Big Magic & Creativity

After I explained the story behind “Keep On” at EAST studio tours, one of the ladies said she understood and it sounded much like Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic.

I read like I have not eaten in days and books are my only source of food. I devour them. Often in a single sitting but rarely do they last longer than a week. When it takes longer than two weeks to read, it goes in the abandoned book pile – much like the forgotten doll collection I had as a little girl

Elizabeth Gilbert is the same lady who wrote Eat, Love, Pray. You know, that book hit home with me and about a gazillion other people. If you’re not familiar with it, post sudden and unexpected divorce she eats and loves her way through Europe and then prays in India before coming home a new woman. 

I read it while backpacking through Europe in 2007 or 2008 with my then boyfriend of 7 years. A few months later he was no longer my boyfriend. I had gotten into yoga and meditation within the past few years of picking it up. And eating all the indulgent food has never been a problem for me. It spoke to me. 

I SO wanted to love her next book, Committedbut it fell in with the abandoned dolls and books. It was like going on the most amazing first date and then the second date was a total bust. 

I had mixed feelings picking up Big Magic. That third date didn’t disappoint. Once again, Elizabeth and I seemed to be on the same wave length. 

I’ll take a few posts to dive into the things that resonated with me. 

Let’s start with how she sees life as a creative much as I do – through a beautiful, positive lens.

“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner— continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you— is a fine art, in and of itself.” 

Every single day that I get to wake up and paint, or draw, or even remodel a home, I feel SO lucky. If I never retired and continue to do life as we’ve been doing, I will consider myself one of the luckiest ladies. 

I’m all about life goals and envisioning how you want your world, your life to look, and finding a way to get there. 

A letter my Granddad wrote to me when I was 16 shortly before he passed, was the first time I really remembering this concept sticking in my mind. Who knows, maybe it originated even earlier but that time it stuck. That letter is something I go back and read every few years. It is so special. 

I was lucky to work in a corporate culture that reinforced this. It was alllll about goals, affirmations, and #lifebydesign. I guess that comes with supporting 100,000+ sales people. 

I feel so lucky to be where I am doing what I’m doing but I know it is not simply luck that got me here. I like to think I’m doing what I want because I’ve taken lots of little steps to get there over the years and I’ve laid down a solid foundation to operate from. 

I love the peace it brings me to create. Time disappears. Everything else just gets quite except what is on the canvas in front of me. 

I’m also thankful that the creative path that called out to me is one of more-or-less instant gratification. There’s not a 4-year waiting period, like there is writing a book, for my work to come to life.

She talks about courage, enchantment, permission, and play. I’ll dive into all of those soon. 

I originally wrote this in December 2015. I listen to a lot of podcasts and I used to read a lot of books before I had a little human to care for. I used to jot down my takeaways. If I get something from it, other people may too. So, I’m going to start sharing more of them here. They’re mostly for me but maybe you’ll take someone out of them too.