Rebellious Muse November 2007
Riding in the Wake of The Shadow by Jill Badonsky, M.Ed.
November is National Creative Rebellion Month according to my research (which in this case is conveniently the same as my imagination). I'm actually writing the last day of October where celebrating shadows, witches and spookiness inspires creative dark sides. I can see a broom from where I sit and if I remember correctly, I rode in on it. If you have read my first book, you know how I like Shadows. There is so much creative potential in The Shadow. See The Shadows article below
"Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads." -Erica Jong
My talent leads me to the dark place of rebellion. Creativity is sometimes about rebelliously breaking rules. One of the stories in this issue is about refusing to follow the strict protocol of The Artist's Way morning pages. (See The Morning Renegade)
Free Creativity Coaching Call on Approaching Your Life with Creative Success. November 6 at 5 pacific time, 8 eastern time Sign-up here
This call is for:
1. Anyone wanting to understand how the creative approach can enrich and strengthen your approach to any change you desire.. not just art related ones.
2. Coaches who want to learn more about the Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Model.
Thursday, November 15 Drop-in Writing Workshop Book Works - Del Mar, CA 7- 9 pm. This month's theme: The Word Inside the Word. Free items leftover from my move to the first five attendees. All levels. No critique. $13 includes
Next 14-week Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Certification Training begins the last week in January see www.kaizenmuse.com
Find out how creative thought and action can lead to Weight Loss and Better Health!
Free call December 4, 2008. Sign up here.
The Body Blissmas and a Happy New Rear Club Pilot Group begins January 2008. Be among the first 35 to sign up and save hundreds of $$. (this is a six month program).
This is a real program with a playful title indicating that the process is not only effective, but it's fun. At no cost to you, hear about a program that feeds your soul and helps you easily develop new habits that result in weight loss, self-respect better health AND enhanced creativity. This is not a quick weight loss program. It is designed to replace your need to nurture yourself with food with a practice that is spiritually and creatively fulfilling. This program is especially designed for mid-life women experiencing the frustration of gaining weight related to this stage in life as well as growing up in a family where they felt like they were "not good enough". You will qualify if you are between 42 and 65, are highly motivated to improve your health and your weight and at the same time want to deepen your relationship to your creative life.
Try out a creativity coaching session with a KMCC coach.
Jill's latest column at Creativity Portal on the Muse's Bodyguard
The Muse is In Classes are sometimes updated HERE
Beam yourself here for a laugh contagion.. even if you've seen it before. Thanks to Laurie Wood.
This video illustrates one of the Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching principles we teach clients. Look at what already IS working.. look at what you already HAVE.. One rule to break when watching this video though. Instead of writing down EVERYTHING you are grateful for.. just write for 3 minutes.. this is the Kaizen-Way and it works better than overwhelm. Click here for the gratitude dance. Thanks to Nicki.
Jill is now taking creativity coaching clients interested in receiving creativity coaching during the KMCC training (save $250): inquire at email@example.com. Overcome procrastination, perfectionism and overwhelm in any aspect of your life where you believe change is needed for your joy and authenticity.
Tuesday November 6: 5pm PDT, 6 MT, 7 CT, 8ET Free teleconference on Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching with the theme this month:
February 2008: Creative Workshops with Jill Badonsky's Modern Muses return to San Diego!! Sign-up here if you are interested in more information about a 6 week course that busts through procrastination, overwhelm, perfectionism, self-sabotage and low confidence for any desirable change you would like to make in your life. Practical, playful and powerful. Change CAN be easy. Creativity has no ceiling.. everyone can be creative and those of you who already believe you are creative.. can discover a whole new way to be more creative.
“Revealing the dark side of human nature has been one of the primary purposes of art and literature. As Nietzsche put it: ‘We have art so that so we shall not die of reality.’” -Edward C. Whitman
The San Diego wild fires spared my living quarters but inconvenienced my access to the Internet so this month's newsletter will be somewhat short because I'm at the mercy of public WI-fi. My heart goes out to the many people severely affected by the fires but urge your own muses to reveal the possible blessings that can come from great material loss. I found a cafe' out here in the country with WI-fi. I'm tapping my foot to the country music, eating a country tuna melt and swatting country flies. It's so nice that a country cafe has WI-fi, but why-flies? Must be the cows. Taking a nap in here isn't really condoned and I usually take naps while writing the newsletter cuz it takes so long to write it so I'll have to endure as long as I mustard up the energy (I'll catsup with you more next month- I'm moving to the city).
Today one of my creativity coaching clients, a cartoonist on her way to fame, unintentionally was late for our session. I'll conveniently call it rebellion so it fits in with my theme (evidently I'm into convenience). She was in the shower caught up in an idea and lost track of time. We decided that creative people sometimes have their own time zone - they rebel P.S.T. and E.S.T.. She dubbed it A.R.T. (Artist's Reality Time) I concurred and stated it could also be A.R.T.Z. (A Rebellious Time Zone). Rebelling against the world of structure is sometimes necessary to honor creative intuition.
Another client I talked to today who is writing a book did not address some of the steps we set last week. She has had permission from the beginning of our coaching relationship to rebel if her intuition led her to a more authentic direction. She found herself spending extra time making a work project more creative. She had a good week and got absolutely no mark-downs in the creative coaching realm. Her desire to write a book comes from her desire for creative joy and she found joy in what she intuitively was guided to do. The joy feeds her desire to be creative with the book as well. This is the non-linear nature of the creative process. If she was avoiding her creative intentions by engaging in another task, we would discuss how to stay focused.. but as long as she is finding reward in any action, her creative goals are being met.
Weekly creativity coaching sessions need to honor both intuitive spontaneity and idea percolation. Idea percolation outwardly can look like nothing is happening, but subconsciously an idea is taking shape and tangible action is on pause. Pushing a client to act during necessary pauses only brings up the kind of rebellion that can result in abandoning a process that becomes overwhelming and contrary to the nature of creativity.. the intuitive discomfort will drive your client away. Weekly creativity coaching sessions needs to keep expectations open and reasonable and in line with A.R.T. or A.R.T.Z. Change is creative, so you can apply this same principle to building a business, improving a relationship, losing weight, or clearing clutter.
Jerry Seinfeld was interviewed yesterday on NPR's program, Fresh Air. Promoting his new movie called Bee Movie he admitted that he's going to go back to stand-up comedy. Bee Movie is a movie that cost millions, he explains, is created to make people laugh. He gets a bigger thrill making people laugh with the more pure art of stand-up. He goes on to say to love the ocean you can be captain of a ship or you can surf. Both can achieve the same experience. Think about your creative dream... and consider the essence of what you really want and the different ways it can be met. Break the rules of convention, public opinion, how-to-books and figure things out according to who YOU are. To Jerry Seinfeld the execution of a joke in front of a live audience is more his bliss, his prosperity and his treasure than becoming famous.
What is the essence of your dream? How are you meeting it already?
Kaizen Muse Creativity Coaching Training Information
The Morning Renegade
Brief qualifier: I taught Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way for six years back in the 90s. This inspired program has recovered and unbridled the creativity of hundreds. However, like many self-help programs, it can also bring up major resistance and sometimes eventual abandonment of journal writing. I think morning pages are fabulous but I think they too have a dark side. Julia Cameron’s morning pages- Every morning you must write three 8 ½ by 11 sheets in your journal, non-stop only using long-hand, pouring your plight on the page, censoring and editing nothing. The purpose of morning pages is to free the stuff that is clogging up your creative pours by writing it on the page in this exact manner.
Confession: Sometimes I type my morning pages. I pick a font that matches my mood du jour. I type fast but sometimes I correct my mistakes. Sometimes I write the morning pages at 11 pm, sometimes 4 pm, once when I had no idea what time it was.
I write or type as long as I have something to say and then I push myself five minutes longer for the stubborn brilliance or unforeseen insight that lurks behind the daily drama or the beige-ness of mundane. That may take up three pages, or five or one page and a cocktail napkin – but it works for me. I scowl at books that tell me how many pages to write, what time of day I should express, and with what - so I make up the rules according to what works for my particular set of needs, neuroses, instinct, authenticity, ingenuity and loose associations.
I disdain victim-hood but I’m human and victim consciousness sometimes creeps into my emotional motif when I’m not paying shrewd attention. It’s a default mode many of us don. So I pour the self-pity on the page and then when I catch myself dribbling too much, I take my spiritual air freshener in the bright blue imaginary can and spray the victim debris floating around my being so that my preferential mirth can rally above the daily dribble. When I spray the bright blue it mixes with the debris’ burnt sienna hue and creates a lovely black which I then capture in recycled ink cartridges and use to type poetry…in my morning pages, because I write poetry not just dribbles in my morning pages.
Sometimes I call the morning pages the morning dribble. Sometimes the dribble is a torrent of caffeinated streams and sometimes the faucet is just leaky- which creates a percussive drip … drip… drip-drip of random thoughts. I try to connect to my intuition instead of the left brain’s police state of making sure I write three pages – my intuition, my gut, the energy of my body’s wisdom knows what I need to pour on the page and for how long. Trusting this fact makes me more confident (which fuels creative progress) and less dependent on defining right or wrong based on someone else’s judgment. I don’t need to follow directions derived from how someone else’s intuition told them to write. I need structure but I need to invent how to use that structure myself.
If I stay in victim consciousness as I write, my morning purges become a negative blue print: For whiny instance: “I never finish anything, I never start anything, why don’t people appreciate me?”……. This is a subconscious set-up for never finishing anything, never starting anything, never being appreciated.
Sometimes I simply write a list of what I want out of the way and then practice letting my creativity practice and triumph in a way I can celebrate - constant complaining doesn’t feel celebrat-able. Journal writing can be for exploring, contemplating, asking questions, making lists, concocting, exuberating, making up words and doodling.
I need to journal. I respect that morning pages have changed many people’s lives. Have you tried them? Are they a negative blueprint for your life? Are you still doing them? If not, are you open to doing them differently? Or can you use this dear and valuable ritual to fathom your world in YOUR way, record the funny poetry of your life, perfect your ability to excavate your unique brilliance, practice expression of the written word in a way that fortifies the rest of your day (or night, or unassigned time?) in reality I think I’m not doing “morning pages,” I’m doing “Muse pages”: guided by my instinctual inspiration. Creativity also means exploring a system someone else invented and modifying it according to your gut feelings and your ability to make it YOU.
For extra credit: write a list of existing systems or programs you can modify according to how it might work better for you and tackle, one tiny step at a time.
See suggestions for Muse Trysts: Special Journalers Unit below…
Click HERE for a fabulous computer animation - thanks to Dale
Muse Profile: Ken Dow, Musician, Creativity Coach and Workshop Leader
Ken Dow is a singer-songwriter, blogger, Kaizen-Muse creativity coach and workshop leader. Plus a bunch of other things like father, instructional designer, black belt and that guy who rakes the leaves.
Where did you receive your formal training?
I’m a tad short in the formal training department, if “a tad” is the distance between the earth and the sun, say, or the gap between campaign promises and incumbent action. So...none. I’ve always loved music and words, and eventually I realized I needed to do something about that.
Creative time of the day for you
Early morning or evening for writing. Early morning might work for music too, but taking out your guitar at 6 a.m. has a way of straining domestic harmony. I get song ideas nearly every time I pick up the guitar so it’s more a matter of creating the time and space to explore phrases, rhythms and melodies. For me, that’s usually in the evening.
Do you have a mantra or motto?
Yes, one word: “Believe”. A friend gave me a coffee mug a few years ago that had a graphic of a snowman in a starry night with that one word below it. Believe. I’m drinking coffee from that mug as I write this.
Key to your perseverance
Fascination. If you pursue what energizes you, perseverance comes naturally. You stick with it because you can’t help yourself, because you want to see how it turns out. It’s like reading a long, fantastic novel. You could say it takes perseverance to read 800 pages, and in a sense it does, but when you’re in the thick of things you don’t see it that way.
Favorite studio music
Now there’s a tough question! It depends on the context and it changes over time. These days I’d say Bruce Springsteen (Devils & Dust), Kate Bush (anything), Neko Case (Fox Confessor Brings the Flood), Wilco (A Ghost is Born), Interpol (Turn on the Bright Lights), Damien Rice (O).
Best advice received
Robert Pirsig wrote something along the lines of, “Don’t build your problems into the machine.” I’ve come across that wisdom in many different forms. Most of our struggle is not inherent in life, it’s something we add. Our life flows to the extent that we stop adding struggle to it.
Next big goal
Polishing a few of my songs into an album.
Conversation with friends.
I know I've made it when ...
I can fly. When putting on my clothes makes music. When light shines from my toes. When the clock strikes zero. When there’s no separation between perfect and not. When I know who I am.
Most favorite achievement
The Creativity Happens workshop. There was a long gestation period and it’s incredible to see it come to fruition.
How you get ideas for writing your songs?
I don’t get ideas, ideas get me. My job is to pay attention, to recognize them and meet them. There’s a certain feeling that tells me to slow down and listen very carefully. When I do, I’m led to a song. Maybe it’s good, maybe not, but it’s a song. Ideas only knock once. If you don’t answer, they try the next house.
Where people can see and hear your work?
The best place to see what I’m up to is at http://www.creativityhappens.com. I’m blogging there most weekdays and there’s information about the workshops.
Muse Trysts: Special Journalers Unit
Adding a Creative Twist to your Journal Writing:
~ Write lists (they help your mind think with more creative resourcefulness.. always leave room for more ideas to be added to your lists so that your subconscious continues to work on them.) List ideas: a list of how you can make journal writing more YOU, a list of themes you’d like your life to take on, list your gripes, resentments, fears and peeves then write a segue at the bottom – “I now release these and make room for inspiration.”
~ At the bottom of your journal entry write a quick review of its highlights as if you were a book or movie critic.
~Write an entry recording your day as if your life were living exactly the way you’d like it to go. If this is hard for you, you may be in self-sabotage… consider working with a Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach.
~Write about yourself in the third person. e.g. "She had no idea what she was going to write but she began anyway."
~Write headlines about your life: e.g. Woman Moves to Vintage House in Urban Neighborhood: Redefines Peeling Paint as Shabby Chic – Then see how your journal writing goes. ~Write a How-To Article… How To Get Through The Day Today. How To Work With A Boss Who Is Bonkers. How To Forge A New Pathway In Life. And then proceed to make a list of how-tos that relate to the title.
Story People Site
by Cheryl Denise, from I Saw God Dancing. © Dream Seeker Books, 2005.
take your soul
and put it in a suit,
fit you in boxes
make you look like the Joneses.
They'll tell you go a little blonder,
tinted contact lenses,
conceal that birthmark
under your chin.
They'll urge you to have babies
They'll say marriage is easy,
flowers from Thornhills
are all you need
to keep it together.
They'll push you to go ahead,
borrow a few more grand,
build a dream house.
Your boys need Nikes,
your girls cheerleading,
and all you need is your job
9 to 5 in the same place.
They'll order you never to cry
in Southern States,
and never, ever dance
in the rain.
They'll repeat all the things
your preschool teacher said
in that squeaky too tight voice.
And when you slowly
let them go,
crack your suit,
ooze your soul
in the sun,
when you run through
the woods with your dog,
read poems to swaying cornfields,
pray in tall red oaks,
and pretend you're crazy.
“When you are convinced
that all the exits are blocked,
either you take to believing in miracles
or you stand still like the hummingbird.
"The miracle is that the honey is always there,
right under your nose,
only you were too busy searching
elsewhere to realize it.
The worst is not death but being blind,
blind to the fact that everything
about life is in the nature of the miraculous.”
Have a great month of thankfulness.
Brought to you by Jill Badonsky www.themuseisin.com and www.kaizenmuse.com
Write! firstname.lastname@example.org Do your creative stuff and enjoy the splendor in the moment. Breathe.