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creativity -

Identifying and caring for your muse

      copyright Leslie Owen Wilson


Creative thinking is much more than using your imagination to crank out lots of new ideas. Creative thinking is a lifestyle, a personality trait, a way of perceiving the world, a way of interacting with other people, and a way of living and growing.

Gary Davis

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Muses have difficulty being heard when they are affected by the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression ( In cases of true bipolar disorder, the muses are said to love the manic side of manic-depression. Unfortunately the bottoming out is not always worth the top of the manic curve.)
  • Continual, or overwhelming stress
  • Negativity
  • Constant criticism
  • Having personal goals and aspirations constantly redirected, redefined, or thwarted by the needs and power of others
  • Violence and abuse
  • Uncontrollable rage
  • Chronic or prolonged illnesses
  • Fatigue
  • Fear
  • Panic

Try to eliminate these elements from your life. If you are unable to totally eliminate negative elements, try find productive ways of coping and channeling negative energy away from you, or learn to redirect negative energy into positive action like healthful exercise, or constructive physical labor.



In today's bizarre political climate the word "integrity" has been bantered about quite a lot lately. This term simply means "to become integral." This is an important quest because humans are complex beings and combinations of many different facets. Unless we attempt to meld these facets into some sort of cohesive whole, we will remain fragmented, disjointed, incongruent. We will be without knowledge of our true centers, and in essence we will be without integrity.

In order to accomplish being integral and becoming more whole and fully integrated, we need to carefully examine what we hold most dear, and name those things we value above all others. In naming and defining these precious things we need to be truthful -- for these are our muses, our sources of inspiration and renewal.

Why is this process important? 

First, the process of honest self-examination is a way toward health at different levels, and it will readily help identify what motivates and inspires us. Also, personal reflection may help begin the revealing of the thing(s) that nurtures and inspires our muses. Forms of inspiration are vital to our happiness and important to sustaining our existence.

Next, the processes involved in defining self forms a bond that gives each of us a special and unique persona. Acts of self-definition, active and deep reflection, and periodic sessions of intense inner self-examination, these keep us centered, balanced, and insightful. These kinds of processes aid us in developing acute awareness of who and what we are, of why we are here, and ultimately, in helping to define that which directs our lives and helps us find bliss.

Reflective Questions:

The following questions are designed to help you in finding, maintaining, and caring for your muse(s). But none of the exercises, books, techniques in the world will help or work unless you honestly examine what makes you tick. Please note there are no right or wrong answers  --- there are only your answers.

So, take a moment, sit down and think about your life. It may help to answer the following questions. You may find that your answers are about much the same things or are very similar in theme or nature. Some of you may not like your answers. Remember, muses are not always attractive, socially acceptable, moral, or loveable. (Some common answers might be: power, wealth, position, children, home, family, professional expertise, respect, love, physical pleasure, amassing material goods, physical thrills, security, social harmony, food, and so forth.)

Self-assessment Questions: Try to be very honest with yourself!

1. What moves you -- physically, spiritually, and emotionally?

2. What is really important to you?

3. What things do you cherish or revere?

4. On what aspects of your life are you unwilling to compromise?

5. What purposes define your life?

6. What makes you feel vital and alive?

7. What inspires you?

8. What drives you?

9. What enthuses and excites you?

10. What provokes you?

11. What lifts you out of yourself?

12. What things help you define and focus on certain goals?

Now go back and look at this list of questions again. How many of the things listed are things that you have defined for yourself? How many were simply things that have been defined by others for you? After you have answered those two questions, you may wish to give other answers to the questions above concentrating on giving your own answers .

This exercise should help you identify your muse(s). Remember, being integral implies that you need to be true to these values. One of the unfortunate ramifications of letting others distract you from your sources of inspiration means you may become uninspired and/or unfulfilled. If you find that you didn't like what you discovered about your muses, then you have some serious inner work to do.

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