BONUS 011 – What I Learned from the Big Magic Workshop & Elizabeth Gilbert

By May 25, 2018May 30th, 2018The Simplifiers Podcast


What if fear is holding you back? Today, I share my experience and what I learned at the Big Magic workshop, lead by author Liz Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love.

Incredible. Transformative. Powerful. Moving.

Those words only scratch the surface of what REALLY happened in that magical venue called the Friends House in London.

It’s funny, I went into the writing workshop thinking it was all about how to write a book or memoir. But I quickly realized about minute 6 (at which time, I was totally BAWLING my eyes out) into this 5 hour workshop that it was SOOOO much more.

We started the workshop with 2 minutes of silence and deep breathing to center ourselves in the room, slow down our heart beat and truly become present.

She then lead us through the six chapters of the book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.

They are:

  • Courage
  • Enchantment
  • Permission
  • Persistence
  • Trust
  • Divinity

As she says, “these are the major necessary emotional components to living a creative life.”

I had no idea we would be doing this deep, soul work as she immediately had us pull out our journals and let Fear write a letter to us, right straight onto our paper.

Here’s how we did it.

Throughout the day, she had us write letters to and from parts of ourselves.

In Liz’s words:
“Fear deserves a voice to be heard and acknowledged. Let it sit down at the kitchen table and fully speak. Don’t debate or argue with her, just listen. Just let her/him speak.”

So, the first letter I wrote to myself was this… (and feel free to do the same, using these writing prompts):

Dear Mary,

I am your Fear & this is what I wanted to tell you…

(Go ahead, pull out a pen and paper, set a 7-minute timer and see what comes up and out onto your paper. )

And I wrote and wrote… and the tears came barreling out of my eyes, onto the paper. I just let it free flow out of me without judgment and without editing.

And then Liz said, “okay, now turn to the person next to you, introduce yourself… and then take turns to read your letter to each other.”

At that point, you could hear the collective hearts of about 800 women SINK down to the pits of their stomachs, all at once. This is my big, scary, messy ISH, Liz!! You want me to tell this to an absolute, perfect stranger!!?

With tears in my eyes, I did. Her name was Joanna. And with loving kindness in her eyes, she listened.


This, my friends is what life is made for. True, genuine connection. Deep soul work, excavating what is lurking deep down below and holding you back.

Fear wants to isolate you and keep you playing small, playing safe and ultimately, it keeps you from being connected with yourself and others.

And what I learned in that exercise is that our fears are universal. I could have written the letter she wrote or the countless others we heard, shared in the room.

We forget that every single person on the planet (no matter how “perfect” their Instagram feed looks) is struggling with fear.

We wrote five more letters that day, including one from our Enchantment, which is basically that fizzy, joy-filled, energetic part of you that lights up when you do things that delight you. Whether it’s painting with oils or sitting outside in the sunshine or getting together with your very best girlfriends or creating your art, in whatever form that takes on.

(It’s how I feel each and every time I record a new episode on the podcast for you guys.)

Enchantment wrote a letter to me, reminding me the very specific times when I felt really, truly ALIVE and lovingly reminded me to find that joy and FUN once again.

Now, if all of this intrigues you, I highly, highly recommend picking up a copy of Big Magic, reading it and doing the work in each of these 6 key areas.

I left the workshop raw, emotional and in an upheaval…which sounds horrible but actually, it was exactly what I needed.

A catalyst for change.

A spark to light a fire and get me realigned with my core desired feelings and giving my Fear the chance to truly be HEARD and healed.

This, my friends.

This is everything.

Thank you to Alternatives in London for hosting this event and transforming my life, forever.

If this “Thought of the Day” inspired you…

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