9 Modern Day Muses
"You can't make footprints in the sands of time if you're sitting on your butt, and who wants to make buttprints in the sands of time?" —Bob Moawad
Bea Silly is the Muse of Play, Humor and Lightening Up. She is the third Muse in the modern day upgrade that happened when the classic Greek Muses were unable to keep up with the pressures and distractions of the 21st century.
Bea Silly is all about play. Taking the creative process too seriously can choke off its flow. Putting too much pressure on yourself to perform perfectly, shuts off the flow of ideas that come with lightness, uninhibited play, and sleeping backwards on your bed.
In Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching we find that questions are vital to the creative process. We ask a lot of them and we prescribe small ones to clients as antecedents for AH-HA experiences. The brain loves to play with questions; the mode of curiosity is closest to that of the child. When we ask questions we activate the brains percolation systems and this is very creative indeed. Ask yourself:
Like I said in the title, fun is an elixir of spontaneous ideas. Solutions that seemed so evasive earlier appear effortlessly in the midst of play. To engage in the kind of play that stimulates ideas, mortals need to take themselves less seriously and make room for making things up, kidding, and goofing off. Bea Silly advocates the mortal prerogative to be silly, foolish, and frivolous, and thus, have fun. She wants mortals to step out of the adult mode that, because of its tight adherence to unbendable rules, leaves little room for creative discoveries.
A light mind creates an inner playground for ideas. Insecurities mortals have about letting down their adult guard, and thus look foolish, need to be reexamined for the benefit of creative exhilaration. Who is the fool? The childlike mortal with a lightness of heart dancing with the spontaneity of mischievous ideas, or the strictly adult mortal who takes himself too seriously? So often in Shakespeare plays it is the fool that makes the wisest observation strewn with humor and alive with play.
Take two minutes right now and write down all the ways you could bring fun and play into your creative life. List quickly and include the silly, the absurd, and the playful. •
By Molly Anderson-Childers
Q: Who are some of your favorite creatively silly mortals — alive or dead — who have been inspired and delighted by your playful energy and sense of fun?
A: One of my best projects has been Ellen, I lunch with Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, and hang in the rafters over the Daily Show. You may have noticed that words such as Google, Stumble Upon, and Yahoo have emerged — and though they sound silly, mortals are attracted to silly these days. "Silly" is becoming a lucrative movement...it's because I've been hanging out in corporations as well. Every mortal who knows the value of play and laughter and silliness, is in my fan club and I in theirs.
Q: Do Muses make resolutions to ring in the New Year, the way mortals do? If so, what are some of your resolutions for the new year and beyond?
A: Muses know the folly of New Year's resolutions. We subscribe to the belief that mortals work best when they run on the intuition in the moment. So, although we encourage mortals to decide on an intention to follow like a North Star…the intuition in the moment may bring more action in alliance with what their souls really need to shoot for. We encourage mortals to follow North Stars such as joy, inner peace, higher purpose, service and creativity — where the intuition leads mortals following these essences will always be the right action…even if for some weeks it means daydreaming about the next small step.
If mortals asked the child-like spirit inside of themselves, what three things would feel good today in terms of their higher purpose…rather than forcing a linear agenda, their child-like spirit, which can be responsible for colossal resistance, would be more cooperative. That said, any intention, goal or resolution can be made more enticing by making it fun, or by rewarding the small steps that make it up in a fun way.
If I were to ask myself today what I might be intuitively drawn toward… it would be nudging that Badonsky girl to get writing on her third book. It's going to be silly in a good and inspiring way.
Q: The Modern Day Muse Cards are a fabulous invention! Can you tell me a little bit more about this new creative tool, and your role in its creation?
A: Well, you know that Badonsky girl I mentioned up above?…I DID sprinkle her with a mixture of Muse dust, silly string, raspberry flavored pixie stick dust, glitter adhesive and some baking soda — because I thought it was funny. But after she showered, she sat down and made illustrated cards for all the Muses. The cards are very powerful and should be used only when you've done several yogic breathing exercises, have sung the word Zugggg for 10 minutes continuously while petting a cat, and are nowhere near a grass blower….
But seriously…the powers of the Muses can be called up by picking a card and applying the principle of that Muse to whatever project is at hand. You'd be amazed how effective this can be with a Muse-blessed deck. Furthermore, when you buy a deck you are automatically invited into the Muse Card Secret Society website, which gives you all sorts of uses for the cards. I'd give you the website but that would be silly — you can't get in without a password. But if you buy the cards, you can get them here, you will receive the secret entry information.
Q: What are some of the projects and plans you're excited about for the future?
A: I'm VERY excited about Jill Badonsky's new program: "So What I'll Do it Anyway, Invincible Will for Focus and Follow-up." The So What I'll Do it Anyway part of the title is one of my most powerful tools to help mortals stay true to their creative call. It is derived from the power of the inner brat to disregard any inner or outer detractor. For example, if you say to yourself "I'm not good enough," or "I'm too old," or "What if my creative passion is a waste of time?"…the inner brat can be activated in the interest of breaking through these unhelpful and fictitious fears. If he or she says "So what, I'll do it anyway!" permission is fueled, inspiration is engaged and we have more will to get to those things that call to us.
Q: What's one thing that anyone — no matter their age, budget, or circumstance — can do to keep their creative juices flowing and generate new ideas?
A: They can set aside time to use their imagination. There are so many moments in the day when a little imagination can shift our entire experience of ourselves and our world. We can pretend and act "as if" we are more courageous, more patient, more resourceful, more creative. Funny thing happens when we are pretending these things…we all of sudden start BEING these things.
Journal writing, listing, writing very short stories and poems…these things can be done in 2 to 5 minutes and can result in a continual flow from the fountain of creativity.
Asking the small question: "How can I make this fun?" is a virtual elixir for the creative process. My philosophy of play and fun is one of the most vibrant and popular tools in Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching.
Q: What's your favorite way to beat the winter blues and fight stress?
A: Watching funny movies, looking at you-tubes of animals, rereading funny things mortals have written, and taking a journey in my imagination. Laughing at how funny we are as humans and what a good sense of humor the Creative Spirit has is a sure-cure. Putting on music where you can't sit still is a guarantee to obliterate blues as well.
Q: How does motion open you up to receive inspiration? Can you tell our readers more about Muse Walks and how they work?
A: The body is filled with creative ideas. Ideas cannot resist it when the body moves playfully...it may take time if your ideas are stuck behind your fear...but movement with the intention of being playful dislodges ideas that have been stuck for ions. Play's active spontaneity is the optimal condition for creativity. That's why dance and movement are part of my domain. Exercise and any other kind of physical activity can also elicit ideas. The energy of exercise releases stress so the mind is free to connect to the ideas behind the tension. Even moving your hand over the paper can muster up some power for you…the subconscious responds to action, and the subconscious leads us around like a mother duck.
Q: In Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard) you suggest some rather unusual ways to get beyond creative blocks. How does throwing a tantrum or rebelling against a deadline help to fuel an artist's creativity?
A: Walking around stomping your feet can physically release some of your resentment toward being so responsible by giving the inner child a voice. We suppress so many feelings as we get older. Stomping your feet plugs into the child inside of you, makes your body release from our usual composed adult like stance into a novel one, and frees tension. This engages, again, that ever important child-like spirit who can then spontaneously move into ideas.
Real deadlines really shouldn't be ignored, but there is a psychological mischievousness that can be activated to fool the rebellious inner child. Put "cleaning the fridge" or "watching TV" on your to-do list and then, INSTEAD, sneak into your studio or writing space to MAKE STUFF. This is a fun experiment to practice to appease the rebellious side that is so common among the creative. Make your rebellion work for you.
Q: Do you have any final words of inspiration?
A: Just some quotes from my section in the book, The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard):
"Play is the exultation of the possible." —Martin Buber
"A child's attitude toward everything is an artist's attitude." —Willa Cather
"He who hesitates is frost." —Eskimo proverb
©2001-2009 Jill Badonsky. All rights reserved.
Based on Jill Badonsky's The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard)
Play, laughter, & dance
MEANING OF NAME
A silly way to say "be silly" in the name of creative brilliance
Bringing play, fun, laughter, freedom, back to the creative process
THE SELECTION of BEA SILLY
Bea Silly got her name from one of the earlier modern day Muse assignment meetings. The Muses were sitting around, intensely brainstorming about various possibilities. They wore deep furrowed brows. Thalia, the Greek Muse of Comedy, noticed "Hey, aren't we getting just a little bit too serious?" Knowing that this is unwise in the creative process because seriousness often chokes the play of ideas that generate handfuls of ingenuity, the Muse Albert replied "Hey, for za next hour, let's just be silly." The experience was rewarding . . . and "Bea Silly" was born.
Joy, play, laughter and dance make life lighter and more creative. The acknowledgment of joy is rewarded with new ideas and fun. Let go of the rigidity of being an adult, find yourself again in play and laughter. Realize play results in productivity.
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