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What's shiny in your nest?

“Kissing is such an extravagance of nature.

Like birdsong; heartfelt and lovely beyond any possible usefulness." ~ Anne Enright.

What turns your muse on creatively? Like any love relationship, kissing your muse requires spicing things up now and then by seeking out things that are out of the ordinary. "You have to go out and find shiny things to bring back to the nest,” my friend Rivkah likes to say about marriage. It's the same for keeping your creative spark lit. Your muse is always on to what’s shiny. She’s got an eye for that kind of thing. But the question is, how tuned in are you to her discoveries?

Do you notice when she sighs over certain colors, tickles your skin with a breeze, summons the image of a sunset, or a wave of nostalgia over a whiff of turpentine? Do you notice the light on a raindrop on a leaf in the mud, as she does? Images and colors, scents and tastes, sensations, sounds and stories, all of these have the power to bi-pass our judging minds and communicate directly with our heart and soul, which is where the muse resides.

So what shiny things are you bringing back to the nest? Here are some simple kissing practices to bring a little more sparkle into your daily dance, with the help of your Home-at-Heart Muse:

• Get curious about your everyday environment—look at it through the eyes of a tourist. Visit a building, restaurant or shop you've never entered before. Journal about the experience and anything you discover.

• Do a "big clean" of your entire home or one area that needs attention. • Clear out your closet, drawers, and other cluttered areas— give away anything you don't want or haven't used for over a year • Create an "alter" in your home with objects and photos that represent what matters most to you. • Give a neighbor, local shopkeeper, postman, or colleague a greeting card or small gift, for no particular reason.

Your Home-at-Heart Muse reflects your daily routine, including mind, body, and soul. She’s the arrow that says, “You are here!” on a map that includes the surrounding area. What does “here” look and feel like? What does “home” mean to you, past and present? Who are the people (or creatures) that make up your family? What other relationships shape your daily interactions? If you were living in a movie, which genre would it be? Drama? Romantic comedy? Tragedy? Adventure? Even when all is not going well, your Home-at-Heart Muse represents what comforts and sustains you. She’s also the true North that guides you when bigger choices must be made. When you slow down your racing thoughts and connect quietly to yourself, what matters most? What do you feel? Who do you think you are? How do you feel about your current place and purpose? Who do you aspire to be? The Home-at-Heart Muse is your anchor point, a touchstone who reflects the fire in your hearth.

What ideas or suggestions do you have for embracing your Home-at-Heart Muse and brining more shiny things back to your nest?

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