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Big Magic - Creative Living Beyond Fear

This Friday (March 3rd), Lou will be leading a training called Expressive Arts Therapy for Telehealth. If you are a mental health professional, please consider joining us for this 2 hour live, online training. Click here for registration and more information.

When navigating the hills and valleys of creativity, I found “Big Magic” as a tool to navigate the creative terrain. As an expressive arts therapist, it is important to feed your creative spirit as an act of fostering emotional/mental wellness. A book that has helped me with that is Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic — Creative Living Beyond Fear.

The book emphasizes that in order to be creative, we are to navigate our fears - which according to Gilbert’s definition below qualifies all who read as creative. With that in mind, I will present the chapters of the book below with a few excerpts and notes I made that helped me as a therapist and person. I hope they serve you as they have me:

  • Chapter 1: Fear: “What is creativity? The relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration. Do you have the courage? Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes…if I want creativity in my life…then I will have to make space for fear too…allow(ing it) to have a seat…but…not allowed to have a vote”.

  • Chapter 2: Enchantment: “Creativity is a gift to the creator, not just a gift to the audience. Maybe we can’t all be pure divine channels (of inspiration), pouring forth unadulterated creation every single day without obstacle or doubt…but we may be able to draw nearer to that source than we think”.

  • Chapter 3: Permission: “You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life. Defending yourself as a creative person begins by defining yourself. It begins when you declare your intent. Stand tall and say it aloud, whatever it is. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”

  • Chapter 4: Persistence: “How you manage yourself between those bright moments, when things aren’t going so great, is a measure of how devoted you are to your vocation, and how equipped you are for the weird demands of creative living.”

  • Chapter 5: Trust: “Anger represents some sort of energetic exchange, a type of relationship. We must recognize we are in the midst of a relationship in order to make an impact on it. Inspiration is always trying to work with me…I trust it; it trusts me. Curiosity can lead to passion. Try not to dwell on your failures…forgive self as needed and move on”.

In recognition of Black History Month, Looking Glass Counseling is proud to donate to the Concerned Black Men of Massachusetts (CBMM). CBMM is a non-profit organization in conjunction with The Paul Robeson Institution for Positive Self-Development (PRI). CBMM with PRI is "predicated on the grounds that Black children and their families are at acute risk in today’s society, the Institute was formed to provide a range of early intervention and self-awareness options for elementary through high school age youth and their families. In an effort to create an environment to combat today’s disinterest in learning; to negate the celebration of violence and self-destruction; to eradicate the need for substance abuse dependency; and to offset the enhancement of negative self-image reinforcement, CBMM assertively modeled formation of an infrastructure that targets “Striving for Excellence” in mind, body and spirit as a paramount goal for daily living for youth and their families.”


Lou Lim, LMHC, REAT is a licensed mental health counselor and registered expressive arts therapist (REAT) with a master's degree in Expressive Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. He is a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and on the committee for REAT credentialing. He has 13 years of experience in counseling and expressive therapy working with children, adolescents, teenagers, adults, and retirees.

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