Kissing the Muse casts you as artist, lover, muse, and explorer in the starring role of your own life’s adventure. Through a curated collection of kissing practices (art-therapy-inspired activities and prompts), it invites you to expressively engage in a twelve-stage "hero’s journey" to discover meaningful and transformative insights.
The hero’s journey is a pattern of narrative that appears in stories, fairy tales, fables. movies, psychological development, and religious rituals. It expresses the repeating, universal, and eternal themes we all face across time, place, culture, age, gender, and economic status.
When we frame our work and lives in the context of the mythic hero’s journey, events and circumstances take on deeper significance and meaning. Even the seemingly mundane, mistakes, and failures become necessary to our story. In fact, these are the road bumps, plot twists, and frustrations that ultimately move us forward, shaping and transforming our character as we strive to fulfill our desires, purpose, and dreams.
When we aren’t truly living in accord with our deepest values and purpose, we can feel the ache of in-authenticity in our bones. It’s like showing up for the dance in your sister’s prom dress or father’s tux, it just doesn’t fit, and we can’t be ourselves in the costume. Lucky for us, the muse is the fairy godmother we need to transform that ill-fitting borrowed garb into a glittery, custom-made gown.
Like the magical Mary Poppins who arrives on the scene with a bottomless carpet bag, our muse holds her own toolbox of tricks; a psycho-spiritual suitcase and cabinet of curiosities for creative transformation.
Tucked away in this traveling art kit of hers is something the psychologist Carl Jung called "active imagination." Active imagination is a meditation technique of sorts that serves as a bridge between the conscious ego and unconscious mind, or what Freud called "the Id." Using active imagination is like turning on a film projector inside our psyche and letting it light upon any surface outside, so we can see and translate its contents into images, narratives, or personified characters. Through fantasy, dreams and the imagination, we integrate different aspects of ourselves and our fragmented parts heal and reveal our inherent wholeness.
Active imagination underlies all of the kissing practices in this book. It is the method that allows us to creatively engage with dreams, divination, shadow, and synchronicity, to inform our creative work and, in return, bring wholeness to our psyche. It's combined with a myriad of other creative actions here, including visual art-making, experiential drawing, process painting, free-writing, and ritual.
All creative action (including love!) has the power to transform; it’s the intention of applying active imagination that engages our psyche and the muse. Before you embark on your own creative adventure with your muse, you’ll need to fire-up your active imagination and pack your traveling kit. Make sure it includes open-mindedness, curiosity, and playfulness.
You’ll also want to bring along the must-have supplies listed below:
• A journal/personal muse book (a large, spiral-bound blank, unlined art or scrapbook)
• Glue stick/collage glue
• Watercolor paints (kid's version will do)
• Colored pencils and magic markers
• Assorted magazines (vintage and/or obscure topics are particularly great!)
• Clay or play-dough (or make your own, recipe follows)
• 5x7 blank index cards
• Muse altar (a candle, matches, and photo of yourself as a child that you love)
And if you are ready to jump in with both feet at the deep end of the pool, go ahead and add these to your traveling kit:
• Decorative papers
(printed, handmade, origami, wrapping, textured, etc.)
• Waterproof ink pen
• Glitter pens
• Oil pastels
• Watercolor pencils
• Acrylic medium
• Digital camera (or phone camera)
These are just a few of the provisions you’ll need to for your adventure, feel free to add your own souvenirs and supplies as you move through the creative journey!
If you're ready to embark on a creative adventure, without ever leaving your home, sign up for the Kissing the Muse online adventure, beginning January 2018!
Reserve your spot via email now: firstname.lastname@example.org