“The Muses were the nine Greek goddesses who presided over the arts (including music) and literature. A shrine to the Muses was called in Latin a museum. An artist or poet about to begin work would call on his particular Muse to inspire him, and a poem itself might begin with such a call; thus, Homer’s Odyssey begins, “Sing to me of the man, Muse” (that is, of Odysseus). Today a muse may be one’s special creative spirit, but some artists and writers have also chosen living human beings to serve as their muses.” (Merriam Webster Dictionary)

Have you ever felt busy all day, and reached the end of the day tired, and completely unsure of what it was you had accomplished that day? Or how about been overwhelmed by the sheer number of todos on your todo list? In our search for efficiency and accomplishment our inner-peace can easily turn into a mental stewing pot. Some years ago I was struck by Elizabeth Gilbert’s explanation of the pressure on creative professionals in modern times, and how to begin thinking of the benefits of a more ancient view on where inspiration comes from.

Muses are traditionally goddesses or spirits who give humans creative inspiration but in a modern, humanist mindset like mine, our muses are a psychological aspect of ourselves that are as important to our every day lives as to working in the creative arts. Our conscious and subconscious thought processes working together can create synergy in our lives that aids us in accomplishing our goals, and more importantly in feeling our goals to be worthwhile.

Believing in and cultivating a relationship with our Muse / muses can mean using tools such as meditation, mindfulness, and the simple art of just being still to allow intuition to lead our thoughts and feelings. Then we must participate in the relationship by doing our part, and showing our dedication to our Muse by acting on inspiration and at all times following the life paths we choose with deliberation.

Our Muse can be seen as just another creature in our wondrous universe and we can relate to them as such, thus easing over-developed senses of responsibility. Self-doubt and anxiety caused by continually questioning our choices and paths can be eased by understanding that we are led by our Muse and trusting them. Then we can go forward at a better pace toward our destination with more energy and peace of mind.

As Elizabeth Gilbert says: “Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyed genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed, for just one moment through your efforts, then “Olé!” And if not, do your dance anyhow. And “Olé!” to you, nonetheless.”

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