Some Thoughts on Big Magic
Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic”, a celebration of creativity and the interplay of inspirational ideas, has become one of my favorite gifts. I enjoy playing with her ideas . . . about ideas. The writer believes that our world is overflowing with ideas, which are, in themselves, a kind of inspired, “energetic life-form”, always in search of human partners. She uses an entertaining wealth of personal and profound experiences to make her case that ideas are driven by “a single impulse: to be made manifest". I love that notion: ideas trying to wave me down, happily available to create inspired magic with me.
If I were to make an accounting, I’m fairly sure I could recall all the major shifts I’ve taken traveling my life’s highways. Like you, from time to time, I let an idea lead me to swerve onto a side road. Sometimes I found my way back to the familiar, and other times, that side road became my next interstate. I’ve intentionally, creatively reset my map for living more than a few times. And the instances when a twist or turn actually became my next superhighway were always by way of inspiration, listening to intuition, creating a new intention. Though not always a smooth ride, I’ve never been sorry when I invited Inspiration to drive.
I’ve missed my share of opportunities . . . missed even a glimpse of a hovering inspiration. I’ve stayed focused on the straight and narrow and let magic pass me by.
“Give into it.” Gilbert says. “Such is the bizarre, unearthly contract of creative living. . ..
There is only the stubbornness of the idea itself, refusing to stop searching until it has
found an equally stubborn collaborator.”
Gilbert asks me . . . and I’m asking you. . . to trust in the miraculous truth that new and marvelous ideas are forever on the lookout for human collaborators. Every day, grace-filled ideas for creating and reshaping, developing and producing are galloping toward us. Inspiration: it swirls around a possible partner . . . maybe, you . . . for moments, days, months, even years, because it believes you have the power to bring it into the world. It knocks on your mind’s door, sweeps through your heart’s spaces, vying for your attention . . . searching for a home. And eventually, if it’s misread, feared or dismissed, off it tumbles to find another.
The author calls it being guided – when we’re inspired to create or do something wonderful. . . something we might never be able to repeat or explain. These are the experiences meant to remind us to trust the creative magic of traveling unfamiliar roads, of discovering new ways to live into our next, best selves.
Get quiet enough to sense a visit from inspiration. Just for fun, answer its call. Let me know what you find . . . or better yet, what finds you.
Wishing you some big magic wrapped in good fortune.