Last night, after putting Dean to bed, I pried myself off the MegaCouch to tackle some chores when I remembered I’d been meaning to listen to Elizabeth Gilbert’s new “Magic Lessons” podcast series.
I queued it up on my phone, stuck my headphones in, and got to work. But something happened five minutes in: I turned into this crazy person who started talking to … herself? Liz Gilbert? The women calling in? I don’t know, but every five seconds I was nodding along, whispering “yes,” feeling like EVERY CREATIVE NEEDS TO BE LISTENING TO THIS.
I made it through all four segments (each 20 minutes or less) and fell so hard for the message Liz is pushing in tandem with the September release of her new book. The support she’s giving creatives—to abandon their guilt, push forward, face their fears, and dig in to their passions—feels like a conversation so many makers need to hear.
At the start of every podcast, Liz (who has a great voice for podcasts, by the way), describes magic lessons as “road maps for the path to creativity … the extra nudge we need when we’re feeling stuck in our creative lives.”
I love that, don’t you? Now I can’t wait to keep listening (especially when special guests include fellow creatives like writer Cheryl Strayed and Pastor Rob Bell). In the meantime, here are a few nuggets to remember that I hope inspire you too:
Liz on the different ways fear can surface, stopping us from realizing our creative dreams:
“All procrastination is fear. Anything you do that stops you from the work that is gnawing at you, the work that wants to be made through you, the creative project that is begging you to realize it…anything you do that blocks that is fear. It might look like fear, but fear also has a lot of shady disguises. It can show up as perfectionism, insecurity, guilt, procrastination..all of it is something you are too scared to do.”
Liz sharing a quote from English author A.S. Byatt [I don’t know what it says about me, but these words resonated to the point where I actually felt my stomach seize up listening to them]:
“I think of my writing simply in terms of pleasure. It’s the most important thing in my life: making things. Much as I love my husband and children, I love them only because I am the person who makes things. I am who I am is the person who has the project of making a thing. And because that person does that all the time, that person is able to love all those other people.”
Liz on the ways mothers guilt themselves into believing they don’t deserve to do the creative things that fire them up:
“Mothers are the members of society who need to be given the most permission to be able to do the things that ignite their own souls. Because there is some deep sense in the world that once you are a mother your lives belong exclusively, entirely, and only to your children. Even if they are in school … there is this deep sense that anything you do that ignites you, harms them.”
Also, if you’ve never watched Liz’s TED Talks on creativity, I HIGHLY recommend.