I am so fortunate an artist friend (Thank you, Terry Whye!!) recently mentioned a book to me. As usual, my first recourse was to check my local libary system. With luck, they had Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert in book, large-print, e-book, CD audiobook, and downloadable audiobook forms! I chose the downloadable audiobook because it’s read by the author and I could listen to it in my studio.
I had heard Elizabeth Gilbert speak at Davidson College maybe four years ago and was thrilled to feel that same connection as I’ve listened to her read Big Magic. Her message of living with curiosity and the willingness to take chances is pushing all the right buttons. In fact, I believe it’s exactly the ‘big magic’ Elizabeth talks about that sat me alongside this book at the table of Life at this moment in time.
Seeing Creativity as the bearer of ideas that want to take shape encourages me to be open to her impulses and leanings. If she presents an idea that resonates, I’ll be courageous in gestating and birthing that idea. I’ve been reminded to have FUN and to experiment, to take a ‘channeling’ role instead of always being the know-it-all ‘director’. What freedom in creating! What freedom in life! To live to the fullest nourishing our souls by pursuing what calls us!
Gilbert wisely suggests not putting the burden of financial dependency on Creativity. She warns that Creativity is more likely to turn in another direction where she can flow more easily. She tells of people who keep Creativity at their sides by spending 15-30 minutes together each day which reminds me of the adage “To have a friend… Be a friend.” Just as my dog, Nell, needs a daily minimum of petting and attention to stay healthy, Creativity also needs to know that I’m there for her every day.
I want Creativity to be my lifelong friend! I want our friendship to deepen and become a more and more intimate one.
And what about the ‘fear’ mentioned in the title? Gilbert speaks of a personified Fear: the pesky, bad-influence-friend one can never get rid of. She wisely suggests we acknowledge Fear but that we give it very specific instructions about it’s role each time we start a new project. In fact, each day we enter our studio or approach our typewriter/computer, we should direct Fear to the backseat/observer role and never let it get in the driver’s seat.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear will be a resource I return to time and time again for the rest of my life. I heartily encourage all my friends be inspired to live fully through whatever pursuit calls and nourishes them. To live among other positive, inspired people is a dream, yes??
What’s calling you? What keeps you going?