When you begin any kind of creative project with inspiration fueling your expression, all you have to do is let go, let it flow, and see what shows up. Being uninspired, a far more common occurrence, feels like a gray cloud is hovering. Your mind is jumbled and unfocused, skipping from thought to thought like an Orangutan, jumping from one tree branch to the next, never alighting or resting anywhere. It feels like you can’t win. Sticking with your work feels foolish and walking away feels cowardly. The solution to this dilemma is straightforward: Just keep doing what you’re doing and inspiration just might show up.

Albert Einstein said, “Genius is not that you’re smarter than anyone else. It’s that you’re ready to receive the inspiration.”

Thomas Edison said. “Genius is 5% inspiration and 95 % perspiration.”

I like to think of inspiration as “The Muse,” an invisible genius, often in female form, who fills you up with beauty, kindness, expanded vision and boundless energy. We all want her to honor us with her presence, but chasing her is like trying to keep a cat on your lap when she doesn’t want to be there. The muse almost never shows up when you want her to. Like a snobby socialite who arrives fashionably late to the festivities, she’s the life of the party once she’s there, she graces you with enthusiasm and hope – and then she leaves without warning.

There’s only one way to deal with her. You have to start without her, appreciate her presence when she arrives and be grateful she was there when she leaves. A friend of mine was staying in an ashram in India when he got a call from the states that a family member had died. When he was ready to fly back home for the funeral, he asked his guru, “Will you miss me?”

The guru smiled warmly and said, “When you are here, I celebrate your presence. When you are gone, I celebrate your absence.

About a year ago, I called a fellow writer when I was trying to resurrect a novel I’d set aside a few months earlier. “My characters won’t let me back in,” I said. “I created them and I want to rework them, but they’re shutting me out. They won’t talk to me. They don’t want anything to do with me. What should I do?”

She had no answers. I would have to forge my own way back into my material that seemed to be rejecting me. I surrendered, I kept on going, and finally I broke through and found inspiration on the other side. If you feel like you’re up against the wall, isolated, confused, and uncertain how to point yourself in the right direction, instead of obsessing over the muse and chasing inspiration, pledge your undying loyalty to her, get to work and try letting inspiration find you.

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