Living Creatively: Enchantment
A few weeks back I shared a book review of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear. Her view so aligned with my own belief on creativity that I thought it might be enjoyable to engage with her message on a personal level through writing a blog series. The ingredients that Gilbert shares for creative living include courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust, and identity… All fantastic themes to expand upon.
Let me just tell you this, I had absolutely no concept at the time, when I embarked on this journey, just how gosh darn personal this was about to become. I mean, here I am with a front row seat for Creatively Living 101, desperately attempting to walk the talk and now with an audience no less!
After three weeks of sharing stories on courage, ending last week with the minor upheaval in my practice, I could not wait to move along to the topic of enchantment. Just what is enchantment you ask? Gilbert explains that enchantment is exactly what we experience as we engage with an idea. But then where do these ideas come from? While our culture wants us to believe ideas only come to gifted minds, Gilbert thakfully proposes an entirely different perspective.
“Ideas spend an eternity swirling around us searching for available and willing partners.
When an idea finds someone- say you- who might be able to bring it into the world, the idea pays you a visit”
Crazy stuff, right? Well not so fast. Have you never had an idea pay an unexpected visit, as the slight tickle of a gossamer-like thread that floats across your mind? Quite possibly you have learned to tune these sensations out as adult. So think back to your childhood when the outrageous idea for the most perfect fort ever arrived or something you were inspired to assemble that magnificent outfit, the one that made everyone in your house cringe?
Surely you have some memories that you can draw from your early years. As for me, I was an idea machine and, get this, one of my ideas was using plants to make potions that would heal all of my childhood friends!
So take note, while I believe ideas are reaching out all of the time, their frequency is often missed when the recipients are distracted by the busy-ness of life that fills every waking moment with activity or noise.
I should know all about this as I spent the first half of my adult life, from 18 to 40 years of age, in this state, numb to any whisper of creative ideas and certainly shut off from the voice of my own heart. Now don’t get me wrong, I knew all about ideas and how they worked as a child and again as a fledgling writer in my teens. But at the end of those teen years, I chose what I believed to be love over creative living and entered a relationship where all that I had previously cultivated was considered foolish and nonsense.
Based on this personal choice, I shutdown my reception of ideas whether they be about writing, designing, and just about anything other than what my partner viewed as normal. The things we do for love, right? Where this led should be of no surprise, as over the years the slope into despair and depression grew more slippery with time. Before long, I was in a place I never want to be again, a place in which I stopped believing in myself, my intuition, and, with all my aching heart, I stopped believing in the enchantment of new ideas.
Fortunately, our soul can only accept such a state for so long and I began to hear mine beckon from within. By listening and paying close attention, I found my way out and in doing so was once again blessed with ideas and the Universe’s personal invitation to live creatively.
And so my friends, let me share today, that the very same invitation is right there for you whether you believe it or not. Creativity is far from an elitist club. It is for all, deeply ingrained in our DNA. When we use creativity to navigate this human life, we stop taking ourselves and our problems so seriously. We are more willing to tune into the frequency of the Universe, embrace moments of stillness, discover our own courage to engage, and let the enchantment unfold.