MEET THE MUSE: An interview with Amanda Stuermer
Q: What exactly is a Muse?
A: According to Webster’s, muse is either a source of inspiration or thinking or saying something in a meaningful way. I usually think of a muse as a noun, as someone who inspires us in a meaningful way, but lately I have been much more intrigued by muse as a verb. I believe when we muse on something – an issue, an idea – we allow ourself to ask questions. I believe answers only come when we are brave enough to ask the tough questions. We are at a point in human history where we have some big questions to ask. That leads me back Muse as a noun; we need people who can inspire us to ask the big questions. Muses inspire us to muse.
Q: How did all this musing begin?
A: It all started with a basket full of yoga mats and a dream that maybe I could help young women realize their true value. I drove around to local schools offering yoga, creativity and service programs for teen girls. I wanted them to recognize their power to inspire change. Seven years later, World Muse is offering year-round programming that includes in-school, after-school, and summer camps for teens; workshops, retreats, travel, and grant-making programs for women; and special community-wide events.
I created World Muse to support my inspiration habit, but it grown into a movement of women and girls who are inspiring meaningful change. We work with muses all over the globe who are doing really amazing things.
Q: What fueled that growth?
A: Muses. My mentors Seane Corn, Suzanne Sterling, and Hala Khouri from Off the Mat Into The World who provided me with the tools and inspiration to expand my vision. They allowed me to see myself as a true visionary, and they connected me with other amazing visionaries like Melody Moore, Kerri Kelly, Marianne Elliott, Jay Fields, Lisa Rueff, and others. Then, I connected with some awesome women locally who became my Muse Team – Tracy Treu, Cynthia LaRoche and Cassondra Schindler. We’ve recently developed an amazing Muse Board – Else Kerkmann, Jenny Green, Charlotte Gilbride, Ruth Williamson, and Kim Paxton-Hagner. Together, we’ve grown our muse community far beyond my wildest dreams. It’s like that quote, “When we dream alone, it is only a dream; but when we dream together, it becomes reality.” We’ve taken Muse from dream to reality.
Q: Can anyone be a muse?
A: Of Course! Each and every one of us has the power to inspire. We just have to decide what exactly it is that we want to inspire in the world. That is where mindfulness comes in handy. It is important to be clear about what we’re inspiring out there. I spent an awful lot of my muse power inspiring trouble when I was younger. Mindfulness and yoga helped me start using my powers for good. My passion is helping other women discover their power to inspire awesome stuff out in the world.
Q: What are you most inspired by at the moment?
A: Our 2016 Muse Conference which is coming up this March 4-6. Our team is planning a total inspiration-fest. This is our fourth annual conference and it is going to be inspiration at its finest. I have also started a fun side project called Muse Magazine. It is an online platform for storytelling and truth-sharing. It’s where I collect all of the amazing stories from my work with World Muse and share them with the world.
Q: How do we get a shot of that?
A: MUSE WITH US! Stay tuned to our World Muse website to buy your conference ticket; they will go on sale in early January. Connect with World Muse on social media as we begin to announce some of our awesome 2016 presenters. Join us at our weekly metope every Wednesday at Palate Coffee from 8:00-9:00am. Visit the Muse Magazine website (www.musemagazine.org) and muse with me there as well.
Q: One last question, how do you recharge your muse powers?
A: I am a total inspiration junkie. Aside from the rush I get from all the transformational work of World Muse, I do have a few personal go-to inspiration stashes – time with my family & friends, yoga, travel, music and the great outdoors (Mother Nature is the ultimate muse). Each one of those recharges me. Any combination of them is like a direct flight to my own private xanadu. Inspiration is a total trip. You should book yours now. Muse On…
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