First read of 2019 is in the books, literally! I just finished reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the popular Eat Pray Love, and I loved it. Loved it so much that I read it in two days! I know I still owe myself and you a post on goal setting from Your Best Year Ever but having just finished Big Magic I feel compelled to write about it
Big Magic talks about creativity, inspiration, facing our fears and chasing our dreams. Gilbert talks about channeling your inner creative and living out those creative thoughts/dreams/aspirations you may have. She states 'a creative life is an amplified life'. And by creative, do not be limited to think you have to be a 'creative type' so to speak such as a musician, artist, writer, photographer to take away value from this book. If you like to make up bedtime stories for your kids, you are creating. Dance while cleaning house, creating. Cooking dinner for the family, creating. Blogger, creating. Our creative sides can take all shapes and forms.
Beyond that, you may have a creative thread woven within you that you just haven't uncovered yet. Perhaps you were too afraid or didn't know how to channel that type of creativity. Follow that curiosity. For starters, this book can help you think outside of the box a little but then you can keep going. What do you want to make/do/create? As Nike says, just do it. Google, grab a book from the library, learn more about your passion giving yourself to it without judgement or fear. It can take courage, a great deal of it sometimes, to follow our creative curiousity. In the end, however, living a more creative life can be more exciting, more rewarding, maybe even more prosperous (though that's definitely not key or reason enough to create).
We all create in different ways whether we realize it or not. I'm telling you if you are human, you have creativity inside and this book is for you! The author states that the results of our hunt for our creativity is 'Big Magic'.
Truth be told I actually checked out this book from the library because of my word of the year for 2019, 'FEARLESS'. The title page of the book says 'Creative Living Beyond Fear' so I thought this will be perfect! However, after reading the first few pages of this book, I actually decided to change my word of the year. My new word after reading Big Magic is 'BRAVE'. There is a chapter in the book titled 'The Fear You Need and the Fear You Don't Need". Fear is sometimes necessary, we need fear in our life to survive, to help keep us 'in check'. Gilbert actually personifies those that are fearless as being 'straight up sociopaths and a few exceptionally reckless three-year olds and those aren't good role models for anyone'. I definitely do not fall into either of those categories and perhaps those are a bit extreme. Those classifications alone weren't reason enough to change my word, but if I didn't have fear within, I might end up doing some really crazy, stupid things. Of course I'm not the type of person to relinquish all fear and go cliff jumping or something like that nor is that the reason I choose 'FEARLESS' to be my focus for the year. But after reading this book and learning a little more about why fear is not always bad and doesn't always have to be the main focus of a situation/task/goal/creative idea, it might not be a bad thing to have a little fear to propel me forward. Instead, I am choosing to be 'BRAVE'. I will not be afraid to try new things, to step out of my comfort zone spending a little time feeling uncomfortable maybe even with a little fear. Because now I know that my fear is actually helping by protecting me.
I think Gilbert does a great job of demonstrating how fear and creativity can coexist with an example of a road trip and bringing both fear and creativity along for the ride. Creativity needs fear to exist but it doesn't need to be riding shotgun. Fear takes the backseat not making any executive decisions, not allowed to be a 'backseat driver', not even allowed to suggest a change of radio and definitely never allowed to drive. So, fear joins for the ride and we have to be comfortable and okay with this. To quote the book, 'It's always worth it, because if you can't learn to travel comfortably alongside your fear, then you'll never be able to go anywhere interesting or do anything interesting. And that would be a pity.' That being said, I am going to vow to have courage when channeling my creativity and above all be 'BRAVE'.
As far as working with your creativity, let yourself be inspired. Be open to ideas and opportunities. Inspiration is looking for you as much as you are looking for it and if you aren't open it may find a home with someone else. Be grateful. Take in all the experiences and interactions and appreciate everything. Do what you feel in your heart regardless of what others may say, think or do. If you want to create it, do not feel like you have to wait for permission from anyone else other than yourself to get started. Don't complain. Complaining will only stall your progress. Look forward, again, be grateful and your creativity will unfold. It's okay to let friends, family, people you do not know have their opinions but know that any judgement that is recieved or perceived is none of your business. None of that matters if you are creating and pursusing a passion that you feel in your heart. In reality, nobody is thinking that much about you/your idea as much as they are thinking about themselves.
If you are passionate about your idea/your creation, keep going. Whatever you try and practice at, you will improve. A yoga teacher of mine once said, 'Trust that it's working'. I love this. It is so true and applicable. I actually had two or three other blogs before I created this one. None of them got to the point I am today because my fear was driving and I wasn't BRAVE enough to put myself out there. Nobody knew about these blogs besides a few family members. I needed the experience of those previous blogs to help me today. If I think back to me a year ago and the ideas I had to make this blog a reality, I don't think that I would have had the tenacity to keep it going. I do now because I have big passion and heart for this blog of mine. Whether five people or fifty visit and read this post, I am happy. This is my creative outlet, my passion project and with fear riding in the way back I am able to move forward, to keep going and keep creating. It's so rewarding and it can be the same for you.
Whatever your passion, your idea, that creative something that you havent quite uncovered yet because you were afraid or didn't know how to start, give it a shot. Read Big Magic and I think that you will be inspired to step outside of your comfort zone, be creative and live out loud.