A darling and wonderful friend of mine recently recommended a book to end all books on the joys of creativity and how to nurture the artist within. This book, my friend says, is so good that she nearly sleeps with it and has been unable to put it down. She was in her 3rd reading when I convinced her to lend it to me. How I managed to wrestle it from her inspired and passionate hands is beyond me. The book is none other than the latest and greatest form Elizabeth Gilbert. You know, that amazing author who wrote the infamous “Eat Pray Love”. A year ago, I saw fit to read her book and now have such admiration for her message and writing style – in fact, I enjoyed the book even more than the movie, and have added both “Big Magic “and “Eat Pray Love” to my library. It was such a pleasure to hear that she had released a new book, on my favourite subject of all time – Creativity.
So I will share with you one tidbit that really rocked my soul and gave me food for thought. It was a concept that foreign, yet dear to my heart, because it rests in the realm of the Spirit and the Universe. It is the possibility or awakening to the reality that ideas will come to you and ask you “ Do you want to work with me?”. I didn’t realize ideas could talk to me, but Gilbert professes an experience she had where the idea for a novel came to her and in the chaos of her life, she was unable to say “yes” to her idea. The Big Magic comes into play when she discovered that a new found friend who had developed the exact same principle and storyline for the novel that she had divined. This, despit the fact that her new found friend was not even in her life at the time and was worlds way. Yes, the idea was transmitted to a new author, at about the same time that she said lost the passion for her storyline. So the concept is – ideas will wait for you, scream and yell to get your attention, but if unheeded, will eventually move on to another unsuspecting creative soul. This concept of a little miracle introduces the possibility that ideas are alive, do seek a collaborating and will move from soul to soul. I love that. Because it means that creative ideas can come to us and will stay if we say “yes”, if we nurture the idea and allow it to unfold with love and dedication, we can give birth to amazing works of art… and have a fun while doing so.
By releasing our inner critic and our fears or trepidations of making great art, we can be in an open and receptive place where intuition reigns and lives with passion. Gilbert shared a welcoming speech addressed to fear, and I’d like to share it, because I read it every day since I got my hands on this book, and have fallen in love with it. It goes like this:
“Dearest Fear: Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together. I understand you will be joining us, because you always do. I acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do in my life, and that you take your job seriously. Apparently your job is to induce complete panic whenever I’m about o do anything interesting – an may I say you are superb at your job. Sob y all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must. But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way.. I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still – your suggestions will never be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps; you’re not allowed to suggest detours, you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”
So trust that the ideas will come with divine intervention; allow fear to have space so you can breathe those ideas in and push forward with earnest effort even in the face of rejection. Love deeply, and allow your soul to flourish and make art just for the sake of allowing your visiting idea to take up a place on your couch, or stay long enough for you to catch a dream and ride the wave.