I first learned of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic via Instagram (be sure to stay tuned for a future post on how Instagram changed my life). I saw hundreds of photos of the book on my feed from different users. Not only is the cover splendidly colorful and alluring, but so many people seemed to be extraordinarily inspired by its message.
Naturally, I bought the book. And, as it collected dust while I worked an infinite number of hours each week, I became more and more eager to immerse myself deeply into it.
When I finally got around to that immersion last fall, I was immediately impressed and inspired. It literally lit a spark within me that I knew I had, but couldn’t seem to tap into. Ever.
In the book, Gilbert talks A LOT about fear. Where it comes from, how it manifests, why it can be useful sometimes (fear is actually there protect us), bad most of the time (when it holds us back), and how to manage it. And as I read each word, I realized that it was indeed fear that was holding me back from achieving my fullest potential. Fear was what was keeping me bound to old beliefs and ineffective paradigms. Fear was keeping me in an unstimulating codependent career for the last thirteen years. Fear was keeping me in stale, emotionally unreciprocol relationships. Fear was the reason I had a block in my throat chakra, which kept me from being able to release what my soul was trying so earnestly to thrust out of me for years. Fear held me back from pursuing ehn-nee-thing.
Gilbert also talks about inspiration and how – if we don’t pay attention to and nurture it while it’s full of life – we can lose it forever. Talk about a wake up call. I had a gazillion ideas running through my body, but that dang fear was holding me back from acknowledging, let alone nurturing, any of them.
As I got deeper and deeper into the book, I realized I needed to make a change. I needed to step out of my comfort zone and confront my fears. I needed to do this so I could catch my inspiration while it was hot and ready. Easier said than done.
Learning to let go of fear and pay attention to our creativity takes a lot of work. It takes focus, courage, optimism, and trust. It also takes, wait for it, self care. I decided to dive head first into this work, because after all, life is too darn short to let inspiration get away so soon. New doctors, new friends, therapy two times per week, reiki, yoga, meditation, acupuncture, craniosacral release, you name it. I was going to do whatever it took to get me to where I wanted to be, and that was far far away from fear and one with creativity.
Months and months of hard work and dedication, and I was finally able to set up this blog and coaching practice and put my creativity and intuition into high gear. I attribute so much of what I’ve accomplished in the last eight months to Elizabeth Gilbert and Big Magic.
One of the final parts of the book talks about success, but I’m going to end here because I haven’t quite gotten that far yet (although I did finish the book). In the meantime, I strongly encourage you to pick it up and engage with it as I did. I’m talking underlining, highlighting, tearing out pages, whatever you need to do. Then, I’d love to hear how it inspires you. Or, if you’ve already read it, please let me know how your life has changed in comments below.
If you’re reading this, Ms. Gilbert, thank you for overcoming your own fears and putting something so profound and wonderful out into the universe. Namaste.