Did you know Elizabeth Gilbert has a FREE podcast called Magic Lessons? I didn’t either. Not before this morning.
I know now thanks to Laura Davis. YOU MUST KNOW TOO!!! They had a brilliant, bountiful and necessary conversation about creativity.
It’s INCREDIBLE, DIVINE and INSPIRED! Excuse the language but it’s holy-fucking-shit and call your best friend good.
I can’t write, quote, absorb or inhale it all fast enough and since I’m writing it all down anyway I might as well share the wisdom.
It cures the dry mouth in my soul and I’m more fluid after just four listens. They aren’t making themselves self-important or yelling at or patronizing. They own what they know and have learned as well as when they have been judgy. They mention book titles without apology and it’s not obnoxious. They are sharing wisdom!
Go listen if you have time. If you prefer words or images and need them to reinforce new ideas, as I do, here are some shots before you down the whole bottle.
Direct quotes and flavors below. There’s so much more genius I didn’t capture.
This conversation has the power to soothe-inspire-hold-heal and lift your spirit in the way only radical truth-telling from lived experience can and does.
(BB) is the Benovolent Brene Brown and (EG) is the Extraordinary Elizabeth Gilbert
“If you asked me five years ago what creativity meant to me, I would say, “oh that’s cute. That’s fun. I don’t really DO a lot of A – R – T cuz I have a J – O – B. So you go do take your paintbrush or scrapbook and have but I’ve got shit to do.
If you asked me now, it is the way I share my soul with the world. Without it, I am not o.k. Without having access to everyone elses we are not o.k. I have come to the conclusion that it is the only thing, the only unique contribution that we will make in this world will be born of creativity.” (BB)
“I used to believe… that there were creative people and non-creative people. And now I absolutely understand personally and professionally from the data that there are no such thing as non-creative people. There are just people who use their creativity and people who don’t. And unused creativity is not benign.” (BB)
“There’s a lot of shame around creativity. People don’t think of themselves as creative. They think creativity is self-indulgent. They don’t think it’s productive enough. They don’t understand what it means. It was shut down for them as children. For those folks, when I say unused creativity is not benign what I really means is it metastacize into resentment, grief, heartbreak. People sit on that creativity or they deny it and it festers.” (BB)
“When I started the research on shame 13 years ago, I found that 85% of the men and women who I interviewed remembered an event in school that was so shaming it changed how they thought of themselves for the rest of their lives… 50% of that 85%, half of those people, those shame wounds were around creativity.” (BB)
“… when you’re taking on creativity you’re taking on soul work. This is not about what we do – this is about who we are. And the wounds around it are just breath-taking.” (BB)
“I had a therapist who told me, ‘The thing that you are most afraid of has already happened.” (EG)
“We’re all terrified of the thing that already happened.” (EG)
“More and more these days because I’ve surrounded myself with people like you and friends who are also putting themselves out there. I’m starting to learn in a really profound way for me that…. that kind of criticism is a really small price to pay for doing what I love and for being whole.” (BB)
“Can we just call that a victory? How many thousands of years of women had never upset men because they never had a voice? So when I get criticized in that way I think ‘well that’s a good sign’ and it’s not that I love it. Nobody loves it. It doesn’t feel good. It hurts. But when I compare that to the hurt for me to be whispering in the corner. It’s not even on the same see saw. I’ll take it.” (EG)
“one of the things I have to think about all of the time…. if you jump and leap. I don’t jump or leap for the landing. I leap for the experience through the air. You cannot predict the landing. When you get to the place where standing on the edge is more painful than risking a failure. I think you owe it to yourself and the world to leap.” (EG)
“Now the question becomes for me what’s worth doing even if I fail?” (BB)
“What do you love doing so much that the word failure doesn’t even have any meaning. What would you do even if it was a total failure?” (EG)
“When did inspiration promise us that it owes us anything? It was never my understanding of the contract. As far as I understand inspiration. It owes you nothing except the transcendence of the experience of working with it at all.” (EG)
“The antidote to shame is not discipline. It’s empathy… It’s kindness. It’s talk to yourself like someone you love.” (BB)
“Owning our stories. The only options are owning them or orphaning them. And I believe our self-worth lives inside the story, our own story and so we can walk into that story and own it. Or we can stand outside of our truth and outside of our narrative and hustle, pretend and perform and perfect for our worthiness. So I do believe in owning the story. Having said that, I also believe we share those stories with people who have earned the right to hear them. The only stories I share with the public, in my writing or in my speaking… are stories that I have really processed and my healing is not contingent on your opinion of those stories.” (BB)
“I’ve shared my story before I healed, before I was ready. And when you do that, it’s not giving and generous for the people hearing and receiving it and it’s really abusive to yourself. You’re not ready and your healing has not been done… ” (BB)
“I think you share a story when your healing is not dependent on the response. I don’t think it’s in service of the reader and I don’t think it’s in service of my own heart.” (BB)
“As long as we stay locked in this idea that creativity can only be born through suffering, sacrifice, pain and torment, it will always be born through suffering, sacrifice, pain and torment. But when we open ourselves to the idea it can be done joyfully, collectively, lovingly, forgivingly – then that’s the work that you make.” (EG)
“My creativity requires midwifery. I need a midwife. I need to be able to talk, tell stories and get feedback and I didn’t think I did because I”m really introverted.” (BB)
“Creativity. We don’t have to do it alone. We were never meant to.” (BB)
“You are a born maker. And we need what you can bring to us because you are the only one who can bring it. I think it’s that simple.”
I hope this makes you buy an adult coloring book, get messy, creative and practice any damn way YOUR soul needs. I hope you feel inspired, alive and more ready to sit inside your story no matter if, when or how you ever share or “do anything” with that process. The words, the conversation and the insights are so magical, beautiful and wonderful to hear spoken.
Thank you Brene Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert for doing the work only YOU each and together can do and for what that does for the rest of us.
You Matter Mantras
- Trauma sucks. You don't.
- Write to express not to impress.
- It's not trauma informed if it's not informed by trauma survivors.
- Breathing isn't optional.