“I'll be your mirror
Reflect what you are, in case you don't know
I'll be the wind, the rain and the sunset
The light on your door to show that you're home.”
~ The Velvet Underground and Nico
Kissing the Muse is an interactive creative adventure that empowers you to live your best life. Through a messy, magical, collage-making process, you’ll creatively kiss your muse.
The muse is a mirror of your inner artist. She reflects your innate creative potential. It doesn’t matter whether you dabble with watercolor, or cake frosting, write poetry or prose, or can't draw a stick figure to save your sister, kissing your muse will illuminate your unique, creative path to happiness.
If you can't join a Kissing the Muse creative adventure (online or in-person), I encourage you to kiss your muse on your own by making a Muse Mirror collage. Here's how:
1. Prelude to a Kiss
Gather your materials in a quiet space where you won't be disturbed for the duration of the kissing practice. You'll need:
A blank journal and pen
Variety of old glossy magazines (vintage and specialty are particularly great!)
Several sheets of A5 cardstock or A4 paper folded in half
2. Invoking the Muse — Guided Active-Imagination Meditation
During a Kissing the Muse creative adventure, you'll experience a different 3-5-minute, guided meditation invocation for each muse. But you can invoke your muse on your own, simply by asking her to appear. Just close your eyes and imagine your muse whispering in your ear. Sit quietly for a minute and connect to your heart. That's how you give your muse the space to show up!
COME said the Muse,
Sing me a song no poet yet has chanted,
Sing me the universal.
In this broad earth of ours,
Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,
Enclosed and safe within its central heart,
Nestles the seed perfection.
By every life a share or more or less,
None born but it is born, conceal'd or unconceal'd the seed is
- Walt Whitman, Song of the Universal
3. Pull Images
After invoking the muse, set a timer for ten minutes and begin pulling images from the magazines. At this stage, rip away, don't bother with scissors or with being too neat. Let yourself pull whatever you like, or anything that draws your attention, including images that you don't like, but that trigger an emotional reaction. Don't try to find exact pictures of things you want in your collage. Let the images find you instead. This process is about opening a dialogue with your muse, letting her speak to you visually, through colors, shapes, images, and symbols to discover what already exists in your subconscious mind.
Use the images you've collected to create a Muse Mirror collage on a 5x7 index card (A5) or sheet of A4 paper, folded and glued in half. Restricting the size may feel frustrating at first, especially if you have a few large images, but that's okay. Part of the process is to determine what matters most about the image. Cut it down to fit by choosing the essence that speaks to you. If you have a lot of images, that's okay too. You can create more than one Muse Mirror. Give yourself enough time to play with the images and glue them onto the card—at least one hour, but two is even better. It's great to do the kissing practices with friends, but try not to speak too much during the first ten minutes of image gathering.
As you engage in the exercise, pay attention to the voices that might emerge, and try to watch, with self-compassion, how your ego might intrude in an attempt to shut down your creativity. Or, if things are going well, notice if your ego starts to congratulate you on how fantastic you are at this moment. All forms of judging, either negative or positive, are best noted then let go. The purpose of your kissing practice is not to endure harsh self-criticism or congratulatory self-boasting but to bring you deeper into a relationship with yourself as the muse.
6. Kiss and Tell
When you've glued your images onto the card, sit with it for a moment and look at it. Imagine the collage is your muse, she is speaking to you. Without editing or overthinking, write the muse's response to the Kiss and Tell prompt. There's a distinct one for each muse in the creative adventure, but if you're working on your own, use this one that covers them all:
I commit to...
I dare to...
I am waiting for...
In my darkest moments...
I am balancing...
I fiercely love...
The gift of my experience is...
My message is...
My name is...
Look at the collage and write on a different piece of paper. Only spend five to ten minutes on this portion of the exercise. If you created more than one Muse Mirror, repeat the Kiss & Tell prompt for each one.
7. Cultivating Intimacy with Your Muse
Keep your Muse Mirror in a visible place for as long as it still holds energy for you. Put it somewhere you will see it every day—like next to your bed, on your dressing table, taped to the bathroom mirror, or on your altar if you have one. Let your mind subconsciously absorb the symbolic meaning of its images and their relationship to your daily life. Pay attention to any synchronicities that show up and any messages they might hold. Your muse communicates in subtle ways, you only need to listen.
8. Share the Love
If you feel moved to share your muse-kissing experience with a wider creative community, please take a photo of your Muse Mirror and social share: #kissingthemuse and #MessyMagicalCreativeAdventure. If you’d like to share your Kiss & Tell as well, take a photo of it, too. If your handwriting is too difficult to read, type up what you wrote—just try not to edit it! You can also join our Kissing the Muse creative community and share your muse mirrors there.
Feel like kissing your muse with a creative community? Sign up for a Muse Date! I host monthly workshops online via Zoom, as well as in-person creative adventures. Come join us!