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Put It Out There – Whatever “It” is For You

ballroom dancing painting

Put It Out There… Whatever “It” is For You


Painting by Victor Gilbert

“You were invited, and you showed up, and you simply cannot do more than that. They might throw you out…but the ballroom is often more welcoming and supportive than you could ever imagine.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

Is there something you KNOW – way deep down in your soul – you need to do?

I was flipping through Elizabeth Gilbert’s delightful book, Big Magic; Creative Living Beyond Fear, the other day and came across one of my favourite passages. It’s a great story and since it made me laugh out loud, again, I thought I’d share it with you.

It’s a good reminder about finding the courage to put whatever it is we have to offer to the world out there. Sure…we might get laughed at, scorned, criticized, teased, judged and/or rejected.

But if so, so what? We’re tough. We can take it.

But chances are pretty good that if we love what we’ve come up with, others probably will, too. And if not, oh well. If we enjoyed the process of making (or baking, creating, designing, writing, composing, sketching, building, painting, sculpting, etc) it, then the effort was worth it.

Here’s the basic story from the Big Magic book:

There once was a young American painter. He saved up all his money and went to live in Paris to be inspired by art and beauty. He lived on the cheap for months, painting and showing his art to anyone who would look. One day, he got chatting with some wealthy people at a cafe and they invited him to a masquerade ball at a beautiful chateau in the country.

He said yes.

He worked really hard on creating his costume, rented a car and off he went to the ball. The butler confirmed his name on the guest list and announced his arrival. Everyone turned to look and the party ground to a halt. It was in this moment that the young man realized his mistake. This was a themed party, in which all the aristocrats were elaborately dressed in period costume.

He was dressed as a lobster: a home-made lobster, complete with red spandex tights, painted red face, bobbing antennas and red ballet slippers.

But did he run back out the door, like many people would’ve (myself included)? No. He swallowed his pride, held his head high, stepped onto the dance floor and had a wonderful evening. People loved his audacity and willingness to roll with the punches.

He was the life of the party.

“We did not come all this great distance, and make all this great effort, only to miss the party at the last moment.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic

No, we didn’t. So if you have a book to write, a blog to start, a song to sing, a poem to compose, a house to build, a painting to create, a drawing to sketch, a business to start or an education to get, do it.

Get thy butt on the dance floor of life while the party's still in swing. Click To Tweet

And even if you look as bad as Elaine did on Seinfeld, hey, that’s life. We’re still talking about that episode, aren’t we 🙂

Related Blogs by Maryanne

Beautiful Big Magic – The Book AND the Magic

Embracing Our Embarrassments – Our Candour Can Give Others Courage

Even the Best Parties Have to End

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here.

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2 thoughts on “Put It Out There – Whatever “It” is For You”

  1. Thanks, Brenda! That clip of Elaine is awesome…makes us all feel better about our own dance moves 🙂
    Happy New Year!!

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