“We do seem to be living in a universe that is in a constant and unending state of creation. It’s never stopping. It’s never stopping here either. We are not witnessing that. We are PART of that. We come from that. We work into that.
So if the energy of the universe is in constant creation, when you are in creation, yourself, you’re in alignment with it. And that’s why it feels so good, because you’re in the river of the thing that is happening from here to the outer extent of the universe, always. And when you’re not in creativity and when you’re not in creation you’re against that flow and that’s why it feels like depression, and that’s why it feels like despair, and that’s why it feels so heavy.
So for me, the best way that I can feel healthy, which means a sense of belonging, not just belonging to other people, but belonging to this whole weird story that’s happening that we’re in, is if I do creativity “small c” on a small scale. So if I make something, then I’m also creating just the way that the universe is always making something and for some reason that feels deeply good at the soul level. And when I’m not doing that I’m stagnating against a power that wants me to create with it.
So for me it’s profoundly spiritual because there is no greater way to connect with capital C Creation than to engage in small c creation. And that c can be as small as you want. There’s something about making something with your hands that just makes you healthy and I think it’s what we are supposed to be doing so we don’t despair.”Gwyneth x Elizabeth Gilbert: Can Creating Something Small Heal Something Big?
This is taken from an interview Gweneth Paltrow did with Elizabeth Gilbert on the Goop Podcast. I heard it several weeks ago and I have become enamored with the idea of “small c” creativity. There is so much power in it.
A few months ago I felt inspired to put some of R’s artwork on my kitchen wall. He was in a phase where he loved drawing and I felt inspired by his art. Then I started to add my own art to the wall and the art of some of my friends (some of it made while they were watching R for me). It’s become my visual memorial to small c creativity. Each morning while I’m making breakfast and packing lunches I have several examples of small c energy reminding me that this is where the power lives.
Starting with the small c has helped me to move onto some middle-sized c creative work. I finished this oil pastel drawing while I was Santa Cruz. I just got started with watercolor this weekend (something I have zero experience with). I’ve been knitting too, which feels pretty chill but still adds and element of small c connection to my life.
The piano and my voice continue to be sources of small c. I think of singing along with my car stereo in that context now. Learning to play piano by chords has really freed up the piano to become a small c-type exercise. I can play almost any song and process the emotion of it through the keys and my voice. It’s powerful.
So what’s the benefit of small c? What can you really get out of it besides mediocre art?
The main benefit I see is that I have developed a comfort level with myself. I have come to know myself through small c. I’ve started to hear my inner voice through the writing I do here and in my journal. The inner voice has grown more recognizable as I assuaged the inner critic with a reminder that this doesn’t have to be good. My inner critic told me the leaves of the watercolor plant should be green but my inner voice thought rainbow might be nice.
When I do small c creativity, I start to hear the difference between the two—the inner voice and inner critic. But small c dials back the intensity so a risk becomes less scary.
I use small c in the way I live my life, as I’ve left behind the manual for living that I used to follow. Small c invites curiosity, What if I told the truth? What if I said the hard thing?
What kind of small c are you doing?