22 October 2015

Elizabeth Gilbert Had Me Crying Tears Of Relief

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Stocksy_txp260ff4c2t7L000_Small_355179‘Big, freaky, old-time, voodoo style Big Magic.’

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.

Some observations:

+ 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,


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    • 22 October 2015


      Love Elizabeth Gilbert (am yet to read this book but loved her podcasts).

      And Love your writing beautiful.


      • 22 October 2015

        You will LOSE YOUR MIND over this book, birthday girl ;)

        T xo

      • Kat Ellis McIntyre
        2 November 2015

        Hi Tara,

        Elizabeth Gilbert is so amazing! I have just immersed myself in Big Magic whilst staying at the Daintree. A life changing and beautifully written book. Thanks for sharing, loved reading this xx

    • 22 October 2015


      Love you. Love all that you do.


      • 22 October 2015

        Grateful to be riding this train with you, lovely xo

    • 22 October 2015

      Yes. I so, so mimic these sentiments. I have been reading this book and feeling so darn relieved to be in a space of making money "in the classical sense" while still being able to foster and nourish my relationship to the divine, to creativity, to my geniuses...

      without judgement, without trying to force myself into boxes or labels and to just live and love in the moments.

      Thank you for sharing, sweet lady. I am so, so inspired by your gentle unwillingness to compromise your heart's desires.

      - Ashley

      • 22 October 2015

        It is literally the best book I've read on creativity. I agree with Marie Forleo when she says: 'This is required reading for every human.'

        Thank you so much for such a sweet comment, it's appreciated. xo

    • 22 October 2015

      Yes babe, follow the joy. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. Congratulations of releasing yourself and enjoy your incredible journey.

    • 22 October 2015

      I totally feel this. I've started the book but I keep getting distracted but yes to so much. So much of your words always resonate with me. Thank you so much for that, Tara. You are an amazing lady x

      • 22 October 2015

        Thank YOU Mandy.

        I totally ate up the audiobook version.

        Her voice is sublime - and you can hear her humour and straight-forwardness so well.

        Thanks for being here xo

    • 22 October 2015

      Epic! YES! Feel you on this big time. And I too have listened to it multiple times. Mind. Blown. Life. Changed. :)

    • 22 October 2015

      Thank you for showing me this book.. Completely relevant ?

    • 22 October 2015

      A big fucking fat YES to giving yourself permission and room to breathe. Lovely to read you like this, Tara. And it makes me all the more pumped for my copy of Big Magic to arrive in the mail! xx

    • 22 October 2015

      I'm usually reading multiple books at once, never actually finishing one completely - Big Magic however was the exception! Nearly finished it now and have been completely captivated page to page. I agree it is absolutely one of the best reads on creativity and although we don't need it, so nice to have the permission to create without purpose, expectation or outcome. LOVE this book.

    • 22 October 2015

      Have this audiobook sitting on my phone ... ready ... for very soon :)

      Tara, over the last 3 or so years you have helped me grow so much as a person. And now I feel like I am being stretched by you again. In the best of ways. Thank you for being that guiding light. For giving me the courage to walk the road less travelled. It's never "easy" and yet ... it is. xx

    • Belinda
      22 October 2015

      This book also cracked me wide open. As you say, it's given me the permission that I didn't realise I was after. To pursue creativity for the sole purpose of being creative and for the richness it brings, end of story.
      Thank you Tara x

    • 23 October 2015

      Oh, I hear you Tara. And I want to congratulate you for forging your own path and in that process, being such a wonderful mentor. 29. Holy shit. Deep bow, sister.

    • Kylie
      23 October 2015

      I too just love Elizabeth Gilbert! She has the most uncanny ability to give my soul a voice. I have bought Big Magic and am yet to dive into it but her podcasts were amazing. Thank you for sharing xx

    • 23 October 2015

      GENIUS!!! xox

    • 24 October 2015

      Yesssss! So inspiring and bang on. I have a number of friends who are great pyschics or undercover life coaches. But they don't want to kill those talents with the pressure of earning money from them.

      They are happy to rely on their day job for cash and let their creativity blossom wild and free.

      I also love that Big Magic is giving us all permission to be creative (rather than one or two talented people). It's opened me up to writing, drawing, singing and dancing 'just because'.

      Love you xo

    • 25 October 2015

      I have to mirror what Jasmine says above.. thank you for once again stretching my perceptions and leading me in the only way that you can. I devoured this book on audio too, her voice makes me melt! High fives sister, thank you for sharing this xxx

    • 27 October 2015

      SO. MUCH. YES! Thank you for articulating my thoughts so perfectly! Teaching is my bread and butter and yoga is my love. Having babies made me want to stay home and just do the yoga thing (which I have since taken online). But I realised earlier this year that I enjoy my yoga and writing so much more if there is no need for money attached to it. Yes it would be nice but when the NEED is not there it just feels good. Follow love I say. X

    • 28 October 2015

      I am OBSESSED with this book. I think I've purchased 8 copies now, one for me, one for some clients, one to give away on my blog, and another I sent as a surprise to a subscriber. I really think everyone should read it - and I'm doing my best to make that happen HA.

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience here. I loved reading it, and as always love the way you write and express yourself. Here's to all of us tuning in to that inspiration and creativity. xx

    • 5 November 2015

      Big Magic.... Life changing.

      I have been feeling that "funk" all year, and this incredible book gave words to that feeling. It allowed me to acknowledge the fact that I want to create and share purely from a place of authentic truth, rather than because I feel I "should" or "have to".

      Bye bye obligation - hello sweet freedom.

    • 19 November 2015

      Love this post so much. Love Liz - I have the book but am yet to read it. Heard so many good things about it, I just may have to down tools on the current book and pick this one up. Sounds like it would be very beneficial for me right now.

      Thanks for another awesome post <3

    • 12 January 2016

      hi beautiful, loved this post and ADORED this book! on a totally differant note, i just wondered if you could point me in the direction of your essential oils info page, or where I could find a way to chat further? thanks so much! :) xx

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