Like so many of you, I’ve caught the Big Magic bug. Consider me especially infected, thanks to this life-changing book, which is so goddam good that it’s rendered me practically useless at times; not being able to do much more that attempt to clean my jaw off the floor after being stupefied by the roaring and relevant wisdom of Elizabeth Gilbert.
Big Magic has made the journey to my soul through my headphones three times now. This has turned into somewhat of a religious thing I do when a book is rich with resonance and latent with truth bombs – I flood my being with it until I feel it has become a part of me. I did the same thing with Danielle LaPorte’s The Fire Starter Sessions (I reckon I could recite that book word for word to you, no word of a lie). I did it with Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul. I did it with Caroline Myss’ Energy Anatomy. And I did it with T. Harv Eker’s Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind.
Big Magic has given a big, magical voice to something I’ve been processing quite deeply this year. Liz, unapologetically and so very eloquently, has, with this book, granted me a very specific and plain old weird type of permission that I didn’t even realise I was hoping for.
Permission to NOT make money from my art.
Permission to make money elsewhere.
Permission to keep much of my writing my own.
Permission to indulge in a collaboration with inspiration for no other reason than that it feels GOOD.
This is major, you guys.
Back in January, I said to a friend:
I don’t want to ever have to create or launch something because I need money, ever again.
Quite a statement, as I didn’t really know what the alternative to that would look or feel like.
These last couple of entrepreneurial years have been rife with just-in-the-nick-of-time launches. Launches of eBooks and online programs and affiliate partnerships and workshops, and of course, High.
Launches that would enable me to suck in a few sweet sips of the comfort and faith that comes with a) knowing, hey, I just launched something pretty cool, and b) the financial exchange, of course. All of which I’m unutterably grateful for. The process of creating and sharing such projects has been really quite special, and I couldn’t be more amazed, really, that I’ve been able to support myself like this since the age of 25. (Today, I’m narrowing in on 29)
But probably the aspect of entrepreneurship that isn’t spoken of all to often, is the fear and uncertainty that can rear itself when you’re in between projects. Or, the fear and uncertainty that can rear itself when you’re in the midst of working on projects, and you have no idea whether it’ll bomb or fly to the moon. (I’ve experienced a little of both)
There are big, rockstar-like, personal best, record-breaking months.
There are months where I’ve felt like I’ve held my breath until the next dollar comes in.
And I honestly came to expect that that’s often what comes with living a creative life – particularly a life in which you’re blessed to be being paid to express creatively.
But a lot of shit went down this year.
Where once I was a wide open book, I started to feel my pages fold back in on themselves.
Where once I felt as thought I was incredibly prolific – blogging numerous times per week, pumping out digital products, doing All The Things – I started to feel as though I were attempting to retrieve water from a dry well.
Put simply, I could sense how vastly unsustainable this way of making money would become for me, and quickly.
Glen and I were to be launching his organic meal delivery business soon, and that would require a lot of energy and focus. Where was I going to find the grit and juice to create and produce and launch?
What would happen to my business (not my creativity, my business) when I become a mother? I know how I want to parent, and my vision is that that first year doesn’t involve much work, at all.
I know I will never stop leaning into that part of me that thrives on writing and philosophising and sharing, but today, if I attach that to income, something doesn’t feel congruent.
At the New Moon in January, sitting in our hotel room in Japan, I projected this prayer:
I feel grateful as I effortlessly attract the support and systems that enable me to experience unlimited abundance.
I had no idea of the form or the details, but I certainly knew how I wanted to feel.
A few mere days later, in a move that totally shocked and befuddled me, I placed an online order for some essential oils (I caught a nasty virus in Japan and wanted to support my immune system as best as I could when I returned home), completely oblivious that that purchase would be my prayer becoming manifest.
I’ve been sharing and educating on those same essential oils for nine months now, and I could never have guessed that I would replace my income in that time; that network marketing of all things would be the ‘support and systems that enable me to experience unlimited abundance.’
My creativity – filling back up, being nourished in private moments, still near, still stirring, pouring through me right this very second.
My bank account – on the rise, every month.
My sanity – in tact.
What this all means, is that I can relax a little.
If a book wants to rattle through me, I can allow it to, joyfully, without wishing for it to become a financial saviour of mine.
It means I can offer the teachings of Kundalini Yoga from my heart, with enthusiasm and caring, without worrying about how much or how little I might be ‘making’ from it.
It means we have the income to support our fledging food business, with a model that is sustainable and has a quality of certainty to it, while Glen and I continue to explore our creativity. Him – cooking. Myself – writing (always), communication (team leadership and conflict resolution), and play.
+ Many, many projects and ideas have abandoned me this year. While they once felt ripe, many have regressed, or moved on. I love how Liz explains ‘losing’ her novel to her friend, another novelist. ‘It jumped out of my consciousness and into the consciousness of Anne Patchett’s.’ It’s an incredible story, this one about her Amazon Jungle book that got away, one that will leave you thinking: WOAH.
+ When I feel into the process of what it would be like to get to work on projects that a) people have asked me to make, or b) things that I once said I would make, there’s no mojo in my body. No inspirational life-force. Those ideas don’t have prana in them anymore, and I’m left feeling like a wet blanket trying to wring myself out. ‘All love becomes help’ is a quote that Liz references in the book. THAT’S the place I want to live and create from. I’m not interested in a living a life that’s reacting to the Suggestion Box of everyone else’s opinions. I want to do what feels good to do, write what wants to be written (or not), launch what feels launch-ready… all because I want to, all so I can experience the process and the love and the growth and uncertainty of it all… without it being directly hinged to my pay cheque.
My shoulders instantly loosen when I contemplate this.
My heart feels happy.
Most importantly, I feel ease wash over me.
What I’ve seen over the last few years is an absolute movement of women who are ‘heart-centred’ and ‘soul-driven’ and ‘led by purpose.’ We need you to be like that.
But what we must also do, is start acknowledging the fact that you very well may still be broke. In the world that we, as westerners, live in, if you’re broke, something’s not right. We cannot have a conversation about holistic living and wholeheartedness if that conversation doesn’t include taking responsibility for our financial well-being.
Let’s not live in fairy-land about this. We need to look after ourselves.
Don’t be the person who throws your middle finger up in the air at inspiration because it didn’t lead you down the yellow brick road. No pity parties, please. Let’s get on with it. Let’s ensure that we’re getting our basic needs met if we aren’t already, and let’s keep creating. For ourselves, for the world, it doesn’t matter. But let’s create without the expectation that our creativity owes us anything. If you’re making big moolah from your art, rock on. If you’re merely getting your needs met from your art, rock on. If you’re not making a dime from your art, get a friggen job, and keep rocking on anyway. And please, for the love of goddess, read Big Magic.
It may just have you crying tears of sweet relief, as it did with me.
Have a beautiful moment,
You’re welcome to share this post if it feels good.