August is a good month to create something. The season of celebration and abundance is slowing down. We gradually move with the Earth into a period of decomposition, darker colors, a sweeter dirt and heavier nights. Finding form, a creative container for some of your summer experience, hopes or desires both realized and not, means you can carry them with you into autumn and winter, unscathed but still unknown, ready to transform into some other purpose, some other passion.
I've been feeling musey lately. I've been craving beauty and rest. I've been taking longer lunches so I can read a little more of the book I'm currently enjoying (which, can I just say - Wow - but more on that later.) And I've been contacting friends, particularly women friends, and mentors who I'd like to spend some time with. I've been craving creative company like mad.
I also took part in Madelyn Mulvaney's My Sweet Muse e-course. It reminded me that my muse needs nudging everyday.
And I've been feeling like when all else is uncertain and overrated and stupid, my inner muse takes the wheel and steers me back to those places where things are much more mysterious than they get to be in daily life, and therefore, much more beautiful.
So I share some ways I restore my inner muse, hoping you might be inspired to...
| Return to a favorite book, open it randomly and start reading from that place.
|Connect with a friend and schedule a time for lunch to talk about the good things in your lives, the hardships and then more of the good things.
| Look back over photos of yourself as a little girl and imagine what she was thinking in that moment.
| Wander somewhere cozy with a good book and tea, read, nap and stay there as long as you need to, truly.
|Visit a local farm or garden where you can pick fruits or vegetables or flowers to bring home with you.
|Cook something using your freshly picked ingredients and serve it to someone you love over a glass of wine and good music.
| Rent one of your favorite movies, watch it (*important*) by yourself and make time to watch the bonus clips where they talk to the actors and director about the experience of making the film.
|Call your grandmother, alive or not, and ask her a question about what you should do next with your life.
| Watch the wind blow through the trees, watch the way the leaves negotiate the whipping of the wind, try to feel that sense of whip and swirl in your heart.
| Spend time with a cat or dog, looking them in the eyes and telling them a secret of yours.
| Go to your favorite shop - yes, go, go, go - and budget some money aside to buy some new yarn, a new book, a new bracelet, and don't for a minute feel guilty about it.
| Wander into your local library to spend some time finding books you wouldn't normally check out, and check them out.
| Think of five things in your house you no longer need, things that could serve a better purpose for someone else, and give them away.
| Let the world answer your deepest desire even if you are not ready to receive the gifts it has to offer - let the world answer.
| Find one of your old poems or pieces of writing and send it to a friend or mentor to ask for feedback, and ask them to send you one of their old pieces of writing, too.
| Make plans for a day-long, solitary creative retreat later in the month for yourself and pour everything you want to do into that day, those plans - a promise to your muse that more is to come.
| Watch a bird, a bee, a butterfly as it flies within your view and imagine where in the neighborhood it's off to next.
| Ask for hugs from someone you love.
| Practice praising and admiring someone you love, all day long.
| Practice lying down for a day in different spaces and places to feel the magic of gravity on your heart and head.
|Spend time taking photos of things you see everyday and try to see them in a new way.
| Tell someone that thing you've been meaning to tell them... just tell them.
| Make a dance, and then when you have lunch with your friend make more of the dance, so the solo becomes a duet and you double your dance moves.
| Read poetry before going to bed, for it will excite your dreams, and then write about your dreams in the morning.
I find with my muse on my side, I'm much more likely to dive, again and again, into creating something that means something to me and means something to the trajectory of my work and life.
So a nudge this Sunday to find ways to do this for yourself. Find ways to rest in what it means to really restore your creative sensibility and spirit, and emerge on the other side of something inspiring for yourself.