thoughts on “Big Magic” & getting your creativity back

big magic

Elizabeth Gilbert’s newest book, Big Magic, launched last week and I inhaled it.

Maybe it’s a little dose of big magic but this book release felt timely for me, personally, just as I was starting to ask the universe where the heck my creativity ran off to. When I was in 5th grade I wrote derivatives of R.L. Stines Goosebumps books and illustrated pictures to go with them. One in particular that comes to mind is of a skeleton who circled suburban cul-de-sacs on roller blades terrorizing the children of the neighborhood. You did not want to live in that cul-de-sac.

It was ridiculous, terrible, and amazing; I’d kill for that creativity today.

As we grow older and life happens, it’s so easy to throw yourself whole heartedly into your work or your career and if that work or career doesn’t happen to be innately creative or feed your soul, finding a creative outlet becomes work on top of your already all consuming work-life balances and you’ll find your once creative self describing your new self has not all that creative.

Well, that’s what happened to me. I’ve actually said the words over the last few years; “Im not all that creative.” I think my rollerblading skeleton would disagree.

Within the first few pages of reading “Big Magic”, I felt this gravitational pull to grab my notebook and start writing before all of the thoughts left my head. I began scribbling memories that I must have locked away somehow — a memory of being published in my high school literary magazine and submitting my poetry to poetry websites. I had no inhibitions, confidence that I’d kill for today, and simply put? Creativity.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s book demystifies creativity and that’s a beautiful thing. Why? because demystifying it, makes it accessible and it should be accessible because we all have our own version of it – even if it’s just locked away somewhere.

and the magical way to access it?

Is to put in the work. Inspiration can certainly hit you in a magical way but taking inspiration, following through, and turning it into something that fills you up creatively (whatever that may be) will always require you to be disciplined, sit down, and do. the. work.

If you want to feel inspired to create something (anything!) I recommend reading Big Magic.

It certainly got me writing again.

Thanks for reading!

Amy K Hall

experience vs. dwelling

Life is crazy. Unpredictable, unexpected, unplanned things happen all the time. Things out of our control, out of our scope of understanding will continue to happen because well, that’s just this crazy little thing called life.

What we do have the power to change is how we recover and how we allow these unpredictable and unchangeable occurrences to dictate how we lead our lives.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

-Viktor E. Frankl

I am not suggesting that if you simply choose a different response, you will be free and happy and therein lies the secret to a successful recovery or rebound from outside occurrences in which we have no control.

Although, I do believe it is a start, it’s not the answer and it’s never that easy.

We know that.

What I am suggesting is that maybe the secret to not just our personal success but our success as global citizens is how long we allow ourselves to experience vs dwell in our outside occurrences.

When we dwell, we live in these outside occurrences until we are numb, as if they are the only truth and when it’s true for us, we lose the possibility of change.

However, when we experience, really truly experience, we feel until we are moved to take a stand, make an impact and on the smaller scale of ourselves, to simply recover.

i guess nike was right all along

I was once scared of blogging. (I know…) You can read about it here. 

Since overcoming that, I’ve been fascinated with discovering the secret formula for kickstarting a good habit or, really, starting anything.

We all know some things are good for us, yet,  we can’t always bring ourselves to do them. For example, meditation, theres enough research telling us that this is without a doubt good for us but what’s the secret for getting started?

I look at people who are ridiculously healthy & energized and think…how did they do that? How did that happen to them? Oh, you mean they ate healthier, exercised, put in the work, and that’s the result? 

Yes. Just like that.

Turns out, there is no magic formula that will make you exercise, force you to meditate, eat your vegetables, take your vitamins, stop drinking so much on the weekdays (I’m talking to you, New York – you’re killing me) start your blog, write your book – anything! 

You just have to do it. 

Take one small action today and it will build the momentum for another small action tomorrow. 

Thats all. 

Just. do. it.

I guess Nike was on to something.

forgive yourself and move on

I find that inspiration & motivation can strike when you need it the most. 

Actually, I find that they are always lingering & you have to rid your mind of the noise & open your eyes in order to take it all in.

To rid the noise & see clearly, you have to be ok with allowing yourself to get in a rut. (FYI: I also call this “being human.”) It’s from these darkest & lowest of places when we are pushed so far into our rut & are hardest on ourselves that we are forced to take the silence, clear the noise, open our eyes & allow the motivation & inspiration to strike. Then, forgive yourself & move on. 

That last part is worth repeating; forgive yourself and move on. That unwillingness to forgive yourself will keep you in the same rut  & you’ll probably miss all of the inspiration.

This week, I am most grateful for my ruts.

It’s when I learn the most and feel propelled into making the biggest moves toward my biggest goals. 

Watch out.