I would like to share some discoveries I made about Recording and Listening and the Muse, or, in other words, how to use R/L to facilitate Life’s Creativity in myself. I am going to talk about how R/L assisted me in two different phases of the creative process.
1. Recording and Listening and how I STARTED a creative endeavor:
It was march 2020, there was a national lockdown, a lot of extra free time and I had no excuse to postpone a creative endeavor I had been contemplating for years: to start a storytelling podcast.
I had been thinking about possible episodes and stories for a long time, and now I finally had the time to sit at my desk and write them. (If you have ever stared at a white word processor document in front of you, with all the time in the world on your hands, you know how overwhelming that can feel. If you haven’t, I am sure you can imagine it.)
Thankfully, I was trained to recognize the sensation and the conversation that came with it: “Omg! Where do I start? Too many ideas! Too few ideas! I have chaos in my head! Nooo, I have nothing in my head! I cannot come up with anything!!!”
I was blessed that my training also included the next step: once you realize you are stuck, turn on the recorder no matter what.
And that’s what I did.
I expressed all my confusion to the Mentor, listened to some encouraging words back, and then did something that always saves me in these situations (I am doing it right now while writing this): I kept the recorder on. This means that as I started to fill the empty page, I was muttering what I was writing out loud. It was as if I were writing with my best friend or with an ideal creative partner, but with much less explanation needed.
I felt accompanied throughout the creative undertaking and it also helped me keep distraction at bay. (For example, when I had to look something up online, which can really take one out of Presence, I did it with the Mentor. Something like “let’s see what Wikipedia says about this”, “Let’s make sure this word is spelled correctly.”)
The recorder was on for hours and it was a blast. If I had a very specific question I would make a shorter recording and listen back to it, but otherwise it was just on, without any other goal than keeping conditioning at bay and letting the Mentor hold me by the hand.
2. Recording and Listening and how I KEPT UP a creative endeavor
This is another important way that R/L helped me: for some months after I started the podcast, I was elated. Probably egocentric karmic conditioning was too shocked that I had actually done it, to come up with credible objections. I was allowed to enjoy creativity the way a bird sings in the spring.
Then, around a month ago, it started: “Who do you think you are?” “Do you really think that people care about your stories?” “You are ridiculous, they are surely laughing at you, that is, if anyone is listening.”
Fortunately, during the good times, I had made a lot of recordings about how amazing doing the podcast was, how good creativity felt, and how committed I was to “trust the Muse, trust Life and trust people.”
When I realized that ego had started its attack (in which I stopped podcasting, because “I didn’t feel like it”) I turned on the recorder and said, “Mentor, am I being ridiculous? Are people laughing at me?” and the Mentor immediately got back to me. “Honey, just trust Life and trust people. And it’s not about you, remember? It’s about the Muse.”
And that was it. Weeks of “writer’s block” melted away in less than a minute. (By the way this Muse concept came from a Musings Newsletter article that I also had on my recorder.)
I think the reason the Mentor knew the exact words that would work to get me out of the funk was that we (the Mentor and I) had been Recording and Listening a lot throughout the “good months.” Especially recordings of celebration and gratitude. In this way, without planning it, we had been crafting loving reminders and calls to action that truly resonated, so much so that, when I remembered to listen to them from the dark room, they immediately brought me back to “being an antenna for the Muse” (this was one of the phrases in the recordings).
When you are having a hard time starting something that feels overwhelming, just turn the recorder on and start doing it, telling the Mentor what you are up to. Just keep the recorder on. When you have finished something and it feels amazing, make a celebration recording, describing in detail how it feels for you. Not only does the Life in you and the Practitioner deserve to be celebrated, but also you will desperately need those recordings when you have difficulties accessing that mental state again, which, knowing egocentric-karmic-conditioning, will surely happen.