I had been looking forward to a week-long creative sabbatical for quite a while. It was time to begin my vision for the upcoming year. I saw myself slipping into the silence, doing some inspirational reading and writing, and listening as insights from my muse poured in. It seemed so simple.
I began the first day, lit a candle, and waited. And waited. And waited. All I heard was a growling stomach.
Over the next few days, instead of inspired, I found myself feeling distracted and uncomfortable (I had forgotten how sometimes when we get quiet, all that stuff we have been pushing down starts coming up to be processed).
I walked and waited. I did the dishes and listened. I would have stood on my head if I thought it would work. But fresh inspiration eluded me.
The days went by, and while I would cough out little ideas here and there, that was about it. Halfway through the week I had nothing to show for it other than a clean kitchen and a well-walked dog.
One morning as I was stretching, two words suddenly arose.
Expect nothing? I pondered this, then exhaled in relief. I realized that “expect nothing” was exactly what I needed to do. Some may think it’s a pessimistic way to live. Quite the opposite. It came to me that I had created a picture and expectation about how this week was supposed to look, and had been rejecting what didn’t fit that expectation.
I also realized that instead of beginning the week with the gift of rest and expecting nothing of myself, I had immediately started pushing my agenda. Have a vision! Be inspired! Create!
Sigh. Some lessons need to be learned over and over again. So I did a reset. I expected nothing of myself and instead listened for what I really wanted in any given moment, no matter how trivial. If I wanted to lie on the floor staring at the fire, I did. If I wanted to watch a trashy television show, I did. If there were those life things that needed doing (um, cooking), I did.
Of course, you know what comes next. One morning I was lying in bed, wiggling my toes, not trying to be anything other than an ordinary human with a cramp in my foot and pondering breakfast… when ideas started trickling in. Flooding, really. I grabbed the pad of paper by my bedside and started catching them on my page.
Sometimes when we really let go of expectations, manna from our muse pours in. She’s funny like that. She knows when she’s the target of our productive bulls-eye, and with a laugh she dances away. But when we lightly set the intention of hearing her wisdom, then relax and attend to each moment as it arises, magic happens. Expect nothing; you just might receive everything.
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What are some ways that you prepare for time to create? How do you tempt your muse?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
A Spring Retreat in Taos: Greening your Creative Spirit
April 7 to 12, 2019
Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Taos, New Mexico
(SOLD OUT – Waiting list available)
Sometimes we shift slowly, and other times our creative spirit is ready for a big infusion of renewal, fresh ideas, inspiration and expansive beauty to really break free. Join us this April for a refreshing re-connection with our deepest, most creative selves. Read more or register here.
Women’s Inspired Writing Circles
If you are committed to writing, it’s almost impossible to do it alone. When you write, the inner critic arises; when you read, outer critics arise. This is true for all writers, and especially so for new and exploring writers. That’s why I feel so passionate about our Women’s Inspired Writing Circles. Within this safe space, inner critics dissolve. Writing becomes joyful. Our Voice is heard and celebrated. If you are interested in finding out more, go HERE.
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