Truth be told, my muse is a total diva. Actually, not just a diva, I mean a Diva. (Yeah, you see that capital D.) Think: Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Maria Callas and the Hindu goddess Kali all rolled into one. My diva muse is in demand. Just because I’ve flipped open my laptop or have my pen touching paper does not mean that she is going to show. She’s got some powerful sway and fierce energy when she’s in the room, so her demands are high.
If you’re struggling to get your diva muse to make an appearance when you’re working, I have some ideas that may just coax her into arriving and being ready to create. You aren’t really expecting to productively work without her, right?
Here is what a diva muse really digs:
Real whole foods, especially plants – A diva muse needs her brain fueled and functioning fantabulously. As science is starting to show us, our gut is like having a second brain. So, let’s put them both to work. While nearly everyone has a nutritional soapbox to stand on these days, let’s keep it simple. Where can you include more fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants? Which whole grains do you like that will provide sustainable fuel for your brain? (Some diva muses like gluten; others don’t.) What about brain-building omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds and walnuts? What if you started with some high-octane nutrition at breakfast? Find the unprocessed, whole foods that your diva muse loves most and learn to cook them. She just adores home-cooked goodness.
Recharging – While you may want to crank on your project or work 24/7, a diva muse takes more breaks than a chain-smoking union worker. Diva muses love to have a break every 90 minutes or so. In fact, they demand them; and it’s not because they’re lazy. In that downtime, they are able to percolate. When they return to work, they are refreshed, unstressed, engaged and filled with more delicious, bubbling ideas. Here are some activities that a diva muse craves:
- Take a shower. Or, go full-tilt diva and luxuriously soak in the tub with some tub tea or a favorite essential oil.
- Breathe. Head to a mat or just drop those lids right where you are. Let your mind just empty like your lungs on each luxuriously slow exhalation.
- Go outside for a walk, especially in nature. Get some sunshine.
- Stop checking your email, texts, twitter, Facebook, etc. Unless you’re a pediatric surgeon, you are probably not saving any babies in the next 15 minutes or so without social media. Unplug.
- Call or visit with someone you know. Diva muses love connecting to swap ideas, deconstruct obstacles or otherwise support each other.
- Throw a 2-song impromptu dance party. Jump on a trampoline or with a rope. Do Pilates. Head to a yoga class. Go for a run. Stretch. Every diva muse fancies something different, but they all like to move.
- Exercise a different creative muscle. Divas are fickle, so indulge them. If you’ve been writing for a while, switch gears and pull out that art or craft project that’s been collecting dust.
Sleep – Diva muses are known to bring some fierce creative energy, so taking breaks is simply not enough. Grown-up diva muses require 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Do you really expect her to roll-up oozing creativity after only 5 hours of sleep? Pffffft. If, and I stress IF, she arrives, she’ll be a foggy-unfocused-slow-reacting-stressed-out hot mess craving sugar and caffeine. Sounds really productive, right?
Compassion – Although diva muses can be fierce creative warriors, they have big hearts. Don’t confuse them with perfectionistas. They recognize that some days, no matter how many of their self-care demands have been met, they’re just not in the flow. Do they beat themselves up? No. Way. Diva muses don’t have the time or energy to sit around feeling guilty or winding themselves up. They go find something new to learn or some other task that needs to be done. They let it go, but not forever. Diva muses know that their block is only temporary. There is no stopping them.
Now, I can’t say your diva muse will always come on command. They ARE divas after all. They demand care and nourishment. Without it, there will be no creativity. As someone working on content and course creation a lot more lately, it’s fantastically important to keep your diva muse happy. While some of the demands of the diva muse seem counter-intuitive (or as some might say, ass-backwards), what have you got to lose by trying?