I want to step it up this year. I want to see new lands and experience new perspectives. I want to dig deeply into my painting, to push my creative boundaries into new and uncharted terrain. I want to find a deeper peace and connection to my inner voice, to let it guide me. I want to dream big this year. Do you want to join me?
«The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.» Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
This book begs the question: Is your life driven by fear or by curiosity? We all work hard each day to be rational and responsible taking care of our daily needs. These are the must do’s of our daily existence. Unavoidable. But the question we can ask ourselves is when was the last time we felt light and joyous and creative in our own skin? What is that pursuit you loved participating in when you were younger? The one you dropped as responsibilities grew. What is that quiet creative yearning you have that you keep ignoring? Do you want to go ice skating, write poetry or sing? The wish to do something impractical, something that might delight you in a new deeper way. The wish that we all have, this is the creative spark yearning to be heard. To attend to this is like filling your well... Gilbert encourages us to bring forth the jewels that are hidden within us.
Gilbert in Big Magic says : « A creative life is an amplified life. It is a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life...» The creative life is where the Big Magic will reside.
Bravery is needed for Creative living. It is a path for the brave, and it demands courage. We know the long list of why we might be afraid to live a more creative life. Perhaps you are afraid you don't have the right kind of discipline, or enough hours in which to focus on creating or exploring. Maybe you are afraid you don't know have the right training or degree. Maybe you are afraid of being exposed or perhaps you think you are too old to start something again or for the first time.
2016 has forced me to be bolder. This year has tested my balance between control and trust. Sometimes when you work in a creative field for a living your creativity gets strangled by the market demands and the responsibilities of daily life. As I observed my daily life and my art process I started to notice that no matter how much I tried to control or direct the many aspects of my life that some things had their own unavoidable transitions that I had to accept. I learned that while I had to be disciplined in certain aspects of my life I also had to be wise and courageous. I had to stop resisting and I have to accept the unavoidable changes and directions that my life takes. My father always says when you are sailing and you feel that the sails are too tight pay attention and loosen up your sails a little and go in the direction that the wind is taking you. I have learned to recognize and categorize the realms of my life and art that demand rational discipline and those that ask me for complete irrational trust. I am learning bravery through my painting. I am starting to listen to the creative forces that are guiding me and my life. I am learning to completely trust that if I just stop controlling every move that the winds will guide my next decision or brush strokes with infinite wisdom.
The reasons for being fearful are often masked by taking care of something or someone else…it’s a kind of a false martydom. Gilbert speaks about how fear never changes, «it never delights it never offers a surprise or trust or an unexpected ending. Fear makes the word stop very present and life gets boring. »
Bravery means doing something scary. I have accepted fear as a companion alongside my creativity but I do not make my decisions based on my fears or else I would never dare to try something such as a life as an artist..I choose a life of unpredictable variety..
So maybe we should listen to that small quiet voice that divine creative spark speaking to you. Ignoring this creative voice would be denying your internal light to shine.
«And that would be a pity, because your life is short and rare and amazing and miraculous, and you want to do really interesting things and make really interesting things while you’re still here. I know that’s what you want for yourself, because that’s what I want for myself, too. It’s what we all want. And you have treasures hidden within you—extraordinary treasures—and so do I, and so does everyone around us. And bringing those treasures to light takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion, and the clock is ticking, and the world is spinning, and we simply do not have time anymore to think so small.» Elizabeth Gilbert in BIG MAGIC.
Onwards to a thrilling new year full of depth and unknown creativity. Let’s take this new road together.