9 Modern Day Muses
"Power is the ability not to have to please." —Elizabeth Janeway
"We tend to be attracted to confident, bold, defiant people in the world of art. Many times audacity can go further than even talent. The talented artist, writer, or musician who does not show belief and confidence can flounder, when someone less talented but with assertive belief can flourish. Being convinced in the merit of our work is an attractive energy that sells and magnetizes attention as much for the product as for the belief itself. Spending time working on confidence, acting "as if" we are worthy, excellent, daring and courageous would be time well spent for the creative person desiring success. That is why one of the nine Greek Muses was upgraded to a Muse with moxie called Audacity.
The word "audacity" is a synonym for boldness, daring and courage. Other synonyms include grit, guts and, appropriately — patience. The Muse Audacity is here to inspire these qualities in order to endow Mortals with the courage they need to be creatively liberated, and to be themselves without explanation or apology. You have probably heard someone exclaim "WELL …THE AUDACITY!" about someone who had the nerve to do something bold and perhaps rude. Audacity in the case of Muse creativity is not disrespect toward other mortals, or toward oneself. Audacity's influence includes respect — yet this does not necessarily mean a positive public opinion is needed. In fact, one of the favorite things Audacity encourages mortals to believe is "Listen, if everyone likes what I've done, I haven't gone far enough … it is not possible to be liked by everyone if I am deeply authentic and true to myself." And this is perfectly okay.
How do you go about believing in yourself to the degree that magnetizes creative success? Any change in thought process has to be done with patience and persistence. The downfall of any self-help program is not informing the participant that results do not happen overnight. The Secret, The Power of Now, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People inspire enthusiasm which can temporarily lift us out of our old habits of thinking, but if not practiced in small increments of time over several months, the old habits come back because the brain has not adopted the new habit. Many people are not that patient or do not realize the amount of time it takes to make progress down a new path and give up. The persistent ones rise to the top.
"If you pay nervous attention to other people's opinions, maneuver to obtain their indulgence and to stand high in their esteem, you will be whisked about in their winds and you will lose yourself." —Jo Coubert
By Molly Anderson-Childers
Q: What are some ways for mortals to let a little more audacity into our everyday lives?
A: One of the delights of being mortal is the migration toward authenticity. Authenticity celebrates the expression of our higher selves. Mortals are at various stages of being in touch and manifesting who they truly are — in this space is freedom and expansiveness. The energy it takes to hide who you truly are is released in favor of intuition, courage, and the cultivation of that unique gift each mortal was given. Depending on where you are in your acquisition of authenticity, here are some suggestions:
Ask small questions like: What small thing can I do today that is more true to who I am? Who is doing something that calls to my own authenticity, and where's a small place I can begin if I did it too? What do I do that feels like I'm posing as someone else? What lit my eyes when I was a child? Asking these questions heralds progress and an inclination toward moving closer to who you really are.
Acting "as if" is powerful in the service of being audaciously real. Act "as if" you are a little more comfortable with yourself, even if it's just yourself you are with. Question whether what you are doing and how you are spending your time is the real you. Read Marianne Williamson's poem from A Return to Love that says such things as: "Who are you NOT to be gorgeous, brilliant and beautiful?" And "playing small does NOT serve the world."
Mind-sculpt audacity. Practice it in your mind with all your senses and give yourself permission from your higher self to begin to act on those feelings, visuals, and other sensations.
Have inner messages that ignite audacity: "I'm going to do this and light the way for others to do the same."
Simply engage in your creativity. Creativity can effortlessly begin to direct you back to yourself. It's an amazing, spiritual process of self discovery and identity fortification.
Q: Many artists and writers feel fear and insecurity around money and security. For instance, I often fantasize about quitting my job to write and create full-time. What stops me is the fear that I would not be able to make a living, especially in these uncertain economic times, and would soon find myself homeless and destitute and without enough money for food, shelter, and art supplies. I know many creative souls who are in the same boat — I'm not alone in these fears. How can Audacity help me conquer this fear so I can live my creative dream?
A: I would say, "Jump and the net shall appear," but those who impulsively follow that advice often end up immobilized by anxiety and fall prey to being sucked back to the more secure and less self-honoring pathways in life. Begin now to WEAVE the net that you will be jumping in. There's not going to be an "all of a sudden" where the Muses summons you forward and show you freedom (in most cases), although there ARE exceptions — especially if you have connections.
Jill Badonsky, the author-girl of The Nine Modern Day Muses, plotted her escape from the corporate world by daydreaming, taking small steps, testing the waters, having a variety of ways to make money to support her creative outlets, and finally staying true to the path NO MATTER WHAT. Be willing to make some sacrifices initially, it can be a trade off but it is SO worth it to be able to live according to who you are. Abundance is defined by the freedom to engage in your passion — acknowledging abundance in THAT form will attract abundance in all of its forms. Joy, trust, and honoring your higher creative purpose are conduits to attracting everything you need. It's a creative law. About 85% of people give up when they go into business for themselves or follow their creative dreams. The other 15% know it is not a straight line to freedom, but one that weaves back and forth, steadied by consistency, flexibility, ingenuity, giving up how you think it has to look, taking breaks, paying attention to subtle paths that result in needed resources, wielding integrity, and building courage. Mortals who do this not only rise to the top, their lives are alive with creative delight, spontaneous generosity, and the unfolding of dimensions they had no idea existed until they started being true to themselves. It is a path filled with fringe benefits. A Kaizen-Muse™ Creativity Coach can help you begin this journey.
What small thing can you do today to begin to forge into freedom? Know that a small thing today is better than a large thing that never gets done because it's too much so you end up avoiding it or becoming overwhelmed. And that small thing does not need to be perfect. Go girl! Go everyone. Free yourself from the shackles of your discontent and seize the life that is waiting for you — one tiny step at a time. Sometimes it's pension vs. passion. If you talk to the wise elders of our culture, they will encourage you to go for passion. But take it slow.
Q: What are some ways mortals can tap into their intuition more readily, and thus live a life informed by their authentic, unique truth?
A: "If you have been out of touch with your intuition for awhile it will be a very subtle sense, but listen carefully. This is the center from which your wisest counsel comes — your connection to the heart and the guidance from inside of us. Audacity brings to us a knowing that reflects a strong sense of certainty that comes with intuition. When we listen to the wisdom of intuition conveyed to us from our inner resources, we find that listening to ourselves, rather than to others, is the most important way to know and trust the truth of who we are. Likewise, we will know how to share this truth in whatever way we are inspired to do so. Intimately knowing and trusting ourselves is a form of overcoming barriers created by thinking someone else has to approve of us or of our creative work. Our consequent power dwarfs the effect of opinions, criticism or negativity.
"We learn to know ourselves by experience, awareness, and acting according to what we feel is right in the moment and then weighing the consequences of our actions from an objective standpoint. Success in the form we visualize is not guaranteed. Constant success is in fact contraindicated to both the process of creativity and the process of growth as an individual. So much more insight and depth of living arises, so many more ideas are discovered, from the balance of successes and failures. If the decisions from our own wisdom result in success, we feel more confident. If they meet with failure but we remain tenacious, focused and committed to a path true to ourselves, our self-respect grows. Self-respect results in personal freedom and confidence. Steadfastly following our own wisdom in the realm of creativity, to the degree that we can without expert opinions, is a win-win confidence builder." — Excerpt from the Muse Audacity in The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard)
Q: What is your best advice for conquering a ruthless Inner Critic?
A: Be audaciously in favor of the truth of your dreams. Be defiant with your inner critic. He or she is lying when they say, "You're not good enough." Say "Thanks for sharing, but I'm carving out a life of magnificence and you can't stop me." Say, "The HELL I can't!" and keep going in the direction of your intuition. And for God's sake, be aware that it IS an inner critic and those ruthless thoughts are not the truth.
Q: Some days I feel audacious, brave, and pure of heart; others, not so much. How can I feel brave and audacious every day?
A: Give up the idea that you have to be brave and audacious every day. You don't! Honor your cycles as a mortal. Make progress on the days you feel audacious. And nurture yourself and rest when your scared child self needs attention. Write in your journal on your brave days and read it on your not-so-brave days. Make small decisions on the pure of heart days, and practice trust on the ambivalent days. Trust is the decision successfully audacious individuals make. Trust over fear with the intuition and common sense as a compass. Practice trust every day... What would it look like if you acted on just 5% more trust?
Q: What is your best advice for the chicken-hearted, yellow-bellied, and lily-livered among us? How can we mortals leave our fears behind and dare to live our creative dreams?
A: Take small steps. Daydream; visualize yourself moving in the direction of courage. Practice feeling courage in your body and mind even if it's just for 10-15 seconds at a time. Have role models who inspire you to give yourself mental permission. Reach out for support. Don't listen to disbelievers — or listen to them, and BE TRUE TO YOURSELF ANYWAY!
"If people can cultivate inner security and develop a commitment to their own talents, in this path they can earn as much money as they need or want. Once involved in this path, they go beyond the goal of money to the goal of authentic self expression." ~ Marsha Sinetar
©2001-2009 Jill Badonsky. All rights reserved.
Based on Jill Badonsky's The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard)
Courage & uninhibited uniqueness
MEANING OF NAME
Liberation from the opinion of others
Teaching self-confidence and freedom to be one's self — being true to oneself
THE SELECTION of AUDACITY
It took very little deliberation for the Muses to come up with this new modern day equivalent. Trying to stay non-judgmental, the Muses kept correcting themselves when they referred to mortals as "those wimps." "Oops, I mean mortals," they would correct themselves time after time. Muses are compassionate beings, but they often err on the side of being a little too brazen. They just cannot believe how many mortals sell out their creative brilliance because they are afraid of what other mortals might think.
Because look, here is the reality — mortals think judgmental thoughts toward another mortal's creative expression substantially less than imagined. If another mortal does think something judgmental, that thought process usually takes up about 30 seconds. Think about it — these self-conscious mortals hold back their destined creative exaltation, often their entire life, because they fear a 30-second judgment from other mortals who don't deserve that much power in the first place. They just need a little more moxie, a little more … audacity. And when the Muses reached that conclusion, Aha-phrodite said "Yes, … audacity is exactly what they need, so let's make 'audacity' a Muse." The others concurred unanimously with catcalls, a few "whoops," and one somersault.
As expressions of God, we have the ability to manifest our divine authenticity and unique form of creative brilliance. Through our willingness to share our originality we share with the world the beauty, insight, and ingenuity our creator has given us. We must share with audacious courage, believing that as we do, we make a sweeping statement that can change the world around us.
Jill Badonsky is a creativity coaching pioneer, inspirational humorist, artist, and founder of Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching™. More
The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard)
The Awe-Manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder
Body Blissmas: Creativity & Wellness
Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Stories
Owner's Manual for Your Creativity
Dear Muse Column