Message from the Muse, 10/28/19

Today begins “Secret Friend Week” at work: a time to share a bit of inspiration or encouragement with a colleague daily. There was a time in my life when I thought stuff like this was rather silly – too forced to be taken seriously.

Now I know that play is serious business, and that when my Muse offers a message, I had better listen and share what she has to say.

Today, she wanted me to share this simple reminder:

Remember to slow down and savor each moment as it comes.

Smell the coffee. Taste the bread. Relish the lingering aftertaste while it lasts.

Release the moment as a good friend, with anticipation of the next time you will meet.

Tara Erin

Musing on Compassion

Last night I sat with darker passions – resentment, anger, and pride. I neither denied them, nor gave them free rein, but acknowledged them and allowed them space within myself to be expressed.

This morning, for my birthday perhaps, they returned to me a gift of understanding.

Take no action in haste, and speak not in anger. Rather, sit with yourself in compassion. Com-Passion: together with passion (1). Allow your passion to be, and like a good friend, ask what it needs you to know.
Your darker passions are like winds under your command. You can let them swallow you up, like a tornado, blinding you with the detritus it sucks up, and leaving a path of destruction across the landscape of your life. Or you can go with your passion, like a kite or glider or even a scrap of paper upon the wind, and SEE where it takes you.
As you observe passion’s current,, you can learn to navigate it, and rise up to gain a new perspective. Seeing where it came from and whither it goes, you can see if it will spend itself, or if some action is needed on your part to heal that which created the storm.
My Personal Smashbook Pages, 3/1/19

Applied Creativity: An Exercise in Self Compassion

Take your passion to the page. Express it in words. Then, find or create an image that captures the emotion you are feeling. Cut it up and collage it across the page like an exploded puzzle. This is your wisdom portal.

Once you have done this, write, paint and/or collage over the first writing, focusing on in the in-between spaces. See what wisdom this expanded space to honor your feelings will bring forth. 

Share your creations in the comments!

Footnotes

  1. Etymology of compassion, by wiktionary.org: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/compassion#Etymology

Becoming the Ancestors

The Creative Now

So here I am, finally, in my new blog about creativity. To be honest, I feel a bit lost. In such a vast territory, where do I even begin?!

The “question of creativity” is enormous, and seems detached from my everyday experience. Then, in the very act of pondering the question, I see it shift under the light of my present consciousness: for these very words on the screen, appearing before my eyes, are an act of creation. I cannot experience creativity in the future or in the past, but only in the NOW.

It seems as promising a path as any other, so I tend it further with my attention, and it sprouts some new leaves: 1) an Idea sustained crosses the threshold into Experience; and 2) the Experience imprints itself upon my consciousness, leaving it forever altered; 3) Experience is the thing: the jewel of NOW set in a band between Past and Future.

Experience, born of our creativity, is the thing of which our every moment is made.

Perhaps creativity only seems insignificant because, rather than exercising our full creative power, we tend to create the same thing over and over again.

The Creation of Our Ancestors

None of this is original: it is an amalgam of ideas attributable to Albert Einstein, Eckhart Tolle, and Zen Buddhism, to name just a few of the influences. The words on this screen, however, are my creative expression. Perhaps the red thread of fate, which has grown short between you and I, dear reader, has called them forth. You are drawing the words out of me that you need to see – to hear with your inner ear – at this moment.

Perhaps we even transcend time, and even as I write these words, you have already read them. Not in linear time, but beyond it, in the space of the heart.

Here in the Now we are each fully present within the heart of our personal experience; we stand at the center of the stream of all humanity. All around us like a rich river delta lies a world formed by the creative moments of our Ancestors, deposited Now upon Now upon Now. Creativity is not only connected to our experience: it has shaped it.

And now, we are becoming the Ancestors…

The Ancestors are no longer here, but the world born of their creativity surrounds us: the dreams of the inventors, yes, but also the triumphs of the victors, the sorrows of the victims. The abused who became the abusers, and the wise ones who founded strong and prosperous family lines.

Each one was creating, but if the evidence around us is anything to go by, too few have been rewriting the scripts when things went badly. Too few even realized that it was possible to rewrite the scripts.

But not you. You know better…

You know we can rewrite the scripts. You know we can change the course of the river. You know we can form a better world through the force of our creativity.

Creativity only seems insignificant because we tend to create the same thing over and over again…

We must immerse ourselves fully in our experience like children, and play with what we find there. We must be willing to risk mistakes, and we must be gentle with ourselves when things don’t turn out the way we had hoped Above all, we must be willing to try again…and again…and again. We must keep trying until we create something like. Something we love. Something, perhaps, that will change the world.

Better yet, we must do it together…

“A Council of Muses would change the world,” my Muse insists.

“I’m sure it would,” I reply, “But how do I call them?”

For now, my Muse is silent. And I am annoyed.

___________________________________________________

Journaling Prompt: What would you like the world look like when you are one of the Ancestors?

Every New Beginning…

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end…”

This poignant line from Semisonic’s Closing Time feels most apropos on the day I have finally shut down Mentors and Masterminds, my networking site for administrative professionals, and turn my attention to Tara Erin: Artist in a Cubicle.

The scope of Mentors and Masterminds was quite specific, and that specificity was both its beauty and its problem. The beauty of the site was in how quickly and easily I was able to design, build and deliver focused content on the subject of mentoring; the problem lay in the narrowness of the scope. I am an artist and creativity coach, and there didn’t seem to be room for all that I wanted to do within its confines; and being only one person, I couldn’t really keep Mentors and Masterminds running while turning my attention to a new endeavor with a broader scope. In keeping with my 2018 word of the year, some PRUNING was required.

And now that I stand here on the threshold of a broader conceptual space, I am both excited and overwhelmed. Where do I begin? How will I ever get to it all? What was I thinking?!

My Navigator takes over: she knows the map of this place. “We have a lot of spaces to build: the creativity blog, the teaching studio, the art gallery, the print shop, the services page and the scheduler. We’ll start with the blog. I believe it’s time to bring in the Muse, now?”

The Muse steps in, but she doesn’t say anything: instead, she starts imagining, taking me on a mental journey of the possibilities and I can see these digital spaces being filled with things I have yet to create.

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