In her book, Big Magic (So awesome. Buy it, like yesterday), Elizabeth Gilbert describes how she believes our ideas for the things we want to create are actually sentient beings; that they float as translucent, ghost-like specters through our workaday world, looking for a receptive host to birth them into reality. If you are the right person, the person with the particular passions and skills necessary for its birth, it chooses you. It asks you to use your skills, courage and love to bring it forth into our time-space continuum - to make it “real” book or painting or concerto or pulled pork sandwich food stand, it yearns to be.
This blog is for two different kinds of people.
So, I’m a ha-uuuuggge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. Huge. Emotionally complex, physically appealing and charmingly dorky teens taking on hordes of big, bad and uglies while wearing on-trend clothing from the 90s; how can you not love it!?!?!?
Okay, let’s tell the truth. Making dreams come true ain’t easy. The reason all those inspirational underdog-come-from-humiliating-set-backs-to-win-stunning-victories-end-up-a-raging-success-and-get-interviewed-by-Oprah-type movies are so inspirational is because really operatically annoying things happen to the protagonist.
My aunt describes the creative process as follows:
1. Live life
2. Learn stuff
3. Share what you’ve learned
4. Say “Ta Da”
Problems. You know the ones you have that pound on you, pushing you down the way the schoolyard bully does to the little kid at recess? The ones that spin you around, loom over your shoulder and wrap their arms around you, stealing your breath, throwing you to your knees and leaving you gasping? The ones that make you stare up at them, a Goliath with low blood sugar and the only thing you can do is stand there, clutching a broken sling, closing your eyes and hoping for the best? You know, those kinds?
If you are a person who:
1. Sets a goal
2. Identifies the behaviors that need to change in order to meet said goal
3. Lays down plans for changing said behavior
4. Applies consistent exertion towards the aforementioned plans and behavior
4. Continues to execute on those plans until goal is reached
This is not the blog for you.
When in doubt, do the thing that’s hardest. Our intuition is a beautiful gift and serves us faithfully in most situations. However, when you’re freaked out, it’s close to impossible to hear. When it feels like the world is ending, the rules have been scrapped and monkeys are conducting cymbal practice in your head, a good rule of thumb is to do the opposite of what you really want to do.
What’s the magic ingredient to magic? Being a fool. Or feeling like one, anyway. That’s the price of inviting magic into your life. You’ll feel awkward. Dorky.