I’ve really enjoyed discovering and listening to podcasts for the past few years. I usually listen to them when I’m whipping something up in the kitchen, while doing chores around the house, or even on my daily walks around the neighborhood. I’ve run across so many great podcasts recently, that I decided I’d like to start a new series on my blog, sharing a podcast each month, that I love, and think you would enjoy too!
I’ve had Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Magic Lessons” podcast series, saved for quite some time now, it wasn’t until recently though, when I got into a bit of a creative slump that I remembered this was sitting in my unplayed list. So earlier this month, I pulled it up on my phone, popped my headphones in, and decided to give it a listen. Within moments, I realized that I needed to sit down, pull out pen and paper and start to take notes. I kept thinking to myself, “this is EXACTLY what I have needed to hear!” and soon after, decided that this podcast is something that EVERY CREATIVE NEEDS TO BE LISTENING TO WHEN THEY BEGIN TO QUESTION, FEEL OVERWHELMED, OR NEED A LITTLE CONFIDENCE BOOST.
The first series has a total of 12 episodes, each around 20 mins. or less. And the second series has a total of 9 episodes. I’ve listened to about half of the first series, and have quickly fallen in love with Gilbert’s message, which correlates to her book, Big Magic. In both, she gives glimpses and support to fellow creatives – to abandon their guilt, push forward, face fears, and discover their passions – a conversation I think all makers and creatives need to hear.
One of my favorite parts of the podcast, is the reminder at the very beginning of each podcast. Liz Gilbert, (who has the most heavenly voice) describes magic lessons as “road maps for the path to creativity…the extra nudge we need when we’re feeling stuck in our creative lives.”
This is such a powerful and uplifting message! I can’t wait to continue listening, (Gilbert has a great line-up of special guests which include, Cheryl Strayed, Ann Patchett, and Neil Gaiman).
Below, I’ve listed a few gems that I had to jot down in my notebook, which I hope will inspire you to take a listen too:
Gilbert, when discussing the different ways fear can arise, hindering our ability to realize our creative dreams:
“All procrastination is fear. Anything you do that stops you for the work that is gnawing at you, the work that wants to be made through you, the creative project that is begging you to realize it…anything you do that blocks that is fear. It might look like fear, but fear also has a lot of shady disguises. It can show up as perfectionism, insecurity, guilt, procrastination…all of it is something you are too scared to do.”
Liz shares a quote by one of my favorite authors, A. S. Byatt which made me stop in my tracks:
“I think of my writing simply in terms of pleasure. It’s the most important thing in my life: making things. Much as I love my husband and children, I love them only because I am the person who makes things. I am who I am is the person who has the project of making a thing. And because that person does that all the time, that person is able to love all those other people.”
Liz, on why discovering your “essential identity” is so important:
“Immerse yourself, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually in what you want to create…be the example of someone who pursues her passions. There are sacrifices to be made in creative work, and an urgency and boundaries to be set.”