Hey everybody. It’s been a while.
Life has been good and I have just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel called Big Magic.
There’s something about the writer that I’m drawn to but I can’t explain it. A few months ago, someone suggested that I watch her Ted Talk (which I did) and then another person suggested that I read her book called Big Magic. She even lended me the book.
I also watched Eat, Pray, Love but didn’t know it was a memoir about her until I looked up the movie. The movie and her memoir are about her travels as she finds inner peace while discovering herself.
THAT SOUNDED LIKE MY JAM!
With so many things pointing me towards Elizabeth Gilbert, I felt that I must read her book called Big Magic.
And this couldn’t have been a better time for me to read it.
I’m gonna explain why.
Now, I’m not into self-help books because I believe that if you want to help yourself, you’ll figure out how to do that on your own.
Some people tell you how to fix yourself, even point at the thing or shout out what you need to do, but really, you won’t listen because human beings want to discover personal shit on their own. They’re stubborn to other people’s advice.
Big Magic can come off as a self-help book for the reader but the book really isn’t meant to be.
Gilbert legit says in the novel that “I did not write this book for you; I wrote it for me. I wrote this book for my own pleasure, because I truly enjoy thinking about the subject of creativity.” (Page 100)
And if someone happens to learn from it or change because of what she says, great, but that is not her intention.
I like that Gilbert is just putting her ideas out there. She doesn’t force her views onto anybody. She’s just being honest about how she thinks and sees the world. And I very much align with this method of sharing ideas.
This is only one of many reasons why you should read Big Magic.
Elizabeth Gilbert describes this phrase ‘creative living’ which she got to understand by observing her parents.
Her dad was the type of person who didn’t follow instructions. At one point, he wanted to have a small goat farm so he went ahead and bought some sheep even though he had no idea how to raise them. He believed he’d just figure it out along the way and he did.
Gilbert then describes her mother who was a nurse and raised a family. She was a housewife too and she set up her own life by doing everything herself, her way.
Gilbert writes that her mother “shaped her own world exactly to her own liking while nobody was looking.” (Page 84)
By observing her parents, Gilbert understood that they did not settle for the conventional way of things. They asked themselves the most basic questions: what do I want to do and how am I going to do it. They didn’t doubt themselves; they just went ahead and got to work.
They didn’t ask anyone for permission or validation or advice or suggestion. They just did their own thing.
They didn’t follow the instructions that society sets up for us. They were like: nah, no thanks.
And this all leads up to creative living being linked to writing (or any artistic form) because the second that you tune out all of the expectations and influences that society has put into your head, suddenly, you can create whatever damn art you want your way.
This also means one would have to get rid of the extra muck and stress in life. The unimportant shit that we invest too much time and energy into. Because we don’t have time to give a shit about small problems like what people think we should be doing or not doing or what society expects from us.
So, Gilbert observed her parents’ lifestyle and realized that they were creatively living by just being themselves. She believes that she is a “deeply stubborn” person and that she got that from her parents. She adds that she doesn’t “like people telling me what to do” (page 84). Because she wants to just do her own thing.
And as I’m reading all of this, I was like, “Brooo, this is ME!”
Because I feel like I’m shaping my own world right now just like Gilbert’s mom. I’ve shut out what society thinks I should be doing with my life and how I should be living it.
I’ve taken ownership of myself and my life and decided to unlearn a lot of shit while asking myself the most basic questions about what I want.
And, I’m very stubborn. I don’t like other people’s unnecessary advice. I want to do things my way. I’m insistent on it.
For example, I’m the type to not give a damn about the cooking recipe and just figure out how to cook on my own. Like Gilbert’s dad, if I saw a ‘No Trespassing’ sign, I’d probably go ahead and check out the place.
Gilbert thinks that human beings have made things since the beginning of time and that making things is, therefore, what makes us human. So we just need to let the creativity be part of our every day lifestyle. Whether it’s singing to the radio as you’re driving to work in the morning or crocheting a scarf or working in the garage on a motorcycle or even gardening! The point is, to make – to make in the most raw way.
And one of the things we can make is, make our own lives. Set it up how we want to set it up. Our life is of our own making.
So take ownership of that.
Let’s Talk About Fear
Fear is innate in us. It’s always gonna be there. One can’t destroy it.
Gilbert says that we shouldn’t let fear control us but rather, to control it instead. It’s important to have fear along the way throughout this journey called life to keep us in check, but to not let it make our decisions.
Lots of people who see what I do online think, “Woah, Corrine is so confident and brave.” Or when I tell people what I want to do in life, people ask me “But, aren’t you scared?” or “Don’t you get disheartened?”
Of course I do.
Of course I get scared. I’m scared of not being financially stable or scared of not being successful or scared that what if my vision doesn’t work out. Scared of making mistakes too.
Scared that I’ll hit rock bottom.
But I don’t listen to fear. Nope. I do make sure it’s there to keep me in check, yes. I can’t let my mind wander off to fairytale land. Life ain’t that clean cut.
What’s important is to have balance.
I feel sorry for the people who just settle. Who don’t try. Don’t try to discover who they really are. People who don’t travel and learn. People who don’t run off and be alone in the world for a while and see what happens. People who don’t ask questions. The people who just stay put and let external factors control their life instead of taking ownership. And then they blame everything else.
Grab the bull by the horns. Start figuring shit out. You do have the authority to change things up.
And that’s what I’m doing right now. Changing things up and I think that the events of these past few years have taught me lessons which have now made me a person who’s ready to make these big moves (coming up very soon and can’t wait to tell y’all).
Because you have to push beyond fear. Staying comfortable doesn’t get you anywhere.
I believe that simply trusting yourself and trusting the energy and work you put out there will bring fruit – whatever that fruit may be.
Life Is All About Play
As Gilbert puts it, be a trickster.
Because the trickster is just in it for the ride.
Gilbert writes: “The trickster trusts the universe. He trusts in its chaotic, lawless ever-fascinating ways.” (Page 224)
And I love this idea. I love the idea of being goofy. Of not taking life too seriously. Of being smart but enjoying the ride too. Of not stressing too much. Of being playful. And being chaotic! I am chaotic and I think that’s totally ok! I’m just being myself and I love to laugh with joy at how life just works out – good or bad.
Life has a good way of working out when you’re chill.
And you can be smart when you’re chill.
Think ahead, not too ahead, just ahead enough. And calculate, calculate well. Then head in that direction. Be wise. Know the risks. Make the decisions. Keep focused. And all the meanwhile, enjoy the ride.
Create. Write. Write whatever the hell you want. Make art. Plant orange trees. Travel the world. Do it your way. You’ll figure out what your way is along the way. Ask questions. Be curious.
Be a trickster.
Embrace the chaos.
Trust that it will all work out (it always does).
One of the biggest excuses everyone makes is money.
Yeah, those who work in any artistic industry worry about money.
My parents worry that I won’t have enough money in the future to keep my head afloat. But that’s the thing – I will. Because you have to trust that things will work out. Trust that you are smart enough with your money and with your decisions.
Besides, I really don’t need a lot of money. I just need enough to survive. And I think that’s pretty much ok. I’d rather enjoy life than have a big house full of useless items.
So, I’m going to trust myself and be a trickster. I’m going to travel. Live a minimalist life. And see where it goes.
Here Comes The Big Magic
Gilbert believes that Big Magic is the feeling you get in life when you’re in tune with your art, your creativity and your life.
And this Big Magic is such a big feeling that you will create your art simply because you want to.
Not because you need to get financial compensation. Not to create a career out of your work but instead, to have a vocation simply because you want to create. (That’s why she wrote Big Magic in the first place!)
She states in the novel: “Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” (Page 101) What a line.
And it’s that feeling of making something that gives you excitement, that makes you create without even realizing you’re doing it in the moment – that is the feeling of Big Magic.
You’ve found it.
And you need all of the above to feel it. Everything which I’ve written about in this blog post. These ideas on how you can change your lifestyle and mindset – really simple ways. Ideas that Gilbert talks about – ideas that I sensed I was already living and was confirmed with when I read Big Magic.
And I’m so proud that ever since I decided to start living my life my way (started around last September), I also managed to start writing my way. And I’ve been writing a lot.
This blog post itself is written my way. My voice.
All of this is Big Magic.
And I love it.
I think that Elizabeth Gilbert has a firm grasp of what creative living is. She explains it in so much detail in her novel. My blog post is really only the tip of the iceberg.
So if you think this article is bunch of jambalaya – fine.
But if this article made you think, you should read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic.
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