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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Book Review by Karina Muller

Clients often come to coaching expressing their everyday life is leaving them flat, void of energy, and empty of inspiration. Fear is driving their bus and there are no roadside stops that are restoring hope in themselves or their future. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert skillfully demonstrates how creativity can be the route needed to reignite the spark in oneself. @Karina Muller does a wonderful job of reviewing this book by highlighting the key point and how to utilize elements with clients.

Book Review: by Karina Muller, Certified Life Coach Practitioner

Title: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Quick Overview: Elizabeth Gilbert believes that the creative process can be joyful. In this book, Gilbert takes readers on a journey of her creative process and how she becomes inspired and stays inspired. This journey transcends beyond arts, and has applications in many industries.

Key Point 1

Gilbert accepted that rejection was going to be a key part of the process. She believed that she should write, stuck to her craft and kept writing. Expecting rejection and not allowing herself to wallow in it enabled Gilbert to enjoy the creative process and continue writing for the joy of it. Her biggest success, was Eat Pray Love, a book she wrote for herself, documenting her personal journey towards balance. This huge success of Eat Pray Love came when she least expected it, after having written several books already.

Key Point 2

Gilbert believes that self-pity and other negative emotions can lead to creative roadblocks. If one complains about rejection, it will not only bring on more rejection, but also stifle the future creativity. She chooses to say to herself that she’s a great writer, even when she doesn’t feel like one. Tricking herself or “faking it till you make it” typically leads Gilbert to creative inspiration.

Key Point 3

Gilbert does not buy into the notion that an artist must suffer for their art. Driven by sorrowful life experiences serving as inspiration is the opposite of how Gilbert chooses to create. Many artists believe that their best work comes out of their darkest times and are fearful that their talents will escape them if the darkness lifts. Gilbert believes that the craft can be a joyful, productive process NOT driven by suffering and NOT created in a state of suffering.

Application to Life Coaching

The coaching platform provides endless opportunities to express our creativity. From creating tools and coaching models, to imagining powerful questions, our creativity is a valuable tool that will be a great partner for coaches helping our clients.

Favorite passage and why?

“So, what if we repeat the same themes? So, what if we circle around the same ideas, again and again, generation after generation? So, what if every new generation feels the same urges and asks the same questions that humans have been feeling and asking for years? We’re all related, after all, so there’s going to be some repetition of creative instinct. Everything reminds us of something. But once you put your own expression and passion behind an idea, that idea becomes yours.”

I like this passage because Gilbert gives us permission to believe that we don’t always have to be original. Putting our own creative spin on an idea will make it truly ours.

How will you apply the key messages in this book within your coaching?

Coaching others is an honor and when approached from a place of gratefulness and joy, can consistently show up as a positive, enjoyable and results-oriented experience for both, the coach and the coachee.


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