Do you ever listen to the Krista Tippett radio show/podcast "On Being"? I do, but am way behind. So this friend that I was visiting said I really needed to listen to the episode with Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote "Eat Pray Love." I did today while I was at the gym, and it had me smiling the whole time. The episode title is "Choosing curiosity over fear" and it really resonated with me. I don't often address my personal life here on the blog, but so much of the discussion addressed questions I have had in my own life and artistic practice.
Elizabeth Gilbert said creativity is our "birthright" as humans, that we are the "maker apes." And then somewhere along the way, we lose this sense of naturalness or innateness to our creativity. Many of us don't recover it; but that living a life of curiosity is also living a life of creativity. She said that you may not may an object/an artwork, but that you make a life, which is a creative act. She seems to have given herself permission to follow her curiosity, wherever that may lead.
"I think curiosity is our friend that teaches us how to become ourselves. And it's a very gentle friend, and a very forgiving friend, and a very constant one. Passion is not so constant, not so gentle, not so forgiving, and sometimes not so available. And so when we live in a world that has come to fetishize passion above all, there's a great deal of pressure around that." Elizabeth Gilbert
I am finding now, in my mid-life, that I am changing, that the people I love are changing, and that being fixed on passion, or your younger self's expectations. leaves little room for this organic growth. Isn't it so brilliant to give yourself permission to explore in ways you might never have before....and then to have no judgement about that exploration?
To choose curiosity over fear means to choose possibility. One of the things I have struggled with is not wanting to feel the fear, or to know it. But there is no way around that. There is no life without fear. There is however that moment, where you recognize the fear and want to run. You can say hello to it instead, and then choose to not let it make your choices for you. It is so difficult but unbelievably simple all at the same time. I think I am beginning to choose curiosity; to explore because it brings me joy. There is some good stuff in their talk about joy, and gladness, courage and compassion...just some wonderful words that will continue to resonate for me. I hope you will have a listen if it is of any interest to you.