November/December 2003 Living Now
An Interview with Jill Badonsky
by Connie Hill
Author of The Nine Modern Day Muses (And a Bodyguard), Jill
Badonsky is a creativity coach, workshop leader, artist and marketing consultant
who writes a monthly column called Blessings in a San Diego newspaper. She lives
in San Diego with her two cats and a bougainvillea.
Connie: What brought you to write this book?
Jill: I've had an obsession with creativity for as long as I can remember.
When I started coaching people I discovered tools I hadn't seen before. I didn't
just want to write a linear creativity book. I wanted to write a book that would
"feel" creative when people were reading it. Thats why I invented
the muses. The body guard came because I wanted only nine muses and kept coming
up with ten principles. So I decided if I'm writing a book on creativity I might
as well creatively solve this by having a bodyguard. The bodyguard's the tenth
principle. It's about moving forward, protecting your ideas and your process.
Connie: The bodyguard grabbed my interest. Tell me more.
Jill: It's such an important concept. We all have intruders to our creative
process, including our own thoughts. When you embody strength mentally and
physically, you become more disciplined. The bodyguard, named Arnold, is the
anchor. In my classes I ask people to bring a symbol that represents this Arnold
energy for them. It could be for protection or strength.
Connie: You write in your book "the energy of Arnold empowers us not
to give our power away to others." Do we use all of the muses?
Jill: All of the nine muses are there, but they are more like
sub-personalities. We have all of these personalities but we have certain muse
energies we get attached to that are about our story like "I'm not
creative." That is about forgetting who we are and we're all creative.
There are personalities that if we pay attention to them they become more alive.
Another muse is Aha-phrodity. She's the muse of paying attention to
possibilities and that there is inspiration everywhere. She tells us we need to
pay attention to where we get our inspiration. A lot of writers say "I need
to write. I need to sit in front of my computer." When in fact their ideas
come when they are walking or driving or showering or so on. We need to pay
attention to how ideas come and then pay attention to the ideas by writing them
We need to see when we are in default thinking, worrying or hashing things over
again and again. Then we need to switch to possibility thinking--or what is
Connie: In one of the charts the beginning of the book you talk about time
constraints. Can you say more about what you mean by this?
Jill: At my workshops I ask students to write down what their main block is
and they write down time most often. We think we are supposed to have a
big block of time to do our creativity work. You do need a block of time for
some things, but the hardest part of the creative process is getting started.
Marge is the muse that addresses time things. In a Scandinavian accent she says
"OK, if you're not finished it could be because you're not getting
started." I think one of the biggest reasons people don't do their creative
stuff is that they overwhelm themselves and they set expectations that are way
too high from the start. They need to look at their priorities. Are they
spending too much time watching TV or other things that keep them addicted? Or
are they supposed to be doing the thing that this deep inner voice keeps
pestering them about?"
Connie: Many people want to quit their job and do their creative work. Do
you think that for some it may be important to incorporate this other thing into
their life and do it while they still have a job?
Jill: Thinking differently about your job can mean huge shifts for people
especially when they hear "Your job is to support your art. You go to work
so you have a structure to do what you really love to do." Our little
mortal minds go to what's wrong with a situation. That's our survival technique.
What if you went into your job and looked at it from the standpoint of what's
right with it. Or "I get to go to my job. I have a job! And
lots of people don't."
Connie: People also want to do spiritual or creative work, and I see those
as the same, but they think doing those mean not having any money.
Jill: That's a big one too. Many people are taught early that working
should be something to make money. They think "If I do this creative stuff
I need to do it with the intention of making money. Or if I do this creative
stuff I'm not going to have money because people who do creative work don't have
money." That is a myth. Look at people in the advertising industry--they
are making millions. One thing I tell people is that when they are in the
creative process it positively affects their work so that they work better. It's
something that feeds their soul. When people say they don't have time for it or
can't make any money using their creativity, it says to me "I don't have
time to do what I'm here on Earth to do." It's so obvious. It's spirit,
where our own unique self has tapped into the pool of consciousness. When people
follow that direction doors open. "Hello!" It's like the
universe showing up for them. And then we sabotage it. There are so many studies
that show that our bodies and minds work better when we are in the creative
process. There are so many reasons to do it. But people have to be willing to go
into that place.
Connie: Thanks Jill.
Join Jill Badonsky at New Renaissance Bookshop on Saturday, November 8 for
her workshop called Unleashing You Creativity With Nine Muses (And a
Bodyguard). Call 503-224-4929 or visit www.newrenbooks.com to register.
Jill's website is www.themuseisin.com.
Connie Hill works at New Renaissance Bookshop and is a local astrologer. She
can be reached at 971-244-0567, ext. 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org.