Caring for the muse
Techniques and Suggestions:
copyright Leslie Owen Wilson
est.1997, updated 2005
Learning is finding out you already know.
Doing is demonstrating that you know it.
Teaching is reminding others that they know it just as well as you.
You are all learners, doers, teachers. You teach best what you most need to learn.
Richard Back, Illusions
Charlesworth, E.A. and Nathan, R. G. (1984) Stress management: A comprehensive guide to wellness
Chang, E.C. (Translator) (1985) Knocking at the gate and other healing exercises from China
Cohen, K.S. (1997) The way of Qigong: The Art and science of Chinese energy healing
Dennison, P.E. and Dennison, G. E. (1986) Brain gym
George, M. (1998) Learn to relax: A practical guide to easing tension and conquering stress
Hendricks, G. (1995) Conscious breathing: Breathwork for health, stress release, and personal mastery. (Dr. Hendricks has written or co-authored many books on living, loving, and working better and on types of meditative or calming experiences. One of his most popular is The centering book.)
Leonard, G. and Murphy, M. (1995) The life we are given: A long term program for realizing the potential of the body, mind heart and soul ( George Leonard has also made a great video in which he explains and illustrates the physical exercises entitles The Tao of practice)
Lerner, H. (1985) Stress breakers
Naparstek, B. (1994) Staying well with guided imagery: How to harness the power of your imagination for health and healing (Belleruth has a number of audio tapes with recorded guided imagery experiences. Her voice is most soothing and melodious.)
Create joyful living
Often creative spirits thrive and our muses are feed in small but unexpected ways. Being and feeling creative are often states of mind. Creativity is not always an act that relates specifically to the development of a product, the completion of a project, or to solving a problem. We create every day and in many ordinary ways. In this context learn to celebrate your accomplishments, experience something new, take safe risks and savory moments of joy. Learn to experience the wonder of life in new and different ways. Here are some suggestions and starting places for creating joyful living:
Reinvent yourself in some way -- discover a hidden talent; tackles something you've always wanted to do; take a new and different route home; comb your hair another way; try a new food.
Throw something away that is no longer of personal use, or which has meaning or function and celebrate simplifying your life. Literally say good-bye to this object, and enjoy the empty space.
Re-envision your living or work space and rearrange or move something in your home or office.
Paint or clean something and sing, hum, or whistle as you do it.
Praise someone else's efforts -- out loud!
Commit an act of random kindness or beauty. And, don't expect others to notice.
Dance, whirl, sing loudly in a public place -- and then giggle.
Cheer for someone else, or for yourself.
Wake up in the morning and announce -- "I'm back and I'm here to stay."
Find something or someone to celebrate.
Get excited about some little thing and show it.
Laugh a lot. Laugh out loud. Laugh 'til you cry.
Buy some different type of music and play it loudly -- and dance wildly.
Cook something you've never tried before, or order something you've never tried in a restaurant.
Surf the Net in order to learn something new, and then try to connect it to something you know.
Have a conversation with or sing to something that isn't human.
Say something nice to a total stranger.
Create other celebrations, often.
©Leslie Owen Wilson (1998) all rights reserved
Techniques and suggestions for finding and nurturing the voice of your muse:t is easier to pursue the muse if you try to maintain some equilibrium or joy in your life and try to create connections with others, nature and the cosmos. Also, if you attempt to balance the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of your life.
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 nonpercussive 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 breathwork and mental connections like meditation, guided imagery, visualization experiences, and affirmations.
- 3. Seek experiences that bolster and boost you immune system, sooth, release stress and place you in a state of flow -- Laughing, dancing, twirling, singing, painting, coloring. Studies with children show that after just three minutes of music therapy, their immune responses rise - sing, hum, whistle, or learn to play an instrument.
- 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; begin taking naps.
- 6. Carefully examine your diet in light of what we are finding out about cancer prevention and food allergies.
MindWe are all illuminated from within. Sark
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. 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 if 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 or personify 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 or learn to say thank you to some invisible power for moments of beauty, joy or release.
est.1997, updated 2005