Finding Our Personal Sources of Inspiration
copyright 1989 by Tracy Marks
published in Women of Power magazine, winter 1989-90

continued from muses4.htm

Most of us develop internal thermostats when we are young, set to a
certain temperature of happiness or unhappiness. However much we suffer,
we nevertheless prefer to keep our thermostat on a familiar temperature,
rather than experience for any length of time inner peace, joy or passion.
We may find fleeting moments of contact with our Muses more tolerable than
living in close harmony with their voices. The familiar, however unsatisfying
it may be, does not expose us to the terror of the unknown, of separating
from our past, of contacting and living within the quiet but awesome power
of sacred experience.

Many of us, having lost touch with the dreams and fantasies of our
childhood, or the most pleasurable experiences of our past, despair at the
lack of meaning in our lives. Such internal messages as "it's impossible,"
"I don't have the time and money," and "I'm not good enough" have kept us
from pursuing and from remembering our deepest dreams. Wanting what
we dare not believe we can have is painful, and becoming large enough to
move through our fears is difficult, so we stop wanting and then question the
emptiness of our lives. Or we focus unduly on our suffering, our problems,
and deprivations, and blind ourselves to the potential joys within us and
around us.

Inspiration does not merely happen; we block it with our own negative
attitudes, inner messages and self-sabotaging behaviors. In order to
recover our inspiration or passion, we must choose to create the inner and
outer conditions which awaken and fuel our life energy. We must want to
experience greater aliveness; we must care enough to make choices which
enliven us; we must dare to create the changes in our lives which will
enable us to hear and live in close contact with our sources of inspiration.

"I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life," said Georgia
O'Keefe, "and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I
wanted to do." (6)  When we choose to attune ourselves to our deepest
inspiration and to hear our Muses, our desire for life, real life, becomes
greater than our fear of change.

Reconnecting with our life source is possible. Our Muses live -- in their
own unique, personal forms within everyone of us. They may lie buried in
our past; they may appear when we open our inner or outer eyes to the
present moment; they may awaken when we embrace our visions of the
future and dare to dream.

We can experience our Muses, we can learn to listen to their melodies, and
to the sacred silence from which their songs are born. We can, as we
discover them, uncover and recover our lost and latent selves, and begin to
live again.

(1) "Alyce Cornyn-Selby: The Creative Spirit Lives Life," Women in Unison
        magazine, volume 3:4, August/September 1989, p.8. Alyce Cornyn-Selby is
        the author of Self-Sabotage - Solve It!, I'm Going to Change my Name
        and Move Away, and I Don't Have To and You Can't Make Me.
(2) Graves, Robert, The White Goddess, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York,
        1948, p. 24
(3) Graves, p. 391
(4) from Hesiod's Theogony, quoted in Edith Hamilton's Mythology,
        New American Library, New York, 1942, p. 37.
(5) Gray, Elizabeth Dodson, "Women's Experience and Naming the Sacred",
        Woman of Power, issue 12, winter 1989, pp. 10-11.
(6) quoted by Alyce Cornyn-Selby, Women in Unison magazine, p.11.
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