Tonight we had another session of the Creative Muse group, a creativity coaching workshop that I signed up for with Janet Whitehead of Musings and Mud. And what a fun evening it was.
What is this all about, you ask, this Creative Muse thing? From Janet’s web site: “The Creative Muse workshop is based on (and includes) Jill Badonsky’s book “The Nine Modern Day Muses and a Bodyguard.”
The nine Modern Day Muses are named: Aha-phrodite (the Muse of paying attention and possibilities), Albert (the Muse of imagination and innovation), Bea Silly (the Muse of play, laughter, and dance), Muse Song (the Muse of nurturing encouragement and good company), Spills, The Imp (the Muse of practice, process, and imperfection), Audacity (the Muse of courage and uninhibited uniqueness), Lull (the Muse of pause, diversion, and gratitude), The Shadow Muse (the Muse of gifts of the dark side), and Marge (the Muse of “okay now, lets get started). And the body guard is “Arnold” (as in Arnold Schwarzenager, and I know I didn’t spell his last name right. So what?).
In each session, we learn how we can call on a particular Muse to overcome barriers we are having to being creative. For example, we learned how Arnold (or a symbol that represents Arnold) can help us fend off creativity blockers. A simple action like brushing something offensive (and imaginary) off your clothing can block the negative effect of an unsolicited negative opinion. Simply saying “ARNOLD!” can block a looping tape of negative self-talk. (My symbol of Arnold is a loudly proclaimed “DELETE” (as in, Delete on a keyboard). And if saying it once does not work, I keep repeating it until it does work. DELETE DELETE DELETE DELETE DELETE DELETE DELETE!!! I find this very effective to stop negative chatter in my head when it gets out of control.)
Tonight’s Muse was Bea Silly (the muse of play, laughter, and dance). And OH OH OH what fun it was!! We got to play like little kids with chalk, balls, hula hoops, stilts, a big giant willow tree (that bit Wendy), water hose, and a FIRE STICK! That was sooooo cool, and soooo fun, and Byron! You were awesome with the fire stick (you too Janet!)! Lots of laughs! The concept is: if you have a problem (or challenge) that needs an answer and you’re driving yourself nuts about it, or you are feeling overwhelmed with work, step away and do something fun, playful, and silly. It doesn’t matter what you do. Write a silly story. Go out and play hopscotch. Pretend you’re a plane flying through the air. Play princess and dragons with your child/grandchild. Bring out the kid in you that you have forgotten how to be. Let the right brain take control for a while. Not only does it give the left brain a rest (aka – escape), you might even receive the solution you are looking for!
Tonight, I went to the session in a slightly depressed and subdued mood (heavy workload and I didn’t do my reading homework…), and came out feeling energized. At the end of tonight’s session I had a MEGA new idea for a new photography product. It came to me while I was acting like a kid and threw a piece of paper (that I had doodled on during our “What is Creativity” exercise several weeks ago and then folded a certain way) at one of my workshop friends. As I was refolding that piece of paper to put it away, I noticed how I had folded it weeks ago like an envelope, and how pretty it was in all differnt pencil crayon colors, and all of a sudden I had a MEGA “ALBERT” moment. It felt like I had been hit on the forehead, and the vocal sounds that came out of me had everyone coming to my aid, thinking I was having a seizure. I make note cards, and now I’m gonna make envelopes to match them. It’s not an original idea, but one that excites me considerably because now I get to design and make something new. They’re gonna be beautiful!
Three weeks ago, the Muse was Aha-phrodite (the muse of paying attention and possibilities) and we got to do something creative with a light bulb. Last week’s Muse was Albert (the muse of imagination and innovation), and we got to play with clay. Next week, it is Spills, The Imp, and we’ll get to play with paint. I can’t wait.