There are books that change your perspective and lead to a shift. The last book that I read that I connected with was Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly“. I still talk about this book! Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic Creative Living Beyond Fear” is another one of those books for me.
That’s what we are Mixing Up in this post.
Like most women, time is something I don’t have much of. So when I dig into a book, I want it to be worthwhile.
I am true consumer of books. Reading books just as I did as a student, I underline, dog ear pages, and write notes. As I go along this journey as a blogger in addition to my other hats, I welcome books that are about creating.
What I enjoyed most about “Big Magic” is the way that Elizabeth Gilbert re-introduces us to creativity.
Elizabeth puts that buzzing feeling you have, when you get lost in an activity, into words. I remember hearing about this state, being in the “zone”, in one of my psychology classes. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi named this mental state “Flow“. Nothing like it.
I know that you don’t have time for me to ramble on in this post. So let me get to it. Here are my ten favorite thoughts about this new guy, creativity, that Elizabeth Gilbert sets us up with. One thing to remember, as you go through the book, you realize that you knew this guy all along.
The way Elizabeth Gilbert talks about creativity will feel like you are hearing about an old childhood friend. Just like a good 80’s movie. Creativity, as described by Elizabeth Gilbert, feels like that friend that was always there. The girl then realizes this who she always needed: Creativity.
So here it goes:
- “You don’t need anybody’s permission to live a creative life“ – Isn’t this fabulous? Right before my curiosity peaked a few months ago and I decided to begin blogging, I was hesitant. Why? Because after being a school psychologist for years, I knew others would wonder what the heck I was doing blogging. But I also figured some would think its interesting. More importantly, I thought that it was interesting.
- “It ain’t what they call you; it’s what you answer to.” – Another good one. Don’t pay attention to nonsense and then decide to engage in it folks!
- “Nobody was ever thinking about you, anyhow.” – This one should be on my fridge and mirror. Other people are caught up in their own stuff. So don’t be so consumed by others opinions. That’s it. Now go along and feel free to be who you want to be. Thanks Elizabeth!
- Carve out at least thirty minutes somewhere to dedicate yourself to your work, no matter what else is going on. – This isn’t a direct quote; just sums up a paragraph. Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the power of being disciplined. It is something we have full control over. So, just get to work on a consistent, even if brief, basis. This is something I will be applying for sure!
- “Your education isn’t over when they say it’s over; your education is over when you say it’s over.”– As a person who considered getting her doctorate after getting a masters, I get this and I love it. It frees us from thinking that a formal education is the only way to learn something new that is respected. Soak life in and be ready to keep learning. Simple and inspiring.
- “Frustration is not an interruption of your process, frustration is the process.”-Absolutely. The way Elizabeth Gilbert gets us to think of frustration as a productive and necessary force is refreshing. I was pleased to know I wasn’t the only one who thinks frustration was something that had no place. It has a place and a purpose.
- “Curiosity is the truth and the way of creative living.” – I enjoyed how she let curiosity be the star instead of the usual suspect, passion. Curiosity, as she explained, can lead us to creativity and interesting outcomes. I agree. Plus, it is a light weight word; less dramatic than passion.
- “Don’t let go of your courage the moment things stop being interesting” – A quote she shares from Pastor Rob Bell, “Don’t rush through the experiences and circumstances that have the most capacity to transform you.” She goes on to say to not “let go of your courage the moment things stop being easy or rewarding”. The reason behind this is that this is “the moment when interesting begins”. Basically, keep at it even when things get tough. Those are the moments that will promote your own growth.
- “Do something else”-This is genius. Get into something else when you are in a rut or feeling stuck. Shift your focus to something that flexes a different muscle to reset.
- “Nothing is ever really tidy or final”-We all know that nothing is neat and packaged in the way we would want it. I think #6 and #8 already gave us the heads up on this concept. Elizabeth Gilbert is pretty much calling us out since we already knew this. Life is messy and things aren’t linear. So, own that and get on with it!
There is so much more in this book that resonated with me. Now time to create in the hopes that some “Big Magic” will come my way.
….Because getting dressed (and living life) should feel good!