“Big Magic,” A Book Review (Sort Of)

I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book about creative living called “Big Magic.”  I don’t want to spoil what “Big Magic” is, so I’m leaving it to you to find out. I recommend it to everyone–because we’re all creative people, in our own way. What this book will teach you is how to become brave with your creativity, not care too much about it, learn to trust it, and then enjoy it.

I loved how she explained throughout the book that we shouldn’t choose the way of the creative martyr or tortured artist, but to consider a new way of taking on creativity: through the eyes and energy of a trickster: playful, fun, light.

Here are a few quotes from the book I wrote down to keep as a reminder to be unafraid of creative living and learn to work with trickster energy and not the martyr:

On fear:

” We all know that fear is a desolate boneyard where our dreams go to desiccate in the hot sun. This is common knowledge, sometimes we just don’t know what do to about it.”

(Isn’t that the best explanation of fear ever?! I thought so.)

On hiding behind your weakness or fears:

“Fear is boring because it is the same everytime: leads to nothingness. Because it’s the same thing everyday.”

She admits that sometimes we need fear (the kind that, keeps us from danger), and that it is inevitable–fear will always be there. Instead, she suggests allowing it to come with you and creativity, but that it has no power. You’re the one in charge. It just gets to sit there and watch. There’s a wonderful speech she writes to fear and it’s too long to type again here.Go get the book. Look for it. Copy it down and pin it up on your wall.

On trusting your creativity:

“Why wouldn’t your creativity love you? It came to you, didn’t it? …Creativity drew itself near, it wanted a relationship with you.”

“I don’t with for passion to strike. I keep working because I trust that creativity is always trying to find me, even when I have lost sight of it. ”

On the sacredness of your work, or not caring too much:

“What you produce is not necessarily always sacred, I realized, just because you think it’s sacred.”

“It was just a thing–a thing that I had made and loved, and then changed, and then remade, and still loved, and then published, and then put aside so I could go on to make other things.”

On being brave enough to be OK with interesting:

“Don’t let go of your courage the moment things stop being easy or rewarding…That’s the moment when interesting begins.

Every part of this book was insightful. I learned so much and now that I’ve returned it to the library, it’s going to go to the next person. I hope they are as touched by it as I was. I hope they decide to be brave and embrace their creativity.

And just a thought of mine: YOUR CREATIVITY IS NOT USELESS. It’s something you’ve been curious about, created, and have either kept it for yourself or have shared it with the world (which I hope you do!) But it’s something you made. Creativity came to you specifically to start and finish that project. It is never useless.

September Blogging Challenge: Link Love

As part of Girl Meets Life’s September Blogging Challenge, here’s my Link Love: a series of blogs, news, videos, music, etc. that I’ve been enjoying or have been intrigued by.

Dog Getting a Head Massage

My sister sent this to me a few weeks ago, and I can’t stop watching it because it’s too cute.

Berlotti Bean and Farro Soup

I love Fresh Princess’s cooking videos, and I’m adding this one to my list of dinner ideas for this week.

Blogilates “Cheap Clean Eats” Chicken Lettuce Cups

I love the Thai twist she adds to it.

Vegetarian Pad Thai

I made this twice last week, and I plan on making it again this week. Can’t get enough of it!

Vintage Lace Scarf knitting pattern from The Casting On Couch
An amazing knitting teacher with amazing knitting patterns. I just finished this vintage lace scarf last week, and I plan on making another.

Happy New Year!

Hi, everyone! Can you believe it’s 2014? It felt like 2013 went by so fast. And what a fantastic year it was! 2013 was a very transformational year for me. I was able to move forward doing work that I love, I learned how to knit, I fell in love with yoga, and even tried a meditation or two.

I haven’t made any specific resolutions this year, except to continue doing what I’m already walking on the path of: a healthier, happier life filled with love, laughter, and ease.

What are your 2014 resolutions? Did you make any this year?

Wishing everyone a blessed, blissful, and beautiful new year,

Ashley

Scarf Crazy: Latest Project

A few months ago (or maybe just one, can’t remember) I decided I wanted to learn how to knit. One of my favorite hobbies is crosstitching, but to do that for hours at a time would hurt my wrists terribly, so I wanted to find a similar relaxing hobby.

Enter knitting! It has been so frustrating learning the specific stitches, but I finished my first scarf in September, and finally went to the store to get a new thing of yarn.

I love the colors of the one I found. yarn

And I am halfway done already! I’ve been working with alternating two basic stitches: the pearl stitch and the knit stitch. So far, it’s going well.

If you want to start learning how to knit, here’s a great video I found: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tff3ng-djtk

Eventually, I plan on learning how to knit a hat, similar to the one Tara Stiles gives a tutorial for in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd408m0bkXQ

Even though it’s frustrating, I do love knitting. It’s relaxing and I like the idea that as I continue practicing, I’ll be able to make beautiful things for all the beautiful people in my life.

Keep smiling and happy knitting,

Ashley