The Sweet Exhale of Summer’s End – Going Within & Tending the Muse

There’s a curious idea our minds seem to hold – that one day, we’re going to land on perfection, on having it all figured out. We look at other artists, creators, and makers, and from the outside, it feels like they know what they’re doing. Yet inside, they too battle feelings of uncertainty, of not knowing where they’re going or what they’re even creating, of lacking clarity in their vision.

I almost didn’t show up today. I’m finding myself deep in the waves of uncertainty. Wondering what I’m even doing. Only 2 weeks ago, I felt like I had it figured out. I wrote something that felt so good, so true to my vision. Yet my next creation didn’t feel like it hit all the same marks, and it felt more challenging to get where I ended up.

It’s easy to lose hope when we aren’t able to recreate the same inner feelings of success or as easily put our vision to form. When we can’t replicate the same scenarios of creation, we begin to wonder if we’re on the right track or if we have what it takes.

But it’s all a part of the creative process. Our job as makers is to look at all the pieces, even the ones that seemingly don’t fit, and to weave them together. When it feels uncertain or like they don’t fit together, this is an opportunity for us to grow and to expand into the next level. It can be a source of frustration, but it’s also the path to the next level of clarity.

We can look at it as one big experiment, where we get to show up and play, try new things out, landing on what works, and letting what doesn’t be our guide to what’s meant for us.

Our sacred work may never feel perfectly clear, but that’s the nature of it. It wouldn’t be work if we didn’t have to continue to show up, again and again, to put together the pieces of our creations. It wouldn’t be sacred if our work didn’t change us in pursuit of it. Our work is a pathway to our transformation. It continues to shape us the further we move along that path.

In order to continue to show up for this process, we must resource ourselves. We must make the space to tend to ourselves, our inner fire, our inner muse. We must give ourselves time to simply be, to think, to dream, and to let the visions and inspiration come through. We must live a life that inspires us, filling it with beauty and meaning, blurring the lines of what’s work and what’s play because it all works together, weaves together, each feeding the other.

The speed at which summer moves us often causes us to lose sight of this. The heat and fire of summer have us constantly on the move, filling our days with to-dos, and oddly, recreation, play, and enjoyment of these longer and warmer days become yet another thing to do. We lose the true embodiment of our being, speeding through the process instead of being present for it. Now, as the days shorten and the heat fades, we’re able to begin to slow down, to move back within ourselves, and to remember what we need to sustain us and our desires.

This is the sweet exhale.

Ah, Sweet Exhale

I light a candle, placing it on the wooden ledge. I dip my toes in, feeling the waves ripple against my skin, the comfort of the water washes over my tense muscles and radiates down my chilled bones. The new moon peeks out overhead from behind soft clouds, a slight shimmering crescent in the sky, a reminder that the magic returns even after a brief disappearance.

Ah, sweet exhale. As the tension leaves my body, as my creations become embodied, as the water frees my mind from the fire, for a moment. Only when we fully release our breath are we able to remember the full capacity of the vessel, the full capacity of our being. Emptying out so we may be filled back up again.

Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we lose our way. As our visions and passions are ignited, as these long days demand more from us. We go up in flame, burning hot and bright, burning from both ends. It’s only a matter of time before we run out of fuel. Only a matter of time before our fire burns out.

Ah, sweet exhale. How good it is to slow down, to come back to center, to come back to the sacred. To remember who we are underneath what we do. To remember what truly matters, what it takes to keep the fire alive, to keep our inner fire alive.

It’s curious to me that these burning days of summer are seen as the highlight of the year. High and light they certainly are, but one can only burn so bright for so long before your flame comes back down again. We aren’t meant to stay in summer, stay alit, forever, only for a time.

Ah, sweet exhale. How the water calls me home. How the moon reminds me of my magic. Slowly, gently, tampering the fire, where she’ll stay smoldering, more sustainably. I don’t have to keep throwing big logs on her, no. I stoke her here and there and she’ll burn steadily for me.

So long, fiery days of summer. Hello, slow days of fall. The balance point. The return from the hot extreme of the light, calling in the darkness to balance her out. No longer must we give and give while we burn hot, while we burn out. No, those days have run out.

Ah, sweet exhale. This is perfection. Perfect for settling into this inner rhythm, find inner harmony. The days where I give what I have to give, create what I’m called to create, but with it comes rest. With it comes care. With it comes nourishment. With it comes the vision of what lies beyond.

I do not have to rush. I do not have to hurry. I get to simply be. Be who I am becoming. Yes. Trust that it’s all working. Trust the path and enjoy the process. Because what will be left if I run out of wood and the fire goes out?

Ah, sweet exhale. I am my own personal inspiration. I am the source. I am the well. And so I must tend to it. My care, my nourishment, my vision. It’s all a part of keeping the fire alive, in keeping my inner fire aflame. I am my own personal inspiration, and I must be tended so the muse too can be tended.

As these days of summer come to a close and we usher in fall, as the seasons slow down and come into balance, may we too slow down and come back into balance.

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The Sweet Exhale of Summer's End

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