Secret #1: Acknowledging Your Creative Self

This week we’re exploring Secret #1: Acknowledging Your Creative Self from the Next Chapter book selection “The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women.”

I’ve always known that I am creative.  I loved to paint and draw as a kid. I love doing creative projects and artsy craftsy stuff.  I take in the world with grace and sensitivity.  And yet, it was not until a few years ago that I really, truly acknowledged and gave voice to my authentic creative self.  That wise, intuitive part of me that feels compelled to express herself, to make beauty in the world and to live a life in full color.  I refer to my creative self as my Inner Muse.  And her name is Sparkling Sage.

When author Gail McMeekin shared, “I needed to stop competing in the corporate world and reconnect with my artistic, intuitive feminine self,” I recalled those first inklings.  In my pre-work-for-myself-life, I didn’t fully trust my Inner Muse.  In fact, I don’t even know if I knew she was there!  I ignored her whispers in my ear and instead worked more hours so I could get that next promotion.  I placated myself by reasoning that I did creative things on the side.  But through all those years, my full creative self was stifled.  I always felt like something was missing or that I didn’t quite belong.  My Inner Muse was giving me hints that there was a much more fulfilling, authentic and creative path to walk.

It wasn’t until participating in a Leadership program about five years ago, that I fully tapped into the power of my creative self and gave myself permission to lead my life from my soft, feminine Inner Muse.  Even though it feels much more vulnerable to come from that place, I know it’s what gives me the most strength.  Now she guides me in my work and in how I show up in the world.  She’s thriving because I have acknowledged her wisdom.  Sure, there are still times when those nasty gremlins come in with their doubts and worries. And because my creative self is being nourished and supported, Sparkling Sage is able to ground me back in what matters most.

I acknowledge my creative self by:

  • Connecting with my Sparkling Sage wo-manifesto.
  • Giving her a voice through my work, blogging, writing and other creative acts.
  • Letting her play with and be inspired by other creative cohorts.  I’m soooo relishing in a creative women’s circle that formed this week with some fellow bloggers.  My Inner Muse is thrilled to have other creative souls supporting and encouraging her.
  • Creating space for her to breathe.  Having white space on my calendar to nourish myself, take a break, or to follow a creative spark.
  • Making an Inner Muse portrait (pictured above) to represent the essence of my creative self – spacious, graceful, feminine, flowing, playful, elegant and wise.

How do you acknowledge your creative self?  What name will you give your Inner Muse?

P.S. – Take a listen to my chat with Jamie about creativity and acknowledging your creative self.  It’s the first interview in a series of discussions with creative bloggers to accompany the Next Chapter book club.

26 thoughts on “Secret #1: Acknowledging Your Creative Self”

  1. What a stunning image in this post! 🙂 It is so awesome to reconnect with our muses who spoke so loudly and clearly to us when we were young, but who have been worn out by the mundane! I am looking forward to hearing your interview later today, and I will come back and comment on it!

    May Sparkling Sage grow stronger every day and may she guide you to fulfill all your possibilities. 🙂

  2. Thank you for that interview!! That and your words about your inner muse have really struck a cord inside of me today. I feel very strongly that I am being called to listen to mine… I’m going to follow your links and continue with the inspiration. Thank you so much.

  3. These twelve weeks, yes, should be about strengthening those inner muses so they are powerful enough to overcome the gremlins. We give way too much energy to the gremlins by listening to them, by acknowledging them, by acting in ways that prove them right. Our culture feeds those gremlins every day with images of how we are “supposed” to be, what we are “supposed” to want. No need for us to help! More power to the muse! 🙂

  4. Jenn, thank you so much for sharing your story both here and in the interview. And what practical steps for acknowledging your creative self! I am SO ready for some white space on my calendar. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Okay I took the plunge and joined the group. You inspired me. My creative muse is Kiamsha. I honor my creativity each day with colorful clothing, jewelry, cups to drink tea in, lipstick, and a choice in wearing one of my 6 pairs of groovalicious glasses. I also allow myself to stare out into the world and notice nature’s colors as I walk to and from work.

  6. coming across you interview with jamie, then your blog, has been my greatest discovry today (i know what is definitely making it to my gratitude journal!)

    i found you so incredibly inspiring, and feel a few long nights ahead as i catch up on your blog and try and absorb all the delicious morsels of creativity dished out in your words.

    your concept of the inner muse really spoke to me today. it was like she jumped up and started knocking and said, “hello, i am here!” i can sense her strongly now. not quite enough to name her and own her yet, but hopefully soon. hopefully soon she will be making a full and proper appearance. thank you for that.

  7. Greetings Miss Jenn!
    How did you know that these are the words that I so needed to hear today! I am so glad to have found your blog and to begin unfolding my life vision with your helpful kit. I think that the Next Chapter book club sounds delicious and I will eagerly await your posts about it! I love the idea of creating that inner muse and will share with my friend when we get together (hopefully this weekend) to start the process. I am inspired by women like you who have a clear path of their lives and choose to live it honoring their creative natures. So thank you, Miss Jenn for being an inspiration to me today!
    Enjoy the day!

  8. Thanks so much for doing the interview. Like everyone, I was struck dumb by “the inner muse”. Now I see the picture of her too. How wonderful.

    And I realized I do have an inner muse too, and have already named him Kavindra (he’s a man.) Thanks for the clarity.

  9. Great collage work to celebrate the start of your creative journal. Will post my contribution shortly, waiting for the glue to dry and appreciating what everyone is doing for now.

  10. Hello Jen!
    What a wonderful image, i love it!

    I came across your work the other day, and again on Jamie’s site and am so interested in your work. I love the whole idea of taking a day off, I mean, i do schedule in creation time, but often it is for an outcome. I am writing a play for production in the spring, i am working on a choreography for a certain date, and i love the idea of just having a full day to do whatever it is that you want! Lovely!

  11. Thank you lovely creative ones for your sweet messages. My heart is warm and full and Sparkling Sage is smiling, thankful to connect with all of you!

  12. I love the idea of meeting and naming one’s inner muse! I think I am learning to do just that– intothedawn is a play on my real name, Dawn Marie, and represents my journey towards living my creative life.

    I’ve been so excited to start the 12 Secrets journey I just dove into reading posts, must go back and listen to your interview! Looking forward to getting to know you better.

  13. Wonderfully insightful and I love your muse: Sparkling Sage! This journey is already such a blessing for meeting souls alike . . .

  14. The interview was wonderful! I also felt an epiphany when you mentioned naming your inner muse. I know mine is inside me somewhere, but can’t see her clearly yet (except that she wears orange eyeshadow). Perhaps that is what I’ll end up discovering through this creativity journey?

  15. I finally got a chance to listen to your interview! It was truly inspiring in so many ways! I painted my own muse for today’s post as a result! Thank you so much for taking the time to do the interview and showering us with the beauty of your light.

  16. Fantastic! And OMG, I totally love your Muse’s name and you got me thinking about my own. Working on that. I love that collage, how did you DO that? It’s like she is lost and yet freed in the snow. How can I be more like that?

  17. Loved the interview, & what a lovely site! Like others, I want to catch up on some of your writing & art. I did an exercise in the late 70s to connect with my “inner doctor,” & found a very wise woman – definatly a saga dressed in black – Lo’oet – NW name of Mt St Helens!
    She’s guided & danced with me over the years – thanks for the reminder to tap some of that wisdom during this course & life in general! Looking forward to this journey

  18. Thanks for sharing and the wonderful interview…I’m enjoying being a part of this blogging group as well.

    PS: I’m trying to decide whether I will order the Right Brain Business Plan e-book or The Unfolding Your Life Vision kit as part of the offer you are providing to participants…decisions decisions!!! 🙂

  19. Oh I love how you did a portrait of your inner muse! That’s fabulous! The last three paintings I did were of women…I had no idea where these images were coming from–they just poured from me…a friend took a look at them and instantly said that they were my inner muse. Well, she didn’t use those exact words–but who cares! Same stuff! Each of these ladies I painted have a different expression–which makes me also wonder if our own Inner Muse goes through different emotions and growth spurts. Your lovely Inner Muse was there with you during those corporate days, she was just colored in a more neutral hue.

    I love your blog Jenn…absolutely love it! It’s like visiting a friend’s house for tea! Love it! Also, so many cool chicas are reading that great book…I think I want to join you all!

    Peace & Love.

  20. It was such a great pleasure to hear your experiences as you spoke with Jamie! I found myself nodding my head as I listened as your fear and searching were things I could relate to well. I look forward to hearing more as we move forward with this book.
    Cheers to you!

  21. I always tend to dismiss things like “naming your muse” only to find out later that it has a profound effect. I’ll be keeping my mind open to hearing her name this week.

    Thanks for everything Jennifer. I’ve been telling everyone about your Right Brain Business Plan book. 🙂 It’s on my wishlist.

  22. Jenn, I have enjoyed listening to your interview soooooo much! I love knowing about Sparkling Sage and all the ways that your muse shows up in your life. You are such a gift. I am glad for this chance to get to know you better.

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