I’ve been engrossed in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic. In this enlightening book, she illustrates not only the importance of creativity but the idea that there is a touch of divinity or “magic” involved. Thus, it is critical for us to be receptive so when an idea or spark of genius comes flying towards us, we have an alluring vacancy sign attracting it.
Elizabeth is a beautiful writer whose sentences flow together like Tango dancers but she also understands and empathizes with the struggle of being creative. She recognizes the crushing perfectionism and self-doubt that hold us back. She’s been there herself and articulates it with heartfelt validation.
She reminds us that being creative is not for the faint of heart. It can be devastating at times. Our creative light can reject us like a lover who’s left us crumpled in darkness. Or how we wage war against our inner critic. Or that deep despair we feel when our endeavors are unrecognized and unsuccessful. Reading this book is eye-opening for anyone who pursues creative desires.
This blog is a place where I express my creative side. I love doing it but there are times I am empty of ideas, devoid of recipes, and not even interested in cooking at all. Those times are frightening because I wonder if a drought has set upon me or even worse, a depression. This wonderful book has taught me to hear those negative thoughts, but not give in to them. There is no need to water those seeds nor allow them to grow. Rather, accept them as part of the creative process and keep going. Keep cooking, keep photographing, keep writing. Just keep going.
It reminds of a similar phenomenon that happens in the running world called “hitting the wall”. This occurs when you are running and your body seizes up and can’t run anymore. It is scary because you feel like you’ve literally “hit a wall”. I was a training for my first marathon when this happened to me and I’ll never forget it. I was coming to mile 16 during a training run and my legs got heavy and stiff like elephant legs. Every part of my body wanted to freeze and stop.
Luckily, I was prepared for this scenario. I’d read that when it happens – consider it an ice patch not a wall. Instead of stopping – keep going. So, I took this advice and it worked! In a few minutes, my legs lightened up and I was (joyfully) able to complete my run.
It’s the same concept as being creative. If you view the negative side as merely an icy patch rather than an impenetrable obstacle – you can safely skate across and keep going.
So, I got creative with this carob dessert shake (because chocolate – or carob – helps when you need to call your creative powers). It turned out delicious but as always, I was reluctant to post it. What if “people don’t like it” or think it’s gross?
According to Gilbert, some will like it, some won’t like it but publish it anyway. It’s not for us mortals to judge.
Recipe: Carob Dessert Shake
Makes 2 small glasses or one large one
- 5 frozen banana chunks (about 1 small banana)
- 3 ice cubes
- 1 cup almond milk (I like Califia Farms)
- 1 tablespoon of hemp hearts
- 1 date softened in warm water and pitted
- 3 tablespoons carob powder
- Pinch of salt
Blend everything in a high speed blender until thick and smooth.
Recipe inspired by Oh She Glows