I enjoyed a lunch meeting with three other ladies on Friday. We met for work purposes but the conversation later turned to personal endeavors and lastly, one of my favorite topics: creativity.
I referenced how I recently read the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) to the group. That’s when I learned that CK had also read it, and she loves it just as much as I do! We began quoting passages from the chapters and sharing stories how we could relate. I even sent her a photocopy page from the book that I thought she’d like. As it turns out, both of us had bookmarked and underlined this page previously.
Has this ever happened to you? You click with someone. Conversation starts. You share the same sentiments. The room brightens. Your smile widens. You feel that connection. You share a kindred spirit moment with another being, even if it’s only for a short time. But it’s glorious.
I’m lucky. This has happened to me many times in my life. Not every day. Not every week. But often enough that I now recognize a special moment when it happens.
I remember the strong connection I felt to my husband when we first met. Actually I felt it before he and I even met since we wrote to each other first, and met in person a few weeks later.
I remember a special moment with my oldest daughter when I moved past the shock of being a mom, galloped past the baby stage and crawled my way out of post-par-tum blues. There was this moment when I looked over at her and felt an overwhelming sense of love and the knowledge of her being a miracle. She was two years old. (Note: Yes, I loved her the first two years but I believe she was two years old before I appreciated her. Sometimes it may take awhile to realize motherhood or parenting is right for you.)
Elizabeth Gilbert says in Big Magic that we have these spirits-creatures-muses floating above us who try to get our attention to write and create the wonderful ideas out there. I never thought about it like that. I would not have believed it true but it happened to me a year ago.
In February 2015, I had this crazy notion to write a book. I was almost too afraid to act on it. Yet something inside me told me to pursue it, to make my idea known, and to write the story. When I told the person who would accept or reject the story and he said, “Do it. Yes, go for it,” I had all the validation I needed.
Although the idea was in my head, when I sat down to write, the words didn’t come right away. The idea was floating around above me still. I needed it to go through me.
Then one very early morning while my family slept, I woke up and knew the story would come. I typed and scribbled away for an hour. The ideas were coming to life from within. Everyone around me was snoring but I was alive with some kind of divine power in me, writing and rhyming and developing a character and a plot that I hope to soon share with my whole community. It was magic.
I have had instances in my car while driving when some idea joined with my hip. Thankfully I was able to pull aside and grab my notebook and pen that I keep in my vehicle so I could write the notions down. I found a parking lot and composed until my hand went numb. Yes, this has really happened to me.
Nothing’s better than waking up after a great night of sleep and having time to create, to write. I place my feet on the carpet and boom, a title and opening paragraph is flashing across my mind before I can even turn on my computer.
This kind of magic is so empowering and exhausting. We all experience it in some shape or form. That high. That click with another person. That intervention that takes over so we can be someone else or create this amazing thing.
Shonda Rhimes, a genius writer and creator of many adoring shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, gave an excellent TED Talk about how she had this “hum” for a long time. Her career gave her great “hum” and joy. Until one day it stopped. She couldn’t hear and didn’t feel that “hum” that made her feel good anymore. Later she found it through simple play with her children. I loved her advice on not being able to thrive in work unless there is play.
But have you ever had the magic stop? Isn’t it awful? Sometimes that connection fades. Ideas go away.
Let’s face it, no one can have a creative muse running through their veins all the time.
So that’s why when the spirits strike us, we must cherish it. When we feel them move through us, we should try to act upon them and quickly! We should take advantage of the creative abilities we are given and are capable of using.
Thanks CK for inspiring me to write this post. Thanks to all of my floating spirits and friends and loved ones who give me bursts of joy and creativity. May you find that click moment, that magical intervention and that hum that keeps you singing happily.