Finding Your Muse

My new thing is paddle boarding, otherwise known as Stand Up Paddleboard, or SUP if you are one of the cool kids.

I was paddle boarding for the second time when I started observing how happy I was. Obviously, paddle boarding makes me happy or I wouldn’t have bought one. But, have you ever sat and asked yourself “why” something makes you so happy?

My logical brain says that paddle boarding should be a pain in the ass, especially for a girl under 5’ tall. Getting the 10’ board on the car and strapping it down, driving to the lake, getting the board off the car, carrying the 10’ board/paddle/sometimes with the dog to the water, getting it into the water, stepping into the water and getting dirty and wet…

This is not me. But it is a cool paddle boarder enjoying the water.

But I’ve noticed that when I step into the water with my bare feet before I hop on the paddle board, I feel this surge of thrill. A feeling that reminds me of being a child runs through me. I’m excited.

And then I get on the board and I’m off.

Despite the other people in the water paddle boarding and kayaking, it is very calm and peaceful to be on the water. And when you do encounter people, everyone is very nice. It’s a very casual, brief conversation. A brief hello, or a comment on the weather or how cute your dog looks paddle boarding with you, and then they respectfully move on, giving you your space to enjoy your time on the paddle board.

So I’m standing on my board, casually paddling through the water when I ask myself, “Why?” Why does this make me so happy?

I’m looking at the water glistening in the sun, hearing the water lap against the paddle board, lapping against the shore, and I remember…

A couple of years ago I took a meditation course from a “master meditator.” I’m not sure she was a “master meditator,” but she was definitely a really cool woman who was passionate about meditation.

One of her classes was about finding your meditation muse. Her theory was, if you find your meditation muse, you will be more likely to meditate. She said a muse was something that you felt drawn to. And when she said drawn, she meant you literally felt your energy moving toward it, yearning for it. I happened to be sitting next to her at the time, so she turned to me first and said, “What do you think your muse is?”

“Water.” 

I didn’t even hesitate. It wasn’t something that I had thought about a lot, but I knew instantly.

I have always loved the rain. I have always loved waterfalls. When I was a teenager, I would go to the local park, sit on a boulder next to a stream and write in my journal. I love going on vacation where there is water – a lake, an ocean, a river. My most vivid memories are next to water, like the camping trip we took as a kid that was next to a pond. There were beavers in the pond. I got to see them swimming around, carrying sticks to build their dam.

So yeah, no wonder I like paddle boarding. That, and I’m really good at balance. Being 4’11” and having a low center of gravity might help with that though…

The more I think about it, the more I think finding a muse is extremely important. I think we all need to be inspired to move forward. Sometimes we just don’t feel like doing the thing that is good for us. Having a muse is often helpful.

But first, what does the word “muse” mean, exactly?

Definition of Muse

Calliope – Muse of Epic Poetry

Verb      1 : to become absorbed in thought

Especially : to think about something carefully and thoroughly

2 archaic : Wonder, Marvel

Noun     1 : a state of deep thought or dreamy abstraction i.e. “thrown into a muse by the book she was reading”

2 : capitalized : any of the nine sister goddesses in Greek mythology presiding over song and poetry and the arts and sciences

3 : a source of inspiration Especially : a guiding genius

4 : Poet

All of those definitions are lovely, aren’t they?

When I read those definitions, it makes me think a muse is something magical. Maybe, even I dare say, the thing that gives us a superpower? Well, maybe that goes a little to far…

Nature is often a muse. I think other people find animals as a muse. For some, music is their muse. Maybe it’s coffee. Maybe it’s travel. For a comedian, it might be laughter.

Charlotte Bassin “Veggie Lover”

I recently heard a story of a woman name Charlotte Bassin who fell in love with the map of the world. She created a metal template to trace the map of the world, and then she would create art with it, drawing, painting, flowers, glass, bike chains, etc. She would sell them and eventually quit her day job to do it full time. Here’s the cool thing, the map is just the outline of the continents.  There are no boarder lines for countries. She sees it as symbolizing that we are all human. She has been asked to create art for just an outline of a state, or a single country. She says no. She says, “That no matter where you go, we are all human. We have similar basic needs of love and safety and freedom. Once we start putting in those boundaries, you feel the separation and the difference.” Her muse is the map of the world. Nothing else.

A muse can really be anything. And I don’t think it needs to be a lifelong thing. A muse can be for one project or goal in our life, something that maybe we feel in our gut that we can’t let go. And I think we can have more than one muse.

So, how do we identify our muse?

According to Elizabeth Gilbert, “The resting place of the mind is the heart. The only thing the mind hears all day is clanging bells and noise and argument, and all it wants is quietude. The only place the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart. That’s where you need to go.”

I think that a muse is a vehicle to our heart. It is like a lullaby that quiets us and allows us to see the truth, see what needs to be done and inspires us to DO what needs to be done.

So, go forth my friends! Listen to your hearts! Find your muse! And discover the magic in your life!

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Heather

I am a yoga and meditation teacher, energy healer and I teach Enneagram workshops. I'm here to help people grow and find their true selves.

2 thoughts on “Finding Your Muse”

  1. Hi Heather!
    I really enjoyed this week’s blog about our muse. It helped me understand why, perhaps, I am so drawn to water in particular and nature, in general.
    I always feel more content and at peace when sitting by a body of water but never considered it to be my muse. Thanks for enlightening me again!

  2. Thanks, Heather!

    I love this topic. I believe in muses too. Not surprising since I’m a writer. But for me, it’s about more than that.

    I have muses for various purposes. I have musical muses, water (the tranquility is amazing – so are the storms), books, nature, etc. Basically, I find muses in what surrounds me. I can open a new book and be thrilled at the idea of a new story unfolding before me. I can sit in a park and watch a dog do the ‘happy dog dance of joy’ and know that it has found its happy place. Which make me happy.

    Have fun in the water.

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