Monday Motivation: BIG MAGIC III

Last month I wrote two posts about BIG MAGIC: creative living beyond fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I am a big fan of Mrs. Gilbert’s words so I categorize twenty-nine of my favorite snippets from her book into two parts (find them here: part one & part II).

This is the final part of my favorite snippets from Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert.

PART III (30-44)

 trust & divinity:

30. “…to suggest that nobody made ever made valuable art unless they were in active emotional distress is not only untrue, it’s also kind of sick.

31. “my instincts drove me in the opposite direction—toward light, toward play, toward a more trusting engagement with creativity.

32. “I can either live a drama or I can invent a drama—but I do not have the capacity to do both at the same time.

33. “All I can tell you for certain is that my entire life has been shaped by an early decision to reject the cult of artistic martyrdom, and instead to place my trust in the crazy notion that my work loves me as much as I love it—that it wants to play with me as much as I want to play with it—and that this source of love and play is boundless.”

34. “What I’m saying is this: If you’re going to live your life based on delusions (and you are, because we all do), then why not at least select a delusion that is helpful? Allow me to suggest one: the work wants to be made, and it wants to be made through you.”

35. “it was like one of those dream where you discover a previously unknown room in your house, and you have that expansive feeling that your life has more possibility to it than you thought it did.”

36. “…I put my trust in play, in pliancy, in trickery. Because I was willing to be light with my work, that short story became not a grave, but a doorway that I stepped through into a wonderful and bigger new life.”

37. “I keep working steadily, because I believe it is our privilege as humans to keep making things for as long as we live, and because I enjoy making things.

38. “intersting outcomes, after all, are just awful outcomes with the volume of drama turned way down.”

39. “My soul, when I tend to it, is far more expansive and fascinating source of guidance than my ego will ever be, because my soul desire only one thing: wonder. And since creativity is my most efficient pathway to wonder I take refuge there, and it feeds my soul, and it quiets the hungry ghost—thereby saving me from the most dangerous aspect of myself.

40. “we are all just beginners here, and we shall all die beginners.”

41. “find something to do—anything, even a different sort of creative work altogether—just to take your mind off your anxiety and pressure.

42. “Go walk the dog, go pick up every bit of trash on the street outside your home, go walk the dog again, go bake a peach cobbler, go paint some pebbles with brightly colored bail polish and put them in a pile. You might think it’s procrastination, but—with the right intentions—it isn’t; it’s motion. And any motion whatsoever beats inertia because inspiration will always be drawn to motion.”

43. “the outcome cannot matter.

44. “Fierce trust asks you to stand strong within this truth: you are worthy, dear one, regardless of the outcome. You will keep making your work, regardless of the outcome. You will keep sharing your work, regardless of the outcome. You were born to create, regardless of the outcome.

I hope that you enjoyed part III of my favorite snippets from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. For quick inspiration check out part one, courage and enchantment, and part II, permission and persistence. For lasting motivation purchase BIG MAGIC: creative living beyond fear by Elizabeth Gilbert wherever you buy your books.

Thank you Elizabeth Gilbert for unleashing BIG MAGIC.

Clicking on “Thank you Elizabeth Gilbert” will redirect you out of this website and into Elizabeth Gilbert’s website—it’s good practice to always check the validity of the sites you visit, and to learn about who makes the things that you consume.

Live your Present

a few good posts from

1. What is my Present?
2. Why should I meditate everyday? 
3. the Yogi utility belt

Monday Motivation: BIG MAGIC II

In last week’s post I wrote about BIG MAGIC: creative living beyond fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert—I basically just categorize thirteen of my favorite snippets from parts, “courage” and “enchantment,” in Mrs. Gilbert’s magical book.

BIG MAGIC is, so far, my favorite out of all of Elizabeth Gilbert’s books.

I read it a handful of times and now I am called to do this. Thank you Elizabeth Gilbert* for the courage and diligence that it took to unleash BIG MAGIC upon us.

Favorite snippets from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, PART II (14-29)

 permission & persistence:

14. “The poet David Whyte calls this sense of creative entitlement ‘the arrogance of belonging,’ and claims that it is an absolutely vital privilege to cultivate if you wish to interact more vividly with life. Without this arrogance of belonging, you will never be able to take any creative risks whatsoever. Without it, you will never push yourself out of the suffocating insulation of personal safety and into the frontiers of the beautiful and unexpected.”

15. “Speak it. Let it know you’re there. Hell, let YOU know you’re there—because this statement of intent is just as much an announcement to yourself as it is an announcement to the universe or anybody else. Hearing this announcement, your soul will mobilize accordingly. It will mobilize ecstatically, intact, because this is what your soul was born for. (Trust me, your soul has been waiting for you to wake up to your own existence for years.)”

16. “Just say what you want to say, then say it with all your heart. Share whatever you are driven to share.”

17. “I once wrote a book in order to save myself. I wrote a travel memoir in order to make sense of my own journey and emotional confusion.

18. “I sent my work out to publications, and I collected rejection letters in return. I kept up with writing, despite the rejections. I labored over my short stories alone in my bedroom—and also on train stations, in stairwells, in libraries, in public parks, and in the apartments of various friends, boyfriends, and relatives. I send more and more work out. I was rejected, rejected, rejected, rejected. I disliked the rejection letters. Who would’t? But I took the long view: my intentions was to spend my entire life in communion with writing, period.

19. “I told the universe (and anyone who would listen) that I was committed to living a creative life not in order to save the world, not as an act of protest, not to become famous, not to gain entrance to the canon, not to challenge the system, not to show the bastards, not to prove to my family that I was worthy, not as a form of deep therapeutic emotional catharsis…but simply because I liked it.”

20. “Best of all, though, by saying that you delight in your work, you will draw inspiration near. Inspiration will be grateful to hear those words coming out of your mouth, because inspiration—like all of us—appreciates being appreciated. Inspiration will overhear your pleasure, and it will send ideas to your door as a reward for your enthusiasm and your loyalty.”

21. “Just keep doing your thing.

22. “because of my deep and lifelong conviction that the results of my work don’t have much to do with me. I can only be in charge of producing the work itself.”

23. “He used to suffer and anguish over losings songs, he said, but now he trusts. If a song is serious about being born, he trust that it will come to him in the right manner, at the right time.

24. “I simply vowed to the universe that I would write forever, regardless of the result. I promised that I would try to be brave about it, and grateful, and as uncomplaining as I could possibly be. I also promised that I would never ask writing to take care of me financially, but that I would always talk care of it— meaning that I would always support us both, but any means necessary. I did not ask for any external rewards for my devotion; I just wanted to spend my life as near to writing as possible—forever close to that source of all my curiosity and contentment—and so I was willing got make whatever arrangements needed to be made in order to get by.”

25. “But I remember thinking that learning how to endure your disappointment and frustration is part of the job of a creative person. If you want to be an artist of any sort, it seemed to me, then handling your frustration is a fundamental aspect of the work—perhaps the single most fundamental aspect of the work. Frustration is not an interruption of your process, frustration is the process.”

26. “People don’t do this kind of thing because they have all kinds of extra time and energy for it; they do this kind of thing because their creativity matters to them enough that they are willing to make all kinds of extra sacrifices for it.

27. “Possessing a creative mind, after all, is like having a border collie for a pet: It needs work, or else it will cause you an outrageous amount of trouble. Give your mind a job to do, or else it will find a job to do, and you might not like the job it invents…”

28. “I saw it proof that you must never surrender, that no doesn’t always mean no, and that miraculous turns of fate can happen to those who persist in showing up.

29. “Well, then, [person], I’m afraid you will have notice but to persevere.

I hope that you enjoyed part II of my favorite snippets from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert,” part one is available here.

*clicking on “Thank you Elizabeth Gilbert” will redirect you out of this website and into Elizabeth Gilbert’s website—it’s good practice to always check the validity of the sites you visit, and to learn about who makes the things that you consume.

Live your Present

a few good posts from
1. What is my Present?
2. Why should I meditate everyday? 
3. the Yogi utility belt

Monday Motivation: BIG MAGIC

In the last year I read BIG MAGIC: creative living beyond fear by Elizabeth Gilbert at least a handful of times. I’ve been embracing this book, facing my fears and the little bits of wonder that this world has to offer, ever since it was gifted to me in the spring of 2018.

BIG MAGIC is magical.

This book reinforced a lot of the things that I already thought about life —which was particularly refreshing because not a lot of people talk about the intangible magical aspects that are ever-so evident, every-day, in our world. For example, even our mere existence is magical, like what are the chances that we even exist? It’s a vast universe, yet here we are. We can think, we can dream, we can create —isn’t all just magical? But this book isn’t about why we exist, it’s about how and why we create.

Creating is magic.

I hope more people read BIG MAGIC, I hope more people realize that they have BIG MAGIC within them; perhaps they’ll even get their own copy —online or at a brick and mortar— and contribute to Elizabeth so that she can make more brilliant books for us to read (no pressure). My main aim is to categorize this wealth of knowledge and to celebrate Mrs. Gilbert for the courage that it took to bring this out of her head/heart and into the world, thank you Elizabeth Gilbert* you’ve made a tremendous impact in my life.

Favorite snippets from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, PART I (1-13)

 courage & enchantment:

  1. Look, I don’t know what’s hidden within you. I have no way of knowing such a thing. You yourself may barely know, although I suspect you’ve caught glimpses. I don’t know your capacities, your aspiration, your longing, you secret talents. But surely something wonderful is sheltered inside of you. I say this with all confidence, because I happen to believe we are all walking repositories of buried treasure. I believe this is one of the oldest and most generous tricks the universe plays on us human beings, both for its own amusement and for ours: The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”
  2. She asked herself when was the last time she’d felt truly light, joyous, and—yes—creative in her own skin.”
  3. “—is still figure skating several mornings a week simply because skating is still the best way for her to unfold a certain beauty and transcendence within her life that she cannot seem to access in any other manner.”
  4. as the saying goes, argue for your limitations and you get to keep them.
  5. I had creativity within me that was original; I had a personality within me that was original: I had dreams and perspectives and aspirations within me that were original. But my fear was not original in the least. My fear wasn’t some kind of rare artisanal object; it was just a mass-produced item, available on the shelves of any generic box store.”
  6. So I don’t try to kill off fear. I don’t go to war against it. Instead, I make all that space for it. Heaps of space. Every single day. I’m making space for fear right this moment. I allow my fear to live and breathe and stretch out its legs, the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes, too. In fact, I cordially invite dear to come along with me everywhere I go. I even have a welcoming speech for fear, which I deliver right before embarking upon any new project or big adventure.
  7. You will start noticing all sort of signs pointing you towards the idea. Everything you see and touch and do will remind you of the idea. The idea will wake you up in the middle of the night and distract you from your everyday routine. The idea will not leave you alone until it has your fullest attention.
  8. I’ve always had the sense that the muse of a tormented artist—while the artist himself is throwing temper tantrums—is sitting quietly in corner of the studio, buffing its fingernails, patiently waiting for the [artist] to calm down and sober up so everyone can get back to work. Because in the end, it’s al about the work, isn’t it?…And maybe there’s a different way to approach it?
  9. I did then what you do when you get serious about a project or a pursuit: I cleared space for it. I cleaned off my desk, literally and figuratively. I committed myself to several hours of research every morning. I made myself go to bed early so I could get up at dawn and be ready for work. I said no to alluring distractions and social invitations so I could focus on my job. I ordered books about Brazil and I placed calls to experts. I started studying Portuguese. I bought index cards—my preferred method of keeping notes—and I allowed myself to begin dreaming of this new world.”
  10. …I want to pause for a moment and ask you to consider all the negative conclusions that I could have drawn about this incident, had I been int eh mood to ruin my life.
  11. “I think society did a great disservice to artist when we started saying that certain people were geniuses, instead of saying they had geniuses. That happened around the Renaissance, with the rise of a more rational and human centered view of life. The gods and mysteries fell away, and suddenly we put all the credit and blame for creativity on the artists themselves—making the all-too-fragile humans completely responsible for the vagaries of inspiration.” 
  12. I wish somebody had told them all to of fill up a bunch of pages with blah-blah-blah and just publish it, for heaven’s sake, and ignore the outcome.
  13. I work either way, you see—assisted or unassisted—because that is what you must do in order to live a fully creative life. I work steadily, and I always thank the process. Whether I am touched by creativity or not, I thank creativity for allowing me to engage with it at all. Because either way, it’s all kind of amazing—what we get to do, what we get to attempt, what we sometimes get to commune with. Gratitude, always. Always, gratitude.”

*clicking on “thank you Elizabeth Gilbert” will redirect you out of this website and into Elizabeth Gilbert’s website—it’s good practice to always check the validity of the sites you visit, and to learn about who makes the things that you consume.

Live your Present

a few good posts from
1. What is my Present?
2. Why should I meditate everyday? 
3. the Yogi utility belt