As I’ve put together this short list of kick-ass writers over the last several weeks, I know I’m leaving out countless other amazing authors whose books also pick up on the powerful themes of shame, vulnerability and wholehearted living. In fact, I could probably make writing about other people’s books a full-time blogging job. I’m an unabashed devotee of books that inspire and nudge people to look inward and move forward. And I love connecting people to books.
But alas, this time around I’m committed to five recommendations only. So here’s the last in my series on Authors Who Write About Shame, Vulnerability and Wholehearted Living (Who Are Not Brené Brown):
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
This book is for you if: You feel you have something inside you that needs to get “out there” but don’t know where or are too scared to start; you have silenced or hidden your inner artist ever since that elementary school art teacher told you, “you’re not doing it right”; you are trying to solve a problem or express an emotion or amplify your life and think creativity might be the way forward.
If you are thinking, “I’m not creative, this book is not for me” then you need to read this book. If you’re thinking, “I’m too busy with serious ‘real-life’ stuff to concern myself with creativity” then get yourself to a book store pronto and buy this book.
In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert takes a stand for all of us to live a creative life: To live a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear. She explains that creative living is what separates a mundane existence from “an amplified existence” (don’t you love that?) Creative living – in all its manifestations – is for all of us. Do you see how you need to read this book?
Big Magic is a great read, presented in nice, easily-digestable chapter “nuggets” that speak to overcoming the fear of stepping into the creative arena. Her book invites you to find all your “not enough” gremlins, look ’em square in the eye and then promptly kick them to the backseat.
She is like the friend who tells you, “My wish for you is that you don’t take too long to get over your fear and do what you really love to do.”
Gilbert challenges you to question all the stories you tell yourself about the way things are, nudging you to find a different, better and more daring story to tell. She speaks to self-care and compassion, giving yourself permission, and the occasional, much-needed smack upside the head (e.g. “Fear is boring.”)
What I love the most is Gilbert’s voice in this book: it feels like you’re sitting down with your best friend over a coffee/glass of wine, and she’s telling you the things you need to hear about expressing your creative self. She is like the friend who tells you, “My wish for you is that you don’t take too long to get over your fear and do what you really love to do.”
As an added bonus, Gilbert launched her podcast, Magic Lessons, to continue exploring her ideas from Big Magic. It’s really worth a listen, especially Episode 12 which features an interview with Brené Brown herself!
Now, if you really want to get serious about exploring your creativity, check out my awesome friend and coaching colleague, Allyson Woodrooffe. Allyson helps people find their voice and live their truth through creative expression, and she is definitely someone you want alongside your journey to find your creative self.
To wrap up, let me say that I would love to hear about your favourite reads that touch on the themes of shame, vulnerability and wholehearted living. Send me your list on my Facebook Page.
And if you end up reading any of the five writers/books I’ve suggested over the past few weeks, please post a comment below or to my Facebook Page to let me know what you thought of it!