Fresh Living

Wow, just wow. I have shivers and almost-tears after watching this video talk from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the wonderful memoir “Eat, Pray, Love,” about anguish and creativity. “We have accepted this notion that creativity and suffering are inextricably intertwined,” she says. Everywhere she goes now she’s asked if she’s afraid she can never top her crazily best-selling book—“People treat me like I’m doomed,” she says, noting the many great writers who have taken their own lives grappling with similar issues.

I’ll let you just watch it (click the image below), but the amazing part that really speaks to me right now is how she’s keeping herself sane by letting go of full responsibility for creating something amazing every time she writes. In ancient Rome, she says, people accepted that their successes and failures were partially outsourced to the “daemon” or divine manifestation who would be helping out. The worst thing that ever happened to artists, she says, is when Western society shifted to “the idea of being a genius rather than having a genius.” And that our successes might not be so scary if “you never believed in the first place that the most extraordinary aspects of your being came from you, but maybe if you believed they were just on loan to you from some unimaginable source for some exquisite portion of your life.” Amen, sister, amen.  (Thanks to Jenn for the link!) (And check out our exclusive chats with Elizabeth Gilbert on Beliefnet.) 

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