We can’t wait to welcome back World Muse Founder and TedxWomen speaker Amanda Stuermer to Gazelli House on 30 January for Connect To Your Inner Muse, a two-hour workshop created to cultivate the inspiration you need to move mindfully through life’s transitions and calendar changes. Amanda’s aim is to help you to live inspired. She has been working in wellness and social change for over two decades and is the founder of World Muse, Muse Conference and Muse Magazine. We caught up with Amanda to find out more:
What inspired you to pursue a career in wellness and social change?
I was inspired by my own journey. I started out in the social change world working with teenage girls because I had a rough go as a teen. I developed a curriculum to promote self-awareness, self-expression and self-worth. What I quickly realised was that the change I wanted to help create in their world needed to begin within my own. It’s wonderful how the universe provides us with mirrors if we are willing to recognise ourselves in them. I still had some inner work to do, so I found teachers and mentors to help me do it. That’s what I love about the marriage of wellness and social change: we cannot heal what is around us until we heal what is inside us. It’s an ongoing process. I’m always checking in to make sure I’m growing and evolving personally as I grow and evolve my social change work. I have seen Activism Burnout up close, where people give and give until they are completely depleted. Combining wellness with social change work has made all the difference in my personal and professional life.
What can we expect from the workshop at Gazelli House on 30 January?
This time of year can be hard for many of us. The excitement of our New Year’s resolutions may have faded away or we may be feeling a lingering post-holiday emotional hangover. This is the perfect time to take a pause and (re)connect with yourself. This workshop will provide time and tools – breath work, meditation, journaling – to go inward, all in a nurturing environment. I mentioned people getting to the point of depletion; this workshop is intended to fill you back up – from the inside.
What does connecting to your inner muse mean?
Most of us think of a muse as someone who inspires an artist to create a work of art. The dictionary defines muse is a source of inspiration, a guiding genius. I believe we each have an Inner Muse waiting to be called forth, a source of inspiration or guiding genius that can help us to create the work of art that is our life. Your Inner Muse speaks through your heart. When you tap into your heart, you find your Inner Muse.
My Inner Muse has led me on some wonderful adventures and guided me through some difficult, but necessary, misadventures. She is the voice I listen to when I know I am ready to take the next step on my path. I believe we can go through life, or we can grow through life. Living inspired means choosing the path of growth.
How did you discover breath work and what impact has it had on your life?
I suppose we all discover breath work the moment we are born. Our first inhalation provides us with our first shot of inspiration.
I am intrigued by the connection between breath work and inspiration. I love words and etymology. The English word inspiration was borrowed from Old French, meaning “A supernatural divine influence on the prophets, apostles, or sacred writers; a supernatural influence which qualifies people to receive and communicate divine truth.” In Middle English, the word Inspire was used to mean “breathe or put life or spirit into the body.”
I love this interweaving of inspiration, breath and connection to the divine, because that is how I experience my breath work practices. They allow me to access my Inner Muse, or divine influence, more easily by calming my central nervous system, quieting my mind chatter and allowing me to receive the divine truth.
Tell us about your typical day before 9am
I am a total morning person. The quiet early hours are sacred to me. My alarm sounds at 5:30am. Before getting out of bed, I go through my gratitude list. I love starting the day with gratitude as it sets the course for what’s to come. Then I put a pot of coffee on and get to my other morning practices while it brews. I like to light a candle and draw a card (I have several decks) to help me set an intention. I choose my breath work and meditation practice based on my intention for that day. There are days when I need to generate more heat, energy, drive so I might practise breath of fire and do a 3rd Chakra meditation. Other days, I may be looking to cultivate more heart energy so I practise a breath and meditation designed to expand my 4th Chakra. I’m not rigid with my routine. Instead, I try to be mindful of what energy I want to cultivate on any given day. If it’s sunny out, I put on my running shoes and go for a moving breath work meditation practice. Finally, I have my coffee and settle into my work day.
How do you look after your own wellbeing?
I am constantly reminding myself to practise what I preach. It’s easy to get caught up in the current of our fast-paced lives. When I find myself getting out of balance – too much screen time, too little time on my mat, too much coffee, too few vegetables – I simply pause and begin again… and again… and again.
What mantra do you live by?
Find what makes you come alive because the world needs more people who have come alive.