I just started reading the BEST book ever!!! “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert. She is the author of “Eat, Pray, Love.” And wow! does she hit the nail on the head! I love this book so much that I bought it twice! Once so that I could both listen to it in an audio format, as it is read by the author herself! And the other to carry with me as a reference and reminder!
I have read many ‘Creative’ and inspirational books, but this one tops my list! I love how she relates so much of her own growth and insight. I’m not even half way finished, but these are some of the amazing highlights so far.
Acknowledge and accept FEAR. It’s a part of who we are. When we invite and acknowledge our fear, we can set aside the excuses!!! My excuses? Time, Opening up my soul, Being Good enough. I started my creative journey late in life, and as a refuge from a lifetime of loss, I approached the arts with a venue of relief and to find a bit of joy in my sorrow. There has always been something holding me back, not really allowing me to move forward. I’ve never really been sure of what it was, but I am now recognizing that it was the fear of acknowledging who I am. Now letting go of the condemning words that I heard so much in the past, and the fear that they were true.
“Defending yourself as a Creative person begins by defining yourself. It begins when you declare your intent. Stand up tall and say it aloud, whatever it is.” Elizabeth Gilbert
Declaring your intent. That’s something I teach in my yoga practice. Ok, so now it’s time to live what I preach. I stopped reading the book for a moment and said aloud, “I am an Artist” three times. And as I said it, I had goosebumps! Crazy, it felt weird, but powerful! Maybe I’ve never really believed in myself. Maybe that was part of my fear!
“You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life.” She said. And she’s right, but I’ve always felt that I needed permission! Not being “allowed” to do so many things in my past, I was always feeling guilty, and wondering if I was being self-centered. I gave myself permission, only as long as I made it up in another way. Kind of like a bargaining chip. I would do this new class for myself, as long as I paid it back in many other ways. The fact is that there were so many ways that I was making up for my creative time, that it was taking away from my creative time.
“Creative Living” Elisabeth declares is a way of life. It is who we were meant to be. I guess I’ve always had this deep desire and this passion and ideas that seem to overflow, but out of fear I have held back. I’ve not completed projects. Just when my creative energy begins to ignite, I find excuses or distractions that pull me back and away from accomplishing what I really need to work on. And so I said the lack of time was my excuse, but what if now I now make it my priority? Elizabeth talked of what happens when we don’t respond to the creative insight or energy, it goes away, it finds someone else who will take the time to bring this creative light to fruition. My studio is overflowing with started projects and ideas. I have never had an inspirational block as some artists’ have. My block is just doing it. Making my time a priority. Making my passion come to life.
Maybe it’s time I start to believe in myself, my hopes, my passion. Let go of the fear of words or acceptance and acknowledge the divine creative being that is within me. Fear of not being good enough, or fear of being the best I can be with no regrets. At my age, I’m tired of not really being me. I still have many fears. But tackling this one, It’s time to grow, and be me. I am an artist.