Eat, pray, love was a favorite movie of mine and after reading the book I can say that both stories are fulfilling and left me hopeful for the future. The woman or should I say female genius who wrote Eat, Pray, Love was introduced to me through a Ted Talk in my Transformation Through the Arts class this past semester. Elizabeth Gilbert, a writer and creatively expressive person through the liberal arts, spoke about the difficulty creative people have essentially with themselves.
The reason I say that it’s not entirely your fault is due to our creative genius Gilbert centers her demonstration on. If you watched her Ted Talk or browsed through the transcript, you can make a direct connection with just how much sense she actually makes. She touches on how in ancient times, the Romans and other societies placed creativity within a genius. A genius in reference to what their interpretation of it was, is sort of a divine entity that can attach itself to a person allowing them to create something exquisite; something that is out of this world, a dance, a sculpture, a piece of art. I identified with this notion substantially because for all too long I had the impression it WAS all my fault. I’m failing because I’m unskilled, worthless, and not talented. This is entirely incorrect and if our cup is emptied (refer to last post), we will start to understand how to let that divine entity inside our beings.
Think of a time where you constructed, pulled off, or created something so amazing and frankly unfamiliar to you. You probably thought to yourself “Where the hell did that come from?”. The place where that came from is your personal creative genius, a place that one can become more familiar with if that individual recognizes that it exists. No, I have not a clue in the world what or how these things come together the way they do, but I think we all can gather a collective understanding that they are all too real. For example, in my yoga practice I run into a lot of barriers and obstacles as anyone will, but sometimes I will experience that creative genius surge through me and all those barriers fade to nothing. Although it is comforting to think the more you believe that this creative genius is always standing by to enter your being, it’s not always present when you hope for it to be. I look at this circumstance kind of like a movie I loved as a child, Nanny McPhee. Nanny McPhee eventually wins over all the misbehaved children and they grow very fond of her and respect greatly her as her time with them passes. She says something at the end of the film, as she is departing from her new beloved family that she essentially “fixed” after showing them light, love and happiness in unison, that I believe is extremely profound. “When you need me, but do not want want me, I must stay. When you want me, but no longer need me, is when I must go”. How does this relate you ask? When you are in need of a sign, even if you don’t know or think you are in need of a little glimmer of light and hope, is when that creative genius will show. It will show you just the right amount of amazing-ness for you to realize “Hey, I’m actually not the worst, not the least talented, NOT a failure”. But, when you are desperately relying on this “creative genius” because you’re infatuated with the feeling and want it more and more, it will show itself less and less. THESE are the times where you can recognize, be grateful and bid a kind farewell to that entity as it embarks to find it’s next host in need. Have faith, it will return.
Recognizing the creative genius and relying on the creative genius are two different things. If you know it is there in the back of your mind, and have faith it will show itself at just those right times, it will. But, if you are waiting around for this entity to just jump into you because you feel as though you’re in need of a little sparkle, it will stay absent. This is why I think spiritual and mental surrender is a huge advantage in anyones journey. Surrender doesn’t mean you are giving up, it doesn’t mean you are lazy or throwing in the towel on your life. Surrender is actually an enhancement of personal growth or power because our minds are essentially taking a deep breath. Genuine insight from the divine or a creative genius cannot dawn on a mind that refuses to receive it. Surrendering to yourself is the greatest and also possibly most difficult thing to cope with, due to the stigma around the individual having all the right answers. Contrary to western ideology, you don’t need to have all the answers. Americans are taught the theory that: in the workplace, in relationships and in personal encounters in which you are literally on your own, that you must contain all the knowledge. We are conditioned all our lives to know the right answers, to not raise our hand if we are unsure, to be afraid to ask for help because you will be seen as unintelligent. My friends, how can that magical entity even try to enter your being if you are too afraid to even ask fora bit of assistance?
The answer to that question is it won’t, failure is necessary. Don’t be discouraged if you fail because it was an essential step in order for your being to be available for some magic to take place. We are meant to shine, we are meant to sparkle, don’t let society tell you this creative genius is a fairy tale. Fairy tales are real, and they are not a figment of our imaginations. Once we allow ourselves the great pleasure of noticing our genius just didn’t show up for work that day, we can reflect and relax. It’s not entirely your fault, see? Gilbert touches on this in her Ted Talk, and says that even if our genius doesn’t show up for work, it is important for us to still get out of bed, wash your face and get the day started anyways. We MUST continue to show up, we MUST continue to be present, we MUST continue to try and fail and try again because that is the integrity your creative genius will notice. Do the right thing, go the extra mile, feel everything in it’s entirety and deal with those feelings accordingly. Please don’t give up, don’t succumb to the negativity or lack of success. It is coming. You are, will and have been amazing in life, have patience with your genius.
Next post will be about mechanical and organic solidarity, how society limits our ability, and how to break free from the idea you were only made to work, pay bills and die.