Day 22…Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Life is scary…terrifying.

Things can change so quickly. Things that seem so stable can crumble to dust.

The key is to live your life despite the fear. It is so hard.

I have a confession. I did not care much for Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. I thought it was self-indulgent and contrived.

So…

I was pleasantly surprised that I liked Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote and narrated a truly inspiring book.

Basically, she encourages everyone to be open to their creativity…even if they do not necessarily feel like a creative person. This seems like such an easy concept, but the reality is…it is a difficult thing to do.

Embracing your muse can be scary. But it does not have to be hard. Gilbert maintains that the picture of the starving artist is misleading and unnecessary. Allowing yourself to give into the creative process can be frightening but it does not need to make you miserable.

If you are an artist, a writer, a graphic designer, a knitter or a doodler…this is a great book to read.

Let that muse out and let her have fun!

Day 22…

…today I am reading

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Day 11…The Happiness Project

I was trying to decide how to describe this book. I finally decided it was a memoir of a somewhat interesting year in the life of Gretchen Rubin.

In The Happiness Project, Rubin delves deeply into the meaning of happiness and what it takes to make one happy. Unfortunately, she shares little of her research. Fortunately, what she does share, she does in a charming and entertaining way.

I read some reviews before I started writing this, which I do not normally do. Most of the criticism was centered on the fact that her life seemed good and why should she be trying to be happy. That is kind of the point of the book. Happiness is not dependent on things or even people, for the most part. Happiness comes from within. It is NOT the opposite of depression. She makes this point definitively. She is talking about “ordinary unhappiness”.

She quotes a wide range of people from Benjamin Franklin to Aristotle to the Dalai Lama. Her insight into the concept of happiness had depth and breadth.

Her “project” is loosely based on Franklin’s daily checklist. She divided her goals up by month and worked on them methodically. She seems to make progress and seems to be happy with her progress.

I listened to the audiobook and Rubin narrates it. She is charming and pleasant to listen to. I think listening to her narration increased my enjoyment of this book.

I have had huge changes in my life in the past two years. I have thought about happiness and where I want to be in my life right now and in the future. While this book wasn’t life changing, it was life affirming. I started some new projects lately and I feel they are positively affecting my life and generally increasing my happiness. I won’t be starting a “happiness project” like Gretchen Rubin…it won’t be so planned out and organized…but I feel like I have reclaimed my life. This was a great book for me to read right now.

Day 11…

…today I am reading