We’ve reached a milestone here at Set Your Muse on Fire! This marks the 50th post, or the 50th issue of the email newsletter. Whew! As we come up to the rush of the holiday season, and Thanksgiving in particular, this milestone reminds me to be thankful - first, to any and everyone who reads my blog or newsletter. Thank you! You help me feel like I’m not just whispering into the wind. Thank you also to my coaching clients, who amaze and inspire me with your creativity, your love of writing, and your persistence in the face of obstacles both small and large. A huge thank you to my own teachers, mentors, and writing friends, who in turn keep me going when my own faith and energy are flagging.
Gratitude makes us humble, and also opens up our world. We can’t feel small, or inhibited, or insignificant, when we reflect on all we have to be grateful for in terms of our creativity. We owe it to ourselves, and to the world, to be as big as we want to be in our creative expression. The famous Marianne Williamson quote comes to mind:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do… And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"
We can’t create well from a place of fear, of constant doubt and feelings of inadequacy. We create well when we embrace the abundance of our own fertile imaginations. Gratitude helps us remember that there are people willing to support and encourage us. Gratitude reminds us to look at our successes, not just what we perceive to be our failures.
I think of my creative self like a tree in the forest: it needs sunlight and water and air and good earth to spread its roots and branches. It sometimes goes dormant, its leaves fallen, the sap flowing so slowly, hardly oozing along. Without care, it can be crowded out, shriveled, succumb to spiritual blight. But new growth, new energy always comes. I try to remember its cyclical nature. I try to nourish it all through its seasons, in whatever way I can. And I try to be consciously grateful for it, and for my fellow trees, all manifestly creating ourselves, season by season.