It is difficult to learn to trust the Muses, and harder still to trust the ephemeral creative process itself. The most difficult thing of all is learning to trust yourself your ideas, your vision, your soul-work. It begins like this
Close your eyes. Focus on your breathing, and calm your mind. Relax, and begin to imagine a beach, pristine and unspoiled. The sand is white and silky beneath your feet. Gentle waves lap at your toes as you sit in the sand, staring out at the water and facing your fears. You're afraid of sharks. Also jellyfish and giant squids. You're afraid the undertow will carry you away, or a huge wave will pull you under but know that nothing can harm you here. You are safe, always protected by the Muses. Even if you are afraid to swim alone, or take a chance, a Muse is always available to guide you and keep you safe. In fact, I think I see one now
Up the beach, you see the slender form of a woman walking towards you purposefully. As she draws closer, you notice that she looks familiar. "I am your guide," she greets you. She has long dark hair, caught up in a scarf, and her eyes are as green as the sea.
"Have we met?" you ask.
"Only in a dream," she says. "Come with me."
You follow her along the beach to a long grey wooden pier. "I can't swim," you say, but she only smiles and tells you not to worry.
"We're not going to swim. We're just going to walk." She unties her scarf, and says she wants to blindfold you with it. "Trust me," she says. You nod. She ties the scarf around your eyes, and takes your hand. You feel the smooth wood beneath your feet as the two of you walk slowly forward. With each step, she asks you to name a fear. "As you walk forward, you leave the fear behind."
You name all your fears, and step forward slowly at first, and then with more confidence. Her grip on your hand is firm. You know she will not lead you astray, or let you stumble. Sun-warmed planks creak beneath your feet. You begin to feel lighter, all your cares and worries lifted. The two of you walk until you have reached the end of your fears.
Now, the Muse asks you to name a dream, an idea, or a project something you wish to create. "With each step you take, you are moving towards your creative dreams. You are making them come true." Hesitantly, you name one dream, and then another. You tell the Muse a great idea you had for a novel, a painting, a story, a song. Small dreams and big dreams, and all the ones in-between. Name them all, one by one, and walk with the Muse. When you have named all your dreams, you feel the gentle lap of water against your toes. "We are here." the Muse says, removing your blindfold.
You blink and look around, and see that you are standing in a few inches of shallow water near the shore of another beach. In amazement, you turn and look behind you. The pier is far away you've been traveling over the water on the strength of your dreams alone. The two of you have crossed the ocean, leaving your fears behind and walking in the direction of your soul's true work. Linger here as long as you like, knowing you may return at any time for inspiration and courage.
When you are ready to depart, you have only to open your eyes and you will leave this place behind. You are always welcome here, and you can return whenever you like now, you know the way. The Muse was only there to guide you. Your stories, your songs and poems and dreams, were the sun-warmed wooden planks that held you up.
©2011 Molly Anderson-Childers and Chris Dunmire. All rights reserved.
It's important to trust the process enough to make a record of it. How do you love to express yourself?
Use your talents and skills to create a journal or sketchbook to track your journey.
Sketch, paint, or draw the landscape where you met the Muse. Keep it in your studio, bedroom, or anyplace you need a little inspiration!
Or, find a photo or postcard that reminds you of the beach and hang it near your work area to remind you of your time spent with the Muse.
Create a song, poem, or story in honor of your Muse and guide, and keep a copy in your journal.
Spend some time journaling about the experience and what you learned.
Create a collage of your fears and burn it. Scatter the ashes and dance in abundant joy, releasing the fear to make way