I also participated in Quinn’s muse swap.
I traded in my goof-off muse who kept convincing me to sleep late and go to the Farmer’s Market to buy her olive tapenade. I got Kate’s muse, Olivia, who would only let her think and not even talk to friends! What kind of muse is that for a collaborator?
Olivia was assigned to me on a day when I was having lunch with my friend Ginny Kravitz. Ginny is a great coach and I wanted to learn some new ways to focus on my most important priorities. Olivia was very impressed by the power of our conversation and is re-thinking her attitude about talking with friends to get fresh perspectives.
Plus, Olivia is going to take Ginny’s What is necessary? — What is possible? worksheet home to Kate. This is a great tool for planning realistically. Olivia got the hang of this very quickly and just kept asking me “Are you sure that belongs in the necessary bubble?”
"We just can't stay up any longer!" Shackleton
Olivia insisted I get up early each day so that I could make the most of mornings – my best time of day. On our last night together, she finally convinced me to get to bed early! She knew it was just a matter of time.
For the last 10 days I have become friends with a new muse. In her Muse-Swap blog, Quinn McDonald offered me the opportunity to trade my regular muse in for a new one. I actually didn’t even know that I had a muse but after thinking about how intensely I have been working, I decided I in fact have been selectively listening to one of my muses, the slave-driver. My slave-driver voice has made me too serious and obsessed with work. Once I really thought about it I decided I needed a break from my own intensity. Quinn offered me the perfect swap – a muse who giggles!
Laughing Goat from ingridtaylar at Flickr Creative Commons
Giggles and I have had a ball together. She encouraged me to impulsively plan a 6-day get-away, driving up the coast of Maine with my sweetheart. We’re heading out next week. When my teen aged son and I were handed a worksheet in a personal development workshop we were attending ( I know…sounds like a relapse into seriousness, but oh well…can’t be perfect over night!), I uncharacteristically howled out loud when seeing one of the listed tips for good communication as “Have a goat in mind!”. The typo was inadvertent I’m sure, but my son and I are determined to think about goats now as our code for lightening up when we are struggling to connect!
Don't be low on coolant! Photo by tsja!
I could further tell you how Giggles turned my car leaking coolant on the Saw Mill River Parkway into a funny reminder that I have to drink more water. She also encouraged me to take my shoes off in a furniture showroom and stretch out with my sweetheart to see how comfortable a couch was we were considering as a purchase. Giggles certainly made me daring as well as light-hearted!
Although today marks the end of the Muse Swap, I am not turning my new friend back. I think our collaboration is long overdue and I intend to keep listening to her encouragement to stretch beyond my overly attentive work ethic to have some fun. As is true for many good collaborators, Giggles reminds me that sometimes we have to partner with others who are really different than our natural selves in order to find the answers we seek. I may not be done being serious-minded, but I sure am going to listen for Giggles more often. Thanks to Quinn and my muse-swap buddy for this fun time!