Is it an overshare to begin this with the admission that it was a session with a psychologist that pointed me in the direction of Elizabeth Gilbert. Some serious life lessons followed.
The convo went a little something like this:
Me: “I don’t know what to do with my life”.
Her: “Liz Gilbert is your girl”.
I read that book a few years back. I’ll admit, I didn’t really get the hype…but maybe, it was my youthful disregard for soul searching that entirely missed the point.
There is a plan to revisit Eat, Pray, Love a.s.a.p, and maybe plan a trip to Bali/India/Italy – given my newly acquired fan girling. In the meantime it is her most recent book, BIG MAGIC that has me banging on (to everyone who will listen) about all the valuable life lessons inside.
Big Magic is an intimate look at creativity and inspiration.
Also, I am almost certain it was written specifically for me. There is no denying this is a self-help book. However, it somehow manages to feel less like a preachy disquisition, and more like a casual chat with a super enthusiastic friend. A friend who is great at effortlessly cutting through all the negativity, and insecurity that we tend to hang on our creative desires (a friend who has a real knack for calling you on your sh*t).
My first epiphany
It happened somewhere around chapter 4 where Gilbert uses the metaphor of a road trip to talk about fear, and its habit of holding us back. Her candid letter addressed to ‘fear’, (which I have since read several times), had me nodding along from the outset and ended with the idea that sprouted thetogetherish in the first place.
Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together. I understand you’ll 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 am about to do something interesting, and may I say you are superb at your job. So by 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 it’s 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.”
– Liz Gilbert
Even my beautiful and talented… *ahem*.. occasionally-full-of-excuses-as-to-why-he-can’t-yet-get-started-on-that-amazing-sounding-creative-project..husband, added big magic to his playlist. He happened to hear (totally strategic on my part) the chapter on all of the ways that perfectionism breeds procrastination and stops us from getting sh*t done. Thankfully, it resonated. Gilbert has a real knack for getting to the guts of the heavy stuff whilst keeping things light and conversational, and that (I believe) is why it is so darn spot on.
Read the book…or as I do, enjoy the bliss that is listening (Audiobooks.. where have you been my whole life?) while washing dishes/folding clothes/adulting in general.
Looking for a few more life lessons?
We have since read some other inspiring books that have contributed to this little self motivated mini course of life lessons. I have done some decluttering of the house and some decluttering of the mind. We have also had some good chats about the important things in life and Jai to write all about the happiness advantage.