The author of Eat Pray Love believes that curiosity is the antidote to fear
“Creative living is a path for the brave. We all know this. And we all know that when courage dies, creativity dies with it. We all know that fear is a desolate boneyard where our dreams go to desiccate in the hot sun.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic — Creative Living Beyond Fear
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On March 29th, Elizabeth Gilbert, the internationally bestselling author of Eat Pray Love, was one of the guests for the Sacramento Speaker Series — purchasing a subscription is the best way to see all the speakers.
Gilbert dazzled her audience with her ‘big magic’ spin on life and creativity. She said that curiosity and creativity will help us live an amplified life during which we need to constantly push against the edges of fear.
In her inspiring speech, Gilbert moved freely between her internationally acclaimed memoir Eat Pray Love, which has become a verb for many women traveling solo and looking to awaken and rediscover new paths in their lives, her self-help book Big Magic — Creative Living Beyond Fear, as well as her novels City of Girls and The Signature of All Things. Gilbert also revealed her upcoming novel inspired by a true story entitled The Snow Forest set for release in the spring of 2024.
“Be curious instead of being afraid because when you stop engaging, life becomes a trudge.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, Sacramento Speaker Series event
One way that Gilbert practices being curious everywhere she goes is by asking everyone she meets the following question:
“What are you most excited about your life right now?”
Gilbert told a funny story about her book tour in Germany. During her business lunch meeting, she asked 20 people this question and they all said that they needed to think about it and get back to her. Reflection was what stopped them from replying to her question right away. Overall, Gilbert has received incredible moving responses from people all over the world, which has made her more excited about the ignition of authenticity in herself and others.
Creativity and Ideas
“Creativity is the relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration, as well as being curious, instead of being afraid.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, Sacramento Speaker Series event
Creativity and acting upon the ideas that descend upon us were core concepts interspersed throughout Gilbert’s inspiring conversation and compelling storytelling. As Gilbert pointed out, ideas that come to us, not from us, are living entities; they have a soul and a spirit and are divine visitation.
Gilbert pointed out that to take advantage of all the ideas swirling around in search of available and willing human partners, we must do the following:
- Pay attention to the ideas visiting us.
- Stop being consumed by your own dramas, anxieties, and distractions.
- Slow down to notice and take action upon these ideas coming to you vividly and clearly.
- Be open and relaxed to receive these ideas and turn them into something revelatory and important.
- After the idea fully grabs our attention, it will want to work with us.
- Decide whether you’re ready to accept or reject the idea.
Gilbert explained that creativity could mean writing, creating art, music, dancing, etc., and can change our brains.
Gilbert ended her creative and magical conversation with wise advice words from The Bhagavad Gita: “It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.”