June 12, 2013

The Critic, Muse and Scrooge

After weeks of writing and working on curriculum with Claudia Olivos for Hermana Sagrada's new online courses, The Color of Woman School assignments, my Soulful Metamorphosis "book" that literally had my right hand in pain from the constant flow of words, blogging, and taking a creative writing class for fun... I was exhausted and over-extended to the max. The past few weeks have been about rest and reflection. Oftentimes when I find myself in these periods, I cocoon for long hours that turn into days. I sleep a lot and stay in my small space moving in and out of what I think is real and what is dream. Family and friends have come to understand the intensity of my process but it is not always easy.  

In recent weeks I have been completing the Talisman painting with COW. I am always amazed at the power of practicing intentional creativity. It is a beautiful thing to see the transformations occur when facilitating workshops for others but it is something so enriching and enlivening to experience for myself. 

I have traveled to the past...a very painful and sobering encounter..and offered my soul gratitude. I have learned to stay centered as possible in the present moments of my life, and I have glimpsed at the future self, artist-woman I want to become through the Talisman teachings. 

The whole experience reminds me of Ebenezer Scrooge's movement from the past, present, and future from Charles Dicken's, Christmas Carole. Is that weird? I thought it was kind of fun and something I could relate to as I went through the process of excavating the crusted pieces of my soul. I thought of Ebenezer's character as a man who let the Critic take over his mind and life. 

The Critic being the voice inside that keeps the old stories of our past alive. The Critic spins the old stories into lies and paralyzes us into fear based re-actions....doing the same things over and over that are not a true reflection of who we are or who we want to become. Ebenezer did not keep the Critic in check and let it take over completely as a result of his life experiences. 

Disappearing Girl

Do you do this too? Sometimes, does the Critic take over because we believe the lies of this internal voice? We say things like: I am not good enough, I am too this...or too that...she/he is better than me...I am not worthy. This voice is in all of us. We recognize it and know it well. It will always be there because it is part of our human make-up. What we must be able to discern is when listening to the Critic is necessary and when it is not. 

There is another voice we hear though isn't there? A softer voice than that of the Critic... but she is there. I have come to call this voice, the Muse. The Muse being the voice inside that is connected to the Divine parts of us and informs what we create in this world. The Muse encourages us to live from a higher sense of Truth. What if we turned up the volume on this voice? 

My friend Denise Daffara inspired me early this morning with her wise words, when she said: 

"If everything has a polar opposite it is dawning on me ever so slowly that the more powerful our Critic is/was/has been, then our Muse is equally powerful in the opposite direction."

I believe this! Yes! This is why painting and intentional creativity are important parts of my life. It is why I have decided to live it and teach it to others! We do not have to be at the mercy of the Critic's negativity. We can choose in every moment to first observe then give the microphone to the Muse. What does she say? What song will she sing to help you re-member the parts of your body, mind and soul that have been dis-connected from each other? This is the awareness and mindfulness intentional creativity can bring to all of us. Through this "showing up" ...shifts in the soul materialize. 

I understand why many people are afraid to do this internal work...it is downright scary, painful, messy, and uncomfortable. I do believe though that each time I push through the layers of doubt and fear just on the other side of that uncomfort is a newer and better version of myself. I collect shiny golden coins of confidence and strength along the way that carry me to the next mountain I must climb. 

After glimpsing the future and his very own tombstone, Ebenezer begged for another chance and thankfully was given the opportunity. Look into your future? What do you see? What are you creating for this world? What is your Truth? I am asking that for today you re-embrace your life. Bring some balance between the Critic and the Muse inside of yourself and live a life in which you are thankful for the sometimes painful past, centered in the present moments, and envision a future that reflects the capital T, Truth of you you are. 


LindaKay said...

What a wonderful message Sofia! It is so good that you shared your process of struggle and resolutions. I have not looked at it in this way before. Thank you for some very important insight! You have helped me to see the better parts of me and how important my contributions really are.

Love and huge hugs!!!

Janet Ghio said...

Beautiful thoughts Sofia! come over and visit my blog and look the last three posts and you will see where my muse has taken me.

Anonymous said...

could you please explain what a talisman painting is?