Does anyone remember that old saying grandmothers use? This week I wanted to bring to your attention someone who preaches the opposite of that. Her name is Elizabeth Gilbert, author of several books (one you may recall is Eat, Pray, Love) and speaker extraordinaire. I recently had the true pleasure of listening to her narrate her recent book (as an audiobook). I found her message very inspiring so I thought you might too. Titled Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, the book is an exploration of the creative process. Ms. Gilbert connects with the reader with an easy, friendly manner, and weaves her message into story telling that is full of descriptive humour and examples that are easy to relate to. It is a pleasant few hours listening to her book and a great way to pass the time while driving.
But the beauty of the thing is the journey she takes you on. Big Magic takes you on a journey of encouragement to live creatively. It explores the beauty and satisfaction that can come from living creatively and the fears that are integral to the creative process. The author helps the reader identify fears that are barriers to living creatively, accept them and move (along with and) beyond them. She lets you know that she still has fears with her work but that they are not her enemy any more. She has embraced them but sets limits on the control she lets them have in her life. The book encourages you to find the creative person inside yourself and make something – anything, as it turns out – be it writing, cooking, fundraising, painting, gardening, decorating or even designing movement programs for people (a small personal bias there ;))
One of the things I loved about the book was how unpretentious Ms. Gilbert sounded. She gave the impression that living creatively needn’t have lofty goals or big aspirations but as humble as living creatively may appear it is fundamental for finding your personal fulfillment. In order to live creatively (aka follow one’s truth) one need only stay curious. According to the author, curiosity does not “kill the cat” but can in fact lead us toward inspiration for our creative process.
So my friends, I hope you all stay curious. Forget grandma’s pessimistic saying. Follow Elizabeth Gilbert’s advice instead. Let your curiosities and interests lead you who knows where, but deeper into something meaningful for yourself. Stay open to the possibilities and maybe your creative self will lead you to something beautiful.
Lisa Goddard B.A., BScOT, NWL, is a Certified Pilates Instructor with special training in Pre and Post-Natal Pilates. She co-owns Balanced Motion Pilates and Yoga Studio in New Liskeard, ON