A stylist at my store posted this video on our staff page. Definitely watch the whole thing, it's outrageous:
This guy's tricks have an elegant simplicity, yet they create dramatic results. While watching this much expertise and creativity flow through someone's hands, all I could think about was how many things he must have tried first! This sort of magic doesn't just happen. It takes a really fearless artist willing to make some mistakes and experience a lot of frustration at not quite having nailed it.
I've been thinking a lot about the creative process, and how to rekindle my own after an exhausting 2015. Luckily, Emily Ford gave me a copy of Big Magic for Christmas (thanks, friend!) I never could get through Eat, Pray, Love but this book is right up my alley. It's about "living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear." When it comes to doing the best work you have in you, curiosity is what ultimately pushes you beyond the way you currently cut, color and relate to others behind the chair, to attempt new (and therefore risky) methods.
I had a long list of New Years resolutions for 2016, and it made me feel like shit. So I threw it out.
At the brilliant recommendation of my man friend, Eric, I did something else. I made a list of all the actions that make me feel better about being me - right now. Things like doing yoga, running, having a drink with one of my stylists, prepping my lunches for the week, and actually putting my clean laundry away before I wear it. Basic little things. The idea is to relieve the pressure I put on myself to Do Big Things and do more of what I know full well makes me feel amazing. No matter what else is going on, no matter how others respond to me, I have control of doing these small things and making myself feel better. Eric suggested I cross 3 things off each day, so that over the course of the week I've taken pretty damn good care of myself - while still allowing for those nights when the dirty dishes don't make it off the counter.
If this sounds too simplistic, think about all the times you focused on your loftiest goals and didn't quite achieve them. How did that affect your confidence and productivity? Now think about how you feel after doing one of the little things on your list. After a run, when my endorphins are flowing, I have my best ideas, focus on the happiest parts of my life instead of the most annoying, and reach out to others in a more positive way. For a little while, I live more confidently and stop focusing on all the ways I'm not yet precisely who I want to be.
It's only in this energetic state that curiosity can flourish and the sparks that lead to Big Magic can fly. As Gilbert puts it,
You can battle your demons instead of battling your gifts - in part by realizing that your demons were never the ones doing the work, anyhow. You can believe that you are neither a slave to inspiration nor its master, but something far more interesting - its partner.