Burstiness and Big Magic

During my last business trip (two weeks ago), my flight book was ‘No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work‘ ; I learned about the concept of ‘BURSTINESS‘ – creating a safe space for your team where everyone feels comfortable speaking up which leads to creative ideas BURSTING out of the room. This concept of ‘BURSTINESS’ was the ultimate takeaway from the book and one that I’ve tried to cultivate for the past 2 weeks.

This week’s flight book was intended for Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Talking to Strangers‘, a Next Big Idea Book Club selection, but right before I was to depart for the airport, I stopped by my (personal) library and swapped my traveling companion for ‘Big Magic‘ by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I have one word for what I experienced on that flight:

BURSTINESS!!!

From the get-go, I was consumed by Elizabeth’s easy narration and a quick story of how she experienced her ‘Big Magic’, which made me pause to think about a story I am actively working on and how several seemingly independent ideas all merged together to create the perfect plan. In fact, the ideas all independently came to me over the course of several years, but reading Liz’s ‘Amazon’ story made me realize the connectedness of those seemingly independent ideas.

It also scared the shit out of me…if I didn’t cultivate the larger concept, that the idea could leave me to find another rightful owner to bring to life.

And then…BURSTINESS! In the margins of the book, I mapped out all of the ideas, connecting them together to form a perfectly imperfect project plan (I’m a program manager by trade, so having a plan is key to getting anything done!)

It also reminded me of a conversation I had recently with my mentor. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll have met the wondrous PJ. During our last discussion, I looked at her and said “I just don’t know what to do…I have a children’s book, an early reader, a leadership & spiritual book – ALL IN MY HEAD waiting to come out. My blog even, I don’t know what to do or where to start!”

And her advice:

“Oh, just pick one and go! You’re getting in your own way!”

We then proceeded to finish dinner and made our way around Disney Springs looking for the infamous Micky Ears. PJ is a fan of the color orange, so we looked and looked, seeking out those specific orange ears. Then, all of a sudden, we passed a rack of ‘donut ears’ and one was on the hook backwards, and the color: ORANGE!

We flipped the front teal bow from back to front, and voila, orange Micky Ears.

We paused, snapped a pic and made our last stop at Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company. While ordering, one of the Joffrey’s pins caught PJ’s eye, a sparkly donut pin, so she purchased and handed to me and thus “donut stand in your way” was born.

So you see, things are connected, if you let them come to you and stop resisting – the independent ideas that merged together over the years as well as me feeling completely overwhelmed, not knowing where to start on my writing journey or how to make any progress. PJs guidance to ‘pick one idea and move, looking for mickey ears which happened to be donuts, to the pin and my new mantra for writing: ‘donut stand in your way‘.

That my friends is…

BIG MAGIC!

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