead, must allow for the unexpected to emerge. Creativity itself is a child of the timeless. You can't control it and you wouldn't really want to.

Creating a sacred space
Rituals and ceremonies have been used throughout time to assist people who are entering a new way of being, The ritual or ceremony serves to mark the change and to help us prepare for it.
     For your creative work, devise a ritual of your own that signifies you are entering a special place where you will meet the Muse and where you will be changed. The ritual doesn't have to be elaborate. It can be something as simple as lighting a candle, putting on special music, unplugging the phone, saying a prayer.
     Close your eyes and take a few breaths.
State your intention. Ask for assistance. You are entering a timeless place, a place where the Muse lives. Her song is altogether lovely!

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There are many names for the Creative Principle. It doesn't so much matter what you call the Divine. It is enough to acknowledge and recognize that there is something much bigger than yourself at work and play in the vast universe we inhabit. Learn to tap in and you'll step into the flow of creation and an experience
of love.


Getting out of your own way

NEXT: Seeking beauty's place
in our time

Read a blessing poem

Learn more about
the Greek muses

Read an article about aesthetics
and cyberart



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