Friday, July 30, 2010

The Muse

Years ago while reading May Sarton is when I came to seriously think about what the word Muse is about-and, today I still think about what My Muse is; especially in writing this blog Kitchen Table Talk.

A Muse is generally considered a source of inspiration. Over the years I have looked to a variety of things as my inspiration including, music, poetry, meditation, mentors, and recently nature has been my Muse. Nature. Watching the birds go to their bird feeders relaxes me and it is in this presence of mind that I can 'let go' and be still. It becomes tranquility for my spirit and perhaps this is the 'door' that is unlocked that allows the Muse to enter.

Linda Leonard in her book The Call to Create speaks of "The Muse is that mysterious, elusive spirit that inseminates our imagination, enlives us, and invites us to cocreate with nature; thus we must learn how to invite the Muse into our lives" (p.12). This morning as I sat in the sun room watching the birds I experienced the Muse. Many artists and creative folks of all walks of life can tell their tales of their Muses. I remember reading about a particular artist that had her ritual that she participated in every morning before she would start writing. For her, it brought her Muse into the room and she could begin working her craft.

My Muse allows me to move into my soulful place and it is here that I create. It places me in the 'zone of flow' as a more modern term explains what I interrupt to be the Muse. The Muse is mysterious and is not meant to be understood. It can only be experienced . It is of the spirit world and it is with great humility and gratitude that I recognize my Muse. However, I am clear that I am not the Muse and never can be. I continue to await my Muse.

Part of Kitchen Table Talk is to engage the reader to think about the topic and today I invite you to be more present in listening to your Muse. Perhaps to begin to think anew about what the Muse is and to review your history and how it has been with you over time. Please share your stories.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Being out in Nature

This weekend I was able to spend some time in nature. Most work days you will find me inside an office and I do not get the luxury of being in the natural sun. Although temperatures were near 100 degrees most of the weekend, and I complained of the heat I did love being outside. I find relaxation in walking and observing plants, flowers, butterflies, birds, the sky and just about anything that meets my eye.

The family went to Silver Springs and enjoyed the park, including the water park. One day I was out in nature for eight hours. It is amazing that just a few hours from home how one can find such a different atmosphere and a new attitude towards life. Then, we toured the Natural History Museum and Butterfly Rainforest at University of Florida.

When families have time to be together in nature there is also extended a relaxation that is nurturing to the 'whole' and not just the individual. There is time to walk together telling stories and sharing jokes. I learned some things about family members that had occurred over the past year that each probably didn't think was worth sharing; however, to me it was great to hear that one grandchild was voted the funniest in his class and another was voted the one with the nicest smile. These stories are the everyday occurrences that many times are lost in the shuffle of time and it seems that when families have time to walk in nature that the ordinary gets shared.

It is also a time of picture taking-not just of each other being together but of nature. I now have pictures of butterflies, plants, flowers, rock gardens, garden benches, birds, and several pictures of our family's togetherness. Pictures of nature and family will sustain me for awhile but I certainly will be ready when the next adventure of being in nature happens. Until then I have my memories of the beauty of nature and of the relaxation that my body can recall when I close my eyes and reflect back to this time being out of the office and in the beauty of the out of doors.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Count Your Blessings...


Count Your Blessings...
When feeling blessed Count Your Blessings,
When in need Count Your Blessings.
When victorious Count Your Blessings,
When without hope Count Your Blessings.
When confident Count Your Blessings,
When fearful Count Your Blessings.
When capable Count Your Blessings,
When challenged Count Your Blessings.
Count Your Blessings anytime, anywhere, for everything and when feeling blessed or not blessed Count Your Blessings. Gratitude is medicine for the soul as it can change attitudes, replenish spirits, and bring us to a place of humility. It is well needed in today's world. Each of us can practice self care by doing a gratitude list daily and even verbally sharing with another our thanks for...and, this oftentimes invites others then to share with us their gratitude.
It is difficult to be grateful when life isn't working out in the way you wanted it to, or thought it should/would be like today. Sometimes it is only in the looking backward or what we call hindsight that we see life's happenings were exactly what we needed to 'shape us' on our personal spiritual journeys. The door that closed allowed another road to open and on the new road you met a special somebody and, this opened doors for the next happening to occur. Life is like that-doors opening and doors closing and we are invited to see both as blessings.
What blessings are you counting today? I am grateful for my family, our health, our love for each other, my job, my home, my car, my friends, nature, to live in the USA, for my journey, and my faith in God.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Inspiration


I have found such inspiration from Where Women Create and want to share this with you today.
It is published by Stampington & Company's Somerset Studio and created by Jo Packham. I found it by 'accident'-synchronistically I was told about another website and through that website found my way to Where Women Create. I quickly subscribed and have enjoyed the publication. I hesitate to call it a magazine as it is more like a book.
Each issue of Where Women Create features artists and the spaces where they create. I read the stories about their journeys with such admiration, respecting their talents, the risks they were willing to take, and their here-and-now. The artists tell the reader that "if I can do it you can too." It gives me hope and fosters my creativity. I have taken the time to look up many of the artists' websites and blogs.
The pictures and the overall design of these "Inspiring Work Spaces Of Extraordinary Women" are so nicely done that they are pieces of art. I gently turn the pages, not wanting to finish the stories. I have re-read several of these articles. The pictures, the design, the women and their work spaces remind me that I, too can create. It has become a book of meditation and a devotional book for me. I find myself breathing a prayer of hope and asking "how can I do this life of mine more creatively?"
I have told many many people about Where Women Create. I have sent emails to people that I know who value creativity. I have implemented it with my work as a psychotherapist by fostering the importance of creativity, which I think is instrumental in good mental health. Where Women Create has entered the therapy room!
The reading, the reflecting, and the sharing with others have all been part of my inspiration as it has brought me beauty, joy, hope, and has fed both my imagination and my spirituality. Creativity and spirituality go 'hand in hand.' I seriously doubt that when Jo Packham created this wonderful (what I refer to it as) journal that she had little awareness of how one woman would savour it so and how it would touch her life, and promote it as I have done. I thank her and all the artists that have told their stories of their creative journeys.