Shiny Sparks: January 29

When I decided to take my blog more seriously, and really treat my idea as the magical possibility I know it is, I wanted a simple way to plan the weekly content. I want consistency and ease for myself so that I don’t self-sabotage. I also want to create the blog/website that I want to read. So, the idea of a “Monday Motivation” came forward, and this will be my weekly interpretation of that.

I want to share a few things that have inspired me this week. I know myself pretty well these days, and I’ve observed that if I don’t actively seek out inspiration, I let my creativity take a back burner. Well, since the publication of my book, and some personal challenges this year, I find I’ve got a bigger desire to maintain a level of creativity that actively pushes me toward greater personal expression. Here are this week’s shiny sparks: 1 book and 1 documentary that ignited my creative fire.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

This non-fiction book offers funny, inspiring, and poignant insights into the art of living your creativity. Author of  Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert delivers sparkling observations of brave and joyous creative action. She shares a story in the beginning of the book which sets up the whole idea of “Big Magic.” It’s a funny, fascinating, enchanting story that will delight you. I was completely hooked! In each section: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust, and Divinity – the creative process is dissected, reorganized, and put back together in a way that makes you just want to go out and make your dreams actualized. I loved the book. It took me a long time to read it because I’m a mom, but it’s a page turner. I related to many of the stories, and now that I’ve finished it, I feel like I have a deeper and more spiritual understanding of my own creative process. I also have a stronger courage inside to pursue my vision with more joy. I highly recommend it.

 

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Theatre of Life, directed by Peter Svatek

This documentary, currently available on Netflix, follows chef Massimo Bottura, who is opening an unorthodox soup kitchen – gourmet meals for the needy from food waste at the 2015 Milan Expo. I enjoyed learning about Massimo Bottura and his work when I watched the Netflix documentary series, Chef’s Table, so Theater of Life was an easy sell for me. Massimo Bottura is a fascinating person with a positive and adventurous outlook. Theater of Life is a captivating meditation about waste. The story is intercut between Bottura’s experiences opening the kitchen (the Refettorio Ambrosiano), and the personal lives of 6 people he feeds. The homeless people and refugees interviewed have incredible stories to share, and each of them do so with elegance, acceptance, and urgency. Despite their hardships, they maintain the hope that their lives will improve and their dreams will still come true. Their time together at the soup kitchen, the “Refettorio,” is not only a delicious meal, but also the opportunity for friendship, camaraderie, and support. Bottura enlists the helps of 60 chefs from about the world, and 19 of them appear in the film. (Including one of my favorites, Ana Ros. You can watch her episode of Chef’s Table on Netflix.) Directed by Peter Svatek, this film will leave you contemplating the idea of waste, and what it means to be a helper in the world. It left me wondering what kind of world we’d live in if everyone with the resources would be willing to contribute so much to others? At just 90 minutes, you can watch this after kiddo(s) bedtime or in short sections. I was moved by it, and I am excited to recommend it.

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Mossimo Bottura in Netflix’s Theater of Life.

Have you found any new inspirations lately? Feel free to share! If you check out one of these, I’d love to hear your response. I hope your week is nurturing, creative, and inspired. If it can’t be that way all the time, I hope you can at least grab it in moments, and use it to propel you to bliss.

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