Wise in the wily ways of supporting creative souls, the Renegade Muses are an international community of people trained to lead creativity groups. Meet Liz!
Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach
Renegade Muse: Muse Group Facilitator
Liz, I had the absolute joy of meeting you in person in the San Diego Muse Group Leader Training with Jill Badonsky. Connecting to kindred spirits is inspiring and such a relief! How has finding your ‘tribe,’ as international as it is, helped you?
My goodness, I cannot tell you how much it has helped me to be true to myself. More than that it has helped me discover who I really am which is still continuing. At times it has been a challenge. When I first came back from San Diego after the Muse Group Leaders training, I was ready for action but when I told people about the Muses and some of the ideas it was as if I was talking from another planet. I was concerned that people would not take my coaching seriously, I do have a lot of fun but you know what I mean.
So I used the Muse concepts regardless and did not declare it until after participants had experienced the concepts. They were so successful that it was hard to not acknowledge their power. My upcoming presentation with leaders of a profession will be extremely creative and interactive. This is a real biggy for me and I cannot wait. I’m thankful for having my ‘tribe’… I feel supported when I receive emails, attend (on calls, online, facebook, etc) anything to do with KMCC, Muse Groups, and am reminded “Ok, this is really me.” We share, inspire and support each other to have the best life possible based on who we are as individuals. How fantastic is that? And there is no pressure to belong or be, you simply are.
Do you have tips to help others find their tribe locally or internationally?
LIz's Front Garden!
A few years ago, I googled an interest and discovered ‘Body Blissmas’. I explored the site (The Muse is In) and initially thought, “Wow that is a bit out there for me”, but that was my head talking -I had a smile on my face. I can honestly say that I felt my whole body smiling and I thought “why the hell not?” It was different and I wanted different. Being open to trying something that you have never done before can open up your horizons. As you search for your tribe, try to notice the reaction on your face and in your body; Do you feel good, simply by being present?
In New Zealand I have attended so many networking meetings and am so networked out. Now I simply ask, “Do I feel comfortable here?” “Do I feel myself here?” “Am I having fun being here?” As a result, I have now dwindled down to 2 networks that I am happy with. I have learned about my passion, interests, likes and use this as a guide. If you find yourself smiling, laughing out loud and feeling “I so get what they mean”, these are wonderful clues to tell you perhaps you are in the right place. Noticing that someone ‘gets you’ is another great clue.
Your thoughts on the creative process?
Creative Mind Mapping
I had not appreciated just how creative we all are in whatever we do so I had to work through my preconceived ideas of what artists, writers, sculptures, musicians, etc were. I had this feeling of being in awe and that I was not worthy.
Being a part of Renegade Muses and KMCC, I feel totally safe, I don’t feel judged, and it’s helped me find courage; to be vulnerable; and to know what it is like to connect to who I really am. I am not an artist, author or whatever, but I am a creative being and recognizing that, it blows me away the shift I’ve experienced in all that is me. I am getting bolder as I bring creativity into my practice. I’ve written things that I would have normally kept to myself . I have fun. I make way more mistakes, do heaps of colouring in, and I am doing a painting class next weekend. I have more compassion; I give myself permission to take small steps.
Any stories to tell about what’s stopped you in the past from being your creative self?
Thinking Ahead by Liz Gow
Many years ago, I took a stained glass class. I had wanted to do this for years, but after 2 sessions I gave up. I also attended a water colour workshop and gave up. I had not realised at the time that I gave up because what I created was ‘not good enough’. The end result was ‘crap’. I was not allowing myself to be a beginner and constantly compared myself to others each time, thinking, “Wow their stuff is so good, they are creative, this is not for me.” Now when I write this, I think, “How crazy is that?” but it stopped me from trying things, well, I stopped me from trying things and from believing I was a creative person. Right now I am learning to crochet. I make so many mistakes and I’m actually looking forward to putting a photo of it on face book; I may even blog about it. I laugh because it is not how it is meant to be, however I am enjoying being a beginner. Even the ‘Greats’ of our time had to start somewhere. It gives me so much freedom to try new stuff and giggle and be proud at the same time of not giving up. Being in the creative process gives me joy.
Any quirky secrets/ rituals/ silly thoughts that help you show up to honouring your creative self?
Well to be honest I call on the Muses, even mentioning them somehow makes me feel mischievous. Sometimes I just think of Bea Silly and that helps me do something. In the morning, I give myself 5 mins and just ‘colour in.’ I doodle while on the phone at work.. and this is something new for me and it feels good. I love it when I go to meet someone and they are late because I get my wee book out and pen and doodle. I have started getting there earlier so I can play.
Ever feel like you don’t exactly ‘fit in’ in this world?
To be honest I feel like that more and more – ha ha- and yet I feel like I am fitting with me more and more. I still step back from many things because I don’t want to be influenced to fit. What I am noticing is now that I try to not make myself fit in I am in my bliss and the better my energy is. I am getting known for well being, having fun and laughing. I now speak my truth more and have written approximately 4 articles for my Professions newsletter that are a little different.
My muse tribe has shown me that I can be who I am and they are who they are and it works, albeit scary at times. I guess I feel like I belong to this tribe without the strings. It feels more spiritual and bigger than anything I have ever known. What I know is that I am surrounded by like minded people like you, KMCC tribe, my husband, friends, acquaintances. I have been approached by a couple of other people just because I am who I am. I feel now it is more important to absolutely belong to your ‘self’ and the ripple effects are absolutely amazing.
What’s coming up for you in the future?
More of Liz's Home
Next year I am going to do a counselling course – 18 months. I want to work with people who have disordered eating, one to one and groups. Now I know I will want to do it differently with the Muses and coaching and creativity workshops/tools. This means I may not ‘fit’ but now that will not stop me. I will make sure I am professional, safe and ethical and will do it my way. Wow, I said that out loud. How cool is that!
Thanks, Liz, for sharing your journey here. I’m delighted that you are one of my kindred spirits and I think I would love to come visit you in beautiful New Zealand and take one of your workshops!
You can connect with Liz at Liz Gow Life Coach on facebook
Learn more about leading creativity groups here. The Nine Modern Day Muse Facilitator Training is based on the works of, and in collaboration with, Jill Badonsky, and is facilitated by life and creativity coach, Janet Whitehead, who tosses in some of her wily ways to boot.