Week 7 - Should I Stay or Should I Go?


We continue our glorious exploration of Elizabeth Gilbert’s BIG MAGIC. Last week we talked IDEAS.
What they are and how they show up.

I like to think about ideas and inspiration like courtship and romance.
In the same way you can show up for a great flirtation or get an awesome compliment on the street, it is up to you to slip the other your number and keep it going.
You have free will.
You get to decide if you wanna stay, or you wanna go.

When ideas come up they are coming your way because the idea believes you are best suited for it. And there is wisdom there. I like to think that ideas — because they come from the formless — they are timeless. And if they are timeless (not part of time and space) then they exist energetically in ALL time.

Are you following me?

If ideas exist outside of time then they are equally in alignment with the future as our past. I like to trust that what comes to me, comes to me with deep wisdom from my very future that I perhaps don’t have eyes big enough to see yet! I like to consider this when considering to stay or go :)

That said — you always have the choice.
And it is not to say that if you do happen to say no that you did something wrong. A NO in one space, is a YES to another.
No is required. A lot.
We just want to be mindful of the WHY of our choices so we can make the most empowered ones. As co-creators of reality, not reactors of reality.

Liz says we sometimes say no to ideas due to “laziness, angst, insecurity or petulance. But other times because it is truly not the right moment, or because you are already engaged in a different project, or because you are certain that this particular idea has accidentally knocked the wrong door.”

THIS is why inner work is VITAL to being a great artist.
Without tapping our own intuition and discernment we may get into over working, hustle, people pleasing, desperation and say YES for the wrong reasons. We might take on too much and then each project suffers. We might feel to unworthy or insecure to say yes to what we really want and settle for what we don’t. The GIFT is that WE ARE THE ONE WHO CREATES IT, and it is also the responsibility of it.

Liz suggests we get clear on what feeling right for us first and foremost.
From this place we can gently and graciously say NO to what isn’t in alignment. And make a CONTRACT with what is.

In our very first CREATE workshop back in 2015 Kristin and I used to teach the very first class to make a contract with your dream. We make contracts, like wedding vows, because it is SO EASY to bail when it gets sticky. Making the contract says to your dream (or in this case, the idea) that you are in it, come what may. We choose dedication over the next stimulation and we see how it changes us.

Liz brings to light something next that I feel is SO important for artists.
She says that once we decide to be IN, to say YES, we also have a choice on HOW to be in. And most of us are conditioned to choose falsely.

“If you choose to enter into a contract of creative suffering you should try to identify yourself as much as possible with the stereotype of the Tormented Artist. You will find no shortage of role models. Drink as much as you can; sabotage too your relationships, wrestle so vehemently against yourself that you come up bloodied every time; express constant dissatisfaction with your work; jealously compete against your peers; begrudge anybody else’s victories; proclaim yourself cursed (not blessed) by your talents; attach your sense of self worth to external rewards; be arrogant when you are successful and self pitying when you fail; honor darkness above light, die young; blame creativity for having killed you.”

Yes. She did.
And she is right. And thank you.

How many of us say YES! I am going to follow my dream! And then we complain, we constantly bemoan how tough it is, we are competitive and comparing. How many of us are so loving to other artists when we are “winning” or “booking” yet in shame and victimhood when someone else is.

There is another way.
“A different way is to cooperate fully, humbly and joyfully with inspiration.”

We can be curious. We can enjoy the ride. We can be grateful. We can celebrate every moment as a step forward. We can respect what we have already been given by not speaking about all we haven’t been.

“What is bad for you is also probably bad for your work.”

This week - identity that in every moment THE CHOICE IS YOURS.
You can say YES or NO and then you can choose with either grace or despair to execute your choice. You have the power. Use it wisely.

“And at the end of your days you can thank creativity for having blessed you with a charmed, interesting passionate existence.”

That is DEFINITELY another way to do it. :) Natalie

Jen Rudolph