October 28

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

BIG MAGIC has made me a stalker of Elizabeth Gilbert.  BIG TIME.  

My adoration for her is not a new thing mind you, but this new book has certainly stepped things up a notch.  I have pretty much read everything she has written and published.  I’ve watched the Ted Talks, and more.   I actually had Eat Pray Love way before the phenomena struck and everyone jumped on board,  just so you know.  The force between us is strong.

I follow her on Instagram and Facebook and was part of the hungry mass who counted down to BIG MAGIC’s release and I burned the road up driving into the city to get my copy the second it hit the shelves.  It did not disappoint.  

This is BIG LOVE.

But before one of you ring the police to have me put on stalker watch, let’s talk BIG MAGIC.

First up, don’t let the cover line ‘Creative Living Beyond Fear’ fool you.   I am ‘kind of’ creative but I would not define myself as creative necessarily.  But I am living and this book is about living beyond fear and I want absolutely more of that.

BIG MAGIC is chock-a-block full of wisdom.  Before you jump to ‘oh great,  more mumbo-jumbo to ‘make today amazing‘,  steady on, it’s not that.  I have the same sort of reaction to some books in this genre, trust me.  This book offers a wise, light-filled, soulful perspective on living comfortably and gracefully with your talents and dreams and pursuing them.  It examines the good, the bad and the ugly thoughts we all have about ourselves and how we can tie ourselves in knots chasing perfection and having unreasonable expectations about ourselves and others.  It explores other-wordliness; the concept that ideas bounce between people; and it discusses the lure and pitfalls of  that master trickster, i.n.s.p.i.r.a.t.i.o.n.

Elizabeth (can I call you that, Ms Gilbert?) offers a fresh perspective to following our dreams, hankerings and the pursuits that we might avoid because we think we need permission and approval to do them. We worry they aren’t going to be successful, or, important. These loves, these dreams, are the crazy oddities in our minds that light the fires in our bellies.  And what I learned is these fires don’t have to light up all of NYC.  Or  burn the house down with us inside when they fail.  They just have to keep us warm and keep us curious.  

And this leads to one of my favourite themes  in the book – curiosity versus passion.    Seems we need to forget finding our passion (and therefore the crap that comes with wondering if we even have it) and instead, simply follow what interests us, chase what sparks our curiosity.  There are wonderful examples in the book about curiosity unearthing  things that may well in time be called passion, sure, but the whole idea of following your passion, and the pressure surrounding this,  gets dissected beautifully.

When we talk of passion often  we speak of it as a singular allocation, I have ‘a’ passion, like we aren’t entitled many.  But when we talk curiosity and interests, well, we can have lots! Hundreds even.  

So, curiosity folks, just follow that ok…..Elizabeth guarantees it will take you places…..and for the love of lipstick, I have lost 50 kilos just having the weight of seeking-out-my-passion lifted off my shoulders.  Oh, the sweet relief!  

And I have gotten busy with my own curiosity and yes, I’m having some fun.  I am chasing one of the best lines in the book which simply is, ‘more wonder, please’. And it feels good.

I could be here all day talking the ins and outs of this beauty but I won’t ruin any more of it with my love-struck meanderings.  Simply, please, grab this book. It is magnificent.   And then you might want to create a BIG MAGIC club like my friend and I.

We had breakfast together last week and were talking life,  generally gas-bagging over the big stuff and the nonsense,  and at some point I snuck in,  ‘oh, fascinating, you must read BIG MAGIC’ (I probably made myself wait at least 15 minutes because I want to blurt that line out to everyone straight up). Her whole body jerked forward, she raised her hands like the second coming was nigh and said, “Oh.My. God.  I have”.  

From this point onward, the wait staff probably wondered if there was crack in our coffee.  Certainly it looked like we had won the lotto.  And we had,  the literary lotto.  We tore ourselves away an hour later but, quite frankly, we could have been there till the next morning talking about this book.  

Long story short, we are now starting a club – BIG MAGIC, BIG LOVE, a monthly dinner for our best women friends to chew the fat, eat, drink, be merry and talk of the Big (and little) Magic in our lives and  help and assure each other along the way. 

I sound fanatical. I know.  It is just when BIG MAGIC lands in your hands and something BIG happens to you because of that book, you just need to shout it out, in a really BIG voice.  So with megaphone in hand, I say to you Readheads, please get this one.  

We all need magic in our life, right?  And the bigger the better I say.

Oh, and Elizabeth if you are EVER in Australia, and near the Blue Mountains……

And that is just my 2 cents worth.