Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ideas Need Your Attention















They Are Big Magic





At the end of last year, I read Elizabeth Gilbert's new book: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (2015).  You know her from her earlier work: Eat, Pray, Love.

I loved the central theme of the book.  She argues that creativity is our birthright and inheritance. Birthright because we are part of a profoundly abundant and creative universe.  Inheritance because we come from generations of people who got things done through creative problem-solving.  They created useful and beautiful tools, objects, art, books, music, and other forms of expression.

She says: "You will find people who spent their lives making things.  This is where you come from. This is where we all come from.  Human beings have been creative beings for a really long time -- long enough and consistently enough that it appears to be a totally natural impulse."

And this: " I have the right to collaborate with creativity because I myself am a product and consequence of Creation."  "How can I best live out my destiny?"

And this: "[I]n order to live this way -- free to create, free to explore -- you must possess a fierce sense of personal entitlement, which I hope you will learn to cultivate."

One of her suggestions resonated profoundly with me.  It is the topic of ideas.  First, we should receive our ideas with respect and curiosity.  She says:

Ideas are a disembodied, energetic life-form.  Ideas have a consciousness.  They are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest in our world through collaboration with a human partner. Through human efforts, an idea is escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual. 
Ideas search for available and willing human partners.  An idea will try to get your attention.
In other words: "You are a partner to inspiration."  "The work wants to made and it wants to be made through you"

But, she also cautions us.  If we do not pay attention to ideas when they need it, they will leave us and search for another human partner.  She says: " My genius waits around a lot of the time to see if I am truly serious about this line of work."

I love that.  I have seen ideas simply leave me because I became distracted, bored, or overwhelmed.  I let my attention abandon them, and so the ideas abandoned me.  Gilbert suggests we should wish them well and hope they find a new loving home that does make them manifest.

Any of your precious ideas needing your attention?

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