Thursday, October 22, 2015
On Permission to Live a Creative Life
Over the last few days, I have been reading a book by Elizabeth Gilbert called Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear. At the time I bought the book, I grabbed it to soothe a grieving heart over a friend that is moving away. Has it worked? Somewhat, yes. Each time I think of my friend and begin to cry, I grab the book to focus my mind on my writing life.
Just this morning I read an interesting chapter on Permission to Live a Creative Life. When I saw the title of the chapter - I thought, wow, what an interesting perspective! Intrigued, I read on. Elizabeth Gilbert writes:
You do not need anybody's permission to live a creative life.
She speaks of the influences of our parents. What kind of people were they? Were they afraid to take risks? Were they afraid of what other people were to say if they followed their dreams? Were they rule followers?
It really doesn't matter , she states. If you look back far enough into your family line, you will find people who just loved to make things and spent their lives making things.
"The earliest evidence of recognizable human art is forty thousand years old." It's older than humans tending to their agricultural tasks! Wow.. pretty profound I would say! What does that say about the human species? We are destined to create, more so than our desire to eat?
Well I can tell you when I am writing and creating, food is the last thing I think about - in fact, when I am in the flow of my writing or decorating my home for the holidays or baking batches of cookies - I forget about eating all together! So, I kind of get this!
Artists and creators don't necessarily have to be DaVinci or Michaelangelo- they can be the piece of pottery you created last weekend or the Christmas decorations you so meticulously and lovingly adorned your house with.
"Keep in mind that for most of history people just made things , and they didn't make such a big freaking deal out of it."
I love that line from this chapter. Especially as I am designing a new, creative life for myself.
"We make things because we LIKE making things." Well, I cannot help but think of my parents when I read this line, because you see my parents have always been "makers" as far as I can remember. Yes, my Dad was a great provider and worked a "regular job." But, he always made time for home renovations and working on his cars. You see, he is an amazing craftsman when it comes to home improvements. I have a fond memory of him knocking a big hole in the wall of my childhood home to make way for a beautiful arched window that would let the sunshine into our small, side entryway. My Mom and he were always conjuring up some renovations to that house.
My Mom on the other hand, has been writing since I was a child. Essay and prose mostly, and they are beautifully written. She is an amazing interior designer , coming by it naturally - no schooling needed. She is a self-taught seamstress, cook, card maker, holiday set designer and knits beautiful sweaters.
So, do I come from parents who were rule followers or "makers?" What do you think? Pretty obvious I would say.
In his retirement, my Dad is renovating a beach house that he and his wife just bought and my Mom is teaching herself a computer program, making memory boxes for all of her children and grandchildren. And she is dabbling with a children's book!
"Inspiration works with us," Elizabeth says. Yes, it does, it collaborates with us, calling at our doors to see if we will answer. Will we answer? On the weekends, weekdays, or call "creating" our vocation?
This chapter was so timely for me as I in the midst of designing my own creative life and struggling with what is going to be the primary focus for me? I love to do so many things. I love my writing, I love to bake, decorate, design, I love to help people become the best they can be at whatever they desire in their life and I love to create that "new outfit". And I am a BnB proprietor - which I love. Why do we have to choose one over the other, can we not incorporate all of those things into a life we love? I believe we can. And I am trying to figure it all out. Perhaps some of these are our vocation and others are our weekend hobbies.
I move through my days, letting my heart lead the way ever mindful of paying the mortgage, asking Spirit/God to guide me. I am grateful to have had this opportunity to share my gifts with the world and I am so grateful to Elizabeth Gilbert for giving me "permission" to "make things" and create a life I absolutely love!
Here is to all of us! The "makers" of the world. For we all have the ability to be makers! Give yourself Permission as Elizabeth Gilbert has given to me!