Creativity: The "Big Magic" Moments

book reviews and recommendations career burnout life coaching self-care Jan 31, 2022


What is creativity?

Psychology today says “creativity encompasses the ability to discover new and original ideas, connections, and solutions to problems. It’s a part of our drive as humans—fostering resilience, sparking joy, and providing opportunities for self-actualization.”


Creativity extends well beyond art.  Creativity is embodied in actualizing and living our truth.  


How do we discover new and original ideas fostering actualization? For most of my life, I could not have answered this question as I was plagued by a limiting belief.  A limiting belief is anything you believe that limits your potential. My limiting belief was “I’m not the creative type.”


Throughout my childhood, I held the perception that society judged any of my creative attempts as commonplace. How do I know this? My “lack of design sense” was pointed out repeatedly.  I was officially not a part of the “talented herd.” I routinely developed anxiety in situations requiring creativity.  Fear prevented me from actualizing any ideas.  “If I don’t try, I can’t fail.”   My life was driven by fear and worse, I no longer detected the faintest whiff of any creative ideas because I believed they couldn’t be there.


At the start of the pandemic, I found myself living in monotony.  I lived the life of a doctor-mom filled with daily obligations and duties. Guilt plagued me for feeling unsatisfied. Desperate for relief, I created an environment of controlled chaos. 


Change would come. 


We had been thinking about our dream home and we sold our home in preparation for starting the build.  I have always been interested in real estate but once again I held a limiting belief:  “You don’t possess any skillset other than being a physician. You can’t possibly create something new.”   


This time my misery, desperation, and guilt short-circuited that limiting belief.  I took real estate classes about multi-family housing, short-term rentals, long-term rentals, and syndications.  Feeling empowered by knowledge gleaned from those classes, I began to be active in real estate, and I realized I could be creative with real estate choices and house/home design.  More recently, I designed a coffee mug for National Women Physicians Day.  I had such a joyful time creating that mug that I subsequently created several items over this past week and posted them to Shopify and Etsy. 


It took designing this mug to actively consider “maybe I am creative after all.”  A lovely physician-mom sent me a message: “I have come to realize everyone is creative. Just sadly some people’s creativity hasn’t been nurtured.” Another physician mom recommended the book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. 


Reading this book, I could finally begin to conceptualize these last two years. I’ve been on the path of creativity. 


Life coaching taught me how to turn off my “pop-up blocker.” Thoughts came more freely.  I had no idea that creativity lived within me or that I had any ideas outside of medicine and family.  As I have processed my limiting beliefs, I have learned there were “hidden treasures within” just as Elizabeth Gilbert says.  I had to relax enough to allow these treasures to manifest.  Allowing an idea doesn’t automatically equate to acting on it but allowing does crystalize a moment of creativity.


I’ve found the fear does not go away, but I’ve stopped succumbing to it. We must find the courage to hunt for and launch the “treasures that are hidden within [us]?” For when you hunt, you experience “Big Magic” as Gilbert describes.  “Liv[ing] in a state of uninterrupted marvel” we can “live [our] most creative lives as a means of fighting back against the ruthless furnace of this world.”


Creating my best life is requiring creativity and innovation and the willingness to allow the fear but not resist or submit to it.  I cannot build my best life if my mind refuses to imagine it. “Big Magic” as Gilbert explains it simply means “appreciating the value of [my] own joy.” I will allow my thoughts to freely flow while also allowing the fear to ride in the passenger seat. I will allow myself to dream anything free of limiting beliefs.  I will choose to act upon selected dreams and the remainder, I will thank for visiting.  This is my “Big Magic.”


 The response to my created Etsy items has been very interesting. Items have been purchased, requests have been made for custom items, and I’ve also received some very interesting questions. 


What does this have to do with my blog? What is the unifying theme?  Why am I adding more to my plate?


While not directly related to my coaching offering, the Etsy experience does relate very closely to my blog. The blog is about my journey to freedom and the creation of my best life.  I am expressing my truth and strengthening my ability to create and innovate every time I allow these thoughts. I am experiencing the “big magic” and the unadulterated joy brought forth by the magic of creating.


Interested in obtaining a copy of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert, click here.


Fruits of my "Big Magic" including the item pictured above can be found at Shopify.










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