“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.

2015 New Year’s Resolutions

Be consistent. I got this from Gabrielle Bernstein’s video. I had an “aha!” moment when I watched that video: You can make great change just as long as you’re consistent. Being consistent makes it hard to give up the moment you “fail.” Being consistent makes it easy to make change because you are understanding that you’re human. It’s a way to acknowledge that you are ready for change. Change takes commitment.

Love yourself and others. Jesus said to love others as yourself. Work on loving yourself and spreading that love to others. This could be a simple as not participating in body-shaming of yourself or something else (yes, celebrities count too!). Be love to yourself and others by making a healthy meal and inviting loved ones to partake. Be love to yourself and others by making a commitment to focus on posting positive things on social media, such as an encouraging quote, story, or song.

Those are mine.

What are yours?

More general goals for me? I’d like to read more. I’d like to write more consistently on my blog, practice yoga and meditation daily, and continue journaling and writing poetry.

Happy New Year! May you be blessed.

Days 5 and 6 of Poetry Challenge

Hi everyone! I’m taking a moment to catch up and share today and yesterday’s poems for the poetry challenge.

#5
If I lived in the forest I’d be scared of twilight
because when that moon rises, I can barely see it
and it’s so dark, so dark, that I feel suffocated
isolated, a deer– the target–and
though he sleeps in the bed beside me,
it is quiet, too quiet, and I’m
afraid of hearing your voice
dancing through the trees
my cottage isn’t built for three
But walls mean nothing to you.

#6

Time was not kind before he knew it– it had gone
and fighting to get it back
he realized
no time machines exist here
time only continues to move
forward,
one direction,
only memories living in the past
in the pages of a book
in photographs on smartphones
but time keeps moving on
and the fight keeps going on
we keep moving on.

You can check out my other poems here.
And make sure to stop by and read all the other poetry that’s flowing over on Francesca’s blog here.

Poetry Challenge, Day 2: #inareddress

Hi everyone! As some of you know, Francesca Lia Block, one of my favorite authors, is having a 30 poems in 30 days challenge over on her blog, Love in the time of global warming. I wanted to share my poems both here and there. Here’s my poem for day two:

#inareddress

I wore my favorite red dress today, the one
that my best friend told me not to wear
because it looked better on her
but I wore it anyway
because I felt like I could dance on flames
and walk on water

so I waited in the schoolyard for you
texting on my smartphone and wanting to update
my relationship status
but twenty minutes later the wind whipped around me
and a cold freeze came with it
whipping my dress, round and round
and instead I ended up tweeting.

If you want to read what Francesca wrote, along with others sharing their poetry too, check out day two of the challenge here: http://loveinthetimeofglobalwarming.blogspot.com/.

Have you ever written poetry? What’s your favorite poem?

~Ashley

Charlie Challenge Day 1

Ever heard of You, Me and Charlie? Well, if not, it’s this website where you can share your creativity with others. It was started by Dianna Agron, who you have probably seen on Glee. I’m addicted to the site, and today, they started a 30-day challenge encouraging us to “commit to your creativity and follow the daily prompt that we post on the website.” The first challenge for today was to share our personal manifesto in whatever medium we felt to express it in.

I decided to simply write mine out.

Here’s mine: Laugh, love and live without fear. Be kind, and have empathy for others. Smile and be thankful, because every day, you can find something beautiful.

What would yours be?

To check out the challenge, here’s the link.

Happy May!

~Ashley